MUSKEGON, MI – The former Muskegon farmers market on Yuba Street could be redeveloped into a food research and manufacturing facility.
The Food Forward FARM (food, agriculture, research and manufacturing) incubator and manufacturing facility is already available for lease ahead of development.
The plan is to erect a $5-$7 million, 100,000- to 120,000-square-foot facility on the site of the former farmers’ market at 731 Yuba St., according to a news release.
The old farmers market was demolished in 2015 following the 2014 opening of the market on West Western Avenue.
CorePark Development, the company behind the plan, is in negotiations with the city of Muskegon to purchase the 2.45-acre parcel. It was listed for $150,000, but a final price hasn’t been agreed upon, said City Manager Frank Peterson. The site has been rezoned to light industrial in anticipation of the project.
Core Realty is seeking tenant commitments, with a goal of at least 50 percent occupancy prior to construction, said Bryan Bench of Core Realty. The goal is to have commitments lined up this fall, to start construction in the fall and then to open by late summer.
But “nothing is set in stone,” he said.
There are no leases yet, but lots of interest, Bench said.
Tenants are expected to be start ups and established food processors from Ottawa, Muskegon, Kent, Oceana and Newaygo counties, he said.
It is expected to be developed in three phases:
- Phase I: 40,000-50,000 square feet for main facility, collaboration center and a pilot space available for short duration and product launch use
- Phase II: Addition of 20,000-30,000 square feet
- Phase III: Addition of 40,000 square feet of freezer storage
Phase I is available for lease at $5.50-$7 per square foot for processing space and $12-$15 per square foot for office space.
The planned facility is a collaboration of CorePark and West Michigan Shoreline Food Processing Initiative, which was established in 2017 to promote the expansion of the food processing industry in West Michigan including incubation and product development.
“Many food processors don’t have the ability to test new products because they can’t shut down their processing lines,” said Dennis Marvin, a consultant for West Michigan Shoreline Food Processing Initiative. “This facility will be set up to accommodate companies interested in leasing space to do those kinds of things.”
The facility would offer food-grade industrial space with individual suites ranging from 5,000-20,000 square feet, according to the release. The space is designed to offer lease options for food industry businesses, from start-ups to well-established companies.
Food- and agricultural-based businesses that would be a good fit include:
- Food research
- Fruit and agriculture
- Beverage and distillery
- Food manufacturing and packaging
- Short-term pilot space
- Professionals providing support to the food industry
“It’s a matter of putting it together and getting it going,” Bench said. “We’re ready to get some commitments so we can sink our teeth into it. Everyone is behind it. We’re ready to solve those problems for people.”
CORE Realty is serving as the leasing agent. Find leasing information at corerealty.com/food-forward-farm/.
Article taken from M-Live