There are major new developments after the announcement of a $5 billion project in West Michigan.
The epicenter of the project is at the former steel case pyramid in Gaines Township. It’s a place chosen, in part, to avoid natural disasters. However, now the project is creating shock waves of its own.
“Just a ripple effect,” says Patrick Mohney, a commercial real estate agent for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.
Mohney is among the first to feel the impact from the big announcement.
“Big out-of-state companies that want to know what are their available options here right around the pyramid,” says Mohney.
He received numerous calls from companies on the West Coast inquiring about available property around Gaines Township.
He says the first call came within three days of the announcement that Switch plans to build a data center here.
“West Coast companies that are very techy and I have limited knowledge about that stuff, but I’m learning very rapidly,” says Mohney. “These are significant companies that just kind of want a heads up about what’s going on and see if they would have some availability.”
The $5 billion project with 1,000 new employees is also expected to cause home values to rise.
“When you have this type of investment going on in someone’s backyard that impacts everything around it,” says John Rice, residential real estate agent for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.
Rice expects at least a five percent increase by next spring.
“Certain segments right around within a fifteen minute radius of this new development, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see even greater than that,” says Rice.
Retail stores are expected to benefit from the added workers too.
“There’s a thousand people that are getting significant pay checks, and you know, where are they going to buy there ice cream go out to lunch,” says Mohney.
As for available office space, Mohney says there isn’t much of it. He hopes the project will also spark new development soon.
Mohney says the West Coast companies are reluctant to officially commit, until they know that Switch has finalized its plans. That depends on several factors, including whether the state will approve certain tax credits.