June 27, 2012GROVETON — David Boshart of Fort Myers, Fla., who has signed a purchase and sale agreement to buy all the assets of Groveton Acquisitions that includes all the industrial acreage, buildings, former dam, and wastewater treatment plant on both sides of Route 3 that once supported Wausau Papers and Groveton Paper Board paper manufacturing, is the sole owner of Groveton River Development. That entity, in turn, is set up under Steel Recovery Solutions Fund LLC, a Florida-based redevelopment company, Boshart explained in a Thursday morning telephone interview.
The Groveton cleanup and redevelopment project is a big one, Boshart said, that is designed to "help the community."
Assuming, as he does, that this purchase will go forward, Boshart said that his younger brother, Bruce, along with his wife will move to the Groveton area at the beginning of July to directly oversee the project.
Partial demolition and cleanup at the Groveton site is likely to cost in the $500,000 to $1 million range, depending on exactly what materials and in what quantity turn out to be on site, he said. Extensive scoping work, assessment, and planning have already been done, and the environmental consulting firm, Wilcox & Barton, Inc., of Concord, has opened up a dialog with the state Department of Environmental Services.
"This is a major undertaking," Boshart said.
He said he anticipates working closely with North Country Council (NCC) that is using a federal Economic Development Agency (EDA) grant to study and explore potential reuses of the site. Boshart said he has already touched base with NCC.
Boshart also said that he has leads on a couple of potential tenants. He also anticipates that the dam and its run-of-the-river electricity generating potential could be redeveloped.
Boshart pointed to a couple of success stories that the company has achieved in the past two years, both in Illinois. He and a partner in one project cleaned up and redeveloped the 110-acre Butler Manufacturing site in Galesburg, Ill. That project started with nearly a million square feet of buildings that were downsized to 250,000 square feet of rentable and saleable space, Boshart explained.
A similar project in Jacksonville, Ill., on the former ACH Foods complex involved about some 500,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehouse and office space, in which 280,000 square feet of space was preserved, Boshart explained. Several companies were attracted to the cleaned-up site, he said.
Boshart said that he works with associates and consultants on these kinds of projects.
Boshart said he had grownup in upstate New York in Lowville, a community nestled in the Black River Valley in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, west of Lake Champlain. Groveton is, in many ways, familiar territory, he said.
Born at the end of the Depression years, Boshart said that what is now touted as "reuse, recycle, and redevelop" imbedded deeply into his being. He has enjoyed working with the seller, Jerry Epstein of Perry Videx, another man born in the same era as he that he described as "a quality guy."
Epstein and the Northumberland selectmen have reported that they anticipate any real estate taxes due will be settled by the selectmen's July 2 meeting.
The Hart Corporation, an international industrial real estate company, of Avon, Conn. has acted as the broker in this transaction.