TWO RIVERS – A landmark on the Two Rivers landscape will soon be torn down.
The city says it will issue permits to demolish the old Hamilton Manufacturing complex this week.
The former factory sits on 12 acres of waterfront property. It closed for good in 2013.
130 years of industry, now reduced to broken windows and a crumbling facade.
“It’s 1.2 million square feet of ugly,” said Two Rivers City Manager Greg Buckley.
Buckley says Hamilton Manufacturing will come down soon, marking the end of one era and the beginning of another.
“I don’t want to minimize the losses people experienced but this is an opportunity. We have a phenomenal physical setting here with the rivers and the lake. A lot of people find this community very attractive as a place to live and do business,” said Buckley.
Thermo Fisher Scientific still owns the property. But the city has some ideas of its own for redevelopment.
“Probably a residential component. People love living next to the water, with some docking, recreational boating opportunities. We’d love to see some commercial there, as well,” said Buckley.
A spokesperson for Thermo Fisher says the company will wait until the 15 month demolition process is finished before pursuing redevelopment.
Across the street at the Washington House Museum, workers say new development will bring more visitors.
But as history buffs, saying goodbye to the landmark is bittersweet.
“It was a loss because mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, a few generations had worked there but it’ll be better to have it gone than to look the way it does right now. It’s an opportunity for the city to get some economic activity there,” said Ed Carmo.
Demolition could begin by the end of the month.
The City of Two Rivers says Thermo Fisher Scientific would be on the hook for more than $4 million if the demolition project is not done on time.