French Town Technology and Industrial Center

News

M2Green Redevelopment, LLC Files Comments on the
Proposed Listing of Missoula Pulp and Paper Mill to National Priorities List

Frenchtown, Mt., July 25, 2013 . . . M2Green Redevelopment, LLC, today filed comments concerning the proposed listing of the former Smurfit-Stone Container mill on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) National Priorities List (NPL).   The site is being redeveloped as the Frenchtown Technology & Industrial Center.

pdfRead full Comments to EPA filed by M2Green2.8 MB

M2Green Redevelopment worked with the environmental consulting firm, NewFields Companies, LLC, of Missoula, to prepare a technical review and response to the EPA’s proposed NPL listing.  EPA allows a 60-day comment period following a proposed listing, which expired July 23, 2013.  In its comments, M2Green Redevelopment uses scientific analysis and existing data to challenge the EPA’s findings from its initial site investigation in the following ways:

•    EPA’s asserted release of dioxins in sediment and manganese in surface water are not substantiated by the data.

•    Dioxin concentrations in areas adjacent to the Mill property are indistinguishable from background concentrations.

•    The two highest concentrations of surface water dioxin samples reported by EPA were from the Clark Fork River background (upstream) sample and from the “blank” rinsate sample that consisted of deionized water that is not associated with the Mill in any way

•    All of the surface water samples collected by EPA meet applicable water sample standards.

•    None of EPA’s soil samples collected from the Mill property contained dioxin at concentrations that exceed the Agency’s cleanup goals for industrial/commercial sites.

According to Ray Stillwell, president of M2Green Redevelopment, “Environmental risks associated with the Smurfit-Stone mill are limited and an NPL listing is not warranted. We continue to be committed to redeveloping a property that does not pose a threat to human health or the environment.  We are anxious to engage with the EPA to discuss mechanisms for environmental assessment and cleanup where necessary.  And, we encourage the use of other assessment and cleanup mechanisms such as Montana State administered programs.  There are many programs that are just as diligent as federal superfund but allow our company to put the property back into productive reuse much more efficiently.”

Stillwell adds, “This would mean we could focus on creating sustainable jobs and opportunities at the location where they had been lost. We want to bring companies in advanced technologies and industries to the area so we can help provide good paying jobs in an economy where sustainable employment isn’t always easy to find.  We just believe a State led program would be the most effective use of resources and get people back to work faster.”

Since purchasing the site, M2Green Redevelopment has experienced interest from numerous prospects in various industries and technologies. Most recently, the company agreed to the sale of approximately 168 acres of land to Frenchtown businessman and rancher, Dick Lucier for the expansion of his ranching operation.  M2Green has hired CBRE to market the site to prospects worldwide and local water marketing company, Lotic, to market the site’s water rights portfolio.  

M2Green Redevelopment has also been working over the last two years to analyze and repurpose many of the site’s assets and prepared a rail line agreement with Montana Rail Link. It also has released a preliminary land-use plan outlining potential uses for the property and shared that plan with the community. Stillwell adds, “We are also proud to say that most of the progress at the site has been handled by local contractors we hired since the clean up process began.  A total of about 40 employees were working on site during this time and we chose to use these local contractors instead of using outside companies to further the economic benefit of the redevelopment to the community.”

CIRCLEVILLE, OHIO, May 31, 2013 . . .  Green Investment Group, Inc., (GIGI) a privately held company focused on redeveloping brownfield sites throughout North America, today announced the sale of a 275-acre parcel of land at its location in Circleville, Ohio and the completion of environmental remediation at the site.  Green Investment Group is an affiliate of M2Green Redevelopment, owners of the former Smurfit-Stone mill in Frenchtown.

The Ohio property is also a former Smurfit-Stone paper mill that closed in 1998, leaving 100 workers without jobs. Purchased by an affiliate of Green Investment Group, Inc. – CircleGreen, LLC. – in 2006, the Circleville site is one of seven mills the company owns throughout North America.

The 275-acre parcel that recently sold is located west of U.S. Route 23 and is a portion of the 303 acres at the site. The remaining acreage has been under environmental investigation and remediation through a voluntary program with the Ohio EPA.  This month, CircleGreen, LLC, completed the requirements for the filing of a “no further action” letter finalizing their commitment to the Ohio EPA to responsibly remediate the site of environmental concerns.    Approximately $3 million was invested in the site to remediate contaminated soil from a backfilled area formerly used as part of the Ohio Erie Canal.

