~ 237-acre parcel is one of 18 statewide projects awarded by MEDC’s new Strategic Site Readiness Program ~
The Right Place, Inc., and project partners Franklin Partners and Lowell Charter Township announce they have received $17.5 million from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) new Strategic Site Readiness Program (SSRP) to help prepare the 237-acre Covenant Business Park in Lowell Township for industrial and commercial use. The Lowell site is one of 18 statewide projects announced as recipients of the funds at this morning’s Michigan Strategic Fund board meeting.
The SSRP provides financial incentives to eligible applicants to conduct activities on or related to strategic sites in Michigan to create a statewide inventory of investment-ready sites that will attract and promote investment in the state. The program provides access to grants, loans, and other economic assistance.
In its announcement to the project team, the MEDC noted that the Lowell site is strategic for the region and that the funds will help make progress on preparing the property to become a premier site. The award letter also noted that the property will become a critical offering and help MEDC build a strong pipeline of sites across the state.
More information on the program can be found here.
The funds awarded represent 50% of the $35m needed to get the site “shovel-ready” for development. Most work will center on infrastructure efforts, primarily sewer extension and connection.
About the property
The parcel, which is zoned PUD for industrial and commercial use, is located at the southwest corner of Cascade Road and Alden Nash, just north of I-96; with its proximity to a major highway and minutes from an international airport, Covenant Business Park has been considered to be the finest parcel available in greater Grand Rapids.
Travis Alden, senior director of community development at The Right Place and the project’s lead, formally submitted the request last October. The site owner and developer, Franklin Partners, and real estate broker Advantage Commercial Real Estate are also assisting with the project.
The team’s application received written support from Michael Burns, Lowell’s City Manager; Jerry Hale, Lowell Charter Township’s Supervisor; and state representatives Rep. Joe Tate, Rep. Angela Witwer, Rep. Gina Johnsen, and Rep. Phil Skaggs.
Official Address: 4687 Alden Nash Avenue S.E., Lowell, MI 49331
Total Area: 237 Acres
Developable Area: Approximately 190 Acres
Zoning: PUD for industrial and commercial uses
More information about the Covenant Business Park project can be found here.
Community open houses
The project team has planned three community open houses to help area residents and interested parties learn more about the site. All events will be held at the Lowell Township Hall, 2910 Alden Nash Avenue S.E., Lowell, MI 49331. The dates and times are: Wednesday, Jan. 31, 5-8 p.m.; Thursday, Feb. 1, 5-8 p.m.; Wednesday, Feb. 7, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Travis Alden, senior director of community development, The Right Place, Inc.
“To put it simply, there are very few sites throughout Michigan with the desirability of this one. This project’s potential is only realized by MEDC’s SSRP funding, and we will see a significant return on investment for the Lowell area and the region. This dedicated team has been great to work with, and we’re excited to get started.”
Jerry Hale, supervisor, Lowell Charter Township
“It’s been our long-standing desire to see this site become a hub of good-paying job opportunities, and this grant funding will help make that a reality. This will cement the Lowell area as a top destination for companies looking to expand in West Michigan and catalyze additional quality-of-life amenities like public recreation space and housing options. Plus, this will certainly positively impact the local businesses in the area, including in Downtown Lowell.”
Don Shoemaker, co-founder and partner, Franklin Partners
“Our firm’s mission is to revitalize underutilized assets with vision and purpose, and that’s exactly what our plan is for this fantastic site in Lowell Township. Thanks to The Right Place and MEDC, this crucial funding will allow us to work collaboratively with the Township to activate the site with great local employment opportunities.”
Duke Suwyn, principal and senior vice president, Advantage Commercial Real Estate
“Throughout West Michigan, industrial vacancy is essentially zero. Investing in development sites like this is essential for our region to continue to grow and prosper. Interest in this site has been high and will only increase as infrastructure is connected.”
About The Right Place, Inc.
The Right Place, Inc., is a regional nonprofit founded in 1985 with the mission to drive sustainable economic growth and shared prosperity for all in the Greater Grand Rapids Region. The Right Place works to achieve this mission by focusing on three core areas: People, Place, and Prosperity. The Right Place is an Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO) as designated by The International Economic Development Council. Find out more by visiting www.rightplace.org, liking us on Facebook and following us on LinkedIn.