95.3 / 88.5 FM Grand Rapids and 95.3 FM Muskegon
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Kent Co. facilities plan underway to move nearly 200 employees


A major relocation plan for Kent County administration offices begins soon. It includes relocating downtown staff to new offices at the county’s Fuller Avenue campus

Hundreds of Kent County employees will relocate in the coming years under a new facilities plan. Administrator Al Vandenberg says crews will demolish an old state police lab on what’s called the Fuller Campus near Fuller Avenue and I-96 where the Sheriff’s office and county jail are located. The former Kent Community Hospital will come down too when its lease with Corewell Health expires in October.

A new $60 million dollar administration building will take its place. When completed, county employees working at 300 Monroe near Grand Rapids City Hall and Calder Plaza will move in. Vandenberg says it will create a centralized location for county services with convenient parking.

“I think for the public to be able to drive up and park for free right in front of the door where they walk in and get service will be a huge advantage over what we’re doing now.”

The county prosecutor’s office and staff will move from 82 Ionia into a renovated 300 Monroe building. 82 Ionia will be sold with the hope it can be converted into much-need residential space, says Vandenberg.

“I also think getting the 82 Ionia building back on the tax roll and getting development in that building will be a win for the public.”

Some commissioners previously raised concerns about the economic impact of moving workers out of downtown. Vandenberg says:

“The 200 people are still in the city of Grand Rapids. I mean, we’re literally a five-minute drive away so it’s not like the economic benefit is being lost, its just being moved a few minutes away.”

With all the projects involved, Vandenberg says it may take up to five years to complete.

Related Content