City Helps Therica Grow


    GRAND RAPIDS — City commissioners granted Therica Inc. a tax abatement and also gave RT Global LLC an obsolete-property exemption last week.

    City commissioners also scheduled a pair of public hearings on two other projects.

    Therica, which makes interior automotive components, plans to purchase $770,000 worth of equipment to expand its molding and laser-etching systems. The abatement means much of the project’s estimated $96,000 tax will not have to be paid over the next dozen years, saving Therica $38,000 over that time period.

    “Contrary to most people’s beliefs, this is a manufacturing company that is growing,” said Susan Shannon, city economic development director.

    Since 2003, Therica has grown from 57 to 85 employees; the company located at

    900 Clancy Ave. NE

    is expected to add five more jobs once the new equipment is installed.

    “It’s a good company, a growing company and we hope to retain it,” said Shannon

    The city’s portion of the Therica tax is $16,000, and half of that amount was abated by last week’s action.

    RT Global plans to renovate the former Duck’s Restaurant at

    740 Michigan St. NE

    to the tune of $400,000. The building has been vacant the past six months. Fifteen new jobs will be created once the project is finished. The effort includes upgrades to the electrical and HVAC systems, restrooms compatible with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and changes to the interior and exterior.

    RT Global will save about $1,600 in tax payments with the exemption, which freezes the current levy and lowers the new tax on the improvements made to the building.

    One of the public hearings takes place at 2 p.m. Oct. 11. NTH Consultants Ltd. is requesting a personal-property tax exemption for the company’s upcoming move to Clearwater Place, the former water filtration plant at 1430 Monroe Ave. NW. The infrastructure and environmental engineering firm will occupy 10,000 square feet in the building that is being renovated by De Vries Development, and will relocate 25 employees to the city and create 15 more jobs at the new office located in the city’s Renaissance Zone.

    NTH Consultants plans to buy $300,000 worth of new equipment, and an exemption from the city would wipe out about $41,000 in tax payments over 12 years.

    The other public hearing is to consider amending the city’s brownfield plan for Division Properties Management LLC, which wants to redevelop the old Erb Lumber Co. site at 2850 S. Division Ave.

    Division Properties plans to invest $11.2 million into building a trio of structures for office and retail use and 23 single-family townhouses on the nine-acre site. The project pledges to create 107 full-time and 30 part-time jobs.

    Division Properties is asking for an SBT credit of $930,000 and a reimbursement of $1.3 million at 4.5 percent interest for soil remediation and demolition work that the firm plans to do on the property. The requested $2.2 million would be returned to the developer over 14 years from tax-increment payments Division Properties would otherwise make, if the project is added to the city’s brownfield list.

    That public hearing is set for 7 p.m. Nov. 1.    

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