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Gotion plans to open office at former JCPenney building in downtown Big Rapids

2/21/24 6:22 p.m.

BIG RAPIDS — Gotion’s spokesperson, Chuck Thelen, said the company signed a three-year lease agreement over the weekend to create office space in downtown Big Rapids.

“We are fully committed to this project. We’re not taking our foot off the gas. There’s nothing slowing us down,” said Thelen.


The new offices will be in the vacant JCPenney building until their permanent offices can be built.

Gotion is bringing an electric vehicle battery plant, expected to create more than 2,300 jobs in the area, despite opposition over environmental concerns and alleged ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

Thelen said 55 employees will be operating from new offices by the end of the year and they hope to grow that to 200 by 2025.

“We picked this location because as we looked at multiple different locations, nothing else could really house 200 people. We wanted to help the city. We wanted something close to apartments, hotels, that kind of thing. So, we wanted to be in downtown proper,” said Thelen.


Thelen said so far, recruiting has been going well. They have more than 400 resumes just from Michigan Works alone.

People within a 25-mile radius are prioritized over other candidates, according to an agreement they made with Green Charter Township.

2/21/24 12 p.m.

BIG RAPIDS — A building in Big Rapids has stood empty for several years, but that’s about to change.


On Tuesday, Gotion announced that they are opening an office in the former JCPenney building in downtown Big Rapids. The battery maker said they plan to take over the building starting March 1 and renovate the space to include conference rooms, work stations and other amenities.

A Gotion spokesperson said they would like to have 55 employees in the office by the end of 2024, and 200 employees in downtown Big Rapids by 2025.

People in the area have criticized the battery plant that Gotion plans to bring to Green Charter Township over environmental concerns and because of the company’s alleged ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

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