rss icon

Thursday, 16 July 2015 10:57

REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK: Developers mum on prospects for downtown GR building that Kent County officials hope to vacate

Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Government officials with Kent County would like to vacate an underutilized office building in Grand Rapids’ central business district — that is, if the right proposal comes along.

Selling the building at 82 Ionia Ave. NW would open up new development possibilities in the city’s downtown at a time when quality office and residential space is in increasingly short supply.

Sources say the site could offer significant opportunities for the right owner, but local developers are decidedly guarded on what they’d do with the property as some of them are likely positioning to bid for the building.

The impetus for the request for proposals comes from a study commissioned by the county that showed the space was vastly under-utilized. Moreover, the four county departments at 82 Ionia could easily be absorbed into other county facilities, according to the study, which was conducted by Grand Rapids-based Progressive AE.

The 104,000-square-foot office building in question, which spans the south side of Fountain Street from Division Avenue to Ionia Avenue, is centrally located among some of downtown’s biggest property holders.

Particularly, the building is located directly across the street from two ongoing rehabilitation projects from Rockford Construction Co. They include the Morton House mixed-use development and the Cornerstone  Building, which the company acquired earlier this year.

Rockford officials are not talking about whether they have plans for the site, but Mike Mraz, a partner at subsidiary Rockford Development, had previously said the company wants to bring more development to that stretch of Ionia.

Additionally, CWD Real Estate Investment has been growing its property holdings in the central business district in recent years, with a particular emphasis on renovating tired office space. As well, Kendall College of Art and Design owns a cluster of buildings across Fountain Street and within one or two blocks of 82 Ionia.

Representatives from all three organizations say they are aware of the RFP process, but declined to comment on any potential plans or uses.

With the RFP process open until Aug. 28, commercial real estate sources say they’ll be paying close attention to the possibilities of bringing some new space to the market.

“It could be a nice, corporate space,” said David Wiener, a principal at the Grand Rapids office of Colliers International West Michigan who is focused on the office market. He also noted there are a handful of law firms with leases set to expire in coming years.

“It’s a good location and would be a solid rehabbed office or mixed-use space,” Wiener said.

It looks like we’ll just have to wait to see if any of the proposals for the building are good enough to spur the county to move.

Read 2098 times Last modified on Tuesday, 21 July 2015 09:53

Breaking News

September 2018
S M T W T F S
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 1 2 3 4 5 6

Follow MiBiz