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Sunday, 24 January 2016 22:29

High-profile developments move forward, albeit slowly

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Arena Place Arena Place COURTESY RENDERING

An active real estate market across West Michigan last year led many developers to announce new high-profile projects.

From new high-rise office towers to revamped shopping malls to urban parks, the growing region continues to see new construction and major renovation projects across a host of real estate sectors. But a lot can go on between a formal project announcement and its actual completion — or even its groundbreaking.

To check on the progress of some of those projects, MiBiz reached out to developers and commercial real estate professionals for an update.


Arena Place
- Developer: Orion Construction Inc.
- General Contractor: Orion Construction Inc.
- Architect: Concept Design Group PC

The $45 million Arena Place mixed-use development in downtown Grand Rapids’ Arena South district is nearing completion.

The building is now enclosed and office buildouts are underway, according to Orion Construction spokesperson Jason Wheeler. Corporate tenants Miller Johnson Snell & Cummisky PLC and Meritage Hospitality Inc. will begin the move-in process in April.

Following them will be the tenants of the 100 market-rate apartments, as well as tenants of the ground-floor commercial space: The Wheelhouse, a restaurant operated by Meritage; an Option 1 Credit Union branch; a yet-to-be-named coffee shop; and a physical rehabilitation tenant, Wheeler said.

All the ground-floor space has been filled and preleasing is underway for the apartments, said Wheeler, adding that the building should be fully occupied by mid-summer.

Located adjacent to Van Andel Arena, the 376,000-square-foot project will also add more than 280 parking spaces to the growing district.

12 Weston
- Developers: SIBSCO LLC & Rockford Construction Company Inc.
- General Contractor: Rockford Construction Company Inc.
- Architect: Lott3Metz Architecture LLC

Downtown Grand Rapids’ first proposed office tower in years is “proceeding as planned,” according to Charlie Secchia, a principal at Grand Rapids-based development firm SIBSCO LLC.

There has yet to be a formal groundbreaking because Secchia said he wants the building at least three-quarters leased before starting construction. Although he has a number of letters of intent (LOIs) for space in the building, Grand Rapids-based digital marketing firm Adtegrity Inc. remains the only tenant with a signed lease.

The $25.5 million, 12-story tower aims to increase the downtown area’s Class A office inventory, which has tightened in recent months.

Secchia said he’s confident that many of the LOIs will turn into signed leases. While he doesn’t have a specific timeline for when construction could begin, Secchia said he anticipates the project will take 18 months from groundbreaking to opening.

Grand River Park
- Developer: City of Grand Rapids
- General Contractor: TBD
- Architect: TBD

The City of Grand Rapids plans to acquire three vacant parcels of land situated along the Grand River north of I-196 along North Monroe Avenue with the intent to build an urban park. The parcels are currently owned by Kent County, the city of Grand Rapids and Michigan State University. The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund has recommended a grant of more than $7.5 million to help with the acquisition of the 3.68 acres of land.

Next, the city must sign an agreement with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and get the Trust Fund dollars approved, said Grand Rapids Deputy City Manager Eric DeLong. Later on, the city would then begin coordinating formal plans for the park with the initiative to restore rapids in the Grand River, he said.

All told, it could be five years before the park is actually built, DeLong added.

Beyond seeking to create additional recreational opportunities in the downtown area, the proposed park designs call for it to be built in a tiered manner that would assist with flood management.

As MiBiz previously reported, a group of local urban planners called for private development on the site to help with blocking the sound of the adjacent highway. However, DeLong said that the grant would only allow for recreational development and flood management uses.

The Shops at Westshore
- Developer: Versa Development LLC
- General Contractor: CD Barnes Construction
- Architect: Rogvoy Architects PC

The former Westshore Mall on Holland’s north side has been “de-malled,” with 120,000 square feet of the former enclosed shopping center torn down in favor of an outdoor, inline model for anchor tenants and four new outlot buildings.

The new shopping center — expected to be mostly occupied by late-summer or early-autumn — will be similar in style to Shops at Centerpointe Mall near the corner of 28th Street and East Beltline Avenue in Grand Rapids, said Mark Ansara, an associate broker at Colliers International of West Michigan and the leasing agent for the Shops at Westshore.

The first tenants for the new outlot buildings — Anna’s House Restaurant LLC and restaurant On The Border — should open in the next 45 to 60 days, Ansara said, adding that he has eight other letters of intent from retailers and restaurants.

“Activity is fairly high there,” Ansara said.

While many of the potential tenants will be food-based users, the approximately $25 million development is also expected to bring some new retailers to the lakeshore area.

“The majority of the prospective tenants are national retailers (who) found that Holland is a good filler area,” Ansara said. “There’s going to be some great retail and some new concepts that aren’t in the market.”

Western Michigan University BTR Park
- Developer: Western Michigan University & Oshtemo Township
- General Contractor: TBD
- Architect(s): Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber Inc. & O’Boyle, Cowell, Blalock, & Associates Inc.

With the original Business Technology Resource (BTR) Park functionally out of space, Western Michigan University and Oshtemo Township are in the planning stages for its second phase of development.

In December, the university selected Grand Rapids-based Fishbeck Thompson Carr & Huber Inc. and Kalamazoo-based O’Boyle, Cowell, Blalock, & Associates Inc. to develop the design plan for the 44-acre Colony Farm Orchard site in Oshtemo Township, adjacent to the original BTR Park. The two companies previously worked together in designing the first phase that launched in 2000.

Additionally, the university named a nine-member advisory committee consisting of WMU staff, faculty and students for the project.

Plans call for construction to begin in the fall of 2016. The university expects the project to be completed by June 2017.

The two design firms plan to hold a series of public meetings to receive community input on development of the site.

Bob Miller, WMU’s associate vice president of community outreach, told MiBiz that the university hopes to begin bidding out work in the next few months.

Read 4983 times Last modified on Sunday, 31 January 2016 21:46

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