Gill Industries is considering the sale of its plant at 706 Bond Ave. NW, shown here, and another location at 725 Bond Ave. NW after determining the site was no longer fit for manufacturing. Spectrum Health recently filed for tax-exempt bond financing to build a new Center for Transformation and Innovation to house 1,200 employees at the location. Gill Industries is considering the sale of its plant at 706 Bond Ave. NW, shown here, and another location at 725 Bond Ave. NW after determining the site was no longer fit for manufacturing. Spectrum Health recently filed for tax-exempt bond financing to build a new Center for Transformation and Innovation to house 1,200 employees at the location. COURTESY PHOTO

Gill Industries explores sale of downtown Grand Rapids plant to Spectrum Health

BY SYDNEY SMITH and JESSICA YOUNG Wednesday, October 23, 2019 02:16pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Stamping manufacturer Gill Industries Inc. is exploring its options to sell its facility on Bond Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids as Spectrum Health has proposed a new $100 million building at that site. 

The move comes as the manufacturer has reevaluated its use of the plant, formerly the home to Grand Rapids Spring & Stamping, which Gill acquired in 2014.

“It has become evident that manufacturing is no longer a fit for this site or the building due to constraints of new developments in the surrounding area that now includes office, restaurants, hotels and multiple apartments,” David DeGraaf, president and CEO of Gill, said in an email to MiBiz. 

In an effort to consolidate its office space, Spectrum Health this month said it was considering plans to construct a new administration and training building called the “Center for Transformation and Innovation” at 706 and 725 Bond Ave. NW, according to Kent County records. An affiliate of Gill Industries currently owns both properties. 

The facility in the North Monroe neighborhood will allow for the consolidation of 26 independent leases, and will house 1,200 employees, according to a statement Spectrum Health emailed to MiBiz

Spectrum Health leadership and President and CEO Tina Freese Decker worked in partnership with community leaders to determine the feasibility of the site. 

“Spectrum Health has been part of the transformation of this community and we are proud to find a solution that puts our innovation and administration functions within the heart of our city. I appreciate the collaboration of our community partners and city leaders to make this project a reality,” Freese Decker said in a statement. “We will continue to work together to enrich the vitality of downtown Grand Rapids and the economic ecosystem of all the communities we serve while ensuring greater access to exceptional clinical services. These partnerships and engagement are vital as we work toward our vision of personalized health made simple, affordable and exceptional.”

Representatives from Spectrum Health declined to comment further on the matter. 

During its Oct. 10 meeting, the Kent County Board of Commissioners approved a $140 million tax-exempt bond through the Kent Hospital Finance Authority for Spectrum Health, $100 million of which would go toward the Center for Transformation and Innovation project. The remainder would go to refinance loans for existing Spectrum Health projects in Grand Rapids and Ludington. 

The finance authority issues bonds for the benefit of hospitals located in Kent County, the majority of which are tax-exempt and not subject to federal income tax, said Pete Lozicki, an attorney with Grand Rapids-based Rhoades McKee PC.

The bond notice listed another potential location for the Center for Transformation and Innovation project as 1001-1071 Leffingwell Ave. NE, which is already owned by Spectrum. Development executives MiBiz spoke with on background said they expect the project to move forward at the Bond Avenue site, citing the health system’s string of investments in the downtown area. 

The bond needs the commission’s approval only because it has jurisdiction over the area in which the facility financed by the bonds is situated.

“This does not create any liability or other obligation for the county; this process is merely needed in order for the bonds to be tax-exempt,” Lozicki said in an email to MiBiz.


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