Economic Development and Manufacturing

Two manufacturers invest $1M

August 16, 2013
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Two Grand Rapids manufacturers are investing in their companies and are seeking tax exemptions from the city. The combined investments exceed $1 million.

Grand Rapids Label at 2351 Oak Industrial Drive NE wants to buy a new press for $920,199, a piece of equipment that will allow the company to expand its product range, reestablish itself in a market and recapture a former customer.

“This will help them secure a contract with a customer they once had,” said Kara Wood, city economic development director.

GR Label has traditionally produced custom pressure-sensitive labels for the auto and manufacturing sectors, but has recently entered the consumer products and food markets, as well. The firm employs 65 and will add six more workers if city commissioners approve the eight-year exemption that will save the company about $4,400 annually in tax payments.

GR Label isn’t a newcomer to reinvesting in the company. Wood said the firm has invested nearly $4 million into the latest equipment in the last several years.

“They’ve been before us before and they seem to be continuing to grow,” said Commissioner James White.

Van’s Pattern Corp. at 11 Sweet St. NW wants to spend $175,000 to make upgrades to its shipping and receiving area, including adding a new loading dock and reconfiguring some interior space for future equipment purchases. The company hopes to complete the improvements by the end of this year.

Van’s Pattern employs 29 and will add four new workers from the investment. The firm has requested a 12-year exemption and would save $1,900 in state and city taxes each year if city commissioners award the abatement.

Van’s Pattern produces polystyrene patterns for the automotive tool and die industry, which uses the patterns to make molds and dies for stamped metal parts.

Commissioners will hold public hearings on both requests Aug. 27 after 7 p.m. in City Hall.

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