Film and bag maker Profile Industrial Packaging Corp. is investing heavily in an expansion that will give it a new plant adjacent to its existing one — yet in another town.
The company, dba Profile Films, is located in Walker, Mich. The new plant, barely a stone's throw away but across city lines, will be in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Profile Films got the go-ahead Aug. 11 from the Grand Rapids Planning Commission to take down the very old, very large building on the lot next door. Asbestos abatement has started, and heavy demolition should begin in October, according to Chris Caswell, vice president of sales and finance.
The food packaging and industrial film company paid $3.2 million in July for the 9-acre property. The main building, constructed in phases from 1918 to 1967, covers 250,000 square feet.
It's been 10 years since any businesses operated in the main building and two decades since it was fully occupied. The building once housed General Motors Corp. operations. Previously, Chicago-based Haskelite Manufacturing Corp. used the site as a lumber yard making laminate wood panels for boats and airplanes. The company made plywood for everything from the "Hasko Haskelite Mystic Tray" — the company's version of Hasbro's Ouija board — to pilot Charles Lindberg's Spirit of St. Louis.
The site also once housed a post office, and its most recent owner, Cloud Cannabis Co., had wanted to start a commercial growing operation there but scaled back plans significantly to a small area in the back of the lot for retail and processing, Caswell said.