Parsons Paper Site to be Remediated, Redeveloped

Published: April 26, 2016 / Source: Business West

HOLYOKE — On March 14, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse was joined by city and state officials to mark the official start of the demolition and cleanup of the former Parsons 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 job,s 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.

“This is a significant milestone in our city’s revitalization that should be celebrated and praised. Redevelopment of the Parsons site has been an extremely difficult challenge, bringing with it significant legal, environmental, and financial constraints that have impeded progress for years,” Morse said. “The staff in the Office of Planning and Economic Development and the Law Department should be applauded for their efforts as they’ve worked diligently with the Redevelopment Authority and a cross-collaboration of public and private partners to make this project a reality. I’d be remiss if I did not offer my sincere appreciation to Lee Vardakas of Aegis Energy for his commitment to Holyoke; we are fortunate to have this innovative company stay and grow in our city, and I thank him for his investments and contributions.”

Located at 84 Sargeant St. between the first and second level canals, the 4.7-acre Parsons Paper site has been unused and vacant since 2004. In 2008, a fire significantly destroyed a majority of the structures, and the city officially foreclosed on the property and took ownership in 2012 for failure to pay taxes. In 2014, the Redevelopment Authority engaged Tighe & Bond to undertake environmental assessments, specifications for demolition and cleanup, and project permitting to prepare the site for reuse.