Limited space for growing manufacturing business

A real estate firm is working to re-purpose the old Rogers Department Store. (April 23, 2014)

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — Manufacturing businesses are growing in West Michigan, but there’s limited manufacturing space.

Chip Hurley, the managing director at Newmark Grubb Cressy & Everett, a commercial real estate development firm, said it’s forcing them to find creative ways to re-purpose existing buildings.

Hurley said only about 3% of manufacturing space in the Grand Rapids area is on the market, and few manufacturing sites have been built since the recession.

“That’s what a lot of my industry is struggling with, adequate space that accommodates the growth of these industries,” Hurley said.

The firm is working to re-purpose the old Rogers Department Store.

Rogers closed its doors at the 28th Street location in 2005, Klingman’s moved in but later closed in 2010.

With more than 500 parking spaces and three levels, including the basement, Hurley said it’s a prime space.

Considering the demand for office and manufacturing space they’re thinking of transforming the old department store into something other than retail.

“We’ve seen proposed uses that would involve offices,” Hurley said. “I think a great use for that facility would be a banquet facility.”

There’s no firm plans for the old store yet.

Hurley said his firm is also currently working to find a company to move into an old car dealership in Coopersville.

It’s a building that may be re-purposed for a manufacturing company due to all of the demand.

“It’s a great problem to have from a selling perspective,” Hurley said. “It’s a sellers market right now.”

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