Renderings out as MSU Innovation Park moves toward ground breaking

Michigan State University’s medical capabilities along the Medical Mile are about to get a big boost.

With the Secchia Center – a $90-million medical education center opened in Grand Rapids in 2010 – and the nearby Grand Rapids Research Center, MSU’s ability to provide “transformational health care” will get a lift from the MSU Grand Rapids Innovation Park when it opens, likely in 2021.

Health Innovation Partners – a real estate development joint venture between Rockford Construction, MB Real Estate and Walsh Construction/Walsh Investors as well as Michigan State University — recently released the renderings for the next phase of the park.

New discoveries
Announced in December, the project focuses on driving innovation through public-private partnerships (P3) to bring new discoveries to market. Anticipated outcomes of the collaboration include research, testing, and commercialization of new therapies and medical devices. SmithGroup is the lead architect for the project.

“It’s really transformational health care,” said Mike Mraz, president of Real Estate Development at Rockford Construction. “Our future tenants will be at the center of innovation, medical research and development, and we are thrilled to play our part in this great opportunity for future medical advances.”

A groundbreaking on the project is expected to take place this fall on the 200,000-square-foot project, which will include a 600-car parking structure. According to Mraz, it offers the opportunity to take steps into future development and will connect academic medicine, health care delivery systems, and industry partners to advance health care and accelerate the life science community in Grand Rapids and the nation.

Mraz called it “a collaborative effort …. looking to attract a variety of companies” – from cancer research and treatment to neurological issues and medical devices — that can exist in the space.

The project has received strong interest within West Michigan and health care communities across the country. The university and developers are currently in conversations with tenants interested in helping bring the unique concept to life, with the medical innovation building anticipated to open in late 2021.

Tenants coming
Current discussions with interested tenants in private industry and health care are focused on disciplines such as cancer research, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, artificial intelligence, and medical device development to fill the new development located in the heart of the medical mile in downtown Grand Rapids. Secured tenants for the development will be announced in early fall in conjunction with the facility’s groundbreaking.

Mraz said tenants won’t necessarily have to wait until the late-2021 opening to start working. He said the partnership has “existing space” potential tenants could use before transitioning into the Innovation Park.

“We have existing office space that we want to attract these companies to ‘dip their toe in the water’ in Grand Rapids,” Mraz said. “The momentum is such that we want to get to market as quickly as we can. We have to wait for construction, but because we have this existing space, we can get started now.”

The state-of-the-art MSU Grand Rapids Research Center opened in 2017 and is currently the only structure occupying the northeast corner of Michigan Street and Monroe Avenue. With the completion of the ground lease, the plans for the medical innovation building have continued to move forward as shown in the renderings for the new development. The project will take up approximately 200,000 square feet with a 600-car parking structure. A third building is also being planned for the future.

Mraz also adds, “Vehicular access to the site will remain on Monroe Avenue, while pedestrians will be able to walk through a wide courtyard between the two buildings.  A centralized parking structure will support the site and a future building is also planned along Monroe.”