Posts tagged Doug Taatjes
At the Commercial Alliance of Realtor’s Annual Award Reception on Tuesday, Mary Anne Wisinski-Rosely of NAI Wisinski of West Michigan was named this year’s Realtor of the Year. “I feel honored to have received this award, especially since I was selected by my peers,” Mary Anne said of the accomplishment. Not only did she broker nearly $50 million in commercial real estate transactions in 2012, but she sat as the President of CAR’s board and represented CAR at multiple Michigan Association of Realtor (MAR) and National Association of Realtor (NAR) events.
This is now NAI Wisinski’s fourth Realtor of the Year award in five years. Last year Rod Alderink took home the award. Prior to that was Doug Taatjes (2010) and Stu Kingma (2009). “Our company has been well represented with this award,” said Jim Decker, President of NAI Wisinski. “We have much to be proud of and thankful for.”
During NAI Wisinski’s bi-weekly retail meeting on Tuesday, a few of the retail associates reported on the ICSC Michigan Idea Exchange which took place in Dearborn, MI last week. Doug Taatjes and Rod Alderink both felt a positive vibe buzzing around the conference. There was a feeling that optimism is high and the attendance, up 20% this year, backed that sense.
Rod went to the conference specifically to get a feel for how shopping centers would fare in the near future, particularly Class B & C centers. He reported that these types of centers, described as neighborhood centers built at least fifteen years ago, still have a tough road ahead. He didn’t see as much interest in these from retailers.
Part of this might be because of all the development going on. Doug noted a large focus on developments that seemed to be 10,000 SF or less. These smaller retail developments, Doug explained, all have one thing in common: food. There are a lot of entrepreneurs out there right now taking big risks to become franchisees of familiar chains. Just this week, he leased space in Goodwill’s new retail center at 2700 Kraft Ave SE to a first time franchisee of Biggby Coffee.
The next ICSC event is in Chicago in October. Stay tuned as NAI Wisinski will be reporting from that event as well.
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.
|Published: February 7, 2012|
It was about a year ago when commercial real estate firms NAI West Michigan and The Wisinski Group began serious and lengthy discussions about merging. Roughly six months later, after the details were ironed out, the firms came together and opened NAI Wisinski of West Michigan early last summer.“We’re pleased. We’re happy,” said Jim Decker, a partner and president of NAI Wisinski. “And the economy has come back some.”
The worries that surround the merging of two former competitors into a new entity sometimes don’t fully surface until the union is completed and it’s too late to undo what has been done. Chief among those potential concerns is whether the respective sales teams, which competed against each other for listings and sales for many years, could actually put aside previous feelings and work together for everyone’s benefit. Decker said they were able to do that from Day One.
“The core of our business is our sales group. I worried about that and I shouldn’t have,” he said. “Our people have supported (the merger) and had a sense that the kind of company we wanted to put together was needed.”
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