Health services campus completed on former paper mill site in Kalamazoo COURTESY PHOTO

Health services campus completed on former paper mill site in Kalamazoo

BY Wednesday, November 11, 2020 07:23pm

KALAMAZOO — The final piece of a major revitalization project turning what is known as the Performance Paper Mill Site into a health services campus was recently completed by Lansing-based Boji Group.

Construction has finished on a facility for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in Kalamazoo, completing a campus on the once-polluted former industrial site. The property also houses the Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department and the Family Health Center, a nonprofit serving residents of Kalamazoo County.

The two-story, 70,000-square-foot facility also includes one floor of parking beneath the building and onsite parking. The MDHHS building is located at 409 and 427 E. Alcott St. and was designed by Royal Oak-based Krieger Klatt Architects and constructed by Walbridge Kalamazoo.

“The success of this project has been because of the healthy collaboration between the Boji Group, the state of Michigan, city of Kalamazoo and the Kalamazoo Brownfield Redevelopment Authority,” Boji Group co-founder and CEO Ron Boji said in a statement. “The city had a vision for this campus and we’re proud to be one part in helping them realize that. In the end, these public private partnerships benefit the taxpayers of Michigan and result in some really exciting projects.”

The property was a former paper manufacturing site for nearly a century, and became increasingly polluted from hazardous chemicals used in the manufacturing process. Over the last few decades, a variety of local and state funds — including a $1.55 million tax abatement granted by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. — have been used to remove toxins on the site. About 40 structures, including a pumphouse, were demolished on the 26-acre property.

“What was once a polluted former industrial site has now been transformed into a community resource that protects our public health in Kalamazoo,” said Kalamazoo Mayor David Anderson. “Our vision for this public health campus was to make health and community services convenient and accessible in Kalamazoo, and I am grateful to all of our partners throughout this project that have made it a reality.”

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