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Sunday, 12 May 2013 22:00

Developer CWD to raise $50-75M through private offering

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Development partners Sam Cummings, Scott Wierda and Dan DeVos of CWD Real Estate purchased the red brick building in March of last year. Development partners Sam Cummings, Scott Wierda and Dan DeVos of CWD Real Estate purchased the red brick building in March of last year. MIBIZ FILE PHOTO: ELIJAH BRUMBACK

GRAND RAPIDS — CWD Real Estate Investment has built a portfolio of some of downtown Grand Rapids’ signature facilities.

The developer is poised to continue adding to its roster of properties as deals 25 years in the making are finally coming to fruition, according to one company executive.

“We’ve got a lot in the works,” said Sam Cummings, managing partner and one of three principals at CWD. “We want to play off our strategic advantages in Grand Rapids.”

To pay for those projects, CWD has begun building its war chest. Via CWD Urban Fund LLC, the company is in the middle of a private offering to raise $50 million with the option to increase the amount to $75 million, according to a notice filed earlier this year with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

At the time of the filing, CWD had raised more than $26 million.

Cummings declined to comment on specifics for how CWD would use the funds. But the company, which also includes partners Scott Wierda and Dan DeVos, has been busy over the past year adding to its downtown list of properties.

In 2012, it scooped up three historic properties, including the Trade Center at 50 Louis Street, the Ledyard Building at 125 Ottawa Street and the Trust building at 40 Pearl Street.

CWD plans to start renovation projects this spring for both the Trust and Ledyard buildings, and the firm is putting together the timelines and some potential new uses for those projects, Cummings said.

Since buying the Trade Center and signing Rick DeVos’ $15 million venture fund Start Garden LLC as its signature tenant last year, the developer has been working to rehabilitate the building. It plans to move its own offices there when those renovations are complete, Cummings said. He said some announcements for other new tenants are “coming soon.”

“We’re working on some tenant build-outs right now,” he said.

CWD also signed a three-year option with the city for an adjacent parcel, currently being used as a parking lot, at the corner of Fulton Street and Ionia Avenue. The company proposed an eight-story Class A office and retail project for the site that would connect to the Trade Center.

In a recent interview with MiBiz, Cummings said the economics of building the 127,500-square-foot tower are difficult to justify at the present based on the lease rates the company could expect to charge.

“Our plan is to focus on the Trade Center and work through an opportunity to potentially attract a tenant of scale for the property next door,” Cummings said.

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