From blight to business: Zeeland project awarded $500K grant

Ottawa County

A rendering provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation shows the proposed expansion of a mixed-use building in downtown Zeeland.

ZEELAND, Mich. (WOOD) — A project that will double the size of a development in downtown Zeeland is getting state support.

Tuesday, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Strategic Fund Board approved a grant of up to $500,000 to GL Rentals, LLC for the building expansion at 238 E. Main Street.

THE PLAN

(An image provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation shows the spot for the expansion of a mixed-use building in downtown Zeeland.)

The first phase of the project started in 2018 when crews demolished a blighted property on the adjacent lot and constructed a building with ground floor office space and three apartments on the top floor.

The funding approved Tuesday will help cover the cost of constructing a two-story addition, which will allow Commercial Wealth Management to expand its ground floor offices in the original building, and create six one-bedroom apartments on the upper floor.

The MEDC says the new apartments will be market-rate, leasing for $875 per month.

The project, which is expected to inject nearly $2 million into the local economy, is expected to start right away.

MEDC CEO ON STATE’S ECONOMIC FUTURE

The MEDC’s new CEO, Quentin Messer Jr., spoke ahead of Tuesday’s funding decisions. Messer took over the post after Mark Burton stepped down in March.

Messer comes to Michigan from Louisiana, where he served as the President and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance for roughly six years. Under his leadership, the group earned an international accreditation that fewer than 90 economic development organizations worldwide have achieved.

News 8 asked Messner where he sees Michigan’s economy heading.

“I’m confident that Michigan will be serving notice very soon that we are going to be at least the top cold weather state in America. Some people can’t deal with four seasons and there’s nothing we can do about that, but, where people are open to that, we should be No. 1 state. And I think everything’s in place (to do that),” he said.

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