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Options for former Thermo Fisher plant discussed


TWO RIVERS, WI (WTAQ) - City officials in Two Rivers say there are some potential redevelopment opportunities for Thermo Fisher's downtown wood plant.

Those include completely tearing the buildings down.

But company officials right now say there's still a long way to go.

The plant shut down last fall, leaving nearly 200 people out of work. Despite the loss, city officials say the property has potential.

The 1.2 million square foot complex has been a staple in Two Rivers for more than a century, but the quiet facilities' days could be numbered.

"It's been a huge part of the history and the economy of this community," City Manager Greg Buckley tells FOX 11.  "It was a body blow to Two Rivers to lose this employer. By the same token, we think it's a phenomenal redevelopment site."

Buckley says the company is considering removing the buildings on the 12 acre property, opening it up for redevelopment.

"Just on the other side of this building, there is a new $14 million lift bridge being constructed over the river. This summer, there will be dredging, so all along the river front of this site, there's a viable, navigable channel, we thought those things together right next to the downtown, makes this a compelling redevelopment site, so it's not just going to be part of our past, we think it'll be part of our future," Buckley explained.

However, the company says nothing is set in stone.

The company's Director of Public Relations, Ron O'Brien, told FOX 11 in a statement:  "No decision has been in made in regard to the former Hamilton property in Two Rivers. We are evaluating a number of options including the demolition of the existing buildings. Once a final decision is made, we will promptly inform the community of our plan."

The city and the company are scheduled to meet Thursday to discuss their options.

The city manager says if the buildings are removed, the property has either commercial or residential potential.