Clinton Building Storm In Greenville

May 7, 2004
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GREENVILLE — It may be just what the economic doctor ordered for Greenville. It certainly is a good prescription for a city that has suffered enough.

Clinton Realty Companies Inc. is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in a variety of building projects there. Some are completed. Some are underway. And one major project is just about ready to jump off the drawing board.

Clinton Realty’s newest and most aggressive residential effort ever will stretch over 159 acres and have 541 residential units, all to be owner occupied. Hathaway Green Plus is a mix of 200 single-family homes and 341 multiple-level attached condominiums, including some million-dollar style units.

The complex will offer residents four distinct neighborhoods and 33 acres of open space with 3.4 units per acre. Hathaway Green Plus is also within walking distance to stores, shops and other services in the city.

“It’s a traditional neighborhood development that mixes a variety of housing prices and styles,” said Jerry Felix, a sales associate with Clinton Realty, a real estate brokerage and development firm in Grandville.

And there is more, much more.

Near Hathaway Green Plus, Clinton Realty has an upscale apartment complex called Edgewood Square. Clinton has added two more structures with a total of 16 units to that development to bring the total number of apartments in it to 40.

Just to the north of Edgewood Square is Maplewood Square, another apartment complex that belongs to the company. Just west of there is Hawthorne Condominiums. Of the 39 condos that Clinton has planned for Hawthorne, 20 are already built. And nearby, the firm is putting in another apartment complex.

“We’re also in the process of building Meadowridge Apartments. We have 40 of those units going up,” said Felix. “Three buildings are under construction and we have three more to go.”

The Fryling Construction Co. is building the rental units, while Chris Nelson is doing the same for the condos.

Clinton Realty hasn’t chosen a builder for Hathaway Green Plus, yet, but Visbeen Associates Inc. and Progressive AE designed the development.

Felix said work on the massive effort should begin within a year. But if everything goes according to Hoyle, groundbreaking just might take place this fall.

“This project will be an award winner for the Blueprint,” said Felix of the annual honor given by the Grand Valley Metro Council that recognizes livable communities.

Felix could very well have some special insight into the award-qualification process, because he was the council’s executive director for eight years.

“It’s got everything: neighborhood parks, trails, green space, open space, service drives, multiple uses in terms of styles of housing, and it’s walkable to the neighborhood. It’s inside the city limits. It’s just fabulous,” he said.

“It’s in excess of a hundred million (dollars) and there aren’t any tax breaks, either. It will probably approach $200 million by the time it’s done and phased out,” said Felix of the Hathaway Green Plus price tag.

But residential isn’t the only use category that Clinton Realty is working on in Greenville, in that retail and office construction are both on the company’s to-do list.

Clinton is giving the 20-year-old Greenville West Shopping Center a facelift, and is also converting the former 40,000-square-foot Wolohan Lumber Co. site on M-57 into a retail center. Suites in that building will range in size from 1,500 square feet to 10,000 square feet. Build-outs in the Wolohan structure could possibly get underway this month.

“In fact, we’re doing façade work on parts of the mall, as we speak,” he said. “It will have a new, updated look, some towers, all new sidewalks, landscaped parking, new lights — just a major upgrade to the mall.”

Visbeen designed the center’s improvements and the new retail space, while Fryling is managing the project.

Across the street from Greenville West is the Marketplace Shoppes, a 70,000-square-foot center where Clinton Realty has suites available ranging in size from 1,500 square feet to 8,000 square feet.

Just north of Greenville West, Clinton Realty is working on the Wingate Office Park. The firm has already finished three of the four buildings planned for the park, and two are fully occupied. Clinton is leasing space in the third now. Each has 6,000 square feet and construction on the fourth building will start in the fall.

Irish Design & Build, a Wyoming company, is managing the Wingate project.

“We have another office park, Office Center West, which is on the corner of Youngmen and M-57 immediately west of all this,” said Felix.

Clinton Realty has also leased the former United Memorial Hospital building to Spectrum Health. The Spectrum location at Greenville West Drive and Meijer Drive has 20,000 square feet and the site has enough room for another building of the same size.

All this building activity that Clinton Reality is undertaking in Greenville is particularly satisfying for Felix. Prior to joining the Metro Council in 1995, he served as city manager there for six years.

“When I was manager we annexed all of it in and made some improvements,” he said of the land along M-57 and Greenville West, “and now here is the fruit of those labors.”

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