City of Monroe's lease with DHL could mean big things for Graphic Packaging

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - All the buzz in Monroe's City Hall Tuesday night was about a lease agreement the city entered into with worldwide shipping giant DHL. The city will lease DHL 80 acres of land near the Monroe Regional Airport. But, if you read the lease, it's a lot more than just 80 acres of land.

Courtesy: KNOE 8 News

DHL's end of the lease suggests they'll spend almost $1 million making improvements to the property. Once they improve it, the lease allows them to sublease the property to another company.

The most likely recipient of that sublease could be Graphic Packaging. The West Monroe company just announced last week it was moving the distribution part of its facility to Monroe. The impending sublease would allow Graphic Packaging to finish their products in Monroe, and use it's landlord, DHL, to ship the product worldwide.

If all goes through, it could be a major step for economic development in Monroe.

"One thing this council has done is given a commitment to growing jobs, and growing the economy, and looking at things holistically as a city to improve this area," Monroe City Council Chairman Micahel Echols said. "And this is just one step in many steps that'll come in growing more jobs in our community, and more economic development projects."

As of Tuesday, nothing had been set in stone just yet, and Graphic Packaging nor DHL has acknowledged the potential move. But, last week, when Graphic Packaging announced the move, a union representative said he expected the new facility to be built near the airport.