Company moves into former Canson building

  • Legion Paper recently opened a distribution center at 21 Industrial Dr. in South Hadley, the former location of Canson paper company. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer
Published: 11/14/2019 11:13:23 PM
Modified: 11/14/2019 11:13:12 PM

SOUTH HADLEY — Legion Paper has moved its East Coast distribution center to South Hadley, bringing 13 new jobs to town. 

The distribution center is located at the former Canson Inc. paper-making company building at 21 Industrial Drive, which closed this year and moved to Wisconsin, laying off 67 employees locally.

Most of the 13 new jobs were filled by former Canson employees, said Marc Schotland, director of marketing for Legion Paper. The town’s former ties to Canson were one of several reasons the company chose the South Hadley location, he said.

“Our business being in the paper industry, we are very familiar with Canson, and also the employees that had worked at that facility,” Schotland said. The town’s proximity to New York City and Boston and the size of the building were also factors in the move, according to Schotland.

The company, which previously served its East Coast customers from a smaller location in Edison, New Jersey, has locations in Europe and Los Angeles, along with offices in New York City. Legion was founded in 1994 and specializes in fine art papers.

Legion Paper CEO Joshua Levine said in a statement that South Hadley's “rich culture in the arts” also makes the company an ideal fit for Legion.

“We’re here to continue to grow while contributing to this already great community,” Levine said.

The Legion distribution center will primarily function as a warehouse with some assembly work, Schotland said, unlike Canson, which carried out production at the site. Schotland said the distribution center may expand to include more assembly work in the future.

Town Administrator Mike Sullivan said manufacturing jobs tend to be higher paid and warehouse sites are “not usually as robust economically,” but that he is glad to see the Canson building back in use.

“Canson was in South Hadley for a long time, and it was an area of the paper business that was going to be missing from the portfolio business in western Massachusetts,” Sullivan said. 

Other paper companies in the town are continuing to grow, Sullivan said. Mohawk paper purchased Crane Stationery Corp. in April, and E Ink electronic paper is aspiring to expand its operations on Gaylord Street with plans for a 200,000-square-foot addition. E Ink’s expansion would also bring new jobs to town, Sullivan said, though the number has not yet been determined.

Also in the vicinity of Legion Paper, Drunken Rabbit Brewing and Environmental Integrity, both on New Ludlow Road, continue to do well, Sullivan said, and “there’s not much empty space.” On Canal Street, a Yankee Candle distribution center has informed the town it will be moving.

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at 

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