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Display Pack to take over Wolverine building

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

By Judy Reed

A Grand Rapids-based packaging business has found a home in Cedar Springs, and plans to bring at least 50 new jobs to the area.

Display Pack, a 48-year-old family owned business, has purchased the 350,000 square-foot facility at 660 West Street, currently being used by Wolverine World Wide. Wolverine has used the building as a distribution center since 1996.

“We have come to the conclusion we have outgrown our facility in Cedar Springs,” said Christopher Hufnagel, vice president of Wolverine’s strategy, investor relations and communications. “We have an opportunity to consolidate operations to better serve our customers.”

He said that Wolverine would transfer operations to other distribution facilities. They also have distribution centers in Howard City, Louisville, Ohio and Rockford. He said they would work with the 90 employees at the Cedar Springs facility to help them find other positions within the company. They would also have the opportunity to apply at Display Pack.

According to Victor Hansen, one of the owners of Display Pack, Wolverine’s lease is up at the end 2017. “We will slowly take it over as they wind down operations,” he explained. “We need to add offices and parking. We will begin external infrastructure work this year, before the freeze hits next fall.”

Display Pack is a retail packaging company. They provide a wide range of thermoforming, printing and packaging services. They make the plastic containers you might find in the produce department at a grocery store; cell phone cases; packaging for sporting goods, general retail, and trim for automobiles. They also provide warehousing and distribution services for customers. Some of their customers include Meijer, Good Foods, Gerber, AT&T, NAPA, Amway, Sony, Bissell, and many more.

The company started in a one-stall garage in Rockford in 1967. They have been in Grand Rapids since 1979, and currently employ 225 people, with up to 275 seasonally. They anticipate they will need to rehire somewhere between 30-80 people once they make the final move. “We employ about 60 temporary workers, and many won’t want to make the move if they live in Grand Rapids,” explained Hansen. “So we anticipate hiring at least 50 people.”

Display Pack is currently located at 130 Monroe Avenue. “We just can’t grow there anymore,” said Hansen, “and there is not a lot available in West Michigan. Most of our family is from the northern area—Rockford, Sparta, Lakeview—so this is a great location.”

Display Pack sold their building to Franklin Partners, who will turn the building into 200 apartments. Hansen said the move benefits everyone involved.

“For us to be able to grow in Cedar Springs is important,” explained Hansen. It’s good for Grand Rapids that we go and good for Cedar Springs that we come here. It’s a win-win for everyone involved,” he said.

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Michigan’s last known wolverine now on display

Michigan’s only known wild wolverine is now on display at the visitor center at Bay City State Recreation Area.

The animal was found dead by hikers last winter at Sanilac County’s Minden State Game Area, where it had lived for much of the previous six years. The wolverine was first discovered by coyote hunters who treed it while running hounds near Bad Axe on Feb. 24, 2004.

It was the first wolverine ever verified as living in the wild in Michigan. Michigan is known as the Wolverine State because it was a center for trade in the early trapping industry and wolverine pelts from the north and west of Michigan came through the state. Biologists say that if wolverines were native to Michigan, they were extirpated about 200 years ago.

It is uncertain how the wolverine arrived in Michigan, though DNA evidence indicates it is related to animals native to Alaska.

Park interpreter Valerie Blashcka said the display has become quite an attraction.

“It’s bringing a lot of visitors who have never been here before,” she said. “It’s really exciting.”

The visitor center, located at 3582 State Park Dr., is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

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