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DETROIT-To replace a half-century old facility, a paper and plastics manufacturerplans to build a new plant in stages to allow production to continue in this rough economy. Paper Plas Inc., which produces material for automobile makers and suppliers, is rebuilding its entire three-facility complex in Detroit with some help from city tax cuts for contaminated properties.

The company also makes shipping pallets and performs light assembly work.

President and CEO Donald Snider says the company is spending $6 million to build a new 100,000-sf factory at its current plant location at Woodrow Wilson Street and Oakman Boulevard.

The project appears to be one of the few confirmed brownfield sites that is actually getting off the ground in Detroit.

The current facility, at 80,000 sf, is actually three connected buildings built in the 1950s, said Derek Brown of Quorum Commercial, the company’s real estate broker.

“The challenge is, Snider’s going to stay on the site and pull his current building down in stages,” Brown tells GlobeSt.com. “He doesn’t want to miss any time in the current operation. The automotive market is fragile, and the company has to stay in sync with the needs of the industry.”

Customers include DaimlerChrysler AG, the Dana Corp., PPG Industries Inc. and Cummins Inc., Brown says.

“The largest customer is Chrysler,” Brown adds. “The company cuts packages and plastic for every glass windshield the company makes.”

The company only made $6 million in revenue last year, Brown notes. However, by building the new plant, Paper Plas will qualify for tax credits because the age and prior use of the property.

“It was recently approved as a brownfield site by the city” Brown says.

The architect for the project is Dynamic Consultants Inc. of Plymouth. Snider will add another 35 workers to employ a total of 100 at the site, Brown adds. The company is six years old, and has plants in Detroit, Milwaukee and Indianapolis.

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