Ainsworth Lumber mill deal closes

The deal has closed in the purchase for the former Ainsworth Lumber mill in Grand Rapids.

The Itasca Economic Development Corp. completed the purchase Dec. 15 for about 400,000 of square feet of industrial space on 223 acres. The price was not disclosed.

We reported the pending deal Nov. 10, but details in the agreement needed to be worked out.

IEDC plans to transform the site into the Itasca Eco Industrial Park for up to 10 small businesses. The repurposing of the former oriented strand board mill will cost up to $5 million. The work will include demolition, retrofitting, possible environmental remediation and marketing.

Funding will come from public and private sources.

The purchase of the site came from the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation, IEDC and an anonymous donor, who wants to replace the lumber mills employment.

The mill employed up to 190 workers, but was closed in 2008.

7 thoughts on “Ainsworth Lumber mill deal closes

  1. Thank you Sierra Club (and the Steelworkers Blue-Green Alliance with the Sierra Club) for making this plant economically unfeasible to continue to operate. Your politically oppressive and obstructionist practices artificially raised stumpage prices in Minnesota so high, these mills could not compete with Canadian producers, whose government realizes the importance of the forest products industry to their country. Boxcars full of OSB are coming southbound on the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railroads from Canada daily, even as housing starts are depressed in this country. I hope the DFL and their union thugs are happy now. Those 190 working families probably aren’t very happy, nor the logging families that provided fiber to this mill and the others that have closed in the northland. Go Union, Go DFL!

  2. Sierra Club, Unions? Ainsworth took a gamble and ended up making a wise decision by buying out the competition. The question is why did Potlatch want to get out all-together? I guess that’s what happens when you produce an inferior product. You could also blame mother nature for a lack of natural disasters. If you were building a house for yourself would you use OSB(cheap) or plywood(spendy)?

  3. Potlatch changed it’s business strategy and re-organized itself as a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). They still have operations in Idaho and Arkansas, which are less union, anti-Sierra Club and pro-business. Being in the forest products industry in Minnesota is not the same as being in the same businesses in Canada and Idaho, and Arkansas. Ryan, your Sierra Club unions are making it more difficult for paper mills, board plants and sawmills, not to mention loggers to operate in Minnesota.

    During Clinton’s term, he reduced the allowable cut and logging road development in the Chippewa and Superior National Forests, artificially increasing stumpage prices, such that Valley Forest Resources, a large pallet lumber mill in Marcell had to close down, putting nearly 100 working families out of work. No Wacko Wellstone standing up, waving his arms around, lambasting the establishment (this time his President and his Sierra Club) about the hardships to these poor workers and their families. It was OK for jobs to be lost if they were those evil loggers and non-union sawmill workers.

    We have experienced the closure of 3 large OSB plants in Bemidji, Cook and Grand Rapids as well as another Weyerhaeuser plant in Deerwood under these negative, anti-logging political outfits. Not to mention the smaller sawmills that were able to produce 3-4 carloads of softwood lumber per day. The same Canadian railroads have anywhere from 25-50 flatcars of Canadian softwood lumber, per train, 10-12 times per day coming into the USA. Anyone who disputes this need only to go the CN Pokegama yard in South Superior to see it for themselves.

    Ryan, we can produce these products right here in Minnesota if the Sierra Club, unions and the left wing of the Democrat party would only allow our working families to do their job. Our loggers are the most environmentally sensitive in the world, that is documented evidence. Let’s let our people work!

  4. James, where do you get your information? You’re wrong about quite a few things. Also, do you have a point?
    James, if you owned a mill and no one was buying your product would you continue production?

  5. Ryan: Prove me wrong, show me your cards. I’ll have a response whenever you are ready. And if I owned a mill, I’d be pissed like those I know who do own mills and lost their jobs. Also, you can contact the Minnesota Timber Producers Association and the Associated Contract Loggers and Truckers for factual data, just in case you need more resources. Don’t forget the DNR and the U.S. Forest Service, not to mention the various county land departments. You’ve got your homework assignment…I’ll expect a book report from you after the holidays.

  6. James: Why should I prove you wrong when you can’t even prove that you’re right! Did you even read what I originally wrote? You go on and on about stuff that I never even said. Time to get off of the soap box. Maybe you should write a book.
    James: Pointing fingers isn’t going to bring the mills back, the jobs are gone.

  7. OK Ryan, if that’s the way you feel. 1000 mill workers and 500 woods workers lose their working family jobs. Sad since we have a renewable resource, trees, and we have good paying American jobs going away. Writing a book won’t help those poor people, only capitalize on their misery.

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