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Allendale Township Is Bringing In Industry
ALLENDALE — The four companies lined up to move into the next phase of a local industrial park represent the kind of industries that Allendale Township wants to attract.
Like most communities, Allendale Township is working to lure industry as a way to bolster its tax base and create jobs. The township, however, isn’t seeking just anybody.
The township wants to attract light industrial and manufacturing firms that blend well with the growing community’s rural and residential character, township Supervisor Jim Beelen said. To that end, the township has placed strict zoning standards on an industrial facility’s façade, landscaping, storage and signage, he said.
“We’re pretty particular, as much as we can be, about who locates there. We have some pretty high standards,” Beelen said of the township’s industrial areas. “We’d like to have a community where we have places to go work, as well as go to sleep. But we don’t want the harsher aspects of heavy industry.”
The latest additions to Allendale Township’s industrial base are four companies — JIMDI Plastics, Borculo Polishing, Precision Robotics and Engineering, and Expert Transformer — that plan to move into the Edgewater Business Center, an industrial park off of M-45, between 48th Avenue and 68th Avenue, which is undergoing a major expansion.
The industrial park’s owner, Gary Stroven, broke ground in late June on roads and public utility extensions for the 40-acre expansion. The initial phase of the 40-acre industrial park was developed in the early 1990s.
The expansion is being financed with a $301,104 grant awarded to the township on behalf of Edgewater Business Center by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to pay 90 percent of the cost to extend roads and sewer and water service to the site. Stroven is paying the remaining 10 percent of the cost, Beelen said.
The four businesses will then invest a collective $4.2 million to develop and equip their own facilities, resulting in the creation of 46 new jobs over the next two years. The MEDC is providing additional assistance to the park’s expansion through the issuance of $1.l million in tax-exempt bonds to finance JIMDI Plastics’ new 25,650-square-foot facility.
JIMDI Plastics, now located in West Olive, is a custom plastics injection and molding company.
Of the other companies, Borculo Polishing provides polishing, buffing and satin finishing of aluminum, brass, plastic and zinc castings. Precision Robotics & Engineering, now in Grand Rapids, specializes in robotic welding systems, welding fixtures and electronic controls, and Expert Transformer manufactures resistance-welding transformers.
In seeking to bolster its industrial base, Allendale Township touts its location in the heart of Ottawa County as offering small businesses good proximity to customers in Grand Rapids, Holland, Grand Haven and Muskegon, particularly for businesses serving the office furniture industry. To date, eight of the 14 lots within the Edgewater Business Center’s expansion have already been sold, Beelen said.
Allendale Township’s central location in the tri-county area has generated a growing interest in the community as a base for light industry, said Ken Rizzio, executive director of the Ottawa County Economic Development Office. A close proximity to Grand Valley State University, comparatively cheaper land costs and ongoing improvements to M-45 (Lake Michigan Drive) also weigh on the township’s side as it works to increase its industrial base, Rizzio said.
“It’s just part of the fit in the community and where it’s located,” Rizzio said.