Southern Champion Tray plans to build 1 million-square-foot facility in Chattanooga

Contributed photo / Amanda Pedde works at a Southern Champion Tray facility in Chattanooga. The company that makes paperboard packaging products is conducting due diligence on a Riverport site to expand.

A longtime Chattanooga company is planning for more than 1 million square feet of space at a proposed new manufacturing facility in a expansion originally unveiled last year.

Also, Southern Champion Tray may over time relocate its existing factory space, for many years situated on Compress Street near downtown, to the proposed location at Centre South Riverport, according to documents filed with the state.

The company's plans are included in an Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit application for the Riverport site and weren't revealed by the maker of paperboard packaging products when the expansion was announced last August.

The company said then it plans to invest nearly $85 million in a new manufacturing plant where it will create more than 120 jobs.

The 94-year-old company, which makes products including food sleeves, trays, window boxes, and cupcake inserts, already employs over 750 people, including more than 500 in Chattanooga.