Former MLive printing plant sold to an industrial subcontractor
KENT COUNTY, MI – MLive Media Group sold its old production facility in Walker, where The Grand Rapids Press and other Michigan newspapers were once printed, to a Pontiac-based industrial outsourcing company.
Lee Contracting, also known as Lee Industrial Contracting, a company owned by its employees since 2015, purchased the facility. It will be used as a satellite office for the Grand Rapids area, the company said.
This is the company’s first office outside of Pontiac.
The company partnered with founder Edward Lee to purchase the printing campus at 3100 Walker Ridge Drive NW.
“We have served clients in West Michigan for several years and believe the business environment in the Grand Grand Rapids area is a perfect fit for us,” General Manager Frederick Cauley said in a statement.
The Grand Rapids office will begin by providing electrical and mechanical services, followed by rigging and moving machinery and concrete machine foundations, the company said.
It already supports more than a dozen companies in the region, including Granco Clark and Dennen Steel Corp., Lee Contracting said in the statement. The company seeks to hire skilled craftsmen.
Neither party disclosed the sale price. MiBiz reported the facility was sold for $ 9.75 million but did not attribute the information.
MLive Media Group moved production of its eight Michigan newspapers last year to a factory in Cleveland, where The Plain Dealer, affiliated with Cleveland.com, is printed. Advance Local owns MLive Media Group and Cleveland.com.
The closure of Walker’s printing plant cost 71 jobs – 26 full-time and 45 part-time, the company said at the time.
The Walker Factory, with its wave-shaped design visible from I-96 just west of Grand Rapids, opened in 2004. It printed The Grand Rapids Press and eventually printed more. MLive Media Group papers: Muskegon Chronicle, Kalamazoo Gazette, Jackson Citizen Patriot, The Ann Arbor News, The Flint Journal, The Bay City Times and The Saginaw News.
The Walker’s factory printed 375,000 newspapers a week. He had printed Gannett publications before returning to in-house production.
Walker Mayor Gary Carey said in a statement that “Lee Contracting’s commitment to their employees has helped them accelerate their growth and enables them to attract, retain and develop the best talent.”
Lee Contracting, founded in 1989, has 450 workers in Pontiac and accepts applications from those with experience in electrical, mechanical, rigging / moving machinery and concrete machinery foundations.
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