As the Grand Rapids economy continues to boom and professionals of all stripes move into downtown, companies from all over the country are taking notice. Relocating their home offices or opening a second location in West Michigan, the region is quickly becoming the center of activity for manufacturing, tech, retail, and more. Coupled with the upcoming Amazon delivery warehouse in Gaines Township (construction has already begun
), West Michigan continues its evolution into a bustling hub of economic activity.
Check out the following companies who have recently made the jump to relocate to or expand within West Michigan:
A cyber security, engineering, and consulting firm based in Arlington, VA, GRIMM, along with The Right Place, announced in May 2018
their plans to open a second location in Sparta, MI.
“Our cyber research lab in Sparta, MI will be under renovation, but is currently an active site for our research projects. Though we are headquartered in Arlington, VA, GRIMM is very excited to open its first brick and mortar facility in Sparta, Michigan where we are strategically located near our automotive and aerospace clients and in the heartbeat of an emerging cybersecurity and technology-focused community!” says Jennifer Tisdale, director, strategic partnerships and advanced transportation, GRIMM, cyber research & education.
Able to add a second location with assistance from the $216,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant, GRIMM also worked with The Right Place to find the perfect location, and will partner with West Michigan Works! in the development of new staff.
AUVESY GmbH, Grand Rapids
West Michigan is no stranger to international business, and one recent expansion showcases the region’s strength in this arena. AUVESY GmbH, a German software company that owns data management software system versiondog, moved into McKay Tower.
According to an article published in Grand Rapids Business Journal in November of last year:
“The downtown location is a sales and technical support office for the company’s data management software. It serves North America and is the company's first office outside of Germany.”
Arcanum Alloys, Kentwood
“Today The Right Place, Inc., in collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the City of Kentwood, announced that Arcanum Alloys will be relocating from Silicon Valley to the City of Kentwood. This will result in the creation of 25 new high-tech jobs and a capital investment of $693,000.”
In October of last year, The Right Place announced
this California company’s expansion. Winning a $162,500 MEDC Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant, the alloy manufacturing company has been utilizing its facility as a new headquarters and research and development center.
Stone Fox Ventures, Even Cut Abrasive Company, Wyoming
Investing $3.76 million in a facility and equipment and creating 52 new jobs, Grand Rapids-based Stone Vox Ventures LLC, a company that “acquires, structures, manages and grows middle-market manufacturing, distribution, and services companies with industrial and business customers,” will expand a portion of its operations to Wyoming.
This expansion of a portion of Even Cut Abrasive Company will be made possible with a $400,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant from the MEDC, as well as a partnership with The Right Place
. The company will retain some of its operations in Cleveland.
Andronaco Industries, Conley Composite, Kentwood
Who said Michigan manufacturing wasn't growing? With help from an MEDC $320,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant, Andronaco Industries, “a world-leading manufacturer of high performance fluoropolymer and composite products and technologies” is moving one of its subsidiaries, Conley Composites, LCC, to join three of its other operations in Kentwood.
Moving into a 30,000 square foot building, the move will create 64 jobs and $3.3 million of capital investment. “The decision to relocate Conley Composites to the same area as our other manufacturing subsidiaries made logistical sense for our company,” said Ron Andronaco, president and CEO of Andronaco Industries in a press release from The Right Place.
Schostak Brothers & Company, Grand Rapids
950,000 square feet. That’s the size of the property recently acquired by Schostak Brothers & Company on 40th Street in Grand Rapids. A large piece of real estate by any measure, but especially in a city that’s quickly filling the gaps between vacant properties, Schostak Brothers may have snagged an uncommon gem.
“The opportunity to purchase a property with this amount of square footage in West Michigan is becoming increasingly rare,” said John Kuiper of Colliers International in the press release.
Schostak Brothers & Company will continue to lease the building to its current tenant, Bunzl Retail Services.
Boyne Country Sports, Grand Rapids
If you’re a Michigan skier, snowboarder, or just a fan of kicking back in cabins while watching the snow fall, you’re probably familiar with Boyne Mountain Resorts. This popular northern Michigan winter sports destination has its own retail line, Boyne Country Sports, which soon plans to add a location to Breton Village in Grand Rapids
"We are excited to do business in the Grand Rapids area," says Director of Marketing Rod Call. "We know many Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands, and Inn at Bay Harbor guests are from the area, so it’s a great fit for Boyne Country Sports, our product offering, and our BoyneRewards program. Additionally, our Junior Has A Fit program is popular for our family-centric customer base. With 10,000+ kids in the program, it’s important to us that we offer parents an affordable way to get their kids started skiing and snowboarding at a young [age], in equipment that properly fits."
So if you’re looking to buy local, even when the temperature drops below freezing, you’re in luck with this Michigan-owned expansion.
DewPoint, Grand Rapids
An article published this February in Grand Rapids Business Journal
notes that Lansing-based DewPoint expanded into Grand Rapids' 333 Bridge Street NW "after an extensive renovation."
Taking up this newly renovated 4,500 square feet, IT firm DewPoint also maintains their offices in Lansing, as well as in Rochester. “We are excited to be in our new location. We were able to design it from scratch to fit our team, our growth, and our clients," says Vice President Michelle Massey. "This move furthers our commitment to the Grand Rapids community.”
In 2018, WAFUSA Logistics expanded from a roughly 11,000-square-foot space to about 25,000 square feet at 5357 52nd Street SE. The company’s latest move to the 73,905-square-foot facility demonstrates WAFUSA Logistics’ outstanding growth,” says the press release announcing WAFUSA’s second expansion in as many years.
WAFUSA, a third party fulfillment company that offers services like commerce fulfillment, same-day shipping, and warehousing, in addition to increasing its space, also increased their staff. “Over the last year we’ve doubled our team to 25 employees and we continue to grow every year,” said co-founder and half of the team of Rewa brothers Kurt Rewa. “We are grateful for the opportunity to create local jobs and invest in our community as we have grown.”
With these nine companies making the leap to further invest in West Michigan, it's clear the region will continue to grow in a variety of sectors. Now here come the job listings...