WARREN - The company attempting to market assets at the former RG Steel mill in Warren has made application to demolish all the buildings at the Pine Avenue plant.
Howland Township Administrator Darlene St. George on Thursday confirmed the company has filed for permits to demolish all buildings over the course of the next two years.
The permit application was not immediately available, and messages left seeking comment were not returned from Charles Betters, one of three partners in BDM Warren Steel Holdings, and Gary Epstein, chief marketing officer of Illinois-based Hilco Trading.
Here, crews near the former RG Steel Mill’s main gate along Pine Avenue S.W. peel metal from the outside of long steel buildings that once housed cold mill lines.
BDM owns the mill property and Hilco purchased the assets in late May.
After the May asset purchase, Epstein and Betters said the agreement required Hilco to market the hot mill for three months before attempting to raze the property. Those three months expired at the end of August.
"I could not obstruct them any longer than that. At that point, someone other than me is going to be making that decision. Hilco was gracious enough and receptive to additional time to try to get something done with it," Betters said in June.
Betters and his partners purchased the mill in August 2012 out of federal bankruptcy court.
In June, Epstein said the company's goal was to "do everything possible to find a purchaser for the facility that can operate the hot mill facility."
At that time he indicated there could be some "precision demolition" work completed at the cold mill site. Betters also had said parts of the cold mill would be coming down.
Thursday, the promise came to fruition as heavy equipment operators could be seen inside the mill's main gate along Pine Avenue peeling metal from the outside of the long steel buildings that had previously housed cold mill lines.
Industry experts have said any new operator would face significant capital costs estimated at $100 million to reline and restart the blast furnace.
Since its $17 million purchase, BDM invested substantial additional capital to maintain and winterize the facility while continuing to market it.
Hilco, a privately-held, diversified financial services firm, is the same company that in September took ownership of RG Steel's sprawling and now liquidated Sparrows Point mill in Baltimore. Hilco was unable to locate operators for that mill, and in January sold it off for parts.
Tribune Chronicle reporter Margaret Thompson contributed to this report.