Grand Rapids street goes on vacation


A request from Rockford Construction Co. to vacate a block of Lexington Avenue between First and Second streets on the city’s northwest side was recently approved by city commissioners. Rockford plans to develop that stretch of the street.

The vacate order will cost the firm $99,400 for various fees such as amending the plat with the state. But $57,200 of that amount will go into an escrow account to cover the city’s cost related to the vacation request, including inspection fees.

The Lexington block borders the west side of the former Miller Products building at 601 First St. NW, which Rockford Construction is turning into its new headquarters. Rockford is investing $4.7 million into the project, a combination of new construction and renovation work.

The city granted the firm a brownfield for the project because the property is contaminated. Rockford is spending $1.1 million to remediate the site, an amount that is reimbursable through tax-increment financing. The company is expected to recapture that amount over 14 years.

Commissioners also approved another brownfield plan for Rockford at 600 Douglas Ave. NW, where the company wants to build four multi-story apartment buildings with 18 units at a cost of $2.4 million. 

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