Published in Manufacturing

In closing Bond Ave. plant, Gill Industries to layoff up to 59 people

BY Friday, January 31, 2020 05:30am

GRAND RAPIDS — Tier 1 automotive supplier Gill Industries Inc. plans to close its Bond Avenue production facility in Grand Rapids by April 10, 2020, according to a notice filed with the state.

The closure will result in the loss of up to 59 jobs, the company said in a Workforce Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act filed on Wednesday. The company expects layoffs to begin on March 31.

PHOTO: JESSICA YOUNG

Spectrum Health purchased the property and plans to build a $100 million, 300,000-square-foot office building on the site, as MiBiz previously reported. The Grand Rapids-based health care organization paid $11.05 million for the two parcels an affiliate of Gill owned on Bond Ave. NW, according to city property records.

Closing the facility, which was once owned by GR Spring & Stamping Inc., has not come without turbulence. A bombshell lawsuit first reported by MiBiz alleged that Gill demanded “ransom” from its customers as the metal stamper dissolved its operations at the site. The case was later settled out of court. 

Gill employs approximately 1,800 people across its global operations — about 500 of whom are in West Michigan. The company reportedly plans to consolidate its local footprint into one 135,000-square-foot manufacturing facility adjacent to its corporate headquarters at 5271 Plainfield Ave. NE in Plainfield Township north of Grand Rapids.

It remains unclear if Gill plans to move out early from its leased facility in Avastar Park on Alpine Avenue in Walker. The company’s lease is up in 2021. 

Haviland Consumer Products Inc. bought the property last year and expects to use the facility for its own manufacturing operations once Gill moves out, as MiBiz previously reported. 

Word of financial troubles at Gill came late in 2019, just weeks after the company told MiBiz that it was exploring its options to sell its Bond Avenue NW property. According to court documents from the lawsuit filed last fall, Gill told suppliers that it was insolvent, had entered into a short-term forbearance agreement with its lender and was in the process of selling off its plants and operations. 

Representatives from Gill did not respond to a request for comment before this report was published.

Read 4821 times Last modified on Thursday, 30 January 2020 18:10
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