College of
Human
Medicine

Grand Rapids Research Center Timeline and Milestones

PHASE III - MSU Grand Rapids Research Center construction

May 9, 2016, gifts of $15 million - $10 million from Richard and Helen DeVos + $5 million from Peter and Joan Secchia - were announced to support construction of the Michigan State University Grand Rapids Research Center.

November 6, 2015, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) awarded a state Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) Category grant to the City of Grand Rapids and MDOT to address traffic flow issues along Medical Mile, near the MSU College of Human Medicine's Secchia Center on Michigan Street and the new MSU Grand Rapids Research Center, now under construction, east of Monroe Avenue in Grand Rapids. MSU will invest $88 million to build the new biomedical research facility and create 130 new jobs, in addition to retaining 80 current employees.

  • To accommodate the additional traffic generated by the new facility and to help alleviate existing traffic flow issues in the area, the City of Grand Rapids and MDOT will improve the freeway ramp configurations at Ionia and Ottawa avenues with I-196, and modify the US-131 Business Route (Division Avenue)/Newberry Street intersection. Other work includes reconstructing Michigan Street and Newberry Street.

  • "The City of Grand Rapids and MDOT have been excellent partners as we've moved through the planning and construction for the MSU Grand Rapids Research Center," said Vennie Gore, vice president for Auxiliary Enterprises, MSU. "We continue to be impressed with their commitment to the Medical Mile partners and the community in improving traffic flow throughout the corridor."

  • The total cost of the project is $6,171,966, including $1,570,154 in TEDF funds and an estimated $4,601,812 from the City of Grand Rapids and the MDOT Grand Region, pending final design approval.

Ground was broken for the new Michigan State University Grand Rapids Research Center June 18, 2015. 

  • The Michigan State University Grand Rapids Research Center will anchor the Innovation Park on West Michigan’s Medical Mile, as it is situated just west of the College of Human Medicine’s Secchia Center medical education building and MSU’s nearby partners – the Van Andel Institute, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, Spectrum Health and Grand Valley State University’s Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences – and is less than two miles from Mercy Health Saint Mary’s.
  • The MSU Grand Rapids Research Center will support a capacity of 260 members of Michigan State University College of Human Medicine’s scientific research teams, including as many as 44 principal investigators and their labs.
  • Some of the areas of scientific study will include Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, pediatric neurology, autism, inflammation, transplantation, cancer, genetics and women’s health and reproductive medicine.
  • The 162,800-square-foot research center will be six stories high, with a seventh floor “penthouse,” a roofed corridor for service equipment.
  • The budget for the project is $88.1 million, including demolition. Funding for the new research center will be provided through gifts, the MSU general fund and tax exempt financing with debt repayment from a variety of sources, including the general fund.
  • The project delivery team includes a joint venture of Clark Construction Company, from Lansing, and Rockford Construction, from Grand Rapids, as construction manager; SmithGroupJJR, from Detroit, engineering and architect of record; and Ellenzweig, from Cambridge, Mass., laboratory planner and design architect.
  • The new research center is located at the site of the former Grand Rapids Press building. Demolition contractor for the building was Pitsch Companies from Grand Rapids, with demolition beginning March 1.

  • Construction began mid June with concrete placement followed by structural steel installation this fall.
  • The new research center will occupy a parcel of land roughly half of the site; in future months, Michigan State University plans to engage public private partnership (P3) developers in discussions about complementary projects for the remainder of the site that could further enhance MSU’s vision for medical education and commercialization of science.
  • The new MSU Grand Rapids Research Center is planned to open late 2017.

PHASE II - MSU Board of Trustees authorizes demolition of former Grand Rapids Press building, December 12, 2014

Michigan State University Board of Trustees has authorized the MSU administration to proceed with demolition of the former Grand Rapids Press building located in downtown Grand Rapids on property the university acquired in 2012.
The building to be razed is on a site of approximately 4.3 acres, positioned immediately west of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine’s Secchia Center.

