City of Grand Rapids interested in purchasing Kent County Road Commission's Central Complex
The Kent County Road Commission’s Central Complex was built in 1924. The 14-plus acre property located along the Grand River has served its purpose over the years. Now, there’s an immediate need to expand and the City of Grand Rapids has entered into an option to purchase agreement with the county.
In 2016 the Kent County Road Commission purchased a 29-acre site in the Walkerview Industrial Park near the Walkerview interchange. As Steve Warren, Kent County Road Commission’s managing director explains, it’s a place to expand facilities and offers easy access to the county’s freeway network and nearly 2,000 miles of county roads.
“We also maintain under contract with the Department of Transportation the state trunk line network which is about 450 miles of interstate, freeways, U.S. routes and other state trunk lines in Kent County.”
With the Grand Rapids Central Complex on Scribner Avenue becoming obsolete, one year ago the Kent County Road Commission let it be known its downtown was for sale to interested parties.
“The City of Grand Rapids was one of those interested parties. At that time, they chose not to make an offer. But our board maintained our interest in wanting to sell the property. So, we didn’t necessarily solicit bids like we did last year. We maintained open to interested parties. The city came back to us earlier this year and with renewed interest to purchase the property. We’ve been negotiating with them for the past two months here.”
In a statement, The City of Grand Rapids said, “If we purchased this property, it could allow us to reuse an existing facility that has been well-maintained by a trusted partner. It also could serve as a key piece to our redevelopment goals, perhaps allowing us to relocate a significant portion of our operations at 201 Market St. SW to this site.” Adding, “This property has 1,100 lineal feet of river frontage and is near the site of a proposed barrier that is an important piece of the river restoration project. We look forward to spending the next 12 months evaluating this property to ensure it meets our current and future needs.”
Patrick Center, WGVU News.