Cascade Development Combines Retail Residential

April 8, 2002
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CASCADE — Two companies are bringing two very different projects to a shared 10-acre parcel in the 6000 block of 28th Street in Cascade.

Building Design Restore (BDR) Inc. is building a 20,000-square-foot, “prairie style” retail center at 6275 28th St. SE.

“It was one of the only vacant parcels on 28th Street and in a great area,” Kevin Einfeld, president of BDR, said of the location.

Just behind the retail center, Rockford Construction Co. is building a 44-unit townhouse complex, Cascade Townhomes, that will take up about seven of the 10 acres the Cascade Township Board rezoned in February to pave way for the two projects.

Rockford will construct 11 buildings, each of them housing four 1,650-square-foot townhouses.

Each two-story townhouse will have three bedrooms, two-and-one-half baths, its own private entrance and the option of an attached garage, said Mike Maier, president of Rockford Construction’s development group.

Construction on the retail center is underway and will be completed by summer’s end, Einfeld said. Its anchor tenant will be Chemical Bank West, which will occupy about 2,800 square feet. The remainding space will be leased to upscale retailers.

Einfeld said some restaurants, boutiques and a hair salon already have expressed interest in the available space. At this point, he envisions about nine different spaces ranging from 1,200 square feet to “whatever somebody needs.”

The retail center will have approximately 100 parking spaces, 24 more than the township requires for a building of that size. That was intentional. Einfeld said he knows of tenants on 28th Street who are interested in getting out of their existing retail centers because of the lack of parking space.

Neither of the two projects hinged on the other, he said.

“It was kind of unique because usually you have one developer doing the whole thing — but we had two developers presenting to the township at the same time,” he observed.

“Obviously, we had to meet to make sure our plans worked well with each other’s and with the township’s ordinances. Rockford was a pleasure to deal with and very fair.”

Rockford Construction expects to break ground on the townhouse complex in early summer and finish the project in spring 2003.

Maier estimated the project’s cost at around $4 million, and he noted the complex already has some prospective clients. Construction will be staged so that a couple of buildings come on line at a time.

Maier said the townhouse units are actually small homes, equally as suited to families as they are to young professionals and empty nesters who want a little more living space than the typical apartment affords.

“We have a lot of people that come in from out of town who want to just settle in the area before they really choose a home,” he said.

Though primarily a construction company, Rockford undertakes some development as well. Cascade Townhomes represents its 13th multifamily project in the metro area.

The company has a total of 469 units built out. In addition to the Cascade Townhomes project, Rockford is building 88 units near RiverTown Crossings Mall that will be completed in August.

As with those complexes, partners from Rockford development group will maintain ownership in the townhouse complex, and a subsidiary, Rockford Property Management, will manage it.

“I think the one thing that’s important, and that everybody has an interest in when we talk about multifamily, is that we cater to the high-end niche where our rents are $1,200 and up. We offer attached garages, which is very unique, and some two-stall garages on end units.

“We’re kind of hitting a niche that not many companies are,” Maier said.    

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