Archive for April, 2012
FIRST QUARTER SOLD REPORT RELEASED
Commercial real estate in West Michigan is continuing to show increased activity and growth, according to recently released first quarter closed sales statistics reported to the Commercial Alliance of REALTORS®.
The number of commercial sale transactions reported for the first quarter of 2012 has increased 23.8% compared to the first quarter of 2011. Retail and office transactions reveal a large increase in activity, with increases of 45.8% and 40% compared to 2011. The industrial sector, which showed huge growth in 2011, reported two fewer transactions in the first quarter of 2012, than in 2011.
Overall commercial real estate sales volume correlates directly with the slow down in the industrial sector. While office sales soared with a 109% increase over 2011, and retail showed steady growth at 7.2%, sales volume for industrial properties declined by 63.9%.
The slow down in the industrial sector is not necessarily indicative of a lack of demand for industrial property. “The industrial sector is experiencing something that hasn’t been seen for several years – the need for new construction of manufacturing and warehouse space. The current inventory of larger footprint industrial space is extremely limited, ” stated 2012 CAR President Mary Anne Wisinski-Rosely, of NAI Wisinski West Michigan. “The office and retail sectors increases in both the number of transactions and volume demonstrates the strength and viability of doing business in West Michigan.”
COMPARATIVE ACTIVITY REPORT – CLOSED SALES
|First Quarter 2011/ First Quarter 2012|
|NOTE: This report reflects closed sales reported to Commercial Alliance of REALTORS
from the West Michigan area, particularly Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, Allegan and Kalamazoo Counties.
This report does not include leasing activity.
|Property Type||Number of Transactions 2011||Number of Transactions 2012||% Change|
|Property Type||Real Estate Sold 2011||Real Estate Sold 2012||% Change|
The Best Cities For Raising A Family
Tom Van Riper, Forbes Staff
Grand Rapids, Michigan doesn’t boast a lot of affluence. The metro area population of 774,000 carries a median household of $47,040, good for just 65th place among America’s 100 largest MSAs. The city’s major claims to fame come from being a national leader in office furniture production, and for being the hometown of a U.S. president, Gerald Ford.
What Grand Rapids does have: the distinction of being the best metro area in the country to raise a family in. Income may be relatively low, but the cost of living is even lower. The local school system ranks in the top third in the country. Commuting to work is a breeze. The housing foreclosure mess didn’t leave Grand Rapids unscathed, chopping about 12% off area home values over the past few years. But that’s still quite modest compared to many other places. Almost 90% of Grand Rapids’ housing stock is affordable to a family at the median income level, the seventh-highest rate in the country. And the local crime rate falls well below the national average.
It was a little less than two decades ago that local business leaders could see what was unfolding in West Michigan. The industrial sector was steadily declining, and companies were either going out of business or moving away. It was evident that something had to be done.
That’s when two hometown heroes, Amway founders Richard DeVos and Jay Van Andel, proposed their vision to turn Grand Rapids into one of the top medical services cities in the world. Their leadership and philanthropic efforts spurred a series of events, forever changing the landscape, mentality and image of Grand Rapids.
One of the city’s first streets, Michigan Street, running parallel to I-196, was the initial site of their vision. In 1996, Jay and Betty Van Andel founded the Van Andel Institute. They broke ground in 1998, and the Van Andel Institute opened its doors in 2000. The institute is now home to scientific research that is focused primarily on cancer and Parkinson’s disease and has received more than $1 billion in research funding.
The original development was a $60 million facility. In 2010, the institute opened a second phase with an additional 242,000 square feet at a cost of $175 million.
Butterworth Hospital, now part of Spectrum Health, sits atop the hill on Michigan Street. In 1993, the Helen DeVos Women and Children’s Center moved to the site working as part of Spectrum Health.
In 2011, the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital opened its doors to a 440,000-square-foot facility at a cost of $286 million, largely funded by the DeVos family. Spectrum Health combined with other local generous donors to found the Meijer Heart Center and the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion, costing about $137 million and $78 million, respectively.
The Medical Mile is host to Michigan State University’s (MSU) College of Human Medicine, Grand Valley State University’s (GVSU) Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences, Grand Rapids Community College’s Calkins Science Center, and Ferris State University’s pharmacy program.
MSU’s building is 180,000 square feet, and GVSU’s is 217,000 square feet, costing $90 million and $57 million respectively. In total, more than $1.2 billion has been invested in the Medical Mile and the surrounding area on world-class medical facilities.
The problem isn’t a lack of interest in the Medical Mile, but rather a lack of space. The corridor has barriers on all sides: the freeway to the north; the Grand River to the west; Heritage Hill, a historic part of Grand Rapids with 1,300 homes dating back as far as 1848 to the east and south; and the rest of downtown to the southwest.
The developers of Midtowne Village, a six-building complex that houses the 100,000-square-foot Women’s Health Center, had to get the zoning of their site changed as well as purchase and demolish 46 homes.
Other organizations are beginning to look for vacated buildings that can be occupied for their use. GVSU plans to cross the expressway to the north and develop another site for medical use, and MSU is in the process of acquiring the old Grand Rapids Press building that remains vacant with the presses still inside.