Class A Offices Near Lakes Mall

August 26, 2002
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FRUITPORT — The latest development occurring near the Lakes Mall represents a new wrinkle to the developing retail corridor: Class A office space.

NEXCOM Commercial Real Estate broke ground recently on a 13,200-square-foot office center on Mt. Garfield Road, across from the mall. The Muskegon firm, after relocating its offices from West Broadway Avenue, will occupy nearly one-third of the Lakes Commerce Centre. A military recruiting center will occupy about 3,000 square feet and NEXCOM is working to secure tenants from the two remaining office suites.

As with any real estate deal, location was the key for the project, said Phil Schultz, a partner in NEXCOM.

The Lakes Commerce Centre, scheduled for completion in October and one of the first office projects in the area that is not located in downtown Muskegon, is situated within a busy retail corridor that is still developing, located between Muskegon and the Grand Haven-Spring Lake area. The area is an ideal location for new, high-quality office space because of convenient proximity to both communities, as well as to nearby Muskegon County Airport and I-96 to Grand Rapids, Schultz said.

In undertaking the project, NEXCOM wants to accommodate potential clients that are seeking new office space but don’t want to locate downtown, and for whom the emerging commerce corridor surrounding the Lakes Mall is attractive, he said.

“There’s a lot of other office space out there. It doesn’t really match the local demographic and trends in the marketplace,” Schultz said. “Our strategy is to be near the developing areas.”

Anchored by the Lakes Mall, which opened a year ago, the area surrounding Sternberg Road and Harvey Street is undergoing a major retail buildup that is complemented by apartment and condominium developments and now professional offices.

NEXCOM is marketing several parcels around the Lakes Commerce Centre, as are other firms and developers that hold nearby parcels. If the project proves successful, NEXCOM may undertake additional office projects within the vicinity to create a professional business park.

“We’re looking at this project as a steppingstone to see if there’s more need out there,” Schultz said. “Hopefully we can find a niche in building small strip centers.”

Internally, the new office space will provide NEXCOM the room it needs to continue growing. The three-year-old firm has gone from six to nine agents this year and plans to add three more agents in the months ahead.           

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