Ray Stillwell, president of Green Investment Group, Inc. and manager of CircleGreen, LLC said, “We have worked in full cooperation with the Ohio EPA to dismantle and remediate the waste water lagoons that were under environmental investigation and are pleased to have repurposed a large portion of the site. We are actively marketing the remaining acreage in order to make this a completed redevelopment effort that faced environmental challenges but ultimately resulted in a better use of the property. The success at this site is an example of our commitment to responsibly remediating each of our sites and our continued efforts to create jobs and opportunities.”

Green Investment Group, Inc. and its affiliate companies acquire and redevelop Brownfield sites throughout North America. A Brownfield site is an abandoned or underutilized industrial or commercial site that is well positioned for redevelopment. Using a unique, modern business model that focuses on a phased approach to restoring, redeveloping and reviving inactive industrial sites, GIGI is able to bring investment, jobs and revitalization to local economies.

In addition to the Circleville and Frenchtown mills, GIGI has also purchased former Smurfit-Stone facilities in Alton, Ill., Carthage, Ind., Portage-du-Fort, Quebec, New Richmond, Quebec, and Bathurst, New Brunswick.  

GIGI has seen recent successes at its site in Portage-du-Fort, Quebec where it has attracted companies in renewable energies to the site, including a construction recycling company and Trebio, a manufacturer of energy wood pellets to supply to the residential, commercial, industrial and institutional markets in Canada, the United States and Europe.  

Similarly in New Richmond, Quebec, GIGI recently welcomed Fabrication Delta, which operates globally manufacturing large industrial parts for the wind, paper, mining, steel and forest industries. Fabrication Delta's primary focus will be to produce wind masts at its New Richmond facility.  The company’s investment in New Richmond has been significant, resulting in hundreds of jobs.

FRENCHTOWN, MONT., May 23, 2013 . . . M2Green Redevelopment, LLC, owners of the Frenchtown Technology & Industrial Center in Frenchtown, Mont., today responded to a recent announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of their proposal to add the property (formerly a Smurfit-Stone Mill) to the Superfund National Priorities List.

According to Ray Stillwell, member/manager of M2Green Redevelopment, LLC, owner of the property since May 2011, “Our goal remains the same since we purchased the property– to create jobs and opportunities for the Missoula area. We remain diligent in our efforts to accomplish these goals in an environmentally responsible manner but know that there are alternative oversight programs available that are just as thorough at the State level that would help us repopulate the site without the red tape and stigma associated with a NPL designation.  There is no doubt that the NPL designation will hinder sustainable job creation and redevelopment.”

Stillwell and his staff have been working diligently over the past few months, since talk of an NPL designation surfaced last December, to garner support for a State-managed clean up program for the site, hoping to avoid the NPL designation.  Stillwell adds, “In Illinois, we have experience in managing environmental remediation efforts at the State level and have recently received a No Further Action letter from the State of Ohio on our clean up efforts there. We are experienced in environmental remediation and continue to be good stewards of the environment and federal resources that we also wanted for our property in Montana.”

A 60-day public comment period about the proposed listing begins on Thurs., May 23, 2013. “We still have an opportunity to weigh in on this issue and encourage the EPA to keep the property off the list, helping us repopulate and create jobs much faster. We can do the clean up under state oversight and do it in a responsible way. It can be done and has been done by us in other parts of the country.”

None of the other six former paper mill sites owned by Green Investment Group or its affiliates, like M2Green Redevelopment, has ever been designated as a Superfund site but have faced equivalent environmental challenges.

In a preliminary assessment of the site in Frenchtown, the EPA identified “potential sources of contamination” within limited areas of the 3,200-acre site, but that “sampling data does not indicate an emergency situation currently exists.”  Further, according to the EPA’s findings they “do not believe there is an imminent human health danger posed by the site.”  

Since purchasing the property, M2Green Redevelopment has analyzed and repurposed many of the site’s assets, prepared a rail line agreement with Montana Rail Link and entertained interest from several prospects who believe the property has potential for their business expansion or relocation.  Despite talk of a Superfund designation, M2Green Redevelopment is continuing with its redevelopment efforts.

“This is a very marketable site and we have already sold one parcel of land to a local rancher and have already had many prospects interested in development opportunities.  Currently, there are job-creating opportunities that are now hesitant to proceed due to the uncertainty associated with the potential listing on the NPL ” Stillwell added.

Stillwell stressed the fact that while the Frenchtown mill site may have some environmental challenges, it is not unexpected of an industrial site with a history in pulp and paper.  “We specialize in this particular type of property and have remediated and redeveloped similar properties in the United States and in Canada. We have extensive and specialized expertise in environmental remediation and have created jobs and turned local economies around in other communities.  We have a track record in redevelopment of properties that have thrown down more challenging road blocks than those in Frenchtown.”

