SEN. JOHN SNOW, JR. AND REP. TRUDI WALEND A New Day for Ecusta Sen. Snow, Rep. Walend and Davidson River Village LLC work together to redevelop a landmark
Sen. John Snow and Representative Trudi Walend are pleased to announce an agreement with the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources (“NCDENR”) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) that permitted the sale and the anticipated redevelopment of the Ecusta Property in Brevard, Transylvania County, NC. Davidson River Village, LLC (“DVR”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Brownfield Development I LLC, that is a company owned by Renova Partners LLC (“Renova”), has purchased the property with plans to clean the property and redevelop it into a multi-use residential, commercial, and green space village that will complement downtown Brevard and the surrounding community. “The 540 acres that make-up Ecusta is such a large portion of Transylvania County that it deserves to be cleaned, redeveloped, and made into a contributing portion of the Transylvania County Community again. We are looking forward to working with the community to help create a common vision that recognizes the wonderful environmental heritage that is intrinsic to the site, and creates the gateway to Brevard and the Pisgah National Forest” said John Hanselman, Managing Principal from Renova. Even before purchasing the property, DVR has been working extensively with the USEPA, NCDENR, the former Ecusta owners, Sen. Snow, and Rep. Walend to ensure that a full and thorough clean-up takes place with full oversight by both State and Federal Agencies. “One of the most important pieces of Renova’s plan is the removal of contamination that is in certain portions of the Ecusta property. I feel satisfied, after working with all of the parties involved, that there will be enough regulatory oversight and accountability on this project to truly make Ecusta a place where families can live safely and affordably,” said Sen. John Snow. Ecusta was one of the largest paper mills in the Southeast and the largest in Western North Carolina. The plant employed nearly 3,500 during its prime years of operation and commenced operation in 1939. “Ecusta played such a significant role in Transylvania County for so many people for so long that I feel Renova’s plan will bring much needed closure to our community and the thousands of employees that made this mill work for almost 70 years. Additionally their plan to clean the soil and to protect the Davidson and French Broad Rivers from contamination is truly something to celebrate,” said Rep. Trudi Walend.
“We have expressed to Renova, and they have committed to us, that before the first ounce of concrete is poured that there will be plenty of public input into how the future of the Ecusta Property will be redeveloped,” said Jason Chappell, Chairman of the County Commission. Brevard Mayor Jimmy Harris said, “The redevelopment of Ecusta is an important part of our community’s process of moving on and healing after so many lives, families, and memories were turned upside down by Ecusta’s closing. I look forward to one day thinking of Ecusta as a place we can be proud of rather than a place that was left behind by larger economic forces.” Transylvania County is one of North Carolina’s fastest growing counties which is aided mostly by the combination of Brevard College, Blue Ridge Community College, the Brevard Music Center and a growing business community. This acquisition of the Ecusta Paper Mill adds to a portfolio of properties under the supervision of Renova. Renova is a national brownfields investment and development company that has extensive experience in redeveloping contaminated property throughout the United States. In each case Renova has worked closely with community leaders and the public through hearings to ensure that the new plan meets the needs of the community without taking opportunities away from established businesses. Hanselman concludes, “This project would not have come to fruition without the help of many individuals including Senator John Snow, Representative Trudi Walend, local officials from Transylvania County, the City of Brevard and the Town of Rosman, as well as environmental officials from USEPA, and NCDENR. We will continue to work diligently with all parties to make the project a success for the community and all involved.”
A press conference will be held at 11:30 am, Tuesday, February 5th, 2008 at the Holiday Inn Express, Asheville Hwy, Brevard, NC.
Sen. John Snow 828-361-6008 Rep. Trudi Walend 919-715-4466 John Hanselman, Renova Partners 781-431-8101 Bernard M. Kelly, Davidson River Village LLC 828-884-5544 Jason Chappell, Chair of Transylvania County Commission 828-862-6679 Mayor Jimmy Harris 828-553-2224 Mayor Brian Shelton 828-884-6859
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