With closing of Sears in Woodland Mall, experts predict national realtors will be eager to fill space.
January 13, 2017
By Pat Evans
Area realtors are looking at the closure of the Woodland Mall Sears as an opportunity for the region. The thought led the 2016 Market Review by the Commercial Alliance of Realtors, which noted the closing of the one-time retail giant as a blip on the region’s retail market. According to CAR, retail transactions increased 14.4 percent in 2016.
“We will see a lot of activity from national realtors vying for the new space,” NAI Wisinski of West Michigan broker Rod Alderink said regarding the Sears space. “After many years of speculation, we can finally move toward additional available space in a highly desirable area.”
The Sears vacancy will open up more than 313,000 square feet at one of the region’s largest malls, and stores eager to expand their West Michigan presence can help fill the space in a market low on retail inventory, Ben Muller Realty broker Victoria Mitchell said.
Multiple realtors agreed with Mitchell and said local and regional companies are shifting their focus to neighborhoods rather than the major shopping corridors to find the space.
Brick and mortar retail stores are alive and well in West Michigan, the CAR report cited, especially with the Tanger Outlet and demalling of space at Holland’s West Shore Mall and Breton Village Mall, Colliers West Michigan Senior Vice President Mike Murray said.
“We are going to continue to see the trend of developers modernizing tired projects to bring them up to today’s retail standards, as retail evolves to meet the needs of its consumers,” Murry said.
Along with retail, hotel activity also trended upward in 2016. DAR Development Vice President Dave Denton mentioned two hotels in Gaines Township near the Switch data center, as well as a new project near Fifth Third Ballpark.
Similarly, office space transactions were up 7 percent in 2016 with 1.5 million square feet of office space leased or sold in 2016. That includes the 25 Ottawa and 99 Monroe sales and the opening of Arena Place.
Colliers Senior Vice President Tom DeBoer said parking continues to be a hurdle for businesses desiring to locate downtown, but it could change.
“However, new developers are including a parking component to aid in the relief,” DeBoer said.
Suburban office space is thriving, according to NAI Wisinski broker Jason Makowski, who also said medical office space for independent doctor groups is in demand.
The CAR report also suggests office space inventory is low and new construction could help, but new construction costs are driving new lease rates up beyond $24 per square foot, well beyond the current averages of $18-$25 for downtown and $12-$20 for suburban space.
Switch also was mentioned a second time in the CAR report, indicating along with hotel development, the data center could attract satellite offices to West Michigan for its more than 1,000 clients from across the globe.
On the industrial side, CAR noted an increase in sales of more than $140 million and 5 million square feet of space, a sales volume increase of 14.4 percent from 2015. Transactions, however, remained relatively stable.
Stan Wisinski and Mary Anne Wisinski-Rosely of NAI Wisinski of West Michigan worked with both parties in this transaction
133-year-old church closed for nearly 2 years sold to Marvin Sapp
January 9, 2017
Written by Justine McGuire
MUSKEGON, MI- The Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids announced on Monday, Jan. 9 that it sold St. Jean Baptiste Catholic Church downtown Muskegon.
St. Jean Baptiste was closed during April 2015 as part of the diocese’s: Our Faith, Our Future’ pastoral plan. The church was considered a campus of St. Mary Catholic Church, 239 W. Clay Ave. in Muskegon.
Bishop Marvin Sapp, of national gospel music fame, purchased the building. He will begin holding services at the former St. Jean Baptiste, 1292 Jefferson St., during 2017.
Sapp announced on social media on Sunday, Jan 1 that he would have services in Muskegon during 2017.
Services will be held on Sundays at 3 p.m. However, a start date was not announced.
A call to Marvin Sapp Ministries was not immediately returned.
St. Jean Baptiste served parishioners for more than 130 years. It was established during December 1883, according to the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.
“St. Jean Baptiste was the spiritual and physical home of many Catholics in the Muskegon area for more than a century,” said Annalise Laumeyer, director of communications for the Diocese of Grand Rapids, in a release. “Funds generated through the sale of this property will support parishes of St. Mary and Our Lady of Grace in their continuing commitment to proclaim Christ’s mission through their parish ministries and outreach.”
The sale price was not disclosed.
It was revealed in 2015 that the building required “extensive repairs” to remain open.
The Diocese of Grand Rapids serves more than 191,000 Catholics, 82 parishes and 30 schools in an 11-county area of West Michigan.
By Sentinel Staff
Popular Glen Arbor-based retailer Cherry Republic will be opening a sixth Michigan location in downtown Holland in March 2017.
The retailer will fill the 2,745 square-foot space recently left vacant by Yeta’s Women’s Apparel located at 29 West 8th Street.
Todd Leinberger of NAI Wisinski of West Michigan assisted Cherry Republic in finding the location and said that very little will need to be changed with the space moving forward.
“The renovations to the current space will be minor since it has been left in terrific condition,” Leinberger said.
