A vacant, contaminated paper mill in Vicksburg will be returned to productive use with help from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). A $100,000 grant and a $1,250,000 loan were awarded to the Kalamazoo County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to protect public health and safety and revitalize the historic mill property, located on West Highway Street.
The brownfield funding will be used to perform an environmental assessment, remove contaminated soils and protect those who will work, play and live at the future Paper City development. A dangerous, fire-damaged portion of the building will also be demolished.
Paper City Development, LLC, is rehabilitating the historic paper mill with residences, event space, a brewery and food production. The project will bring $50 million in private investment and 200 new jobs to Vicksburg. The state equalized value of the property should increase from $159,800 to $12,000,000 following redevelopment.
The project is within walking distance of downtown Vicksburg and incorporates public walking trails. Sustainable building materials, including new windows, insulation and energy-efficient lighting will be used.
The MDEQ partners with communities to protect public health and the environment and revitalize contaminated property. MDEQ grants and loans pay for environmental investigation and cleanup on brownfields. Brownfields are vacant or abandoned properties with known or suspected environmental contamination.
Partnerships between MDEQ and communities have created $4 billion in private investment and 29,000 new jobs over the life of the Brownfield Redevelopment Program. For each grant or loan dollar invested by the MDEQ in protecting residents and the environment, an average of $23 is invested in the state’s economy. When brownfields are redeveloped, property values increase both on the revitalized site and on other nearby properties. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/deqbrownfields.