What does this announcement mean for Millinocket and the Katahdin region?
LignaCLT Maine, LLC will become the first Maine-based manufacturing company of innovative Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and other mass timber products. The company will open their new facility at the Millinocket mill site owned by Our Katahdin. The facility will have the capacity to bring 100 jobs to the Katahdin region and to increase demand for Maine timber. The facility is expected to be operational within 12 months.
Who are LignaTerra and LignaCLT Maine, LLC?
LignaTerra is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. They are one of two CLT manufacturing facilities currently operating in the United States. Ligna Terra strives to develop efficient, sustainable, and resilient structures utilizing wood as the fundamental building block. The company’s goals are to improve industry standards by providing turn-key solutions and introduce new markets to Cross Laminated Timber. In addition to manufacturing CLT, the company also aims to manufacture Glulam, a type of structurally engineered wood product for columns and beams that, similar to CLT, consists of layers of dimensioned lumber bonded together with durable, moisture-resistant adhesives. LignaCLT Maine, LLC is the company that will operate the Maine division of LignaTerra. For more information, visit www.lignaterra.com.
Who is Our Katahdin?
Founded in December 2014, Our Katahdin is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on community and economic development in the Katahdin region. It has partnered with local community leaders to crowdfund and implement 33 projects in the Katahdin region since December 2014. It has also purchased the historic downtown property at 230 Penobscot Avenue (a.k.a. “Miller’s Building”) in September 2016 and purchased the Millinocket mill site in 2017.
Our Katahdin Board members are sons and daughters of the Katahdin region believe in its future and include: Nancy DeWitt, Mike Faloon, Tony Foster, Michael Osborne, Sean DeWitt, Michael Crowley and Michael Seile, Jr. For more information, please call 207-618-9187 or use our contact form.
Is the mill site ready for a tenant?
Our Katahdin and LignaCTL Maine, LLC, will work with collaborating organizations locally, at the state level, and nationally to ensure a smooth and timely transition for the development of a CLT manufacturing facility at the mill site. There is tremendous support for this project.
The Our Katahdin mill site located in the town of Millnocket, Maine, is a 1,400 acre multi-use, sustainable industrial park on the front line of a 4 million-acre forest with 100 percent renewable and affordable power, ample water, and easy access by land, rail and air.
Background: Our Katahdin purchased the Millinocket mill site from Cate Street Capital in January of 2017. Since the purchase, Our Katahdin and the Town of Millinocket have formalized a three-year agreement to collaborate on the redevelopment of the Millinocket mill site to benefit the people of the Katahdin region. Website is coming soon: www.onekatahdin.com.
Who put this deal together?
While Our Katahdin and LignaTerra might seem like a natural fit, this project ranks as one of the most dynamic economic development projects in the region, with a complex financial structure and at least a dozen nonprofits, for-profits, and government agencies involved. The decision to come to Maine took several months to finalize. Dr. Brien Walton, Director of the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business and Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Husson University, facilitated the negotiations and attributes their ultimate success to shared core values, a shared vision for Maine's potential, and critical support from the regional economic development leader, the Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC).
What is CLT?
CLT is an engineered wood product that competes with concrete and steel construction and is known for environmentally friendly attributes. The use of CLT in building projects across the globe has been shown to reduce construction time by over 33 percent.
CLT manufacturing in Millinocket makes sense. In July of 2017, Poyry Management Consulting released a report commissioned by the New England Forestry Foundation entitled Assessing the Wood Supply and Investment for a New England Engineered Wood Products Mill. The report concluded that CLT was the wood product with the most potential in terms of investment opportunity and market demand and that a 1% market penetration into commercial, health, mid-rise residential and commercial building markets would support one or two CLT mills in New England. Maine has the most suitable lumber capacity of the New England states.
LignaTerra’s investments in the Katahdin region bridge years of ground-breaking research and development at the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composite Center (ASCC) to on-the-ground jobs for Mainers. UMaine’s ASCC also has the capability to test and certify CLT products coming out of the LignaCLT Maine, LLC facility and will continue to advance innovations in the CLT industry.
What is the project timeline?
As of 2/13/2018, a memorandum of understanding has been signed between Our Katahdin and LignaCLT Maine, LLC. From this date, it is estimated that LignaCLT Maine will be operational in 12 months. LignaCLT Maine, LLC has plans to build an impressive, state-of-the-art CLT and Glulam manufacturing operation coupled with prefabrication technology in a facility comprising up to 300,000 square-feet on a 35-acre parcel. Based upon industry trends, the new manufacturing facility would directly create up to 100 jobs within five years while sustaining hundreds more in value chain operations.
What is Our Katahdin’s vision for the mill site?
Our Katahdin believes the former Great Northern Paper mill site can be redeveloped to become a world-class bio-industrial park, with LignaCLT Maine, LLC as the anchor tenant. Our goal is to be at the forefront of growth in the CLT market sector by establishing the first mass timber manufacturing facility in the northeastern U.S. A CLT plant here in Millinocket would ensure economic and community progress that is truly sustainable.
The fast growing bio-economy focuses at the intersection of new technologies and abundant renewable natural resources, including forests, hydropower, agriculture and aquaculture. We envision the park will be home to LignaCTL, Maine LLC, and an additional number of small-to-medium enterprises over time, as well as a cohort of budding entrepreneurs working to commercialize new technologies. Our Katahdin will prioritize the strengthening of links with universities (e.g. University of Maine, Husson University, etc.) to bring cutting edge R&D back to the site, and to help promote commercialization of higher value uses of products from forests, agriculture and/or aquaculture.
What about back taxes on the property?
Our Katahdin has resolved back taxes with the Town of Millinocket and expects a decision from the IRS on April 2, 2018 on the issue of the $1.4 million in legacy taxes that transferred to Our Katahdin when they bought the mill site in January, 2017.
How does Our Katahdin and its Board Members benefit from the mill site?
Our Katahdin is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Each of the Board Members of Our Katahdin is a volunteer that receives no salary. This transaction does not entitle any of the Board Members of Our Katahdin to any financial gain, nor does this transaction give ownership to any individual associated with Our Katahdin. The acquired companies that own the mill site are held by Our Katahdin the nonprofit organization itself, which has no owners, only Board Members who are helping to support the community and economic development of the Katahdin region.
How do I get involved?
Our Katahdin thrives on community engagement. The public is welcome to stop by the office 245 Aroostook Ave, Millinocket, Maine. We can also be reached by filling out our contact form or by phone, (207)-618-9187.