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Monday, 03 February 2014 13:40

Orion details plans for former Aslan Building on GR’s west side

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Orion Real Estate Solutions plans the mixed-use Seventh St. Lofts project for 600 Seventh Street on Grand Rapids' west side. Orion Real Estate Solutions plans the mixed-use Seventh St. Lofts project for 600 Seventh Street on Grand Rapids' west side. COURTESY ORION REAL ESTATE SOLUTIONS

More details have emerged about development plans for the Aslan Building at 600 Seventh Street on Grand Rapids’ west side neighborhood.

Working with Canadian investment partners, Grand Rapids-based Orion Real Estate Solutions is planning to renovate the building into a mixed-use residential development called Seventh St. Lofts.

Construction is expected to start within four to six weeks, pending requisite zoning and permitting approvals.

MiBiz earlier today broke news of the sale of the building, which had been owned by Coastal Real Estate Holdings LLC, a holding company for Macatawa Bank Corp.

The site was formerly home to The Other Store, a clearance center for Israels Designs for Living and Klingman’s Furniture owned by retailer and developer Bob Israels, who lost the building to the bank in 2010.

ORES is closing formal development agreements with its partners and cementing project financing, said Jason Wheeler, marketing coordinator for Orion Construction, noting the project is primarily privately funded.

The company expects to announce ground-floor tenants for the building once construction plans are approved, he said.

More details on ORES’ project are expected in the coming weeks, but early plans include space for light equipment assembly, a pub restaurant and fitness center, with market-rate apartments on the second and third floors, Wheeler said.

ORES partnered with Canada-based MGC Holdings and Birchwood Heights Equity Corp. of Saginaw for the project.

“This is an outstanding opportunity to provide market-rate housing to the west side and fill one of the city’s biggest treasures with tenants, employees and patrons,” John Wheeler, partner at ORES, said in a statement. “In terms of an urban revitalization, this project is as good as it gets. It will benefit the community by using existing vacant space and creating a profitable mixed-use concept that complements the neighborhood.”

The project is just one of several construction and development opportunities ORES is currently negotiating to develop on the west side of Grand Rapids, according to a release from the firm.

“The current infrastructure, opportunity and vision for the area are very appealing to us,” ORES partner Gary Postma said in a statement. “We look forward to aligning our vision of Seventh Street Lofts with that of the city’s plan for the west side.”

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