After several years of lying mostly in limbo, 2012 brought significant change to the Wausau Paper mill in Groveton - a new buyer and the beginning of demolition.

Except for three smaller and newer buildings that could possibly accommodate industrial or warehouse operations, the property is expected to be cleared in June.

The goal of new owner Green Steel LCC, of Arizona, is to subdivide the 105-acre property to attract businesses.

With the demise of paper mills across the North Country, business growth is something the town and the region have not seen in recent years.

Redevelopment of the site, however, could take several years, said project manager Michael Sterling.

In December 2007, after more than a century in operation, the Wausau Paper mill ceased production, leaving hundreds out of work.

In August 2008, its assets were purchased by Capital Recovery Group/Groveton Acquisitions LLC, of Connecticut.

More than four years later, on Oct. 12, Groveton Acquisitions sold the bulk of the mill property for $1.75 million to Manchester Capital Partners, which then flipped it and sold it again, on the same day, for $2.6 million.

The 550,000-square-foot mill facility had also been the site of operations for Groveton Paper Board.

In July, Preston Gilbert, operations director for the State University of New York Center for Brownfield Studies, said the mill in Groveton was part of a national initiative to redevelop shuttered paper mills across the country, with the Groveton facility at the top of the list.

The project was to be technology-based, with clean and sustainable technology at the forefront. The mill was also being looked at as a site for large-scale hydro-ponic vegetable growing.

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