The store hopes to hire between 12-15 employees to staff the new location, which joins locations in Glen Arbor, Traverse City, Charlevoix, Ann Arbor and Frankenmuth.
“Cherry Republic has been on my list of potential retailers because they are a Michigan company selling Michigan products and it will be a perfect addition to Holland,” said building landlord and associate broker of Lumir Real Estate Mark Kuyers.
Cherry Republic president and founder Bob Sutherland explained that the location would be like the other stores but would add a bit of a “Holland flair.”
Sutherland also said they are proud to be coming to the Holland area and hope to help Holland continue to be a sought after destination for shoppers and tourists.
On top of being a destination for Holland shoppers, the retailer also plans to donate to various locations and will work to improve the environment and quality of life in the greater Holland area. They also plan to raise money for different programs to protect farmland and improve farm to table businesses around the Holland area.
Cherry Republic was founded in 1989 with Bob Sutherland selling t-shirts out of the trunk of his car. The company expanded and began packaging cherry cookies and dried cherries and today the company has close to 200 cherry products.
Also featured in these publications:
TEXAS TOWNSHIP, MI — Mophie, the growing company behind the “juice pack” power cells for Apple Inc.’s iPhone, is expanding its footprint in the Kalamazoo area.
The global tech firm will add a call center that will bring 65 new jobs to the Southwest Michigan community, local and state officials said on Thursday, Dec. 8.
The announcement comes nearly a year after Mophie was bought up by competitor Zagg, Inc. in a $100 million deal. The acquisition nixed a four-year plan to build a 30,000-square-foot research facility at Western Michigan University’s Business Technology and Research Park.
Instead, the company will now spend $685,000 to open a call center in Texas Township, located 10 miles southwest of Kalamazoo.
“Mophie is a world leader in the battery case market, and its decision to expand in Michigan rather than in another state will mean additional jobs for years to come,” said Steve Arwood, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which administers incentives and programs on behalf of Michigan Strategic Fund.
Mophie qualified for a $375,000 state jobs grant because the company opted to expand in Michigan rather than in Salt Lake City, where Zagg is headquartered.
The grant is contingent on the company providing those 65 jobs. The positions will pay about $15 an hour, according to the MEDC.
Mophie has been a beneficiary of the wildly successful iPhones. The firm began a decade ago as a seller of audio docking systems for Apple Inc.’s iPod music players but found its lucrative sweetspot designing and manufacturing cases and accessories for the iPhone when the iconic smartphone launched in 2007.
The company’s product line now includes battery cases, universal external batteries, cables and other accessories for mobile devices. It has international operations in the Netherlands, Hong Kong and China.
Despite the headquarters relocating from Paw Paw to Santa Ana, Calif. in 2009 to be closer to Apple’s Northern California headquarters, its backroom operations – distribution, quality control, tech support and customer service – stayed in Michigan.
“As a global brand with a location in Southwest Michigan, Mophie exemplifies the diversity of job opportunities available in our region through its expansion,” said Ron Kitchens, chief executive officer of Southwest Michigan First. “Our region is proud to list Mophie’s commitment to innovative design-based technology among its product offerings.”
December 11, 2016
By Nick Manes
By and large, 2016 made for a record year for many West Michigan’s commercial real estate construction sectors.
From a nonstop deluge of new, mixed-use apartment buildings to a proposed 40-story downtown Grand Rapids tower, to the return of some speculative building in the industrial space, the year has been marked by high occupancy rates and steep demand. As a result, industry stakeholders have found themselves scrambling to keep up.
While many developers, contractors, architects and industry insiders view 2016 as a year in which projects moved through pre-devlopment phase, they believe 2017 will be the year for execution.
MiBiz gathered a group of commercial real estate and construction stakeholders to reflect on the past year and give some thoughts on whether the tide can continue into 2017. Participating in the roundtable discussion were:
- Max Benedict, principal at Grand Rapids-based Third Coast Development LLC
- Melissa Collar, real estate and construction partner at Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, the Grand Rapids-based law firm that sponsored the roundtable
- Jim Conner, vice president of business development at Triangle Associates Inc. in Grand Rapids
- Kris Larson, president and CEO of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.
- Greg Metz, principal at Grand Rapids-based Lott3Metz Architecture LLC
- Josh Szymanski, business development director at Owen-Ames-Kimball Co.
- Mary Anne Wisinski-Rosely, partner and office adviser at NAI Wisinski of West Michigan
Here are some highlights from the conversation:
If 2017 is the year to execute on all the projects in your pipelines, what challenges are standing in the way?
Metz: The knowns are labor, and I hear that with other architecture firms. We’re having a hard time hiring people to do it. My opinion, right or wrong, is pay people enough that you won’t have trouble hiring anybody, but the developers don’t like that. (Laughs.) That’s one thing I see.
