KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The city of Kalamazoo organized a public hearing so community members could comment on a planned $600-million industrial expansion in Kalamazoo.
Graphic Packaging International LLC planned to install a new paperboard machine on a vacant brownfield site within an industrial development district at 1421 N. Pitcher Street.
The hearing, scheduled for Monday, Dec. 16, aims to give the community a chance to comment on the proposed expansion of Industrial Development District #10.
The hearing will be held during the Kalamazoo City Commission meeting, starting at 7 p.m.
Graphic Packaging (GP) specializes in coated and recycled cardboard paper production and the Kalamazoo expansion will allow GP to manufacture approximately 900,000 tons of coated recycled paperboard annually in Kalamazoo, according to a presentation submitted to the city.
Strategic fund incentives for the project included a state essentials services assessment for up to 15 years valued at about $7.2 million. Another is support for brownfield redevelopment, up to $21.9 million, which will include demolition, lead and asbestos abatement, and infrastructure improvements.
Sue Appleyard, director of corporate communications for Graphic Packaging, said the recycled paper and cardboard manufacturer already purchased several plots adjacent to the paper mill in Kalamazoo, including the former Checker Motor site.
She said the new machine would increase manufacturing output by more than 70%, and establish Michigan home to the most coated, recycled-cardboard manufacturers in the United States.
Appleyard said the machine uses all recycled materials to create the coated recycled board.
Consumers Energy planned to build a new substation to provide electricity for the mill.
The project was expected to be completed by 2022.