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$35 Million Student Housing Complex Ready to Break Ground in Grand Rapids

23 Apr 2015, 6:59 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

A new housing complex designed for college students will soon break ground in Grand Rapids.

Fulton Place - Grand Rapids MI

Fulton Place – Grand Rapids MI

MLive.com reported that local developer Rockford Construction is ready so start construction on a 112-unit student housing project in Grand Rapids’ West Side neighborhood, within walking distance from Grand Valley State University’s (GVSU) Robert Pew campus.

The complex is called Fulton Place and will be located at 616 Fulton W. between Lexington Ave. and Seward St., replacing an auto repair shop that sits on a parcel recently acquired by the developer. This in an emerging area that lacks quality housing options—especially with the expanding GVSU, whose downtown campus can only accommodate around 370 residential students. The official ground breaking ceremony for Fulton Place will take place on May 5, and Rockford Construction is set to complete the project before the 2016-2017 academic year starts.

Designed as a three-building development, Fulton Place will offer 232 market-rate bedrooms that are expected to meet the demand for student housing inventory in Grand Rapids’ downtown area. As detailed by MLive.com, the complex will include a three-story, 13,000-square-foot building with seven, three-story townhomes, each of them offering four bedroom. The second building will be similar in height but smaller in size, with only 5,000 square feet that will include three apartments, each with two bedrooms. Standing two stories taller, the third building will be the largest one at Fulton Place. It will encompass 125,000 square feet of mixed-use space, offering 102 housing units in a combination on 14 one-bedroom units, 84 two-bedrooms and four four-bedroom units.

Fulton Place will also include 10,000 square feet of ground-level retail space, as well as a two-story garage and street-level parking space.

According to the Grand Rapids Business Journal, Rockford Construction will invest $35 million towards the development of Fulton Place.

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Rendering courtesy of Rockford Construction



SSS Pays Record Price for Large Self-Storage Portfolio in Michigan

16 Apr 2015, 4:46 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

The National Storage Centers, a 750,000-square-foot portfolio comprising of 12 self-storage facilities located across Michigan was sold last month at a record price.

According to Farmington Hills-based seller Pogoda Cos., the National Storage Center properties were transferred to Simply Self Storage (SSS) of Orlando, Fla., in a transaction valued at $61.3 million or $81.79 per square foot, the highest price ever paid for such an asset in the state.

“Cap rates for self-storage are at historic lows. I’ve owned some of these properties for almost 25 years and now was the right time to sell,” said Maurice Pogoda, president of Pogoda Cos., in a prepared statement. “We were able to achieve a phenomenal price based on double digit year over year growth that started in 2011. We are still very bullish on Michigan and have 28 other properties that we either own or manage. We will continue to look for value add opportunities to grow our portfolio,” he added.

National Storage Centers Novi-Haggerty

National Storage Centers Novi-Haggerty

Two of the National Storage Center properties are located in Ann Arbor, while the rest are in Chesterfield Township, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Okemos, Lansing, Novi, Lake Orion, Westland, Wyoming and Ypsilanti. The portfolio features 5,505 storage units and almost 500 RV/boat parking units and was almost 85 percent occupied at the time of the sale. Marcus & Millichap represented the seller in the transaction.

As the economy has shown signs of improvement in Michigan, the portfolio of 12 self-storage properties can yield substantial monthly revenue. For example, the facility located at 24985 Haggerty Rd. in Novi—which is part of the National Storage Center portfolio—offers self-storage space with monthly rents ranging from $44 for a 25-square-foot unit to $1,275 for a 1,700-square-foot unit, according to prices listed on the SSS website.

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Construction of Highly Anticipated Detroit Apartments to Begin June 11

8 Apr 2015, 8:38 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

One of Detroit’s most anticipated residential projects will finally break ground this summer, more than ten years since the first architectural renderings were sketched.

DuCharme Place - Exterior rendering

DuCharme Place – Exterior rendering

On June 11 local developer Walter Cohen and his development team at DuCharme Place LLC will celebrate the official start of construction of a three-building apartment complex in the historic Lafayette Park neighborhood and within walking distance to the Central Business District. Detroit-based Sachse Construction will build the residential complex.

DuCharme Place will replace a vacant site located at 1544 E. Lafayette Blvd. between Rivard and Orleans streets, east of the iconic 1300 E. Lafayette luxury co-op building. According to data provided by PropertyShark, the 3.45-acre site was acquired by Cohen’s development company for $453,923 in 2007.

Originally considered a community of town homes back in 2004, DuCharme Place suffered some alterations in design until the McIntosh Poris Associates team of architects reached the final version of the project. As previously reported on this page, DuCharme Place will have 185 rental apartments in a mix of studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units with sizes ranging from 500 to over 1,000 square feet. The apartment complex will start accepting residents in the first quarter of 2016. Rents at Ducharm Place will fall between $900 to $1,800 per month, the development team announced.