 

FRENCHTOWN TECHNOLOGY & INDUSTRIAL CENTER JOINS MONTANA WORLD TRADE CENTER

FRENCHTOWN, MONT., Mar. 28, 2013 . . . Frenchtown Technology & Industrial Center, the recently branded former Smurfit-Stone site in Frenchtown, today announced it has joined the Montana World Trade Center®.  

The Montana World Trade Center is a program of The University of Montana operating in cooperation with universities throughout the state. The Center's purpose is to help Montana businesses establish or strengthen their international commercial capabilities. The Center works to develop the untapped international trade opportunities for the state and region.

Frenchtown Technology & Industrial Center is a 3,000-acre brownfield site positively positioned for marketing internationally to industrial manufacturers, specifically companies in oil field and oil equipment manufacturing, technology and chemical/bio-mass manufacturing operations, and emerging technology enterprises poised for commercialization. Owners of the property, M2Green Redevelopment, LLC, recently contracted with CBRE to market the site worldwide and Lotic, LLC, in marketing the property’s 54 water rights.

According to Ray Stillwell, member/manager of M2Green Redevelopment, LLC, “It is time to tell the world about this property and the best way to do that is to build a network of supporters who can help arm us with the best resources for marketing the property worldwide. We have a tremendous marketing team in place with CBRE and Lotic, LLC, and we are positive they will find viable prospects interested in this property and Montana’s business climate.”

 

Frenchtown Technology & Industrial Center Joins Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce

FRENCHTOWN, MONT., FEB. 20, 2013 . . . Frenchtown Technology & Industrial Center, the recently branded former Smurfit-Stone site in Frenchtown, today announced it has joined the Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce.  Frenchtown Technology & Industrial Center is a 3,000-acre brownfield site positively positioned for marketing to industrial manufacturers, specifically companies in oil field and oil equipment manufacturing, technology and chemical/bio-mass manufacturing operations, and emerging technology enterprises poised for commercialization. CBRE was recently contracted to market the site worldwide.

As big supporters of local business and government, owners of the Frenchtown Technology & Industrial Center have joined the Chamber as a way to encourage local partnerships and build relationships with stakeholders in the community. Demolition is nearing completion at the site and according to Ray Stillwell, member/manager of M2Green Redevelopment, LLC, the entity that owns the property. “It’s time to tell the world about this property and build support from inside the Missoula area and work our way out to International companies that may see opportunity in Montana’s business climate.”

Frenchtown Technology & Industrial Center Contracts with Local Water Marketing Firm to Market 54 Water Rights on Site

FRENCHTOWN, MONT., March 18, 2013 . . . Frenchtown Technology & Industrial Center, the recently branded former Smurfit-Stone site in Frenchtown, today announced it has contracted with Missoula-based, water-marketing firm, Lotic, LLC to help clarify, value and monetize the portfolio of 54 water rights on the 3,000 acre site.  The water rights were acquired by site owner, M2Green Redevelopment, LLC, as part of their purchase of the former Smurfit-Stone site in 2011.

Lotic is a water marketing company based in Missoula with a focus on water rights marketing and water marketing communications.  For Frenchtown Technology & Industrial Center, Lotic will manage the water rights portfolio and pursue marketing activities on behalf of the owner.
 
According to Chris Corbin, owner of Lotic, LLC, “Frenchtown Technology & Industrial Center holds the largest industrial water rights portfolio in the Middle Clark Fork Basin by over fourfold. As such, they are well positioned to meet future industrial demands in this market.”
 
The water rights offer 25 million gallons of water capacity per day. Corbin says, “We are focusing a majority of our marketing efforts on industries such as renewable energy and manufacturing but essentially the site is ideal for any industry that needs large amounts of water.”
Since purchasing the site, M2Green Redevelopment has experienced interest from numerous prospects in various industries and technologies. Most recently, the company agreed to the sale of approximately 168 acres of land to Frenchtown businessman and rancher, Dick Lucier for the expansion of his ranching operation. M2Green Redevelopment has also been working over the last two years to analyze and repurpose many of the site’s assets and prepared a rail line agreement with Montana Rail Link. Progress at the site has been handled by local contractors hired by M2Green Redevelopment since the clean up process began.  A total of about 40 employees were working on site during this time.  The company chose to use local contractors instead of using outside companies to further the economic benefit of the redevelopment to the community.

