MUSKEGON, Mich. - Developers hope to begin construction on a $5-7 million food research and manufacturing facility on property that for 50 years was home to the Muskegon farmers market on Yuba Street.

Core Realty is already seeking tenant commitments for the new Food Forward FARM (Food, Agriculture, Research and Manufacturing) incubator and manufacturing facility.

This Brownfield Redevelopment Project is a collaboration with CorePark Development and the West Michigan Shoreline Food Processing Initiative. The Initiative was established in 2017 to promote the expansion of the food processing industry in West Michigan including incubation and product development. That initiative received support from a Consumers Energy grant.

"We have got the deep water port, we have got wastewater treatment processing, we have got diverse agricultural products, we have got good water sources, we have got everything we need and now we just need to collaborate and build something strong for the economy," said Dennis Dobbs the Consumers Energy vice president.

The planned food processing facility will offer food-grade industrial space with individual suites ranging from 5,000 to 20,000 square feet. The space is designed to offer lease options for entities ranging from fast-growing start-ups to well-established companies in the food industry.

"It could be a big company that can't afford to shut down a line for three to four months to test a product," said Troy Wasserman of Core Realty Partners.

The 15-acre property is close to Muskegon's business route and has already been approved for light industrial use.

Core Realty hopes to reach occupancy targets soon, and it may break ground on the project late this year in an effort to open the building to tenants next summer.

More information can be found at www.CORErealty.com/food-forward-farm.

More information about the West Michigan Shoreline Food Processing Initiative can be found at www.westmifoodprocessinginitiative.com.

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