This map supplied by MSU shows where new buildings and a parking garage are scheduled to be built on the Grand Rapids Research Center campus on Michigan Street. This map supplied by MSU shows where new buildings and a parking garage are scheduled to be built on the Grand Rapids Research Center campus on Michigan Street. COURTESY IMAGE

MSU trustees approve phase two expansion of Grand Rapids Research Center

BY Friday, December 14, 2018 11:42am

GRAND RAPIDS — A public-private partnership approved today by the Michigan State University board of trustees will continue development of the downtown Grand Rapids Research Center campus.

After issuing an RFP in July, the board selected developer Health Innovation Partners, a joint venture of Chicago-based MB Real Estate, Chicago-based Walsh Construction/Walsh Investors and Rockford Construction Co. Inc. of Grand Rapids, to lead the project.

The board’s vote authorizes MSU administration to proceed with negotiations on the ground lease and developer agreement.

“MSU continues to expand its footprint and partnerships in downtown Grand Rapids, which supports our research, education efforts and health care expansion,” MSU Interim President John Engler said in a statement. “We look forward to working with more partners and stakeholders in expanding the mission of our great university into West Michigan.”

According to the university, the ground lease will require the developer to construct a new building along Michigan Street on the Grand Rapids Research Center property to provide tenant space for MSU and “other stakeholders” that will support MSU research and health care innovations.

Cost estimates for the project were not yet available at the time this report was published.

Proposed tenants include private industry and health care teams focused on “advanced diagnosis and treatment for cancer, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders; development of medical devices that improve patient access, affordability and outcomes; as well as augmented intelligence and machine learning efforts,” according to MSU.

The facility also will provide space to accommodate the growth of the human health research teams at the Grand Rapids Research Center and on MSU’s East Lansing campus.

MSU anticipates construction to begin in the fourth quarter of 2019, with substantial completion in late 2021.

Tax increment financing is available to the developer to construct a parking structure, which is required to meet city parking requirements.

The campus could include a future building along Monroe Avenue for additional program space to complement the research.

MSU’s $88.1 million Grand Rapids Research Center opened downtown in 2017, and added a western anchor to Medical Mile at 400 Monroe Ave. NW, the site of the former Grand Rapids Press headquarters. The latest proposal creates a plan for the second phase of build out at the site.

In September, the College of Human Medicine reviewed proposals submitted through a RFP process to build out property surrounding the research center, including for a business incubator for startups that can work alongside university researchers.

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