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July 14, 2015

Construction of MSU Grand Rapids Research Center adds 728 jobs; $95M economic impact

With construction underway for the new Michigan State University Grand Rapids Research Center, officials from MSU, Clark Construction Company and Rockford Construction announced measures of economic impact that construction alone will have on the West Michigan economy.

Key findings from an Anderson Economic Group study, which evaluated the benefits construction would have in Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon counties, included:

1) Creating 728 jobs over the course of the project

2) Providing $55M in wages

3) $95.6 million of economic impact to the area

“Having previously worked with MSU building research facilities covering nanotechnology, robotics, tissue engineering and imaging, we are excited to be working on another facility to provide research to solve some of humanity's biggest challenges," said Samuel D. Clark, president of Clark Construction Company. "We are pleased to see that MSU's continued investment in research facilities will have such a positive impact on the local and state economy and humanity as a whole.”

“We appreciate the significant investment Michigan State has made in Grand Rapids and the impact it is making on our community’s businesses,” added Michael VanGessel, CEO of Rockford Construction. “In fact, 85 percent of construction labor for this research facility is local, which highlights our subcontractors’ ability to complete complex and sophisticated projects. We’re all looking forward to the completion of the research center, as well as the future growth of MSU’s innovation park in the heart of our city.”

Economic impact was based on the research center alone – and not any potential commercial or residential uses of the remaining parcels. Once the center is operating at full capacity in fiscal year 2029, the economic impact is estimated to be $28 million per year supporting more than 400 jobs, including as many as 44 principal investigators and their research teams.

“The AEG study told us that the new research center will contribute significantly to building a biomedical research hub in the Grand Rapids area,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. “Our research center builds upon the biomedical and clinical research talent at Spectrum Health, Van Andel Institute, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s and Grand Valley State University – all attractive to spin-off businesses in the life sciences and growth in the biotechnology sectors.”

The construction site for the new research center is located at the corner of Michigan Street and Monroe Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids. Construction completion is planned for late 2017.

Core research of the center will include Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, pediatric neurology, autism, inflammation, transplantation, genetics, women’s health and reproduction, and skin cancer – with the vision of helping people live longer and better, and improving the health of the Grand Rapids community and beyond.

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By: Geri Kelley