An expansion project for a Coon Rapids industrial building was given the green light by the Coon Rapids Planning Commission March 21.


The commission approved a site plan for four additions totaling 100,550 square feet to Green Bay Packaging’s existing 259,326-square-foot building that was constructed on 87th Lane NW in Evergreen Business Park in 1996.


The additions include 44,215 square feet in warehouse space, more than doubling the existing capacity; 47,770 square feet to expand production with additional assembly lines and material staging; 6,490 square feet for training room, new restrooms and larger employee break/lunch room expansion; and 2,220 square feet for office, meeting room and product design space, according to Planner Scott Harlicker.


The site plan shows the installation of 153 additional parking spaces with room for another 220 stalls if needed, while landscaping is focused on the public areas and around the building because significant areas of woods and wetlands in the northwest corner of the site are being preserved, although additional trees should be planted along the north side of the north access drive, Harlicker said.


No one spoke at the public hearing before the commission.


The project meets all the general requirements for site plan approval and all industrial zoning district standards except for the exterior materials for the warehouse and production areas where the proposed wall panels match the existing materials, but not code and requires Coon Rapids City Council approval, Harlicker said.


The original building was constructed prior to council approval of current exterior city code standards, he said.


According to information provided to the planning commission by Doug Feickert of Colliers International, representing Green Bay Packaging, the company headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is a full-service packaging company with box plant locations around the country and a pulp/paper plant in Wisconsin, where a new state-of-the-art paper mill is being built to increase capacity for shipping paper throughout the U.S.


The expansion at the Coon Rapids plant, known as the Twin Town Division, which makes corrugated cardboard shipping containers and displays from large rolls of paper, is needed to meet increased demand and anticipated sales growth once the new mill is completed in Wisconsin, Feickert told the commission.


The current workforce of 197 is expected to grow by 20 with this expansion project with construction to start this spring and completion in 10 to 12 months, he said.