New Suburban Office Sites Now For Lease

May 31, 2002
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GRAND RAPIDS — Developers of a new northeast side office park are set to unveil the first of their eight Class A buildings soon, while builders of a new southeast side premium office structure have recently entered theirs into the market.

The North Evergreen Lake Office Park at 3000 East Beltline Avenue NE is about a $40 million development on approximately 25 acres north of Three Mile Road in Grand Rapids Township. The first of eight planned buildings will open before Labor Day and offer 31,000 square feet of modern office space in a woodsy setting that fronts Evergreen Lake.

"It is absolutely stunning," said Scott Morgan, vice president and office specialist for Grubb & Ellis/Paramount Properties, the exclusive listing agent for the building.

"The building has wrap-around glass so it has a great view of Evergreen Lake. Each floor has a cantilevered balcony jutting out from the building, and the floor is cantilevered out," added Morgan. "The walkout-level is 10,000 square feet, the next level is 10,500 square feet and then it's 11,000 on top of that, so each floor juts out.

"It's pretty striking from an architectural perspective," he said. "There is a 50-foot buffer of trees, a conservation easement that runs all around the perimeter of the lake and the building. When you walk out there, you think you're still in the woods."

Dan Vos Construction Co. of Ada is designing and building the office park that will have 350,000 square feet of space when it is finished. The general contractor is also the lead partner in Fusion Properties, the group that owns the property.

The brick buildings will range in size from 31,500 square feet to 60,000 square feet, be heated by gas-forced air, have three secured levels with nine-foot ceilings, and offer four parking spaces for every 1,000 square feet of leased space.

"It's been sometime since a developer has been able to secure a choice piece of property and build something that has a consistent architectural theme," said Morgan.

Fusion Properties bought the land from Prein & Newhof, which has its office on the other side of Evergreen Lake.

The building will lease for around $14 a square foot on a five-year contract. Small tenants are welcome there, as the partners are willing to lease as little as 2,500 square feet. They are also willing to condo the structure and sell lots in the park.

"That is a little bit new," said Morgan of those options. "I think it's a response to the reality of today's suburban office market and that is — people are looking to own."

The entire park should be built within five years, with construction on the next building likely to get started in the fall. It will go up on the East Beltline, and the partners consider the site a prime location for a bank that needs exposure on the city's northeast side.

A new Class A office structure recently opened on 3.4 acres at Lake Drive and East Paris SE in Kentwood. The 48,000 square foot, two-story building cost around $5.8 million to construct.

The Christman Co. of Lansing designed and built the brick-and-glass building, which offers basement storage, 24-hour card access and some heated underground parking. The general contractor, which has an office in Grand Rapids, is also the lead partner in the ownership group.

"They are a large company and they wanted to come to Grand Rapids for a real estate project, and they've come in with a big splash," said Morgan.

About 40 percent of the building at 4027 Lake Drive SE is already leased. AT&T Wireless was the first tenant to move in, and orthodontist Byron Scott is set to move in within weeks. The lease rate runs about $16 a square foot, triple net, for a five- or 10-year contract.

"It's a super-visible location," said Morgan, whose firm is also the exclusive listing agent for the building. "East Paris is a proven office corridor."

The structure is near the Michigan Medical PC campus, Integrated Architecture, and the regional headquarters of United Bank, and the partners are offering a bonus to whichever firm leases the second floor.

"We have signage rights for the building for the right-sized tenant," said Morgan. "And we're hoping to get a marquee tenant for the second floor, name the building after them and give them a sign right on East Paris."

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