Township approves 'Project Rapids'
A secretive industrial proposal has been approved by a township in the area.
The Gaines Township Board of Trustees voted yesterday to approve Project Rapids’ plan to build an 855,000-square-foot warehousing and distribution center at 4500 68th St. SE.
The project’s developer, Georgia-based Seefried Industrial Properties, was present at the board meeting to deliver Project Rapids’ final site plan.
Robert DeWard, township supervisor, said the township expects Project Rapids to make a formal announcement within the next couple of weeks on the true nature of the development.
Media reports have suggested the online retail giant Amazon intended to build a warehousing and distribution center on the property after the company announced earlier this year it would not pursue Grand Rapids as a potential home for its second headquarters.
When Business Journal previously reached Amazon about the project, the online retailer did not disclose if it was tied to the project.
The board’s primary concern at Monday’s meeting was the traffic impact from the development.
Although Project Rapids had conducted its own traffic study, in coordination with the Kent County Road Commission and the Michigan Department of Transportation, DeWard said the board still raised questions regarding the amount of traffic at peak times and what types of vehicles would be involved.
“(Project Rapids) actually did models where they plug all this information in and determine what will work,” DeWard said. “Our engineers have worked on it too, and they determined it will work.”
DeWard added he thinks the project is a “win-win” for West Michigan as a whole. Considering the property in question was zoned in 1985 for light industrial use and has been vacant since, he believes Project Rapids’ plans will trigger more industrial development in the corridor.
“The developer’s been very good to work with,” DeWard said. “We expect to have a good, continued relationship in this process.”