Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced a brownfield redevelopment project offered by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) that will result in a new headquarters for Mercantile Bank in downtown Grand Rapids. The project is expected to generate $10.3 million in private investment, and as many as 100 new jobs may be created as a result of future growth at the site.
“Redeveloping underutilized property is essential to the economic growth and attractiveness of our core communities,” Granholm said. “This facility will bring jobs and people to the downtown area, contributing to Grand Rapids’ ongoing revitalization efforts.”
Mercantile Bank will utilize brownfield tax credits and tax capture valued at up to $5 million to prepare the site for its new, 60,000 square foot headquarters. Redevelopment activities include demolition of the functionally obsolete building presently located at 310 Leonard Street NW, infrastructure improvements and additional site preparation activities such as excavation and clearing.
“Brownfield incentives are excellent tools to spur downtown redevelopment and encourage people to live, work and play in Michigan’s cities,” said Don Jakeway, president and CEO of the MEDC. “We appreciate Mercantile Bank’s investment in downtown Grand Rapids and what this will mean for the city.”
Mercantile Bank provides a variety of commercial banking services for businesses, individuals and governmental units. Founded in 1997, the bank serves the greater Grand Rapids area with four branches. Approximately 50 employees will be transferred from existing branches to the new headquarters location.
“Mercantile Bank is very excited about this new facility in downtown Grand Rapids,” said Robert Kaminski, Mercantile Bank Chief Operating Officer. “Not only will it provide us with a new home which will allow the continued growth of our bank in the greater Grand Rapids area, but it is a significant investment in this community. We look forward to being an enthusiastic participant in the revitalization of the northern downtown Grand Rapids business district.”
The city of Grand Rapids, through the city’s brownfield development authority, will capture more than $1.8 million in local property taxes to assist with site preparation activities to facilitate the construction of the new headquarters.
“We are delighted to have been part of the collaborative team behind bringing this project to our central city,” said Birgit Klohs, president of the Right Place, Inc. “Grand Rapids has utilized the brownfield redevelopment program several times over the years to the great advantage of the city’s continued downtown revitalization efforts.”
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.
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