Shape Buys Old Herman Miller Plant

July 12, 2002
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GRAND HAVEN — Shape Corp. plans to move one of its offshoot companies into a former Herman Miller Inc. factory in Spring Lake.

Shape late last month closed on the purchase of Herman Miller’s former Power Coat Technology building. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although the sale price exceeded the list price of $3.1 million. CB Richard Ellis/Grand Rapids listed the property, which includes 28 acres.

Shape plans to relocate Track Corp., a firm that produces seat adjusters for the automotive, recreational vehicle and theater seating industries, to the vacant, 103,300-square-foot facility in the coming months, corporation Chairman Gary Verplank said.

Track Corp., a part of the “Shape family of companies,” now leases about 50,000 square feet of space in an industrial park in Grand Haven and needs more room to accommodate future growth, Verplank said. The company, formed in 1993, now employs about 90 people, he said.

“The company is starting to do very well,” Verplank said. “We expect to grow.”

The Grand Haven-based Shape Corp. was one of four interested parties that submitted offers on the Powder Coat Technology facility, located on Taft Road east of U.S. 31 in Spring Lake Township.

Herman Miller closed the Powder Coat Technology plant early this year as part of a corporate restructuring resulting from a steep slide in the industry. The plant employed nearly 190 people.

Work at the plant, built in the mid-1980s, consisted of powder-coating storage files, office panels and work surfaces. The work was consolidated at other Herman Miller facilities, spokesman Bruce Buursma said.

“We just did not need the dedicated powder-coating capacity,” Buursma said.

The Powder Coat Technology plant is one of several vacant industrial facilities in the Grand Haven-Spring Lake area.     BJX

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