Haviland buys up more space at Walker’s Avastar Park

BY Sunday, December 16, 2018 06:50pm

WALKER — A specialty chemicals company has scooped up space at a Walker-based industrial park for an eventual expansion of its West Michigan operations.

Haviland Consumer Products Inc. of Grand Rapids purchased an additional 107,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space in Avastar Park on Alpine Ave. NW in Walker for $4.05 million, according to property records. The space is adjacent to 160,000 square feet of space Haviland already owned at Avastar Park.

“Our Haviland products unit has been in a site that’s fairly old, and we’re looking to modernize facilities,” Mike Karasiewicz, CEO and president of Haviland, told MiBiz. “Being part of the Avastar building, we knew what its capabilities are, what the footage was and we’re able to move some of our old production over there.”

Haviland bought the additional property at Avastar Park from developer Buchanan Investments, according to property records.

The space is currently occupied by Gill Industries Inc., a manufacturer of stamped steel parts. Gill’s lease goes through 2021, and Karasiewicz said he does not anticipate Haviland moving in until then.

According to Karasiewicz, Haviland has operated out of Avastar Park since the early 2000s. The expansion will provide increased manufacturing capacity and the opportunity to replace aging equipment. It also brings business and operations teams under one roof.

“We’re diversified between manufacturing, pool & spa and contract manufacturing, so we will modernize our production lines, making them more automated,” Karasiewicz said.

In recent years, Haviland has been on a path of continued growth, he said, describing the manufacturing outlook in West Michigan as “pretty robust.”

“We’re being contacted almost on a weekly basis with companies looking for additional opportunities or for us to manufacture products for them,” he said. “We’re feeling pretty optimistic, and there’s some headwinds out there a little bit, but we’re pretty optimistic right now.”

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