The $42 million upscale project is backed by a $5 million tax increment awarded by the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, as well as other funding coming from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and state equity.

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Rendering credits to McIntosh Poris Associates



Dan Gilbert Snags One Detroit Center in $100 Million Deal, Ally Financial Moves In

1 Apr 2015, 3:45 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Dan Gilbert adds one million square feet of space to its real estate portfolio in Detroit

Ally Detroit Center (formerly known as One Detroit Center) - 500 Woodward Avenue

Ally Detroit Center (formerly known as One Detroit Center) – 500 Woodward Avenue

One Detroit center, an iconic office tower on Woodward Avenue, is now officially part of the giant real estate empire owned by Detroit’s own Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Quicken Loans Inc. and Rock Ventures.

The announcement was made by Gilbert himself during a press conference, but sources quoted by Crain’s Detroit Business indicated earlier in March that the sale was imminent. The deal—which according to Gilbert was one of the best kept secrets—is worth $100 million. iStar Financial, Inc. of New York City has a 90 percent ownership stake in the asset, Crain’s said. The company is expected to maintain a ground lease on the land on which the tower sits. Additionally, the Detroit Police and Fire Retirement System has a 10 percent ownership stake in the building. Crain’s reported that the deal was valued at $20 million and closed in 2007.

Completed in 1993 and designed by noted architects John Burgee and Philip Johnson, One Detroit Center was known as Comerica Tower until 2007, when Comerica Bank relocated its headquarters to Texas. It is the second tallest building in Detroit and the tallest office tower in the state of Michigan. Rising 43 stories above ground, the building located at 500 Woodward Avenue between Congress and Larned Streets encompasses nearly one million square feet of Class A office space, yielding an average rent of $22.58 per square foot per year. The building also includes an attached parking garage for more than 2,000 vehicles.

Ally Financial Inc. moves in and the building gets a new name

Not only did the tower change ownership, but it will also be renamed into Ally Detroit Center. Ally Financial Inc., a financial services company that has five locations in Metro Detroit, announced it signed a 12-year lease with Bedrock Real Estate Services—Dan Gilbert’s full-service real estate firm which orchestrated both the building acquisition and the brokering of the long-term lease with the new tenant. “It is becoming increasingly certain that the urban core of downtown Detroit is the place to be for businesses from large Fortune 500 companies to new economy high-tech start-ups and all kinds of businesses in between,” said Dan Gilbert during the press conference. Gilbert also mentioned that Ally’s lease brings the office tower’s occupancy rate to 100 percent, while pushing up the occupancy rate of all of the Gilbert-owned commercial properties in Detroit to 99 percent.

Ally Financial will leave its home next to General Motors in the Renaissance Center and move its headquarters and 1,300 employees into 321,000 square feet on 13 floors at the 500 Woodward Avenue landmark. Ally Financial will also employ approximately 200 independent third party contractors and vendors based in Detroit, the company announced.

The financial company will bring together 700 employees currently working in Detroit, along with an additional 600 team members from Ally’s four other locations in Michigan. The relocation is expected to complete in spring 2016, after a $55 million renovation and build-out process.

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Image courtesy of Ally Fiancial, Inc.



200 High-End Apartments, Retail Space Coming to Midtown Detroit

26 Mar 2015, 6:10 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

New renderings of a high-end mixed-use complex planned for Midtown Detroit have been unveiled by Broder & Sachse, the real estate investment, development and management firm behind the $8 million redevelopment of The Albert.

The Scott @ Brush Park - Midtown Detroit

The Scott @ Brush Park – Midtown Detroit

Detroit Free Press reported that the project—which will be marketed as The Scott @ Brush Park—will be built on a vacant, 2.6-acre parcel partly owned by the Fraternal Civic Center Group and located at Woodward Avenue and Erskine Street in Midtown’s Brush Park neighborhood, one of the historic areas in the city. Designed to target mid- to higher-end income renters, the five-story apartment building will include 200 market-rate residences ranging from studios to three-bedroom units. According to the same news source, rents at The Scott are expected to be consistent with the area’s rate, starting at below $900 for a studio and reaching $2,900 for a three-bedroom apartment, with a small number of units set aside for low-income residents. The Scott’s commercial component will encompass 15,000 square feet of street-level retail space, a low-grade parking garage with 300 spaces, a swimming pool, as well as a vegetated rooftop terrace.

Construction at the site is scheduled to break ground this summer and wrap up by late 2016. MLive.com said that Woodward and Erskine, LLC, a real estate venture of Broder and Sachse, serves as the project’s developer, while Neumann Smith Architecture designed the building. All leasing operations at The Scott will be handled by Brider & Sachse.

Additionally, in an effort to preserve Midtown’s historic architectural features, the development team also plans to retain the nearby Fraternal Civic Center (FCC) building, a century-old structure that housed the non-profit. The civic center will move into a new, 10,600-square-foot headquarters building that recently gained approval from the Detroit City Council, according to the Press.

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Rendering credits to Broder & Sachse







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