Newell Brands Expansion Approved in Western Michigan Business Park


KALAMAZOO, MI – Newell Brands is planning an 18,234 square foot expansion that is expected to create 60 jobs in the Western Michigan University Technology and Research Park.

The consumer products company plans to spend $ 7.3 million to expand an existing 40,000 square foot product design and test operation. A site plan approved by Kalamazoo’s Planning Commission on Thursday calls for a one-story addition to the west side of its current building for offices, product development and storage.

Planning commissioners have approved the site plan, pending a review of upgrades to the stormwater management system.

(Document provided by the city of Kalamazoo)

The company’s existing design capabilities must expand to accommodate additional product lines that Newell absorbed following the acquisition of Jarden Corp. for $ 16 billion in 2016.

Newell Brands will receive a 12-year tax rebate and Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant of $ 1.48 million. Last fall, the Municipal Commission unanimously approved a tax exemption for industrial facilities that should save the company $ 22,040 per year, for a total of $ 264,480 by the end of the project.

Kalamazoo officials said the city needs to approve the tax break to get the Hoboken, New Jersey company to expand into Michigan. Research and development operations in Hoboken and Chicago competed for the project with Kalamazoo.

Joe Agostinelli, partner with the Southwest Michigan First regional economic development organization, said Newell was a catalyst in bringing creative collaboration to WMU’s business park. City and state incentives brought the company to Kalamazoo in 2013.

Their continued investment in Kalamazoo is an exciting prospect, he said.

“We are delighted to have them as a partner in the community,” said Agostinelli. “They are a huge asset for the growth of the design hub we have at Kalamazoo. “

Senior Development Planner Rob Bauckham said construction is expected to begin this summer and take about a year. The project is slightly smaller than what was announced last fall, but he said a third phase of expansion is being considered.

Thirty-seven parking spaces would be added to an east parking lot and 71 would be added to a west parking lot. Improvements will also be made to the stormwater management system.

The site will remain within the 30 percent open space required by zoning. Although 30 trees will be removed, all but one will be replaced and 80 new shrubs will be planted.

WMU has reviewed the site plan and recommended its approval.

Newell Brands is a global manufacturer of a wide range of consumer and commercial products, marketed under brands such as Rubbermaid, Graco, Aprica, Levolar, Calphalon, Goody, Sharpie, Paper Mate, Dymo, Parker, Rubbermaid, Sunbeam and Lenox .

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