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Friday, 21 April 2017 09:34

Rockford Construction affiliate acquires west side mixed-use development

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An affiliate of Rockford Construction Co. acquired the mixed-use 7th Street Lofts project on the west side of Grand Rapids. An affiliate of Rockford Construction Co. acquired the mixed-use 7th Street Lofts project on the west side of Grand Rapids. COURTESY PHOTO

GRAND RAPIDS — Rockford Construction Co. Inc. continues to expand its presence on the west side of Grand Rapids.

An affiliate of the general contracting, property management and development firm has acquired 7th Street Lofts, located at the corner of 7th Street and Seward Avenue NW, MiBiz has learned.

Rockford acquired the mixed-use development, which sits just to the north of its headquarters, after John Wheeler and Gary Postma with Grand Rapids-based Orion Real Estate Solutions LLC (ORES) opted to divest their minority stake in the project.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but executives at both firms confirmed the transaction had occurred.

“The purchase provided an opportunity to continue to invest in an area of the neighborhood that successfully supports mixed-use buildings on a key corridor,” Mike Mraz, managing partner of real estate development for Rockford Construction, said in a statement to MiBiz.

ORES functions as the development arm of Orion Construction Co. Inc., another Grand Rapids-based general contracting and development firm started by former Rockford executives. Orion’s Wheeler co-founded Rockford Construction.

The two companies are among the most active construction and development firms operating in downtown Grand Rapids and its adjacent neighborhoods.

Postma and Wheeler from Orion were minority partners in the project that was led by Canadian investors, as MiBiz first reported in 2014. The investment team redeveloped the former Aslan Building in 2014. It now contains 26 fully leased apartments, commercial space and climate-controlled self-storage units.  

A spokesperson for Rockford Construction confirmed the company also now owns the on-site self-storage facility, which is branded as Self Storage Downtown GR.

Since moving its headquarters to Seward Avenue just north of Bridge Street in 2013, Rockford Construction has made its mark in the reshaping the west side neighborhood, scooping up properties and developing a variety of large-scale projects. Among them is The Knickerbocker, a satellite location for New Holland Brewing Company LLC as part of the mixed-use Barley Flats development on Bridge Street near U.S. 131.

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