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Grand Rapids advances $22M brownfield plan for new Spectrum Health campus COURTESY RENDERING

Grand Rapids advances $22M brownfield plan for new Spectrum Health campus

BY Tuesday, November 09, 2021 03:31pm

GRAND RAPIDS — City officials have taken another step toward approving $22 million in brownfield incentives for Spectrum Health’s Center for Transformation and Innovation campus.

The City Commission’s Community Development Committee recommended setting a public hearing for the $100 million project on Dec. 7 before the full commission. The committee resolution is expected to be approved by the full commission tonight.

Vertical construction is planned to start this year on the eight-story Center for Transformation and Innovation (CTI), which is expected to be completed in May 2023. The new Spectrum Health headquarters will be located in Grand Rapids’ Monroe North neighborhood near downtown Grand Rapids. The project is planned for 635, 706 and 725 Bond Ave. NW. 

A proposed brownfield plan amendment includes reimbursement for “environmental activities, demolition, lead and asbestos abatement, site preparation and public and private infrastructure improvements,” including about 680 ramped parking spaces.

“The city and (Downtown Development Authority) have been working with Spectrum for the last 20 months to make sure this project will come to fruition that will result in 1,800 full-time jobs once the full buildout of the project is completed,” Grand Rapids Economic Development Director Jeremiah Gracia said during this morning’s committee meeting. 

The project calls for modernizing the existing 155,000-square-foot Brassworks building along with the construction of a new eight-story, 157,000-square-foot building with two associated parking ramps and a surface parking lot. 

The new CTI campus is designed to have space for 1,800 full-time employees, about 350 of whom will be new to the Grand Rapids area. 

The project will consolidate 15 Spectrum offices throughout Grand Rapids and three more outside of the city. Currently, about 800 full-time employees work at home because of COVID-19 safety precautions, according to city planning documents. These 800 employees are expected to return to in-person work upon the completion of the new CTI campus. 

The city is also partnering with the Downtown Development Authority to invest $1.6 million into public infrastructure around the project site to help prepare for future developments and their infrastructure needs, Gracia said. 

The Community Development Committee also recommended removing four nearby parcels from the city’s SmartZone Local Development Finance Authority’s Certified Technology Park boundary, as well as a portion of 710 Monroe Ave. NW from the DDA’s Tax Increment Finance (TIF) district, to facilitate the brownfield plan.

Properties being removed from the SmartZone are 710 Monroe Ave. NW and 635, 706 and 725 Bond Ave. 

Similarly, the committee also recommended removing 710 Monroe Ave. NW from the DDA’s TIF district to facilitate the brownfield plan. The DDA does not currently collect TIF revenue on the parcel, and removing it from the district will have a minimal effect on the DDA, Tim Kelly, president and CEO of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., said during an Oct. 13 DDA meeting.

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