PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP — West Michigan’s retail sector continues to attract investment from outside the state amid an active real estate market.
Case in point: Boca Raton, Fla.-based real estate firm Kin Properties Inc. said it wants to redevelop the property around a vacant Kmart store at 4111 Plainfield Ave. NE in Plainfield Charter Township as well as possibly bring in a new tenant for the 94,000-square-foot building, which has sat empty since last September.
The Plainfield Township Planning Commission will consider the commercial rezoning request to allow the project at its meeting on Tuesday, August 28.
“We feel, if approved, the possibility of creating an Out-Parcel building will make the property more marketable, create more interest in the large vacancy, complement the existing neighboring tenants, add to the already spectacular mix of tenants the area has and, lastly provide additional tax revenue by developing the underutilized property,” Sammy Salem, a property manager for Kin Properties, wrote in the planning application.
A Kin Properties executive was not available for further comment.
The property is owned by Esther Jeffrey LLC, an affiliated entity of Kin Properties.
Salem stated in his letter to the township that the proposed outparcel building would likely house “farm/home style” and automotive repair businesses. Additionally, Salem wrote that the firm is in negotiations to lease the former Kmart store, but that would be contingent on the rezoning request being approved.
“(W)e feel this is the greatest and best use for the parcel and hope everyone agrees,” Salem wrote. “We look forward to working with the Township on this rezoning process.”
Occupied suburban retail centers also continue to attract out-of-state investors. Earlier this week, Atlanta-based real estate investment firm RCG Ventures LLC announced it had acquired a pair of strip shopping centers, including the Grandville Marketplace, anchored by Hobby Lobby, Office Max, Petsmart, Cost Plus World Market, Party City and Dollar Tree. The firm also owns shopping centers in Kentwood, Muskegon, Norton Shores, Lansing and Flint, according to its website.
A sale price for the shopping center was not available.
As MiBiz has previously reported, commercial real estate sources and retail executives remain bullish on the sector, despite a slew of brick-and-mortar store closings and increased pressure from e-commerce.
Additionally, retail sales in Michigan continue to be on the rise, particularly in the busy summer tourism months, according to report released Thursday by the Lansing-based Michigan Retailers Association.
The monthly 100-point Retail Index for July ticked up to 53.5, indicating positive retail activity. The findings represent an increase of 7.4 points from the previous month. The index was at 44.5 at this time last year, according to the MRA.
“As you’d expect in July, northern Michigan tourist towns saw a big leap in sales,” MRA President and CEO James Hallan said in a statement.
The trade group conducts the monthly Retail Index survey in cooperation with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Detroit branch.