Nunica company buys closed Muskegon paper mill

Mark Brooky • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:05 AM

In a press statement, Melching Operations Manager Brandon Murphy said that they are currently “working on a robust plan of redevelopment, and have several interested parties.” The first phase of the project will be the removal of obsolete equipment, Murphy said.

The paper mill in Muskegon’s Lakeside district first opened in 1900 as the Central Paper Co. It was bought by S.D. Warren Co. in 1953 with about 700 people working there at the time, according to a website run by the S.D. Warren employees association. In 1967, S.D. Warren became a subsidiary of the Scott Paper Co.

Sappi Ltd., a South Africa-based company, bought the paper mill in 1994. According to Sappi officials, market conditions changed over the next 15 years and it suspended operations at the Muskegon mill in April 2009, then permanently shut it down four months later.

Sappi Fine Paper North America, which has U.S. headquarters in Boston, announced the sale to Melching Inc. on Thursday.

“Sappi ... selected Melching Inc. as the buyer based on its expertise and successful track record in addressing industrial sites, strong long-term relationships in the local area and robust redevelopment plans,” Anne Ayer, vice president of corporate development for Sappi, said in a statement.

Melching Demolition was founded in 1986 by Doug Melching, the company’s president. It provides demolition, environmental and asbestos abatement work in commercial, industrial and residential markets.


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