Locus Buys Peacock Building

June 4, 2008
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GRAND RAPIDS — Locus Development LLC, one of the city’s newest commercial real estate development companies, recently added another downtown building to its growing portfolio.

It was the firm’s second purchase in the district in the last four months.

Locus Development bought the Peacock Building about six weeks ago. It’s a 12,000-square-foot structure at 150 E. Fulton St., on the southwest corner of Fulton and Jefferson Avenue. The building’s location and tenants were the major reasons Locus bought it.

“It’s a unique property that’s located in a key part of downtown Grand Rapids. With the development that is occurring east of Division (Avenue) along Fulton and the new proposed Bus Rapid Transit that will run along Jefferson to Fulton, we identified this property as one that would fit in well with our portfolio,” said John Green, who began Locus Development with Andy Winkel this spring.

Green and Winkel have no plans to make major improvements to the Peacock as the building is in good structural condition. But they will make some interior upgrades.

“For the most part, the exterior and the structure of the building is sound,” said Green. “We have three small vacant storefronts.”

Restaurants and retail shops are tenants, and Green said a new dance studio recently signed a lease.

Dave Denton of Grubb & Ellis|Paramount Commerce represented Locus in buying the building from the DAR Land Co. A purchase price was not released, but the building’s 2008 State Equalized Value is $426,000.

Green and Winkel bought the building at 130 Ionia Ave. SW in February, a few months before they formed Locus Development. The 11,000-square-foot structure is at the corner of Ionia and Cherry Street and isn’t far from Van Andel Arena. Business space is planned for the ground floor, which was home to the EQ3 furniture store. An apartment is already on the upper level.

Green and Winkel are also getting ready to put up the Liner Buildings, 68,000 square feet of office, retail and residential space on the corner of Commerce Avenue and Weston Street. They have also collaborated on Hopson Flats, a residential building for college students, and on the Founders Brewing Co. building. Both of those structures are on Grandville Avenue SW, just south of downtown’s core.

On top of those structures, Green and Winkel have just completed work on another building: a two-story at 444 Bridge St. NW near Winter Avenue. The building has commercial space on the first floor and a large rental apartment on the second.

“It’s turned out really well. We just completed our construction of the apartment. It has four bedrooms plus a den, with three full baths, and it’s about 2,200 square feet,” said Green. “It’s likely we will have students living in that location because of its proximity to Grand Valley State (University) and Michigan State’s new facility, and with it being situated along Bridge Street in the entertainment district there.”

A sign company occupies about two-thirds of the structure’s ground floor, and Green said there is a storefront with about 1,000 square feet available to lease.

Green merged his firm, the Elevation Group, with Winkel’s Kelwin Properties to form Locus Development a little more than a month ago. Winkel said the new company plans to keep its focus on the downtown sector.

“We’re committed to this city,” he said. “We want to be integral contributors to its vitality and growth.”

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