New Tri Cities Office Complex On Sale

April 2, 2004
Text Size:

FERRYSBURG — Why build just one at a time?

Seeing a market void he could fill, as well as needing the critical mass to make the project affordable and to create a broader offering, Robert Wagenmaker decided to develop the entire office complex he had planned north of Grand Haven all at once, rather than building-by-building.

"Who wants something standing by itself?" said Wagenmaker, of R. Wagenmaker Contractor LLC.

"If you can create a complex, it's more of a draw. You have more traffic coming in," he said. "All of the advantages of multiple (buildings) are here."

Wagenmaker recently completed the Trillium Business Center on Van Wagoner Road two blocks west of U.S. 31, in Ferrysburg, in northwest Ottawa County

It's a seven-building complex offering what he describes as "high quality, affordable" office space that's "not real fancy where people can't afford to get into it."

He is offering the space as customized office condominiums, selling entire buildings or 22 individual office suites for office and commercial uses.

Six of the buildings are 5,540 square feet and the seventh is 7,488 square feet.

A market assessment leading up to the project identified a market void for the office space that Wagenmaker has created.

The site lies in part of what planners have called the emerging "employment spine" filling in vacant land along U.S. 31 between the Tri-Cities — Ferrysburg, Grand Haven and Spring Lake — and Muskegon.

The space is listed by Commerce Realty at $13.50 per square foot.

Prior to beginning construction last July, Wagenmaker secured commitments from outside investors for five of the seven buildings and 15 of the 22 suites. The buyers of the buildings are seeking tenants.

One of the buildings went to the Michigan Education Association. Another suite is now a coffee shop and Wagenmaker is close to a deal for a health-care user for another building.

Wagenmaker acquired the 7.5-acre site last year as construction began next door on the Trillium Conference and Banquet Center in which he was a partner.

After building a similar office project in Grand Haven in the mid-1990s, the Beechtree Professional Suites on the city's east side, Wagenmaker was ready for a new office project.

He initially looked for land near the Lakes Mall two miles to the north on Harvey Street in southern Muskegon County. But the area proved too expensive for the kind of project he had in mind. The site he settled on, in northern Ferrysburg, came at the right price and offered the right proximity to U.S. 31.

Positioned to serve the northern Ottawa County and southern Muskegon County market, the Trillium Business Center is geared toward professional services and businesses that serve a growing area.

Wagenmaker in particular sees the center attracting tenants who can tap into a rapidly growing residential base to the north in Norton Shores, where large apartment complexes are under development.

The growing residential base, combined with a paucity of new office space in the Tri-Cities, also drove the center's development, Wagenmaker said.

"We just looked at the numbers and said, 'This makes a lot of sense,'" he said of the center.

"I just think the timing was right."

Once the Trillium Business Center reaches two-thirds occupancy, Wagenmaker will begin looking at another similar project in the area, which will probably occur in the next year to a year and a half, he said.

Recent Articles by Mark Sanchez

Editor's Picks

Comments powered by Disqus