  • The budget for this project (demolition) is $3 million.

  • Funding will be provided through the university’s general fund and tax-exempt financing with debt repayment from a variety of sources including the general fund.

  • Demolition is scheduled to begin in March 2015, with final completion of demolition by December 2015.

  • At a future MSU Board of Trustees meeting this winter, the MSU administration plans to recommend construction of the Grand Rapids Biomedical Research Center on a portion of this site.

  • The remainder of the site may be divided into parcels for future development by the university and/or private developers.

  • Pending approvals, the new Grand Rapids Biomedical Research Center is planned to open late 2017.

PHASE II - Public private partnership proposal evaluation, August 1, 2014

Michigan State University has received three proposals for its planned biomedical research center in Grand Rapids from the public-private partnership (P3) firms identified through a previous selection process and RFP issued in June.

  • The evaluation is a multi-step process. After initial analysis by MSU’s project review committee, a team of outside experts will evaluate financial, technical, investment and real estate development components, providing a summary of strengths and weaknesses for broader consideration.

  • “This laboratory design and environmental construction is highly specialized to meet the stringent quality standards for MSU’s NIH-funded scientific research,” said Vennie Gore, MSU vice president for Auxiliary Enterprises. “We must be certain that the firm MSU recommends for construction is the optimum choice. Thus, we are taking every measure to ensure transparency and protect the integrity of the selection process.”

  • The P3 proposal and plan best suited for the Grand Rapids biomedical research center will be evaluated against a MSU-delivered project. A recommendation by the university to the MSU Board of Trustees will be presented in December.

  • Pending appropriate Board of Trustees approvals in the process, including budget and delivery of the project, substantial completion of the facility is expected in late 2017.

PHASE II – Programmatic planning, January 1, 2014

The programming phase underway for the Grand Rapids biomedical research center allows for detailed specifications, refined cost estimates and in depth review of financial and delivery models.

  • MSU selects the site of the former Grand Rapids Press building as the location.

  • The size of the new research facility is anticipated to be approximately 145,000 square feet.

  • Ellenzweig, an award-winning architectural firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is selected as the design architect. Ellenzweig is uniquely qualified for providing laboratory planning and architectural design for technically complex buildings for science research and teaching. Ellenzweig is also design architect of the state-of-the-art Secchia Center.

  • Michigan-based SmithGroupJJR is named Architect/Engineer of Record. SmithGroupJJR has designed other MSU research buildings on campus in East Lansing.

  • On April 4, MSU issues a request for qualifications (RFQ) to potential public private partnership (P3) developers and announced plans that the university will consider two delivery options for the Grand Rapids Research Center – a traditional university-financed model and a developer model.

  • On June 23, a request for proposal (RFP) is issued to three P3 developers identified in the RFQ process.

  • RFP proposals are received July 29. The evaluation of the proposals is a multi-step process. After initial analysis by MSU’s project review committee, a team of outside experts evaluates financial, technical, investment and real estate development components, providing a summary of strengths and weaknesses for broader consideration.

  • The P3 proposal and plan best suited for the Grand Rapids biomedical research center will be evaluated against a MSU-delivered project. A recommendation by the university to the MSU Board of Trustees will be presented in December.

PHASE I – Exploration, September 5, 2013

Launch of investigation and planning from an academic perspective; faculty and students of the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction conduct research in Grand Rapids; land use study, interviews with community leaders and other background investigation.

  • Consultants JLL, URS and Ellenzweig work on building site analysis, financial modeling, real estate valuation.

  • All collaborate to explore possibilities and create a vision for growing biomedical sciences in Grand Rapids.

  • Delivery of preliminary recommendations for the Grand Rapids biomedical research center, December, 2013, including an academic exercise of conceptual work by MSU students and faculty from the MSU School of Planning, Design and Construction with the Land Policy Institute.