MSU issues RFP for downtown research center


Michigan State owns the former Grand Rapids Press building and its parking lots. Business Journal photo

Michigan State University issued a request for proposals today to developers interested in a public-private partnership on a research center planned for downtown Grand Rapids.

MSU said that it has issued an RFP to three public-private partnership, or P3, developers for the biomedical research center it’s planning for the former Grand Rapids Press site. The center would be approximately 145,000 square feet.

MSU isn’t disclosing the names of the firms at this time, said Geri Kelley, a spokesperson for the MSU College of Human Medicine.

Two of the firms are based in Michigan and one is a national firm.

The university said this April that it will pursue the option of a developer-financed model, when it issued a request for qualifications for firms interested in collaborating on the project.

Representatives from the three selected developers have received design schematics for the research building at a pre-bid meeting at the MSU College of Human Medicine in Grand Rapids.

Vennie Gore, vice president for auxiliary enterprises at MSU, said the university is looking forward to speaking with the firms about a potential collaboration on the biomedical research center.

“We are looking forward to engaging these firms in discussions about a public-private partnership that would bring value to the site and further enhance MSU’s vision for research and the commercialization of science,” Gore said.

Next steps

Outlining the bidding process, contract terms and guidance on format, the RFP will allow the three firms to bid on the project by the deadline of July 29.

The proposals from the firms will be evaluated against university models, and the MSU Board of Trustees will recommend the plan best suited for the project in December.

Depending on the approval given by the board, the facility is anticipated to be completed in late 2017.

Need for space

MSU’s center is meant to accommodate growth at the school and research funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Currently, MSU researchers are leasing space at the Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids.

The biomedical research center would allow space for more than 36 principal investigators and their teams to conduct research.

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