WestRock going forward with commercial addition at Joplin plant

Jan. 28—One of the largest commercial projects in months drove Joplin building permits in December.

WestRock, a global company that specializes in packaging, filed a permit valued at more than $11 million for a commercial addition to its plant at 4200 E. 32nd St.

The Georgia-based company also announced in December that it had completed its acquisition Grupo Gondi, for $970 million plus the assumption of debt. That acquisition includes four paper mills, nine corrugated packaging plants and six high graphic plants throughout Mexico.

WestRock was formed in 2015 from the merger of RockTenn and MeadWestvaco, two of the country's biggest manufacturers of cardboard and other types of boxes. RockTenn took over the property in 2005 when it acquired the former Gulf States Packaging.

In all, building permits for December in Joplin topped $17 million.

Other large permits filed so far in the 2023 fiscal year include $4.3 million for commercial improvement for the Target store at 3151 E. Seventh St., and nearly $2.6 million by Owens Corning for a plant expansion at 1983 State Line Road.

In a statement, Owens Corning spokesperson Todd Romain said the permit is "to expand our packaging capabilities at our Joplin, Missouri, mineral wool manufacturing facility, which will increase the flexibility of our plant to meet customer demand."

So far in the fiscal year, more than $28 million in permit applications have been filed with the city.

Joplin's fiscal year runs from Nov. 1 to Oct. 31, and the permits reflect only that construction taking place within the city limits of Joplin.

Also in December, 15 permits were filed for new homes, with a combined value of nearly $3.5 million, according to city permit information.

Ledford Construction filed four more permits for new homes in the 2900 block of Nellie Mae Avenue. Each of the permits valued construction between $180,000 and $200,000.

Called Eagles Edge, the subdivision could eventually hold more than 150 homes. It is located in the Wildwood Ranch area just off Central City Road, and it will be one of Ledford Construction and Development's largest projects in its history. Homes will be 1,400 or 1,800 square feet and will range in price between $200,000 to $300,000 each. Overall construction will span two years and the subdivision will consist of four streets.

Multiple permits for new homes in Joplin also were filed by Travis Ledford and Schuber Mitchell.

For the fiscal year that ended Oct. 31, construction in the city hit $224,548,386, according to city building permit records.