By Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
The Wyoming City Council granted the requested tax exemptions for the new owner of the former Klingman’s/Rogers Department Store building and a future tenant of that building at its Monday night council meeting at Lamar Park.
Earlier this month, the council approved a commercial redevelopment act district which included the former Klingman’s building located on 28th Street. At last night’s meeting, the council received no comment at a public hearing for the commercial facilities tax exemption which was for GR 1001, LLC, owned by The Hinman Company, the owner of the former Klingman’s building. The exemption is for the redevelopment of the facility, located at 1001 28th St., SW and is for a period of 12 years. City staff noted that The Hinman Company would spend between $3 – $5 million in renovations on the site.
“The new roof is going up as we speak,” said Elizabeth Slane, regional property manager at The Hinman Company, during public comments at the meeting. Slane said they are excited about being a part of the City of Wyoming adding that her son currently lives in the city and that that her husband is a 1977 Wyoming Park graduate.
The Wyoming City Council also approved a personal property tax exemption for seven years for Advantage Sales & Marketing, a future tenant for the building. The exemption is for an estimated $845,000 in personal property for a duration of seven years with an option for an additional five years. Advantage Sales & Marketing plans to consolidate its two current offices, one in downtown Grand Rapids and the other in Cascade Township, which will bring an estimated 300 jobs along with adding another 100 new jobs.
Advantage Sales & Marketing is a sales and marketing company that was founded in 1987 in Southern California and now has 120 offices in the United States and Canada. Its only Michigan offices are in the Greater Grand Rapids area, according to its website.
An official from the company indicated that they too were excited to be a part of the City of Wyoming. According to reports from the city, renovations to the building are to be completed in January 2018 and Advantage Sales & Marketing has indicated it would move in at that time.
Opened by Hyman “Hy” Berkowitz in 1955, Rogers Department Store was touted as one of the largest department stores in Michigan. However changes in shopping and the opening of RiverTown Mall impacted the store, with it closing in 2005. In 2008, Klingman’s, a furniture store, moved into the site, only to close two years later with the building being empty every since.
News broke of The Hinman Company’s interest in redeveloping the site when the company sent a letter to the city in May.