In recent years, Franklin Partners LLC has been one of West Michigan’s most active developers when it comes to revitalizing under-utilized office and industrial space. Principal Don Shoemaker maintains a bullish outlook for 2017 as his company plans to seek heavy industrial tenants for the former General Motors stamping plant in Wyoming now known as the Site 36 Industrial Park. Franklin Partners also expects to finalize its decision in the first quarter about a redevelopment of the Display Pack site on North Monroe. Future uses there could include offices or residential — or a combination of both.
"Our new project at Site 36 is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the lack of existing supply and continued demand for manufacturing. … At Site 36, we are looking to attract (advanced) manufacturing, bringing good jobs to Wyoming. We feel like the timing to be involved with a ‘shovel-ready’ site with rail and robust utilities that many users want will keep us busy in 2017. We also feel that low unemployment and the demand to hire and retain the millennial workers will continue to cause companies to consider either moving or opening new offices in downtown Grand Rapids. The trends we see in bigger cities of companies moving downtown into cool creative spaces to attract and retain the millennials has started in Grand Rapids with Spectrum Health moving its I.T. group into 25 Ottawa. (The Display Pack building at) 1340 Monroe is a great solution for companies that want to be downtown with public transportation and free parking in a cool space. We will continue to look for more opportunities downtown and new construction is not out of the picture." - Don Shoemaker, Partner, Franklin Partners