GRDadof3

West Michigan/Grand Rapids Economy

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Interesting article about Grand Rapids area manufacturing from the LA TIMES;

manufacturing-stronghold-grandrapids

While factual, I don't agree with the spin of this article.  As much as I wish that we still had a lot of high pay union manufacturing jobs at GM etc., lower wage jobs are still better than the alternative, no jobs at all.  It's not like all the people making $13 an hour would be working as professionals if there were no factory jobs. 

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On 6/17/2017 at 9:45 AM, walker said:

Interesting article about Grand Rapids area manufacturing from the LA TIMES;

manufacturing-stronghold-grandrapids

While factual, I don't agree with the spin of this article.  As much as I wish that we still had a lot of high pay union manufacturing jobs at GM etc., lower wage jobs are still better than the alternative, no jobs at all.  It's not like all the people making $13 an hour would be working as professionals if there were no factory jobs. 

I read that article too and felt like it was close but there's always something missing from these articles about West Michigan manufacturing and I just can't put my finger on it. 

But I completely agree walker. Lou Glazer seems to be believe that you can just move everyone from the factory floor to a cubicle. 4 year degree to what, answer phones at a call center? 

Manufacturing here locally certainly has made a comeback. One of the reasons why industrial space is at a low 2 or 3% vacancy rate (or some extremely low rate). 

 

 


5946889f36c62_Mfgemployment.JPG.e4a68a6657a1a2544b7a9e6aa2dba59b.JPG 

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18 minutes ago, GVSUChris said:

I really wasn't sure where to put this. I know we've been having this conversation in other threads (Wealthy Street, etc.) but I found it very interesting. 

https://mibiz.com/news/real-estate/item/24898-gr-nonprofit-housing-group-in-talks-to-acquire-177-property-portfolio

This could be a really good step toward improving access to affordable housing. If ICCF did the bare minimum with this acquisition—continue operating the properties in a similar manner to how they've been managed, but with an eye toward community development and keeping rents low—that would be a good thing.

But they could go further: Set a goal of transitioning those rentals to owner-occupied whenever possible. They could identify which renters are good candidates for ownership (based on credit score, timeliness of rent payments, how they've treated the rental property, etc.), and offer to convert their rental agreement to a (relatively low-interest) land contract.

Not sure if ICCF has any plans to do this, but it seems to me that such a strategy could do an immense amount of good for the community by increasing homeownership, and long-term would be cashflow-neutral—or perhaps even a source of revenue—for the nonprofit.

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3 hours ago, organsnyder said:

This could be a really good step toward improving access to affordable housing. If ICCF did the bare minimum with this acquisition—continue operating the properties in a similar manner to how they've been managed, but with an eye toward community development and keeping rents low—that would be a good thing.

But they could go further: Set a goal of transitioning those rentals to owner-occupied whenever possible. They could identify which renters are good candidates for ownership (based on credit score, timeliness of rent payments, how they've treated the rental property, etc.), and offer to convert their rental agreement to a (relatively low-interest) land contract.

Not sure if ICCF has any plans to do this, but it seems to me that such a strategy could do an immense amount of good for the community by increasing homeownership, and long-term would be cashflow-neutral—or perhaps even a source of revenue—for the nonprofit.

This is actually a team effort that includes ICCF, the City of GR, Kent County Land Bank, Habitat, LINC, and Amplify GR.  This is a very large complex project.  Not sure what role each agency is going to play yet...the devil is in the details.  Yes the ultimate goal is to move the families living in these units to home ownership. In case anyone is wondering about the state of the housing market in GR, the owners received 12 offers form different entities originating from 9 states.  

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20 minutes ago, KCLBADave said:

This is actually a team effort that includes ICCF, the City of GR, Kent County Land Bank, Habitat, LINC, and Amplify GR.  This is a very large complex project.  Not sure what role each agency is going to play yet...the devil is in the details.  Yes the ultimate goal is to move the families living in these units to home ownership. In case anyone is wondering about the state of the housing market in GR, the owners received 12 offers form different entities originating from 9 states.  

