The City of Plainwell signed a developer’s agreement in April 2010 with Conestoga Rovers and Associates (developer), now GHD, to tackle a multi-phase project to clean up the parcel and bring new ventures to the site that sat vacant since the Plainwell Paper Mill Company declared bankruptcy in November 2000.
The City of Plainwell purchased the property in 2006. Since that time, the City has held several public meetings and tours trying to get grants and private developers on board. To date nearly $3 million in grants were secured to help demolish unwanted structures and to create a new entrance in Fannie Pell Park to access the Mill. Additionally, the state MEGA board promised additional tax incentives, the site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and Conestoga Rovers and Associates (now GHD) moved their 30 workers to the mill. They then hired an additional 6 to 10 people, establishing the headquarters for their construction-services division inside the brick office building near the Mill Race. In 2012, CRA/GHD wrapped up work to install an elevator and renovated sections of the structure for both CRA/GHD’s and City Hall’s relocation, which took place in June of 2014. Demolition occurred removing obsolete structures, and a former mill structure was renovated into the new headquarters for the Plainwell Department of Public Safety.
Progress is certainly happening, as phase 2 of the demolition started in 2020, with a 5.1 million dollar grant from MEDC and will wrap up by mid year of 2021.
Do you want to be part of Historic Plainwell’s future? Portions of mill buildings and land are currently on the market in which tenants are actively being sought.
Vision of Tomorrow Map (click to enlarge)