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AmplifyGR project for 1601 Madison SE still has yet to name the business involved in this project, even though they are asking for public funds

February 16, 2021

In early December, MLive reported that AmplifyGR and it’s development partner Rockford Construction would be asking the City of Grand Rapids to provide $2.2 million of public money for a demolition of a vacant building at 1601 Madison SE, which sits on a 10 acre lot.

In that same MLive article, it was reported that a new business would be building at that 1601 Madison SE location, but that the business had not yet been named. The MLive article also quoted the Director of AmplifyGR as saying, “We’re hoping that by the end of the year we can be a little bit more public with that. So hopefully it’s a matter of weeks and not months.

AmplifyGR has also presented information about the proposed project for 1601 Madison SE, to the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and the Fiscal Committee. Today, on Wednesday February the 17th, they will present the same information to the Southtown Corridor Improvement Authority, as can be see on pages 20 – 44 of the Southtown Corridor Improvement Authority agenda packet.

In this most recent presentation by AmplifyGR and Rockford Construction, they still have yet to name the future business that will be located at 1601 Madison SE, despite the fact that the Director of AmplifyGR stated over tow months ago that it might be just a matter of weeks before they go public with that information.

Since the AmplifyGR/Rockford Construction project will be using public money, the public most definitely has a right to know which business will be occupying 1601 Madison SE. The Southtown Corridor Improvement Authority presentation for this Wednesday, still does not include any information as the the name of the business that will occupy 1601 Madison SE.  The only new information included in the Southtown Corridor Improvement Authority agenda packet for February 17, can be seen on page 24. Here, shown above, you can see that the applicant for the project is Kurt Hassberger, representing 1601 Madison LLC and that Rockford Construction will be the General Contractor for the project. 

In looking up 1601 Madison LLC, it was an entity that was registered in 2015. The Agent is listed as Kurt Hassberger and the address for 1601 Madison LLC is listed as 601 FIRST ST, GRAND RAPIDS MI 49504. The thing is, 601 First St NW is the address for Rockford Construction. Now, when we first reported on the DeVos-created AmplifyGR entity, we noted that all of the properties that Rockford Construction had purchased in the Cottage Grove Industrial Area, were properties that were owned by various LLCs owned by Rockford Construction, shown here on the right.

We then noted in a June 26th, 2017 article, that Rockford Construction spent $1,888,500 on the 1601 Madison SE property, which is less than the cost of the $2.2 million they are asking for from the Brownfield Development Authority.

Again, where public funding is involved, people should be demanding complete transparency, as in the case with the AmplifyGR/Rockford Construction project at 1601 Madison SE.

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