Regions Central Virginia

Bear Island Paper Co. mill is for sale

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A large block of industrial land is on the market in Hanover County. White Birch Paper Co. wants to sell its idled Bear Island Paper mill. According to JLL, the real estate firm handling the listing for White Birch, the site includes a more than 600,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on 1,600 acres. There’s also 180,000 square feet of warehouse space.


“For the past 38 years, Bear Island has been an important part of this company and the community,” Tim Riemer from White Birch Paper, said in a statement.  “We are both confident in and excited to work with … the whole JLL team to find the best future for this site and the community.”


Connecticut-based White Birch closed the newsprint manufacturing mill earlier this summer.  It said then that it would supply customers, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch and other Virginia publications, from its three other paper mills in Canada.

Though idled, Bear Island Paper still has the components of an operational paper manufacturing plant. The site has water and discharge agreements with Hanover County, an on-site wastewater facility, Title V air permit, and access to a rail spur. Its location adjacent to the I-95 corridor, north of Richmond, provides access to the Eastern seaboard. The plant was in operation through June.


“The Bear Island mill offers a great opportunity for a new owner to enter a growing market, and we have already begun to see a flurry of interest,” Danny Holly, vice president of JLL, said in a statement.  “Additionally, our team is diligently exploring every option from seeking out a similar user who could utilize the plant’s existing attributes as a manufacturing facility to finding developers attracted to the large block of industrial land.”


JLL said it is working closely with Hanover County’s Economic Development Office and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to align the property’s potential with the economic opportunities of the region.


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