Manufacturing and Real Estate

A glimpse into the West Michigan manufacturing market

October 27, 2015
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Are you a local manufacturing company looking to expand in the West Michigan area? Now is the time to do so.

Over recent years, the West Michigan industrial and manufacturing market has experienced a path of steady growth — much of which can be attributed to the aftermath of the economic downturn between 2008 and 2010. Unfortunately, a lot of large closures took place in a variety of industries due to the nation’s economic situation. However, this led to good news for smaller local companies who were looking to expand operations in this area.

Economic update

The West Michigan industrial and manufacturing market is in a great position. West Michigan — Grand Rapids, specifically — is diverse and healthy, which makes this region very fortunate as it gives us a head start on continued sustainability and positive growth.

The close proximity to Detroit, Chicago and other Midwest cities helped establish Grand Rapids as a manufacturing hub several decades ago. Because of this, it has continued to provide a strong platform for the area today.

The southeast submarket of Grand Rapids has transformed into a prime location for manufacturers, in part due to the infrastructure of the area. This location has easy access to highways, close proximity to the airport and bus lines, and available land that has attracted a diverse group of employers and developers.

A strong characteristic of the Grand Rapids manufacturing market is that it serves a broad base. The local market is not relying solely on one industry to keep manufacturing companies in business. Instead, local manufacturers are contributing to a number of different industries throughout Michigan and the United States.

Twenty percent of the local job market is in manufacturing — a large percentage of which aids in fueling the local economy. This helps keep the manufacturing market alive and well.

What the future holds

This was a year of speculative development for West Michigan, and the manufacturing real estate market should continue to see this throughout the rest of the year. New development will help add inventory to the market, which in turn will continue stimulating the organic growth that has taken place over the past five years. We anticipate this development will draw in more interest from employers and companies outside the West Michigan region and bring new business to the area.

Currently, the political atmosphere in West Michigan is very business friendly. By keeping the cost of living in check, maintaining the current tax on real estate and manufacturing equipment, employing more people and continuing speculative development, a long term, broad-based West Michigan manufacturing market will be established.

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