GR Goes ‘Brown’

March 10, 2006
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GRAND RAPIDS — City commissioners approved a brownfield request last week and then set public hearing dates for two more.

Commissioners amended the brownfield redevelopment plan for Two West Fulton by adding a bit more property to the project site at Fulton Street and Division Avenue, the former location of the city-owned City Centre parking ramp.

Two West Fulton, a partnership between RSC Associates of Chicago and Second Story Properties of Grand Rapids, plans to invest up to $24 million to build about 32,000 square feet of retail space, 80 condominiums and 260 parking spaces.

“We will be acquiring 149 parking spaces or so,” said Deputy City Manager Eric DeLong.

The commission’s action allows Two West Fulton to qualify for a $1.9 million Single Business Tax credit if it goes ahead with the project.

“Because this is in the DDA district, they’re only going after the SBT credit,” said City Manager Kurt Kimball.

Two West Fulton has to finish its due diligence on the project by the end of this month.

Commissioners set April 11 for public hearings on two other downtown projects.

One has Moch International LLC investing $16 million into a four-story building with 171 market-rate apartments and enclosed parking on the lower level at 235 Grandville Ave. SE. Rents will range from $700 a month to $1,500 a month.

“All rental and no condominiums,” said Joe Moch Jr., who is a partner with his father, Joe Moch Sr., in the company.

Joe Moch Jr. said his firm was requesting $1.3 million in tax-increment financing from the project, which would be used to make improvements to the streets surrounding the development. He added that they were looking at LEED certification for the project.

The other is for a $15 million new construction and renovation project at 40-60 South Division for 116 rental apartments. The project is being led by the Heartside Nonprofit Housing Corp, a division of Dwelling Place, and will have 72 units in the new building and 44 in the renovated Dwelling Place Inn. The project will be LEED certified.

“Everything Dwelling Place does is LEED certified,” said George Larimore, an investment specialist with Grubb&Ellis/Paramount.

The development will be named in honor of the late Verne Barry, former chairman of the Downtown Development Authority.    

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