Perrigo expands commitment in West Michigan with new construction, jobs

Perrigo is bolstering its footprint in West Michigan with major expansions underway for Grand Rapids and Holland.

The Dublin, Ireland-based generic pharmaceutical manufacturer is building a $44.7 million North American corporate headquarters in downtown Grand Rapids, on the north side of Michigan State University’s Grand Rapids Innovation Park in the city’s Medical Mile district. More than 170 new jobs will be created.

The 63,550-square-foot office space primarily will house corporate and functional leadership and certain administrative roles, and will feature an adjustable workspace to promote collaboration. The new headquarters will augment Perrigo’s existing presence in West Michigan, which was established in 1887 and now includes extensive operations in Allegan, Holland, and Grand Rapids.

In Holland, the 357,000-square-foot consolidated distribution center will provide one point of distribution for finished goods from numerous product lines, so Perrigo’s customers receive one comprehensive shipment from the company.

"We’re really securing a wonderful investment here in the community — and the jobs that go with it,” Holland City Manager Keith VanBeek said Wednesday, Dec. 16, before a unanimous council vote to approve a 12-year nearly $13 million Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption for the company.

The new facility will expand Perrigo’s warehousing capacity from approximately 870,000 square feet to approximately 1.2 million square feet across four sites.

Ready by spring

Construction for the warehouse started in August and is expected to be ready for occupancy in March. The site will employ 45-50 Perrigo team members and create more than 30 new jobs in Southwest Michigan.

“This new facility consolidates five separate warehouses into a large, 357,000-square-foot facility located in South Holland, which will be Perrigo’s largest warehouse by pallet count,” says Ron Janish, Perrigo’s Executive Vice President for Global Operations and Supply Chain. “We chose Holland as the site for our new distribution center as it offers a great location near our other offices/facilities located in Southwest Michigan and offers a broad base of potential new employees. This distribution center exemplifies our consumer self-care mindset and brings together finished goods from numerous product lines into one point of distribution so that our customers receive one comprehensive shipment from Perrigo.”

Holland-based economic development organization Lakeshore Advantage, represented the city of Holland when the public limited company was considering where to build its distribution center.

“Holland is an area where we’re seeing a lot of investment, and it’s along the lines what Perrigo is doing with really good access to the interstate system,” says Holland City Manager Keith Van Beek. “It (the distribution center) is a really good indicator they have a strong commitment to this region. We’re one piece of the puzzle, and that’s a really good thing.”

Deeper roots

Greg King, Business Solutions Manager at Lakeshore Advantage, said the distribution center is a positive indicator Perrigo is digging deeper roots in West Michigan.

“Perrigo is one of our area’s largest employers and recognizes the strengths and amenities our community has to offer as a business location,” says King. “This appears to be in line with strengthening their presence and commitment to West Michigan, with their other new warehouse facility built on 64th Street last year, an expansion of their facility in Holland Township earlier this year, and their new North American headquarters in Grand Rapids next year.

He added that Lakeshore Advantage worked with Perrigo and the facility’s developer to identify programs to support their expansion.

Collaboration has been key, agreed Allegan City Manager Joel Dye. 

“We made them aware of the tax abatement available through the City of Holland and have worked with them to put together the application and necessary supporting documentation,” said Dye. “It’s no small potatoes to have a leading global provider of self-care products in your own backyard to stimulate the local economy.”

The publicly traded company employs more than 4,000 employees at its offices and manufacturing facilities in Allegan and Ottawa counties, and is projected to have more than $5 billion in annual sales this year, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

“Perrigo has over 3,000 employees in the city of Allegan, including manufacturing, distribution, scientists, and support staff, says Dye. “They are the largest employer in the city. It sort of connects the city of Allegan to the larger, prosperous West Michigan economy.”

Read more articles by Paul R. Kopenkoskey.