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superNOVA

Childern's Hospital and Medical Towers Set

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Looks like the project on the hill got larger. Spectrum has finished plans for the DeVos funded Children's Hospital. It will be a 10 - 12 storey complex built next to the current Hospital and new Heart Clinic. It will most likely be the tallest structure on the hill.

In addition to this, DeVos is teaming up with developers to build a 2000 lot parking ramp along with three to four medical towers in the six to nine storey range on top of the ramp. This ramp will replace an older 500 lot ramp and the six storey Towers Building. This development is expected to cost nearly $100 million.

Earlier this year Spectrum also announced plans to begin construction of a new Cancer Center as soon as their Heart Clinic was completed. The $140 million Heart clinic is nearning completion and DeVos has given the land to the hospital for the $60 million Cancer Center.

So in total, new construction on and around the hill...

2750 parking spaces in two ramps

$140 million Heart Center completion

$60 million Cancer Clinic

$97 million parking ramp/office complex

$40 million medical office/medical school/residential complex

$xxx million 10 - 12 storey Children's Hospital

I am guessing that when all is said and done there will have been over $500 million in new construction on the hill alone during this decade. Not too bad for a 'sleepy' midwestern town.

Children's hospital, medical office towers set

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

By Jim Harger

The Grand Rapids Press

While his family's real estate development firm will be investing millions in private medical offices across the street, billionaire Richard DeVos disclosed that early plans show the new DeVos Children's Hospital as a 10- to 12-story tower on Spectrum Health's current campus.

The complementary health-care projects mean DeVos' money will be flowing on both sides of the Michigan Street Hill.

While hospital officials have said a new children's hospital was on the drawing board, the scope of the plan had not been disclosed. In a Tuesday interview with the Press, DeVos said the new hospital tower would go up at Bostwick Avenue and Michigan Street NE.

Initial plans are for adding 20 neonatal beds, making it one of the nation's largest children's hospitals when it is completed in 2007, said DeVos, co-founder of Amway Corp. and a philanthropist who pushed for the creation of Spectrum Health 10 years ago. He will donate undisclosed millions to the hospital project that bears his family's name.

Hospital officials confirmed they are nearing the end of a year-long design process, but said many details have yet to be finalized. They said it's not yet clear what Spectrum departments will move into the space now occupied by the current children's hospital.

"They're going to require a whole extra building just for the children's hospital," DeVos said. "Children are so dependent on having their doctor nearby."

Because of its low costs and the high level of treatment it offers, Spectrum is becoming a "destination hospital" that will require more support facilities, DeVos said.

"It's exciting to see the growth of the Michigan Hill as a premier medical corridor," he said.

DeVos's development firm will play a key role in that just across the street. He said RDV Corp. will join a Christman Capital Development, a Lansing-based developer, in building three or four medical office towers and a 2,000-space parking ramp on the hill, across from Spectrum Health's Butterworth Campus and the Van Andel Research Institute.

Assuming the $97 million project gets the necessary state and local approval, groundbreaking could begin next spring.

The office buildings and parking ramp will stretch between North Division Avenue and the current site of a Burger King restaurant at the top of the Michigan Street Hill. The Towers Medical Building and its parking ramp will be razed, along with a small office building across from the hospital's entrance.

Joe Hooker, Christman's development services manager, said they anticipate leasing space to Spectrum and doctors who practice at the hospital. The buildings will be at least five stories tall and will be linked by walkways to Spectrum's campus, he said.

Spectrum already leases about 75 percent of the Towers Medical Building, Hooker said. "They need the space. They're just thrilled that someone else will do it, " he said.

DeVos said he signed on with Christman after the developer acquired the Towers property and created a plan to redevelop the north side of Michigan Street Hill.

"It's been my passion to get this land under control for years," said DeVos, who paid $6.25 million to acquire the Burger King property for Spectrum several years ago. "These guys nailed it and put it together."

Steven Rosnowski, president and CEO of Lansing-based Christman, said they developed the plan after American Physician's Capital, the previous owner of the Medical Towers Building, backed out of its plans to redevelop the site. "We just had the right idea at the right time," he said.

The $40 million parking ramp that will serve as a base for the medical buildings will be built through a combination of private investment and public incentives, including tax credits and tax abatements that are offered to "brownfield" building sites that have outlived their usefulness.

Grand Rapids Economic Development Director Susan Shannon said the parking ramp will be operated by the city's Parking Services Department and will meet the needs of Spectrum, the Van Andel Institute, state workers who currently park in the western edge of the site and Christman's prospective tenants.

Early renderings show five or six entrances to the massive parking garage, including one at the lower end of North Division Avenue after it passes underneath Michigan Street.

Christman is a 109-year-old company that has become more active in the Grand Rapids area. Recent projects include the Grand Rapids Press printing facility in Walker, The Rapid bus facility in downtown Grand Rapids, the Lake Drive Medical Office Building and Zeeland Hospital.

Besides being the primary namesake and benefactor for DeVos Children's Hospital, DeVos also provided a lead gift for the Cook-DeVos Center for Medical Sciences. He also was a major contributor to the DeVos Place convention center and the DeVos Performance Center.

DeVos has been a longtime investor as well as a benefactor in downtown Grand Rapids. Twenty-five years ago, DeVos and his Amway Corp. co-founder, Jay Van Andel, kicked off a downtown renaissance when they purchased the aging Pantlind Hotel and created the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

Earlier this year, they announced plans to build a second 300- to 400-room hotel on the southwest corner of Pearl Street and Campau Avenue NW, where Israels Designs for Living now stands.

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