Maritime Steel building being demolished

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NEW GLASGOW – The former Maritime Steel and Foundry facility is being dismantled.

Wayne Harris, who co-owns the property with fellow businessman Marinus Verhagen, confirmed his intention to raze the buildings and prepare the property for future use.

“The time has come,” he said. “Right now it’s an eye sore that’s no longer viable to any other interested people. We left it this long hoping to have it reopen.”

He cited transportation issues regarding the idle plant’s distance from potential markets as one reason why prospective operators did not consider it a feasible venture during the three years he and Verhagen have owned the property.

Some equipment is being sold, Harris said.

Harris and Marinus Verhagen bought the property in early 2015 during a court auction in Pictou from Abbas Jafarnia, a metallurgical engineer who purchased the idle plant in 2011.

At the time Jafarnia relinquished control of the plant, he also said it might have been more viable elsewhere in North America.

Terms of the purchase included paying the taxes owing at the time, as well as paying a sum of money to the Workers Compensation Board. Harris and Verhagen had earlier loaned Jafarnia funds to keep the plant operating.

Jafarnia, who left Pictou County last year and is now working in Ontario, bought the plant in Aug. 2011 after its previous owners closed the facility and placed it in receivership in December, 2010.

The plant operated sporadically after that.

The property includes 20 acres of land, besides the structures that are being taken down.

Harris could not say exactly how long tearing them down would take.

“We hope to clean it up for future development – commercial, residential, whatever,” he said. “There is still a lot of work to do.”

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