GRAND RAPIDS, MI-City officials have begun tearing down 45 homes in anticipation of what will likely house Michigan State University’s new Medical School. The demolition, which began Monday, is occurring just north of Michigan Street, not far from Grand Rapids’ “medical mile,” where Mid Towne Develpment Co. would like to build the med school.

For certain, the site will be the new home of four office buildings and almost a dozen brownstone condominiums. It will also include a 22,000-sf building on Michigan Street with a restaurant as well as office space.Construction crews will also put up two more buildings with 50,000 sf and 60,000 sf of office space.

The site is located just a few blocks from the campus of Spectrum Butterworth hospital, which includes the DeVos Children’s Hospital, and just a few blocks beyond that is the cancer researchers building at the Van Andel Institute. Both of those institutions partners with Michigan State University as it seeks to open a medical school in Grand Rapids.

Developers say this location is on the minds of officials at MSU, who need to work out the details with other local leaders before putting down roots. Still, the people at Mid Towne Development call this the perfect location.

“It’s an ideal location,” says Brad Rosely of Mid Towne Development. “It’s a campusy type feel. It’s got unbelievable exposure on the highway, easy access down to Spectrum and the St. Mary’s Hospital, which I think is critical.”

Of course, there is still plenty of work to be done before anyone moves in at the site. The developers hope to have the homes torn down in the next 30 to 45 days. The first building won’t open until September 2005, while the others will open after that.

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