AUBURN — The former Cascades Auburn Fiber sold in February for $2 million, $7 million below its assessed value, according to city records.

The new owner, BlueWaterTX1031, is a Texas company created by an Auburn businessman last month.

When broker Kevin Fletcher talked about the 120,000-square-foot recycled paper processing plant at the annual Maine Real Estate & Development Association conference in January, he said interest in the property was swift: It was on the market only two weeks before going under contract.

Speaking after his presentation about the demand for space in southern Maine for marijuana-growing operations, Fletcher teased that the new buyer might have that in mind.

Cascades Auburn Fiber closed last July, citing falling prices in the pulp and paper market, putting 45 people out of jobs and costing the Auburn Sewer District one of its largest customers.

The city assessed the value of the 105-acre property and building at 586 Lewiston Junction Road at more than $9 million.


New owner BlueWaterTX1031 is linked to Blue Water Marina, according to a deed related to the Cascades sale filed Feb. 10 with the Androscoggin County Registry of Deeds.

Blue Water Marina, a registered company since 2004, belongs to Auburn businessmen Kevin Dean and Emile Clavet, according to filings with the Maine Secretary of State’s Office.

Among many businesses they hold together, Dean and Clavet helped found Electricity Maine and sold the company last year.

BlueWaterTX1031 registered with the state of Texas on Feb. 3 with Dean as the contact at a Texas address. The same address is used by the company Texas 1031 Exchange, a reference to a tax term that means to swap properties or assets.

Dean didn’t return calls for comment.

Eric Cousens, Auburn’s deputy director of planning and development, said the new owners have taken out permits to demolish some of the interior left over from its paper plant days.

“We’ve talked about what uses are allowed, and they’ve kind of ranged from warehousing to manufacturing to even maybe medical marijuana,” Cousens said. “That’s an option. We have people doing all of those uses — warehousing, manufacturing, medical marijuana — in that (industrial) zone.”

Cascades Auburn Fiber on Lewiston Junction Road in Auburn.

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