Szymanski: We’re seeing those execution pains though. We all recognize that it’s expensive to keep some of these people, but it’s more expensive to find more people. So we’re meeting that market, but there’s just not enough new supply out there and it’s putting pressure (on us).
Collar: That’s a challenge for us, too, because of the cost of construction. Whether it’s from a landlord’s perspective or a tenant’s perspective or an owner/buyer/seller perspective, it’s a challenge because people don’t want to pay a higher rent. They don’t want to pay higher costs of occupancy. It’s a challenge. It’s putting pressure on landlords to try to do deals and get tenants. But then their margin becomes really small because of the cost of building out the space. That’s going to be tough moving forward. And then if interest rates go up … that makes that margin even smaller — or tenants or buyers have to pay more and they’re not going to like it, especially in West Michigan. (Laughter.)
Wisinski-Rosely: (The construction talent shortage is) a challenge for us because if you do get that tenant or that buyer who needs that space redone, it’s timing. Can we get it done in time? And then, will they choose that space or a space that could be ready (quicker)?
December 6, 2016
By Dillon Davis, Battle Creek Enquirer
The historic Commerce Pointe office complex in downtown Battle Creek is under new ownership. The former United States Post Office building at 77 E. Michigan Ave. has been sold from Waterland Battle Creek Properties to Ryan Leestma of Grand Rapids-based Leestma Management. A Muskegon resident, Leestma, 37, is the founder and owner of a Grand Rapids tech contractor ISI, which specializes in data, communications and staffing solutions.
Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.
Commerce Pointe has been the home of the Battle Creek Enquirer since 2011. It also houses offices for Generations Financial Planning and Wealth Management, Integrated Health Partners, Farm Bureau Insurance, DMA Claims Services and Otis Elevator.
Leestma said another Grand Rapids-based company, NAI Wisinski of West Michigan, now will manage the property’s day-to-day and leasing operations.
December 5, 2016
A professional soccer franchise, a new downtown hotel and a convention center expansion are among a list of proposed projects that could be undertaken in Grand Rapids over the next several years. Grand Rapids-based Grand Action, a business-based nonprofit, which is responsible for Van Andel Arena, DeVos Place, Civic Theatre, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and Downtown Market, is evaluating a list of major projects that come out of its Grand Rapids Destination Asset Study.
Grand Action commissioned the study to help “chart a course” that will elevate Grand Rapids as a “top-tier visitor destination” in the coming years.
Based on current occupancy data, the study suggests future expansion of DeVos Place Convention Center will be essential to Grand Rapids, as will a hotel with up to 500 rooms to support the expanded convention center.
“As occupancy increases, a future DVP expansion should target an increase of 50 percent additional sellable event space,” the report says.
That equates to about 115,700 additional square feet of space, requiring 2.5 to 4 acres. The U.S. Post Office location at the corner of Michigan Street and Monroe Avenue is being suggested as a possible location, as well as the Calder Plaza area.
November 28, 2016
NAI Wisinski of West Michigan recently helped a nail salon find a new home in western Michigan.
Nails by Katie will be moving into a larger 1,100 square-foot space at 381 Baldwin St. in Jenison, Michigan.
Bill Tyson of NAI Wisinski represented the landlord, ASJ Property Management LLP. Robert Lotzar of CBRE represented the tenant, Vinh Nailcare by Katie.
The space is being renovated with an anticipated opening date in January of next year.
November 9, 2016
By Pat Evans
A 40-story highrise project downtown has been approved by the city.
The building proposed by Portage-based Hinman for 10 Ionia Ave. NW was approved last week 5-2 by the Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission after several months of adjustments. The site is currently a parking lot along Fulton Street W and sits within the city’s Historic District.
The project was first discussed at the July 6 historic preservation commission meeting, where the conceptual footprint and height were approved, but more information was requested on the project’s design and materials.
At the Sept. 8 Grand Rapids Planning Commission meeting, commissioners unanimously approved an overhead walkway spanning Louis Street NW to an existing parking structure at 30 Ionia Ave. NW. The rest of the project will not be heard by the planning commission.
At its Nov. 2 meeting, the historic preservation commission approved the project’s design and materials.
Early plans indicate the project will include hotel and residential uses.
Hinman COO Rick McDonald told the planning commission the building will have ground-floor retail, 125 hotel rooms and 255 apartment units.
McDonald also said the parking structure at 30 Ionia Ave. NW will be expanded.
November 10, 2016
The groundbreaking ceremony took place on Thursday, Nov. 3
GRAND RAPIDS, MICH- The Woda Group has broken ground on Grand View Place, a 68-unit apartment building in Grand Rapids. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on Thursday, Nov. 3. Grand View Place will be the first major residential development in the existing commercial and industrial sector of the Grand River between the 6th Street Bridge and Leonard Avenue. The primary source of funding for the project was tax credit equity from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. Stan Wisinski of NAI Wisinski of West Michigan represented The Woda Group in the purchase of land at the former Ryder Truck terminal at 936 Front St.