This is amazing news (dare I say "game-changing"?)! Congratulations on this effort—really looking forward to where this leads.

http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2017/06/177_homes_sold_to_west_michiga.html

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GR had the #1 jobs market for 2015-2016 for percentage growth, according to this site:

http://headlightdata.com/fastest-growing-large-metro-economies/

As first reported in Mlive

Unemployment blipped a bit back in February but has now settled down to an historic 2.8% unemployment rate. Non-farm payroll stands at an astounding 560,000 in May 2017 (latest data available). In May 2013 it was 501,000. 

https://www.bls.gov/regions/midwest/mi_grandrapids_msa.htm

 

GR employment 5-2017.JPG

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6 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

GR had the #1 jobs market for 2015-2016 for percentage growth, according to this site:

http://headlightdata.com/fastest-growing-large-metro-economies/

As first reported in Mlive

Unemployment blipped a bit back in February but has now settled down to an historic 2.8% unemployment rate. Non-farm payroll stands at an astounding 560,000 in May 2017 (latest data available). In May 2013 it was 501,000. 

https://www.bls.gov/regions/midwest/mi_grandrapids_msa.htm

 

GR employment 5-2017.JPG

According to this information GR has now passed Buffalo in labor force size.

https://www.bls.gov/regions/new-york-new-jersey/ny_buffalo_msa.htm

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3 hours ago, MJLO said:

According to this information GR has now passed Buffalo in labor force size.

https://www.bls.gov/regions/new-york-new-jersey/ny_buffalo_msa.htm

And Rochester:

https://www.bls.gov/regions/new-york-new-jersey/ny_rochester_msa.htm

Interestingly I've met 3 people in the past two years who moved here from Rochester. They all said it's pretty depressing there economically. 

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Does is simply mean that Grand Rapids has a higher labor participation rate that it is 52nd in population, but 49th in workforce?

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17 minutes ago, MJLO said:

Does is simply mean that Grand Rapids has a higher labor participation rate that it is 52nd in population, but 49th in workforce?

Possibly. Good question.

If you go to this table, Grand Rapids is about to surpass Hartford CT, Oklahoma City, Richmond VA and Memphis TN if it keeps growing at this pace:

https://public.tableau.com/shared/H3X2RB9M3?:display_count=yes

We won't catch Raleigh or Jacksonville FL. 

(the chart shows 539,000 for GR because it's from last year, it's around 560,000 now)

I like that you can filter this table. Here it is ranked by job growth:

595e322635ccb_GRemploymentdata.thumb.JPG.a035663d085c4a6b672b9f55f28fc3fa.JPG

 

And ranked by size, showing the pack that GR is running in:

 

595e324ecaefc_GRpack.JPG.d1c8fb847fa68de7fb4181bcb9f1969f.JPG

 

I tell ya though, having just driven to Detroit this past weekend, Lansing's highways are in a lot better shape than here. Obviously because it's the capitol city, but c'mon. And I-96 is basically stopped and backs up all the way from the Beltline to beyond 28th Street now, every day at "rush hour." What is up with MDOT lately and its poor service to West Michigan? In fact, when I think about it, pretty much all the highways are "stopped up" during rush hour now. 

Not to change the subject but increased employment puts more people on the roads. 

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45 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

I tell ya though, having just driven to Detroit this past weekend, Lansing's highways are in a lot better shape than here. Obviously because it's the capitol city, but c'mon. And I-96 is basically stopped and backs up all the way from the Beltline to beyond 28th Street now, every day at "rush hour." What is up with MDOT lately and its poor service to West Michigan? In fact, when I think about it, pretty much all the highways are "stopped up" during rush hour now. 

Not to change the subject but increased employment puts more people on the roads. 

MDOT has all but ignored the Grand Rapids freeway network since it built it in the 60s.(Back when GR's urban area was literally half the size it is now.)  It throws a small bone our way about every 5 years.  Hopefully all of the work they have been doing on the Ford Freeway between Fuller and Baldwin means they are intending on adding a weave/merge between downtown and the western suburbs.   I-96 has needed an extra lane since as long as I can remember.  I know it costs money, but I would like to know why they are so averse to adding lane miles in GR.  It's definitely starting to move up the rankings in traffic congestion studies and not in a good way.  

