Mobile Defenders soon will break ground on a $7.5 million, 95,000-square-foot industrial building.
The Grand Rapids-based seller of aftermarket cellphone parts will use half of the new building for growth and expansion. Mobile Defenders currently is located in a 20,000-square-foot facility at 3990 44th St. SE, Kentwood.
Initially, Mobile Defenders will use half of the new building at 6155 East Paris Ave. SE and lease out the other half with the expectation to take over more of the building as the company grows.
“Technology is even more critical today based on how society has changed,” Mobile Defenders CEO Jordan Notenbaum said. “Students day-to-day need their devices to work, especially when you’re studying remotely. Having your Chromebook go down for two days isn’t an acceptable option when you need to be online every day.”
While its core business is in aftermarket phone parts, the majority of the company’s expansion stems from eduParts, a rapidly growing segment of Mobile Defenders offering repair parts to K-12 schools.
“Those schools might either self-service their own devices internally, they might have hands-on technician trainings with students where they actually fix Chromebooks, and we sell subparts directly to those schools,” Notenbaum said.
Mobile Defenders said it expects to break ground in mid-June with the company taking possession of the building in mid-February. There will be 65 employees at the new location to start, and the company expects to add 20-30 new employees over the next three to five years.
A.j. Veneklasen Inc. is the general contractor, and financing for the project is through Mercantile Bank.
Mobile Defenders was founded by Notebaum, Garry VonMyhr and Steve Barnes to supply their own chain of repair stores, Genius Phone Repair, with quality replacement parts, before Genius was sold in 2018. Mobile Defenders began supplying to retail repair locations across the country shortly after.
Mobile Defenders is OEM-authorized for LG, Motorola, OnePlus, Lenovo and HP parts and currently is in discussions with other top tier OEMS.