GRAND RAPIDS — The Right Place, Inc., in collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the City of Walker, announced that pallet racking and storage company, Speedrack Products Group, Ltd., will expand its Michigan operations to a new facility in Walker.
In addition to a capital investment of nearly $65 million, the expansion will bring more than 160 new jobs to the area.
Headquartered in Sparta, Michigan, Speedrack has been an industry leader for more than 60 years. Over the last 20 years the company has manufactured all of its product in Michigan between two industrial sites.
Its operations in Quincy, Michigan, is the flagship plant and was the company’s first in the state; its second facility, in Litchfield, was developed and opened for production four years ago. Speedrack currently employs nearly 300 people between its three Michigan locations.
E-commerce serves as one of Speedrack’s largest growth markets, with customers including Amazon, GAP, Chewy, etc. Other consumer goods market customers include giants like Ford, General Motors Corp., Medline, Caterpillar (CAT) and the furniture industry. To meet the growing demand from these customers, the company’s upcoming $65 million Walker facility will offer 275,000 square feet of additional manufacturing space and accommodate 160 new employees.
“Our customers, particularly those in the e-commerce industry, have seen a significant increase in sales over the last several years, and so Speedrack has invested and grown in order to support that growth,” the company’s President, Eric Quist, said. “We recognized that if we were going to continue to meet this new demand, we needed to expand our manufacturing footprint. Thanks to the support provided by The Right Place with their partners at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, we were able to focus our growth here in West Michigan, for which we are thrilled.”
The Right Place worked closely with Speedrack, the MEDC and the City of Walker to ensure the company continued its growth in the region rather than out-of-state locations. The MEDC is supporting the expansion with the approval of a $820,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The City of Walker has also approved a tax abatement in support of the expansion.
“This is a considerable win for the Greater Grand Rapids region, and another nod to the health and strength of our business environment,” said President & CEO of The Right Place, Randy Thelen, “Our regional economy has strong roots in manufacturing, and Speedrack’s decision to expand its presence in our region is a testament to the resilience and continued prosperity within this industry.”
Walker City Manager Darrel Schmalzel, said he’s “looking forward” to Speedrack joining the city’s business community.
“Speedrack has an incredible growth story, and residents of our community will benefit greatly from the company’s decision to continue that growth here in the City of Walker,” Schmalzel said. “We look forward to supporting Speedrack as they work toward establishing their new facility here.”
Walker Mayor Gary Carey said the city is “very excited” to welcome Speedrack to the city.
“Their decades of successful experience providing customized solutions to their customers’ needs and challenges aligns with how the City of Walker works with its businesses and residents,” Carey said. “Speedrack will be a welcome addition to a thriving and rapidly growing industrial area in our city.”
Quentin Messer, the incoming CEO of the MEDC, said Michigan is “grateful for the Speedrack team’s continued vote of confidence in Michiganders.”
“We are proud to send the message that Michigan’s economy is recovering and we are going to keep this momentum going. Michigan is a place where businesses, communities and people can take risks, succeed and grow,” said Messer, who is also President and Chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund. “We appreciate the efforts of The Right Place and local partners in Walker to support this project and will work with Speedrack as it continues to grow and add jobs for Michigan residents.”