Kent County Buying Property

May 19, 2006
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GRAND RAPIDS — County commissioners agreed recently to add a piece of property to its Fuller Avenue Campus, as Kent will buy the parcel at

1500 Bradford St. NE.

The purchase will cost the county $101,140, which includes the appraised value and the transaction’s closing and relocation costs. The money will come from the unreserved and undesignated fund balance, which stands at $24.1 million.

The property is one of five along the south side of Bradford that the county hopes to ultimately acquire to create a landscaped buffer for the campus, a move that is part of the 10-year master plan for the 77-acre property.

The plan, drawn up by Design Plus, shows areas for a maximum-security wing for the correctional facility and an expansion of the jail. New construction could also add a boiler plant, a central dispatch building and an animal shelter.

Up to 244 new parking spaces could also be added to the site.

A new street that would run across the campus from Fuller to Ball may also be built, which would relieve some of the traffic congestion along nearby city streets and provide easier access between buildings.

Community Mental Health, KentCommunityHospital, the county Health Department, a state police crime lab, the county correctional facility and the sheriff’s department are located on the property.

The master plan also lists four additional sites in the northeast corner of the campus as potential locations for other buildings.

The preliminary 2007 requests for capital improvement projects peg the cost of a new animal shelter at $4.6 million, a new boiler plant at $4.5 million and a fleet services facility at $1.8 million. It also shows $1.75 million for a number of improvements to the campus.

The street construction has been estimated at costing $1 million, with another $500,000 needed to cover additional parking spaces and utility relocation.

The jail expansion project wasn’t on the 2007 CIP request list, which has 47 requests totaling $23.7 million. Commissioners will decide later this year which projects will be funded next year.

Facilities Management Director Robert Mihos said if the county built on all 10 of the expansion areas defined in the master plan, more than half of the campus would still be greenspace. The master plan emerged from a space-needs study the county conducted in 2003, and commissioners ratified it in early 2004.

The county is purchasing the

Bradford Street
parcel from John Kieviet.   

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