College of

MSU acquires property in downtown Grand Rapids

January 27, 2012

A special message from Dean Marsha D. Rappley, M.D.


Today the MSU Board of Trustees approved the $12 million purchase of approximately 7.85acres of property in downtown Grand Rapids. This property acquisition is part of the university’s and the College of Human Medicine’s statewide growth in our research portfolio.

The property includes a 173,800 square-foot building across from the Secchia Center that is presently occupied by The Grand Rapids Press and five nearby parcels that are currently parking lots – new opportunities for the college to provide low-cost parking for students, faculty and staff that is not available now. By purchasing the land today, MSU was able to realize $500,000 in savings compared to the appraised value. 

As you may know, the Secchia Center was designed for medical education, without lab space designated for research. Our college has been fortunate to partner with the Van Andel Research Institute and Grand Valley State University to place our investigators in their facilities. But as our college continues to grow and recruit more federally-funded researchers, more space is needed. Today’s announcement offers our college the flexibility to grow when the time is right.

The expanded research profile in Grand Rapids mirrors the growth our college is seeing across the state, including the new bio-engineering research facility recently approved by the MSU Board of Trustees in East Lansing that is currently awaiting state approval, and last month’s announcement of a grant award by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation that is supporting our college’s expansion in health science and public health research in Flint. 

Back when we determined the Secchia Center site for our medical school expansion, we never imagined the good fortune we would have years later to acquire such valuable real estate next door. This property offers a world of opportunities for MSU and the College of Human Medicine for decades to come.


Marsha D. Rappley, M.D.
Dean, MSU College of Human Medicine