Champion Warehouses. In 1960, the misfortunes of another Hamilton company, the Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corp. (BLH), enabled Champion Papers to purchase the property on North Third Street. The tracts are on the opposite bank of the Great Miami River from the B Street mill, easily reached via the Black Street Bridge. Aug. 2, 1960, BLH announced the sale of the majority of its former Hamilton Division buildings to Champion Papers (later Champion International). Elements of BLH's Hamilton Division -- including the Niles Tool Works and the Hooven, Owens, Rentschler Company -- traced their start to the 1840s.
In the 1960 purchase, Champion acquired four factory structures, a steam plant and two office buildings. The former factory at the southwest corner of Third and Black streets was called a "paper supermarket" in a 1978 article in Merchant Salesman. The "complex has become a stocking point for Champion grades made at all Champion paper mills, not just the Hamilton mill," said a company publication. The 300,000-square-foot center contained 15,000 tons of paper in stock sizes and master rolls then. "The location of the Hamilton warehouse," the article said, "has a distinct advantage in terms of reaching the major markets.
Located within 400 miles of 40 percent of the U. S. printing market, within 500 miles of 50 percent of that market, and within 600 miles of 70 percent of that market." In May 2000, when International Paper Company absorbed Champion International, it acquired the North Third Street warehouses as well as the B Street mill. When Smart Papers bought the paper mill in 2001, it also obtained part of the warehouse complex. International offered other buildings for sale. (See separate entry on General Machinery Corp.)