The former Parsons Paper site is a paper mill that manufactured writing and stationery paper, as well as artist paper and archival paper for the art & framing industries. The site has been used as Parsons Paper from 1896 until 2004.
The Holyoke Redevelopment Authority (HRA) identified the property in the City’s Urban Renewal Plan of 2013 titled “Connect. Construct. Create. – A plan for the Revitalization of Center City Holyoke”. It is located within the historic canal mill district of Holyoke between the 1st and 2nd Level Canals near the site of the new Massachusetts GHPCC. The property is zoned IG (General Industry) and is within the Arts & Industry Overlay District that was created to encourage mixed-use mill redevelopment.
The City of Holyoke funded Phase I and II assessment at the property utilizing EPA Brownfields funding in 1998 prior to a fire on the site that severely damaged most of its structures in 2008. All known releases have been cleaned up from that time. In March 2009, the MassDEP contacted EPA On-Scene Coordinator regarding the level of friable asbestos within the building debris materials. It was determined on September 14, 2009 that a time-critical removal action was recommended. On September 24, 2009 EPA Office of Site Remediation and Restoration Division Director signed the Action Memorandum approving the proposed removal action. All removal activities were completed on April 26, 2010.
In October 2014, the HRA entered into an agreement with Northeast Utilities that provides the HRA with $250,000 in funding to complete a full environmental assessment of the site, and use any remaining funds towards cleanup and demolition, in preparation for the development of the property. On March 14, 2016 Mayor Alex Morse was joined by city and state officials to mark the official start of the demolition and cleanup of the former Parson’s Paper in preparation for the expansion of Holyoke manufacturer Aegis Energy Services. The announcement capped a multi-year effort to remediate the site and make it ready for development. The expansion of Aegis Energy Services will entail a private investment of approximately $7 million, the retention of 65 jobs and the creation of at least 30 new jobs, as well as the creation of up to 4 megawatts of renewable energy, making it the City’s largest manufacturing expansion in years. Read the full story here.
- Parsons After Action Report, 2010 – Part 1
- Parsons After Action Report, 2010 – Part 2
- Parsons After Action Report, 2010 – Part 3
- Parsons Paper URP Summary