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Partners break ground on Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building

Today, Health Innovation Partners – a real estate development joint venture between Rockford Construction, Walsh Construction/Walsh Investors, Murphy Development Group and Michigan State University – broke ground on the next phase of the university’s Grand Rapids Innovation Park, the Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building, located on the northeast corner of Michigan Street and Monroe Avenue. SmithGroup is the lead architect for the project.

The 205,000-square-foot building has received strong national interest since the initial project announcement in 2018. The university and developers have been working with potential tenants eager to help bring the unique concept to life. Current confirmed tenants include the MSU College of Human Medicine, BAMF Health and Spectrum Health. The building is anticipated to open in late 2021.

“This project is another demonstration of what can be achieved in West Michigan when we work together to benefit the community,” said Mike VanGessel, Founder and CEO of Rockford Construction. “The expansion of this important facility will further strengthen the region and serve as a magnet for world-class talent. We are pleased to have been a part of it from day one.”

The project will drive innovation through public-private partnerships aimed at bringing new life science discoveries to market. Anticipated work at the innovation center will include research, testing and commercialization of new therapies and medical devices.

“This is a new frontier for Michigan State University, and everyone involved in this project as we further establish ourselves in Grand Rapids and as an emerging national player in the health research and innovation space,” said MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr, M.D.

Future tenants of the new facility will likely include private industry and health care communities focused on disciplines such as cancer research, mental health, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, bioinformatics and artificial intelligence, digital and consumer-driven health technologies, and medical device development.

BAMF Health, for instance, is an innovative biotech company focused on delivering AI-enabled precision medicine through molecular imaging and Theranostics. The company will operate a Theranostics Clinic, created to deliver some of the world’s most advanced cancer diagnostics and personalized treatments. They will also establish their global headquarters in the building.

Currently, the only other structure occupying the northeast corner of Michigan Street and Monroe Avenue is the state-of-the-art MSU Grand Rapids Research Center that opened in 2017. Once completed, the new building will add approximately 205,000 square feet and a 600-car parking structure to the current 162,800 square-foot research center housed next door. A third building is also being planned for future development.

“With our health science institutional and industry partners, we expect this project will open new doors and create positive change in the transformation of health,” said Norman J. Beauchamp Jr., executive vice president for health sciences at Michigan State University.

The building is named for Doug Meijer in recognition of a generous gift he and the Meijer Foundation recently made to MSU. Doug’s passion for cancer research is a result of his own experience with lifesaving technology that will soon be available in West Michigan through new imaging equipment and a cyclotron-equipped radiopharmacy in the building.

By: Geri Kelley