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Rittman Nature Preserve Recognized with ACEC Honor Award!

June 25, 2021

Hull recently received an Honor Award by the Ohio Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) for the redevelopment of the 300-acre former Caraustar-Rittman Paperboard manufacturing facility in the City of Rittman. An ambitious public-private partnership between the City, Hull, and Urban Renewables II, a special-purpose entity affiliated with Hull, has resulted in over 80 acres of prime industrial property ready for a new end user and a 205-acre nature preserve that will be open to visitors later this year. The redevelopment of this complicated property was assisted with a $2 million JobsOhio Redevelopment Pilot Grant and a $2.5 million Clean Ohio Conservation Fund grant.

At its peak, the Caraustar-Rittman Paperboard facility had more than 1,200 employees. Its closing in 2006 was a sharp blow to the City’s economy and the vacant real estate was an ongoing reminder of this loss. Demolition of nearly 800,000 square feet of former manufacturing buildings began in late 2013. Following building demolition, remediation, and site preparation, the industrial property is ready for a new end user and is a SiteOhio Authenticated property. It is being marketed to site selection consultants, developers, and end users by JobsOhio, Team NEO, and local economic development professionals (RITTMAN OH Vacant Land for Sale, 83.7 acres (jobsohio.com)).

 

The Rittman Nature Preserve will incorporate passive recreation experiences on former impoundments, wastewater lagoons, and adjacent areas that now host important ecosystems. The site’s characteristics and past infrastructure investments were maximized when planning site amenities; for instance, berms from water processing and impoundment cells will serve as an ideal base for many planned trails. The unique terrain allows for sprawling views of adjacent ponds and Hull worked with the City to identify the most ideal locations for the placement of overlooks and observation decks. City officials and dozens of volunteers are removing invasive vegetation, clearing areas for trails, and completing a variety of other improvements. Contractors will install the remaining improvements in summer/fall 2021.

Hull appreciates ACEC’s recognition of this premier project ,and we thank City of Rittman officials for the opportunity to work as their partner to transform this property into new community assets.

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Jenny Carter-Cornell
+1-567-200-4355
jcornell@hullinc.com