Published in Economic Development
Logistics, data company bringing nearly 100 jobs to GR neighborhood COURTESY PHOTO

Logistics, data company bringing nearly 100 jobs to GR neighborhood

BY Thursday, April 15, 2021 05:00am

GRAND RAPIDS — A Cleveland-based logistics and data security company is the future tenant of a vacant industrial site on the city’s south side.

Rockford Construction Co. is demolishing the former manufacturing building at 1601 Madison Ave. SE in the city’s Madison Square neighborhood to make room for data protection company MCPc Inc. The firm signed a lease with Amplify GR to move into the space in 2022, along with 100 employees.

Demolition is scheduled for later this month, and construction on the new building is anticipated to begin in July.

Amplify GR and Rockford Construction were awarded about $2.2 million in tax incentives in January to redevelop the industrial site that has sat vacant in recent years. The property’s existing 250,000-square-foot industrial building has a 100-year history of various manufacturing operations, including Dexter Lock. A 60,000-square-foot facility will be constructed in its place on the 10-acre property. 

1601 Madison LLC, which is registered to Rockford Construction Senior Partner Kurt Hassberger, paid nearly $1.9 million for the property in 2016, property records show. 

“MCPc is a great addition to Madison Square’s business district, and we believe its presence will further mobilize the local economy,” Danielle Williams, Amplify GR’s director of economic opportunities, said in a statement. “When we were identifying potential partners, we brought forth several requirements for future tenants based on our continued conversations with members of the local neighborhood. It was an easy decision to select MCPc as the company’s values align seamlessly with our commitments to the Madison Square community.”

MCPc, which has regional offices in Kentwood and Wyoming, has a history of developing partnerships with local schools to provide recent graduates with apprenticeship opportunities in the data and technology field. The company plans to partner similarly with area schools and committed to hiring 30 percent of its workforce from the local neighborhood. Starting pay for MCPc employees is $15 per hour.

“The excitement around this project has been building for two years. The Madison Square community has been very supportive of us and we can’t wait to follow through with our commitment to them,” MCPc Michigan President Andy Shannon said in a statement.

MCPc is headquartered in Cleveland and also has offices in Canada and the Netherlands. The company provides data security, asset management and end-to-end lifecycle management to help companies mitigate cyber and business risk. 

The development aligns with the city of Grand Rapids’ Master Plan and the Southtown Business Area Specific Plan, which identify the site as an industrial flex area for a combination of light-industrial and commercial uses, said Third Ward City Commissioner Senita Lenear. The project will also provide streetscape improvements, quality urban design and increase access to transit, she said.

“It’s wonderful to see established businesses like MCPc investing in the Madison Square community,” Lenear said in a statement. “Given the company’s commitment to being an outstanding neighbor, I look forward to seeing the hiring and training opportunities they bring to the residents and partners of Madison Square. This project is just the first of several that will have a long-lasting positive impact for those who have called Madison Square home for years.”

Amplify GR has worked closely with residents in Madison Square and Garfield Park over the years to get feedback about the project. Equitable employers rose to the top of what neighbors wanted to see from a tenant on the property, said Amplify GR Executive Director Jon Ippel.

MCPc’s presence is the first of several phases of projects and other tenants Amplify GR hopes to attract to the site, which could include professional services or light industrial uses, Ippel said. 

“COVID-19 impacted some of the trajectory, but we’ve been doing a fairly extensive engagement and planning process over the last couple of years,” Ippel said. “We’re entering a new phase of implementing new pieces and parts.”

Ippel said Amplify GR plans to announce a few more projects along Madison Avenue this year, as well as projects in the Boston Square neighborhood.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comments from Amplify GR Executive Director Jon Ippel.

Read 11787 times Last modified on Thursday, 15 April 2021 10:41