Vicksburg paper mill development gets $30M transformational brownfield

July 23, 2019

Source: Sydney Smith
Job Title: Staff Writer
Department: MiBiz
Email: ssmith@mibiz.com

The Michigan Strategic Fund board today approved Paper City Development LLC for the second project under the state's transformational brownfield program.

Paper City plans to transform the former Lee Paper Mill site in Vicksburg, a village of 3,400 people that s located about 15 miles south of Kalamazoo. Developers submitted a 190-page transformational brownfield plan detailing their nearly $80 million undertaking to rehabilitate the site, which has sat dormant for about two decades.

Jackie Koney, chief operating officer for Paper City, told MiBiz the approval is a major milestone for the project. Developers have been working on the project for about five years now.

"It s exciting for a small town to get some recognition," Koney said. "The word 'transformational' is there for a reason. It s going to have a major impact on the whole region."

The board gave approval for transformational brownfield incentives valued at $30 million, with most coming from local and school property tax capture at more than $19 million. Following the completion of construction and occupancy of the buildings, the project plan will undergo a re-evaluation based on the construction costs and post-construction property tax assessments, which could require the incentive to be adjusted.

According to the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the project needs the full $30.1 million incentive to be economically viable.

The mixed-use project would transform the mill, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, to include a brewery, distillery, beer garden, restaurants, various commercial and residential spaces, boutique hotel, and a museum dedicated to the American brewing industry. As well, the developer s plans call for multiple event spaces and an outdoor courtyard for music and other events that can fit up to 10,000 people.

Paper City was founded by Vicksburg native Chris Moore, who lives in Seattle and owns software firm Concord Technologies. Executives at Paper City believe the project will have significant economic impact on the entire Southwest Michigan region. They estimate it will result in the creation of 221 full-time jobs.

"Today s approval, and the entire process of working with our local, regional and state entities, is a wonderful example of how public and private sectors can partner to transform communities," Moore said in a statement. "We are excited to be Michigan's second transformational brownfield project and look forward to showcasing the impact The Mill at Vicksburg will have on Southwest Michigan."

Read the entire article Vicksburg paper mill development gets $30M transformational brownfield.

Read about Envirologic's involvment in this catalyst project - Brownfield Redevelopment = Economic Development.

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