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Robert Grooters Development Co.’s plans for a 200,000-square-foot speculative industrial facility planned on 60th Street in Gaines Township. Robert Grooters Development Co.’s plans for a 200,000-square-foot speculative industrial facility planned on 60th Street in Gaines Township. Credit: Wolverine Building Group

Developer plans $9M spec industrial project in Gaines Township

BY Monday, March 27, 2023 10:43am

GAINES TWP. — Robert Grooters Development Co. plans to break ground in April on a nearly 200,000-square-foot speculative industrial facility just south of Kentwood in Gaines Township.

The Grand Rapids-based developer estimates the project will cost more than $9 million to build.

Grooters has owned the property at 4675 60th St. for years and had been “waiting for the right time to start building,” said Natalie Amrhein, a sales and leasing agent for Grooters. Its proximity to M-6 makes it a desirable space for an industrial project, Amrhein added.

Demand for industrial property is expected to soften slightly in 2023, but still outweighs the supply of available space. For example, in the Grand Rapids area, industrial demand has remained high over the past couple years, with a vacancy rate of just 2.37 percent as of the fourth quarter of 2022, according to the Colliers International’s West Michigan industrial market trends report. 

“Our clients have been seeking space near Middleville and nearer to operations in mid-state,” Robert Grooters, owner of the 49-year-old development company, said in a statement. “With this new facility, we will solve expansion challenges for Michigan companies ready to grow.”  

Plans for the building include multiple dock and grade-level doors, ceiling-mounted sprinklers that eliminate the need for in-rack sprinkler systems, and energy efficiencies including motion-activated lighting. 

Robert Grooters Development is talking to a few prospective tenants interested in renting the space, but the project is speculative, Amrhein said, noting it will likely include more than one tenant. 

Kentwood-based Wolverine Building Group is serving as the architect and general contractor for the project. Construction could take a year at the longest, but the developer expects the project to wrap up in late fall. 

Crews have been grappling with delays related to construction materials and other key items such as electrical components, which currently have the longest lead times, Amrhein said. The contractor already ordered steel for the project, she said.

“We’re excited about the project and it’s a great location right off M-6, so it’s easily accessible to the highways and a few minutes away from the airport,” Amrhein said. “The most exciting part is we’ll be able to have a nice amount of industrial space on the market. We’re hearing a lot of companies can’t find enough space.”

The developer also can offer competitive rates for its spaces because of the volume of work it does with Wolverine Building Group, Amrhein said. 

“We are on a wholesale basis with them, so we’re able to relay the savings to our clients,” Amrhein said.

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