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Grand Rapids, Mich., is striving to emerge as a health research and innovation space

Michigan State University is part of a development team for a new life sciences building.

November 26, 2019 |

A new Medical Innovation Building will open in Grand Rapids, Mich., in two years, adding to that city's research capabilities. Photos: Rockford Construction

Earlier this month, a real-estate development joint venture broke ground in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich., on the $85 million, 205,000-sf Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building that is expected to drive innovation in life sciences through research, testing, and the commercialization of new therapies.

The project, which is scheduled for completion in in late 2021, is the result of a public-private partnership called Health Innovation Partners that includes Michigan State University (MSU), locally based GC Rockford Construction, and two Chicago-based firms Walsh Construction and Murphy Development Group. SmithGroup is the project’s lead architect.

Health Innovation Partners is leasing the land for the six-story Medical Innovation Building from MSU along the university’s so-called Medical Mile, next door to MSU’s 162,000-sf Research Center, which opened in 2017 and whose researchers concentrate on finding cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The new building will include a 600-car parking structure. A third building is in the planning stage.



Over 250 guests, team members, and local officials turned out for the Nov. 18 groundbreaking of the Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building in Grand Rapids, Mich.


MSU President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., MD, stated during the groundbreaking ceremony that this latest project is one more step in Grand Rapids’ emergence as a national player in the health research and innovation space. Confirmed tenants for the Medical Innovation Building are the MSU College of Human Medicine, Spectrum Health, and BAMF Health, a biotech company focused on delivering AI-enabled medicine through molecular imaging and Theranostics.

Future tenants are likely to focus on cancer research, mental health, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, bioinformatics and artificial intelligence, digital and consumer-driven health technologies, and medical device development.

The new building is named after Doug Meijer, co-chairman of the supermarket chain Meijer, whose Meijer Foundation donated $19.5 million to the MSU Board of Trustees for the Medical Innovation Building’s construction.

Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., MD, President of Michigan State University (above), and Mike VanGessel, founder and CEO of Rockford Construction, a national construction and property management provider (below).


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