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Former Ponderay Newsprint Co. mill in Usk listed for sale at $11.5 million

This photo shows the Box Canyon Dam on the Pend Oreille River on Oct. 2, 2016. The dam generates electricity for the Pend Oreille Public Utility District. It's biggest customer had been the Ponderay Newsprint Co. paper mill in Usk, which has been listed for sale for $11.5 million.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
This photo shows the Box Canyon Dam on the Pend Oreille River on Oct. 2, 2016. The dam generates electricity for the Pend Oreille Public Utility District. It's biggest customer had been the Ponderay Newsprint Co. paper mill in Usk, which has been listed for sale for $11.5 million. (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

The former Ponderay Newsprint Co. mill in Usk has been listed for sale at $11.5 million, following the facility’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing and closure in June.

The 927-acre property, which consists of 29 buildings and storage facilities, is adjacent to the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad and Pend Oreille River.

The former newsprint plant is “turnkey and could be immediately operational,” according to the property’s listing on the Commercial Real Estate Exchange Inc. website.

NAI Black Commercial Real Estate Services managing broker Chris Bell said the property has garnered more than 826 views since he listed it on CREXI’s website Dec. 4.

Bell is accepting offers on the property until Jan. 4.

“I’m expecting multiple offers by January because it’s a national quality asset,” Bell said.

The land and buildings have a combined assessed value of more than $59 million, according a recent property tax statement from the Pend Oreille County Treasurer’s Office.

Nearly $500 million in insurable assets are included in the sale, according to the property’s insurance records, Bell said.

He said the property has generated interest from potential buyers nationwide.

The facility could be converted into a molded fiber or linear board plant and supply packing material for e-commerce companies, such as Amazon, Bell said.

The property sale is court-ordered as part of Ponderay Newsprint Co.’s Chapter 7 filing.

The property is owned jointly by Lake Superior Forest Products, a subsidiary of Quebec-based Resolute Forest Products, and five major U.S. publishers, according to an article in The Spokesman-Review in August.

The owners group filed for bankruptcy June 26 and listed assets – including property, equipment and bank accounts – valued at $79 million and liabilities at nearly $58 million.

The Kalispel Tribe of Indians submitted a bid to purchase the property, but its offer was turned down in October.

John Munding, the trustee overseeing Ponderay Newsprint Co.’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy, said in a phone call Monday the Kalispel Tribe has long-term interest in the area and property, but did not share if they have submitted an offer.

Munding said, however, there is a “sound, bonafide offer” on the property.

“I’m very pleased with the potential purchaser, but it’s in the best interest for creditors to solicit all offers,” he said, adding that Bell, of NAI Black, has the ability to generate national and worldwide exposure for the property.

The Kalispel Tribe was not immediately available for comment on whether it’s still interested in purchasing the facility.

The mill, which opened in 1989, employed more than 140 people prior to its closure.

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