According to manager/owner of M2Green Redevelopment, Ray Stillwell, “The contract with Lotic rounds out our efforts to market the property. We announced in January that we are working with CBRE on marketing the property and believe the water rights are an asset all their own and worthy of specialized marketing and expertise that only Lotic can provide. We also believe Chris Corbin’s experience and local relevance will assist in maximizing the marketability of the water rights to prospects.”

For more information about Lotic, LLC, please visit, www.loticmarketing.com

Frenchtown Technology & Industrial Center is a 3,000-acre, brownfield redevelopment site near Missoual, Mont. 

Frenchtown Technology & Industrial Center Releases Preliminary Land Use Plan for 3,000 Acre Site: Continues Marketing Efforts

FRENCHTOWN, MONT., March 8, 2013 . . . Frenchtown Technology & Industrial Center, the recently branded former Smurfit-Stone site in Frenchtown, today released a preliminary land-use plan for the former pulp and paper mill site.   The preliminary plan describes three different “study” areas.

The plan, in its draft stages, highlights “study” areas of the property most suitable for commercial, industrial or technology centers. Located near the main entrance of the property, these parcels were selected for commercial/industrial development due to their proximity to rail access, existing infrastructure and easy access to the I-90 interchange.

Approximately 1,000 acres of the 3,000-acre property has been designated as a second “study” area that is most suitable for agricultural or residential development. These parcels are existing farm land and well positioned for agricultural use with proximity to Mullan Road. Residential opportunities exist with cluster residential or mini-farms near Mullan Road and within the agricultural area of the property.

A third “study” area on the comprehensive site plan has been designated suitable as open space with habitat restoration and expansion, wetland creation to attract migratory birds, stormwater control and treatment.  This area is also suitable for a potential multi-use trail system, access to the Clark Fork River and interpretive sites. There are also two areas designated for river access for fishing, canoe and kayak recreation and overlooks of the Clark Fork River.

“We have carefully considered how to be good stewards of this land and believe the preliminary plan we have released for public interest is a good one.  As with any land use plan, there are changes along the way.  It has long been our vision that areas of this beautiful property might be used by the community and area wildlife while at the same time we are able to restore jobs lost when Smurfit-Stone closed its doors,” said Ray Stillwell, member/manager of M2Green Redevelopment, LLC, owner of the property.

M2Green Redevelopment received support this week from Missoula County Commissioners that will assist in attracting business development opportunities while maintaining proper oversight of environmental investigation and remediation.   Specifically, County Commissioners sent a letter to the EPA and Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) requesting that the agencies work with M2Green Redevelopment utilizing an Administrative Order on Consent, an alternative to a Superfund listing that still involves EPA oversight.

“We are in the business of tackling redevelopment projects that require environmental clean up and have done it successfully in other areas in North America. We are grateful for the local support we have received with regard to our interest in working in partnership with the EPA during clean up efforts.  This collaboration will help avoid delays in redevelopment efforts and more quickly create jobs,” added Stillwell.  

Since purchasing the property in 2011, M2Green Redevelopment has analyzed and repurposed many of the site’s assets, prepared a rail line agreement with Montana Rail Link and entertained interest from several prospects who believe the property has potential for their business expansion or relocation. Progress at the site has been handled by local contractors hired by M2Green Redevelopment since the clean up process began.  A total of about 60 employees were working on site during this time.  The company chose to use local contractors instead of using outside companies to enhance the economic benefit of the redevelopment to the community.

Pre-Land Use Plan sm

Listen to Ray Stillwell on KUFM, Montana Public Radio - Feb. 11, 2013

 

By Sarah Gravlee

MISSOULA - There may soon be new life, and new jobs, at the former Smurfit-Stone site in Frenchtown.

The mill closed down in January 2010 after operating for 53 years as a pulp and paper mill. In the past few months crews have been dismantling the existing structures to make room for new development. Illinois-based M2 Green Redevelopment, LLC, is marketing the facility as the Frenchtown Technology & Industrial Center.

Monday, they announced they are partnering with CBRE to market the 3,000-acre site internationally. M2 Green Redevelopment Manager Ray Stillwell stopped by for a live interview.

Frenchtown Technology & Industrial Center Gets New Brand: Finalizes Strategy for Site Development

FRENCHTOWN, MONT., January 29, 2013 . . .M2Green Redevelopment, LLC, an affiliate of Green Investment Group, Inc. and owners of the former Smurfit-Stone paper mill in Frenchtown, Mont., today unveiled a new brand for the development – Frenchtown Technology & Industrial Center.  The company chose this name to descriptively market the site to industrial manufacturers, specifically companies in oil field and oil equipment manufacturing, technology and chemical/bio-mass manufacturing operations, and emerging technology enterprises poised for commercialization.

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