PARCHMENT, Mich. — Its windows are boarded up, the exterior paint is chipped off and the bricks are crumbling. The old Crown Vantage Paper Mill closed its doors in 2001 and has since become an eyesore. Now, a few of its buildings have been sold and the city of Parchment couldn't be happier.
“Just recently we closed on L.C. Howard purchasing two parcels,” said City Manager Dennis Durham during an interview at the city offices. “One was 14 1/2 acre site. It's at the north end of the crown vantage paper mill site.”
The other, a 5 1/2 acre site adjacent to the Dixie plant, said Durham. L.C. Howard plans to knock down the buildings and turn them into manufacturing and warehousing spaces.
“We’re very excited,” said Durham. “The plans that they’ve shown us, the vision that they have is something that fits right in with what city of Parchment is going to do with those site for a long time.”
The redevelopment is all a part of the River Reach Development Project, the city’s plan to bring the property back to life. The facility has been vacant for over a decade, catching fire from time to time with trespassers wandering in and out.
“We’re going to see a beginning to start to demolish some of the burned out buildings,” said Durham.
L.C. Howard wants to begin constriction soon. And so does the city. He hopes that once the new developments are complete it’ll spur other development companies to want to buy and rebuild the other 70 acres.
“It can only help us,” said Durham. “If it can create some momentum in the business community, where Parchment now has a reputation of being a place to locate these types of businesses, with the rail infrastructure we already have in place as well as the contribution of the new roadways that we’ve taken on the last couple years, this can only be a positive for Parchment going forward.”