Vicksburg mill project gets $30M incentive package

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Strategic Fund board has approved $30 million in incentives for The Mill at Vicksburg redevelopment project.

The project in Kalamazoo County will include a hotel, retail and residential space. The plans also call for microbreweries and room for events.

The brownfield incentives will help clean up the industrial site, a former paper mill.

A courtesy rendering of the beer garden at The Mill at Vicksburg, a redevelopment project in Kalamazoo County. (July 23, 2019)
A courtesy rendering of the beer garden at The Mill at Vicksburg, a redevelopment project in Kalamazoo County. (July 23, 2019)

According to developers, about $80 million in private funding is being put into the project. A board member at the Tuesday Michigan Strategic Fund meeting said the developer, entrepreneur and businessman Chris Moore, is investing about $50 million.

Moore is a Vicksburg native who used to work at the mill as a summer job while he was in college. His father and grandfather both worked at the mill.

“I’m a Vicksburg guy and I want to do everything possible to save the mill. Bring vitality back to the town, bring jobs, and make the Vickburg Mill once again be the icon of Vicksburg,” Moore said.

A courtesy photo of the former paper mill in Vicksburg. (July 23, 2019)
A courtesy photo of the former paper mill in Vicksburg. (July 23, 2019)

Greg Tedder, executive vice president and chief community development officer with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, says the project will generate money for the state.

“For every dollar of incentives that are going into this project, over $2 in new state revenue is going to be generated,” Tedder said.

Developers say the project will create 221 permanent full-time equivalent jobs.

“That is a huge investment for any part of our state and it’s going to be especially transformational in a town like Vicksburg,” Tedder said.

A courtesy rendering of The Mill at Vicksburg, a redevelopment project in Kalamazoo County. (July 23, 2019)
A courtesy rendering of The Mill at Vicksburg, a redevelopment project in Kalamazoo County. (July 23, 2019)

Moore says the development is about helping his hometown and saving the historic mill for generations to come.  

“This project will be the hub of Vicksburg and Southwest Michigan for 200 years,” Moore said. “This is forever.”

He told board members he is committed to seeing the project through.

It is still unclear when The Mill will be ready to open.

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