Former GM Employee Parking Lot will See Changes
by Terri Yochum
After four years of vacancy, the former General Motors property on Clay Avenue in Wyoming claims its first new resident: J.O. Galloup and Smith Instruments, subsidiaries of Kendall Electric. The combined Kendall Electric businesses will occupy one state of the art facility on a seven acre parcel of the old GM plant, now referred to as Site 36.
Martin Ranly, Kendall Electric president and chief executive officer was quoted in the Southwest Advance as saying, “We are extremely excited to continue investing in the West Michigan business market by relocating our J.O. Galloup operations to Wyoming.” He continued to say that he hopes the many customers they have here will see this move as an investment in the future of all companies involved.
According to Ranly, the location fits perfectly with the needs of the business expansion because of its infrastructure and accessibility. In addition to housing 95 J.O. employees, the 100,000-square-foot facility will be eligible for a 12 year tax exemption and brownfield redevelopment dollars of up to $250,000.
J.O. Galloup is a premier distributor of pipe, valves, fittings and associated materials. Their mission, according to a company spokesperson, is to be the first choice as an employer, as a supplier, and as a partner to their vendors. Smith Instruments, also a subsidiary of Kendall Electric, is a leading representative of industrial and automation products. Spokespeople from both companies believe this venture will be a wise union.
Meanwhile Wyoming City Manager Curtis Holt says that the city is committed to growing companies locally through a system of ‘Economic Gardening.’ “This is a process by which big employers help smaller, existing businesses to grow. We want to see our local businesses do well.”
According to Holt, Economic Gardening helps promote the growth of existing local business in three ways:
First, by providing critical information needed by businesses to survive and thrive; second, by developing and cultivating an infrastructure that goes beyond the basic physical infrastructure and includes quality of life, a culture that embraces growth and change, and access to intellectual resources, including qualified and talented employees; and third, by developing connections between businesses and the people and organizations that can help take them to the next level such as business associations, universities, roundtable groups, service providers and more.
“If your local business is growing, we can help you and want to work with you,” Holt said.
The City of Wyoming, together with development companies Lornax Stern and The Right Place, are working to redevelop and market the Site 36 property. “We are expecting to announce the inclusion of one more company very soon,” added Holt.
The vast majority of business owners in the surrounding area are excited about the Kendall project because the new addition will fill in some of the existing emptiness. “We’re pleased to see development picking up in the Wyoming area,” Roger Morgenstein, senior public information director for Consumers Energy said. “We are eagerly awaiting this first arrival.”