Here is where Grand Rapids ranks compared to other metro's with the May numbers.  I believe it will catch New Orleans by next year.  Memphis and Hartford might take a couple years if it surpasses them:

         
    May Labor  U4 Rate   
44 Louisville 664,600 3.9  
45 Salt Lake City  660,200 3.2  
46 Hartford  630,100 4.8  
47 Memphis 624,500 3.7  
48 New Orleans  594,700 5.1  
49 Grand rapids  575,600 2.8  
50 Buffalo 543,100 4.8  
51 Birmingham 536,100 3.9  
52 Rochester  515,700 4.5  
53 Tucson  475,300 4.6  
         
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Come work in Grand Rapids metro! We have jobs! Godspeed in your search to put a roof over your head though. 

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6 hours ago, scottythe1nonly said:

Add Trains not Lanes!!

 

There are a lot of cities with way better transit than we have AND way nicer highways. :) 

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Wow, wonder what's going on with Kalamazoo. 

Employment in the greater Grand Rapids area is growing at a record pace while the Kalamazoo area's job market is still recovering from the Great Recession, said Long, director of Grand Valley State University's Institute for Supply Management.

http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2017/07/good_news_bad_news_west_michig.html?ath=1a90132b90933db8002100e5723c045a#cmpid=nsltr_morestry3headline_single

Maybe Grand Rapids is sucking a lot of people out of the Kzoo area? 

What I'd love to see and have been looking for for a long time is a list of the area's fastest GROWING companies, not the book of lists which just rank companies (sort of) by size. Everyone knows those lists are half baked anyway. 

 

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The number of hotels built, under construction, or planned tends to mirror this.  I just didn't realize the new portal for travelers is Clyde Park.

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58 minutes ago, arcturus said:

The number of hotels built, under construction, or planned tends to mirror this.  I just didn't realize the new portal for travelers is Clyde Park.

You have quick proximity to $10billion/annual Gordon Foods Headquarters, Metro Health, 6 minutes from downtown, and direct freeway access.  Not to mention all of the teir 1/2 auto suppliers within a 10 minute radius.  It's the perfect formula for those types of suburban brands that rely on business travelers to survive. 

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1 hour ago, MJLO said:

You have quick proximity to $10billion/annual Gordon Foods Headquarters, Metro Health, 6 minutes from downtown, and direct freeway access.  Not to mention all of the teir 1/2 auto suppliers within a 10 minute radius.  It's the perfect formula for those types of suburban brands that rely on business travelers to survive. 

Understood, I'm just struck by all of them opening within such a short period of time in the same proximity.  Has the area grown that much so quickly or is the industry simply playing catch-up after years of underrepresentation?   If the answer is the former then the heck with multi-family downtown, they need to start building off 131. 

 

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1 hour ago, arcturus said:

Understood, I'm just struck by all of them opening within such a short period of time in the same proximity.  Has the area grown that much so quickly or is the industry simply playing catch-up after years of underrepresentation?   If the answer is the former then the heck with multi-family downtown, they need to start building off 131. 

 

I think it's a little column A, a little column B.  Obviously demand for hotel rooms has been rising for the last decade as shown by record occupancy numbers.  However like any industry where there's a demand everyone wants in on the action which could end up giving us a somewhat over built lodging market for a while.  As is also the case in the cooling apartment sector downtown. 

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Speaking of hotels. It looks like two hotels are under construction next to the Cascade Meijer. That's in addition to the two already there. 

Joe

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There's rumblings about the softening US Auto production numbers but it doesn't seem to be affecting suppliers here locally, most likely because of increased diversification of manufacturing here (especially into food processing). From CBRE, Kent County has one of the lowest industrial vacancy rates in the country at 2.6%, that's even with adding 1.4 Million square feet of new construction in the last year. It brings the total gross square footage of industrial space to 99.5 Million square feet!*( :shok: That does not include Ottawa County or any other surrounding counties.

https://f.tlcollect.com/fr2/417/21006/Grand_Rapids_Industrial__Logistics_MarketView_H1_2017.pdf

Meanwhile office vacancies continue to linger in the 12% range, especially downtown where class A office space is 12.9%...

*99.5 Million square feet is 1727 football fields of manufacturing space in Kent County. 

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