Former paper mill in Jay sold, now heads to auction and potential property development

After a 59-year history that most recently included changes in ownership, a devastating explosion, layoffs and its ultimate shutdown, the Androscoggin Mill in Jay has sold to an investment group that plans to auction off the paper-making equipment and find new uses for the real estate.

The mill was purchased from owner Pixelle Specialty Solutions by JGT2 Redevelopment LLC, a joint venture of New Mill Capital Holdings, Infinity Asset Solutions and Camjay LLC, according to a news release Thursday.

Terms were not disclosed. The deal includes the 1,000-acre site of the mill as well as all mill equipment, an onsite wastewater treatment plant and a cogeneration power plant.

The new owner said it plans to sell unusable equipment at an auction scheduled for May 7-10. After that, the property will be available for tenants. It features a building with almost 1 million square feet of space, most of it served by heavy-duty overhead cranes.

There are also bays and other buildings that come with their own loading, parking and office areas. The site features connections for rail transportation and natural gas service.

“The site’s heavy infrastructure can be repurposed for a variety of industrial uses, and we have already started the process of identifying potential new users for the property,” JGT2 said in the release.

Gregory Schain, principal of New Mill Capital Holdings, said, “The energy opportunities here are vast. Given what already exists at the site, an energy project in Jay would have a large head start over a greenfield site.”

New Mill Capital makes turnkey acquisitions of closed industrial plants and provide equipment liquidation services. Infinity Asset Solutions is a provider of industrial disposition services in fields such as manufacturing and forestry. Camjay was founded by Maine real estate developer Tony McDonald to invest in and actively manage the Jay property.

Eventful past

The Franklin County town of Jay was a center of papermaking since the construction of its first mill in 1892. The Androscoggin Mill was built in 1965 by International Paper and at one time employed over 1,000 people.

In 2019, then-owner Verso Corp. announced plans to sell the mill to Pixelle, a Pennsylvania producer of specialty paper. Despite takeover attempts by two rebel shareholders, the deal closed in 2020. Only a few months later, the mill was crippled by an industrial explosion, leading to a series of layoffs. Pixelle decided in 2022 to close the mill, leaving 230 employees without jobs. It ceased operation in March 2023.


Originally posted on Mainebiz by William Hall