RSI of West Michigan’s facility at 1485 S. Getty Street in Muskegon. (PROPERTY RECORDS PHOTO) RSI of West Michigan’s facility at 1485 S. Getty Street in Muskegon. (PROPERTY RECORDS PHOTO)

Tribally owned Waséyabek Development Co. buys Muskegon property

BY Thursday, September 15, 2022 04:43pm

MUSKEGON — Waséyabek Development Co., the non-gaming economic development arm of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi, has purchased the manufacturing facility that houses one of its portfolio companies, RSI of West Michigan.

The property deal includes a 4.5-acre vacant lot adjacent to the 30,000-square-foot facility on Getty Street that may allow for future expansion of RSI, which grew revenue about 20 percent over the last year, according to a statement. 

The company produces parts for automobiles, power sports equipment, sporting goods, and industrial equipment.

“We have a great foundation for additional growth should current trends continue,” RSI President Paul Kuyt said in a statement.

Waséyabek Development Co. originally acquired RSI in 2020. Kuyt remained as president and retained ownership of the manufacturing facility. 

Terms of the property transaction for the plant and the adjacent lot were undisclosed.

“This purchase is a continuation of our investment in the Muskegon community,” said Deidra Mitchell, the president and CEO of Waséyabek. “As a Tribally owned firm, we are always looking to invest and grow our investments in West Michigan and in turn strengthen the overall business climate near the Tribe’s ancestral land. This is a continuation of our long-term business strategy.” 

Waséyabek’s real estate portfolio includes holdings in West Michigan and in the metro Detroit area. The company partnered in January 2020 on a $17.5 million deal with Gun Lake Investments, the non-gaming economic development entity of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, to acquire the iconic McKay Tower in downtown Grand Rapids. 

The two tribally owned entities partnered again in 2021 on the acquisitions of Zip Xpress Inc. and Green Transportation Inc., both of which are based in Holland. 

In addition to RSI of West Michigan, Waséyabek also operates Nunica-based Baker Engineering, a designer and manufacturer of custom high-performance engines, engine components, and other parts and mechanical assemblies. 

The firm serves as the majority owner of Grand Rapids-based DWH LLC, a succession planning, turnaround management and financial consulting services provider that also contracts with the federal government. As well, Waséyabek operates several government contracting entities from its headquarters at the Kendall Building in Grand Rapids, which it also owns.  

Waséyabek last year also invested $3 million in BAMF Health Inc., a company developing a new clinic for advanced cancer treatment in Grand Rapids.

Mitchell was named the MiBiz Dealmaker of the Year in the investor category in recognition for Waséyabek’s growth strategy in 2021. 

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