Aegis Energy, EDF Group, LLC recently completed the renovation of its new Holyoke headquarters at 84 Sargeant Street. In 2016 Aegis partnered with the Holyoke Redevelopment Authority (HRA) to rehabilitate and develop the site. Aegis first expressed interest in the property to the HRA at an October, 2014 meeting. At that meeting, Lee Vardakas, owner of Aegis, explained that acquiring the property would allow for the company’s expansion from its existing 55 Jackson Street location. Aegis, which makes, sells, services and finances combined heat and power engines, was founded in 1985 and located to Holyoke in 2005.
84 Sargeant Street is a 4.6 acre site situated between two canals and is one of the ten areas designated for redevelopment in the HRA’s Urban Renewal Plan. The site was first developed in the late 1800’s and was known as Parsons Paper Mill until the facility closed in 2004. In 2008, a fire significantly destroyed a majority of the abandoned building’s structures, and the City officially took ownership of the property in 2012. It has taken over a decade to clean up and remediate the site for redevelopment. In 2015, the HRA began the complex effort to demolish and remediate this abandoned brownfield. Over 5,400 tons of building debris comingled with asbestos was removed from the site. At least nine organizations were involved in the project including the Holyoke Gas & Electric, MassDevelopment and the Massachusetts DEP.
After the site was cleaned, Aegis began its own complicated efforts to take the last standing remnant of the Parsons Paper Company known as Building No. 18 (originally built circa 1915) and transform it into a modern 40,000 square foot production facility and company headquarters. In addition to the new facility, Aegis constructed a solar field on the remainder of the site. This massive undertaking had many challenges but the company can be proud and the city can be thankful for the investment, the building transformation and the preservation of an important part of Holyoke’s industrial heritage.