GRAND RAPIDS — Plastic sheeting manufacturer Profile Films Inc. plans a major expansion at a long-vacant industrial property on Grand Rapids’ west side that was previously eyed for a large-scale cannabis growing facility.
Profile Films acquired 9 acres at 719 Ann St. NW — located next to the company’s current location at 1976 Avastar Parkway NW — for $3.2 million on July 8, said Jacey Shachter, president of Metric Structures LLC. Metric Structures serves as the owner’s representative of Profile Films’ expansion project and has been working on acquiring the property since October 2021, said Shachter, who is the daughter of Profile Films CEO Steve Ehmann.
At its Aug. 11 meeting, the Grand Rapids Planning Commission will consider Profile Films’ request to demolish vacant industrial buildings onsite to make way for a 183,000-square-foot manufacturing facility that would be connected via skywalk to Profile Film’s current location, according to project renderings.
The expansion details are “very preliminary” at this point, but Profile Films would use the new space for manufacturing purposes, Shachter said. The long-vacant main structure on the property poses a “huge security risk,” Shachter added.
“The main structure and old boiler room is in need of pretty serious environmental abatement,” Shachter said. “The historic smokestack and water tower will be retained.”
FCC Construction Inc. serves as the general contractor and Integrated Architecture LLC serves as the project architect.
“Industrial property in the city of Grand Rapids is very limited and the opportunity arose to purchase this,” Shachter said. “In the interest of proximity and ease of access for the current employee base, we decided to move forward.”
Founded in 1998, Profile Films manufactures food-grade recyclable plastic bags, sheeting and tubing. In recent years, Profile Films found success in the vast world of plastic bags and sheeting by serving a niche market of custom polyethylene bags, sheeting, tubing and other converted products, as MiBiz previously reported.
Vertically integrated Cloud Cannabis Co. previously owned the entire sprawling property with plans for a commercial growing facility. It has scaled back those plans to use just a 10,000-square-foot building at 701 Ann St. NW in the back of the property for retail and processing, according to company officials.
“With the rapid decline in the wholesale price of cannabis, to build out a 200,000-square-foot grow facility didn’t pan out,” said John McLeod, co-founder and head of new markets for Cloud Cannabis.
McLeod noted that the cost of building out a commercial grow facility ranges from $350 to $400 per square foot, and the company last year acquired a 70,000-square-foot grow facility in Kalamazoo Township.
“For us, we have enough product to satisfy our retail footprint,” McLeod said.
Pending city permitting approvals, McLeod hopes to open the Ann Street Cloud Cannabis location in mid-summer of 2023, McLeod said.
Profile Films’ acquisition of some of the Ann Street property is a “win-win” for the west side, McLeod said.
“This continues to help us fuel our expansion,” McLeod said. “We’re not distracted now by that huge, cumbersome project and we can stay focused on the task at hand, which is opening these locations, making sure we’re doing it at the right growth rate and not doing it ahead of our skis.”
Cloud Cannabis currently has eight dispensaries across the state, and several other locations under construction. The cannabis company plans additional locations in Grand Rapids on 28th Street and at 15 Lexington Ave. NW.