Posted: 6:00 a.m. Thursday, May 2, 2013
HOW TO GO
What: Blue and Burgundy Regatta
Where: The Great Miami River through Downtown Hamilton
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday
Cost: No admission cost
More info: 513-910-7017 or www.greatmiamirowing.com
Hamilton’s paper mill history
1894: Peter G. Thomson founds the Champion Coated Paper Company on Seven Mile Pike, now North B Street, with nine employees
July 1931: Thomson dies; Champion employs around 4,000 people
1994: At the plant’s centennial, it employed 1,500 people
May 2000: International Paper acquired all Champion International Assets; 800 people worked at the North B Street plant
January 2001: Smart Paper purchases the mill
October 2011: Smart Paper announces the closing of the mill on North B Street, losing 200 jobs
March 2012: The City of Hamilton purchases the Smart Paper mill for $400,000
October 2012: The city announces a lease agreement with Moses B. Glick for demolition, scrapping and rehabilitation
December 2012: The city sells the west side of the North B Street complex to Glick’s Green Reclamation Inc. for $1
Source: JournalNews archives and local historian Jim Blount
Indoor sports complex among possible projects for former paper mill
The city has been approached by a number of different projects for the remaining Smart Paper buildings, but “we’ve been very careful about what we do with that” 500,000 square feet, said Jody Gunderson, the city’s Director of Development.
The city sold the buildings on the west side of B Street to Green Reclamation, a Fleetwood, Penn., based company that specializes in reclaiming old industrial spaces, which includes another paper mill in Greenwich, N.Y., according to Vice President of Operations Mark Frank.
The Green Reclamation portion includes the office building that faces the Black Street Bridge, and work has already started in the renovation of that building’s 31,000 square feet, with careful attention to retaining the decorative architecture. Frank said the company will be able to subdivide and lease it out in portions.
Some of the remaining buildings will be demolished because they were built specifically for paper-making machinery and don’t have prospects for re-purposing, mostly because of the multiple levels of floor space, which total about 836,000 square feet but will be reduced to about 400,000 square feet.
That leaves about 500,000 feet available for redevelopment, and some of the space is already spoken for.
Zumbiel Packaging and NewPage will be leasing 35,000 square feet and three roll coating machines to create packaging materials, and a restoration company will be leasing some of the buildings behind the office.
Plans are also in the works to create an indoor sports complex that might include two baseball diamonds and other amenities, Frank said.
First, Gunderson said, a study must be done for possible contaminants to see what would be required before more extensive reclamation work can begin.