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Sunday, 09 February 2014 21:47

CWD plans more retail space at Breton Village

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While investments in Grand Rapids’ urban core remain a focus for CWD Real Estate Investment LLC, the developer also has expansion plans for its suburban holdings.

On top of the recently proposed downtown Grand Rapids hotel it announced last week, CWD plans to break ground this spring on a new 24,000-square-foot retail building near the Breton Village Shopping Center, said Managing Partner Scott Wierda.

The proposed development is for a vacant parcel between the shopping center and the Fifth Third Bank on Burton Street SE.

“With Breton Village, … we’ve been trying to take it up a notch with our tenant mix and having a nice blend of both local and national (retailers) focusing on the fashion side of the equation as much as we can,” Wierda told MiBiz. “We’re working with several fashion-oriented tenants, and as soon as that is wrapped, we’ll start construction.”

CWD’s project is just one example of the trend toward more new construction in the retail sector in West Michigan.

A recent report from the Grand Rapids office of Colliers International said activity in the region’s retail sector has produced four consecutive years of positive absorption. The report’s authors expect more of the same for 2014.

Given the dearth of available space in the major retail corridors, developers have started on a surge of new retail construction, according to the Colliers report.

A recent example is the Bucktown development at 44th Street and Ivanrest Avenue in Grandville, where CWD brought in a Cabela’s store, a move that also attracted Target, Ulta Beauty, Maurices and others to move nearby. An additional 35,000 square feet of retail space is forthcoming at the site this year as well, the report stated.

Colliers said as demand for new space grows, rental rates in main retail corridors are also rebounding to pre-recession prices. Existing spaces are going for between $20 and $26 per square foot, while new construction usually runs in excess of the $30 per square foot, the report noted.

The momentum in both the urban core and suburban corridors is promising for CWD as the firm moves closer to finalizing current projects in both market segments, Wierda said.

The firm’s first priority is finishing work on the Bucktown development and seeing through the completion of renovations to the Ledyard Building, Trust Building and Trade Center properties downtown, which are expected to finish in the next 45 to 60 days, Wierda said. The firm also started to move into new offices inside the Trade Center at 50 Louis Street last Friday.

CWD recently received approvals to rezone two sites across the street from its Breton Village development. On Sept. 12, the Grand Rapids Planning Commission approved the rezoning of adjacent parcels at 2410 and 2420 Burton Street SE to allow retail use. At the time, CWD said it planned to raze an existing building and construct a 12,000-square-foot retail space at the site.

However, Wierda said this project isn’t a priority for the firm right now.

“It’s something I’ll probably pick the ball up on this summer,” he said. “There is no tenant committed to the project at this point, but two or three possible tenants are interested in the space.”

Read 6171 times Last modified on Sunday, 09 February 2014 21:51

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