Medical Mile keeps growing with eyes on the future

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — While most construction work was paused at one point or another during the pandemic, three major development projects along Medical Mile, deemed essential, didn’t miss a beat.  

MSU INNOVATION PARK

Two of the three major projects currently underway along the Medical Mile are part of Michigan State University’s Grand Rapids Innovation Park. 

Rockford Construction gave News 8 an exclusive look behind the fence, where construction continues on the Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building and Perrigo North American corporate headquarters.  

Standing at the corner of Michigan Street and Monroe Avenue, the Meijer Building appears nearly complete from the outside. With ground broken in November 2019, it has been under construction for roughly 18 months.

The construction site at the Michigan State University Grand Rapids Innovation Park. (May 2021)

Mike Mraz, the president of Rockford’s Real Estate Development team, said the $85 million project is on track to be complete late this year, with tenants expected to move in early next year.

Mraz said the 210,000-square-foot facility will foster private-public partnership, bringing its future tenants, the MSU College of Human Medicine, Spectrum Health and BAMF Health together under one roof.

“The purpose of Doug Meijer Innovation Building is to further along the combining of education and research with private-industry innovators to help deliver health care to people faster,” Mraz said.  

During the tour, Mraz drew special attention to the giant steel beams supporting the building, calling them “iconic.”  

“We really wanted to embody empowerment and strength,” Mraz said of the beam’s design. “There will be people coming here for diagnostics and therapies of cancer and other neurological diseases and we wanted that feeling of strength as they entered into this park.” 

The construction site at the Michigan State University Grand Rapids Innovation Park. (May 2021)

At the next site over, things are just starting to take shape at the future Perrigo North American corporate headquarters.  

Pharmaceutical manufacturer Perrigo — currently based in Allegan — announced in October it would move to Grand Rapids, specifically building its facility within MSU’s Innovation Park. Located at 430 Monroe Ave. NW, the multimillion-dollar project broke ground in April.

A month into the project, things are still getting off the ground as developers set their sights high with the building’s slim and sleek design. 

“The total building height will be 10 stories, right along I-96,” Mraz said. “So as vehicles pass by, they will see literally a change in the skyline.” 

Once complete, the 125,000-square-foot facility will primarily house corporate, management and administrative employees and will feature adaptive, collaborative work areas.  

The project is on track for a completion date of May 2022. 

A rendering provided by Rockford Construction shows Perrigo’s North American headquarters, which will be housed in Michigan State University’s Innovation Park, located at the corner of Monroe Avenue NW and Michigan Street in downtown Grand Rapids.

Once that happens, Mraz says MSU will have delivered on a vision 15 years in the making.  

“The work that happens inside here… will be discoveries and innovations to market and we’ll be able to really publicize that and show that Grand Rapids really is an epicenter for health care,” Mraz said.  

GVSU DEVOS CENTER FOR INTERPROFESSIONAL HEALTH

Up the hill, Grand Valley State University has also expanded its health campus. The Daniel and Pamella DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health opened to students earlier this month, with the building’s official unveiling set for June. 

Grand Valley State University’s new Daniel and Pamella DeVos Center for Interprofessional Health on the Medical Mile in Grand Rapids. (May 2021)

The facility along Michigan Street NE at Lafayette Avenue has been under construction since breaking ground in October 2018.

GVSU Vice Provost for Health Jean Nagelkerk said the cutting-edge facility was designed to enhance the educational experience across the university’s 20 health science programs.   

“With state-of-the-art equipment and technology so that each student for their own specific discipline can learn how to give their skill set — shots, IVs, physical assessments,” Nagelkerk said. “So that when they go out into these hospitals, Spectrum Health, Mercy Health, wherever, they’ll have those skill sets to be clinicians.” 

Nagelkerk said the new building includes 15 new classrooms and 14 interactive laboratories:

“It’s totally unique in that it has 14 interactive learning spaces, so with the expansion of the building we are one of the largest simulation centers in the state.” 


Grand Rapids’ Studio Park is getting to welcome its largest tenant. The question now for Acrisure: How do you safely open a workplace for hundreds of employees?

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