Redeveloping a Significant “Paper City” Site
After almost 10 years of uncertainty about the future of the former Parsons Paper Mill property, the site of what was once the country’s largest paper supplier, saw new hope. As one of 10 areas designated for redevelopment in the City of Holyoke’s Urban Renewal Plan, the abandoned brick buildings, and possibly contaminated site, was prioritized for cleanup and redevelopment.
History Unfolds, New Possibilities Emerge
This site, which consists of approximately 4.61 acres of land, was first developed in the 1880s, with Parsons (a paper manufacturer) operating at the site circa 1889 until the facility closed in 2004. A fire occurred at the abandoned property in June 2008, which significantly damaged or destroyed three of the site’s five interconnected buildings. Ultimately, the City of Holyoke took ownership of the site through a tax taking in June 2012.
The Holyoke Redevelopment Authority (HRA) later contracted with Tighe & Bond for environmental assessment, permitting, and demolition engineering services for the former mill facility. Prior to this work, our team had completed EPA Brownfields assessment services at the site for the City of Holyoke, as well as completed Licensed Site Professional (LSP) and other site/demolition engineering services for the site’s former owner.
Since the completion of the project, the remaining building has been renovated for industrial use by a private party with expansion of their abutting operations onto the Parsons Site. In addition, a solar field was placed over a significant portion of the site, with collaboration from Tighe & Bond on initial design constraints.
Our team provided LSP, and demolition engineering services, as well as detailed building Inventories to address asbestos and other hazardous materials. Other services include permitting, bidding and observation services, as well as structural engineering consultation.