Public wants former mill site turned into parkland

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Public wants former mill site turned into parkland

Ontario Construction News staff writer

West Nipissing is considering options for redeveloping the former Sturgeon Falls mill site and public consultation will wrap up in the next few weeks.

In collaboration with consultants Public Urbanism and Colliers Project Leaders, the Municipality of West Nipissing is preparing a Land Use and Development Strategy for the former mill site in Sturgeon Falls.

The project will involve preparing a master concept plan for the redevelopment of the site and an associated development strategy to attract potential partners and investors. With its prime location on Highway 17, at the Sturgeon River, the redevelopment of the former mill site is a major economic development priority for the municipality.

The site, which was closed by Weyerhaeuser forest products in 2002, is located about an hour west of North Bay. While mill buildings were demolished, the brownfield property remained vacant. West Nippissing purchased the former industrial property in 2020 for $156,000.

On July 27, members of the public were invited to participate in a virtual workshop to share their ideas and comments on the future development.

This project will involve preparing a master concept plan for the redevelopment of the site and an associated development strategy to attract potential partners and investors. With its prime location on Highway 17, at the Sturgeon River, the redevelopment of the former mill site is a major economic development priority for the Municipality.

The project will “ensure that West Nipissing continues to attract and retain families, talent, and businesses to our wonderful municipality, said Bruno Lepage, chair of the West Nipissing economic development committee. “I encourage everyone to take an active role in shaping these projects and our municipality’s future.”

Feedback from the public includes the following suggestions:

  • A multi-use site with housing and retail along the travelled corridor, lots of green space and river access, trails, pubic use space some outdoor sporting facilities
  • Multi-use development, highway frontage developed with commercial use and a housing strategy based on actual needs
  • Housing (including some geared to first time home buyers), mining bitcoin with the current power generation, parks, mixed use
  • A multi-use site with housing and retail along the travelled corridor, lots of green space and river access, trails, public use space some outdoor sporting facilities

A final report on the site will be presented to council in October.

 

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