Davenport purchased 42.66 acres at 6191 Kraft Ave. near the South Beltline from Amway co-founders Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel.
Portions of the funds to buy the property were in place from donations to the university’s “Invest in Success” capital campaign, the largest in the university’s history.
The campaign, which kicked off in June 1999 and concluded in May 2002, exceeded its goal by raising $15.5 million for expanded facilities, technology, scholarships and the graduate school endowment.
“The successful completion of the ‘Invest in Success’ campaign was the first step toward our vision for growth. The land purchase is a second major step toward an additional campus in the Grand Rapids area that will greatly enhance our capacity to better serve more students,” said Randy Flechsig, president of Davenport University.
“When the opportunity arose to buy prime property ideally suited to our long-term plans, we were fortunate to already have the funding in place thanks to generous donors who share our vision and supported our successful campaign.”
The continuing success of Davenport University has resulted in an increasing Grand Rapids enrollment that is outgrowing a downtown campus with no vacant land for expansion.
Davenport expects its Grand Rapids student population to grow over the coming years, which raises the need for additional space as well as a pressing need to upgrade technology and the classroom environment.
The Kraft Avenue site represents Davenport’s commitment to the greater Grand Rapids community and gives the university an opportunity to pursue its vision for growth, Flechsig said.
“Specifics are still in the planning stages and additional funds will be needed to make a south campus a reality, but the purchase of this site offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design a campus that meets student and business needs now and well into the future,” he said.
“Details of the plans for the new south campus will be released as they develop.”