Construction, Lakeshore, and Real Estate

Grand Haven’s Piper Lakes Apartments awaits approval

The 204-unit complex is planned for the corner of 168th Avenue and Comstock Street.

September 12, 2014
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Piper Lakes
Other Cherette Group properties also include community pools, clubhouses, dog parks and children’s play areas. Courtesy Cherette Group

A new state-of-the-art apartment complex looks to raise the bar for housing in the greater Grand Haven area, pending approval at a second hearing with township officials later this month.

The proposed 204-unit, multi-family apartment complex, to be called Piper Lakes Apartments, is planned for the corner of 168th Avenue and Comstock Street.

The proposed residential development received a first reading from the Grand Haven Township Board Sept. 8 and is scheduled to have a second reading Monday, Sept. 22,  to determine if the board will pass the project.

With a unanimous recommendation by the Planning Commission, the project consists of eight three-story apartment buildings with 204 units, multiple attached garages, a clubhouse, children’s play area, maintenance building, dog park and a pool, spread over a total of 14.5 acres.

The average rent for a unit is anticipated to fall in the $600 to $900 per month price range, depending on comparable market prices at the time of project completion.

Denny Cherette, founder of the Grand Haven-based Cherette Group and developer of the project, said as the former founder of Investment Property Associates, he had a long history of developing multi-family apartment units in West Michigan before focusing the company’s energy in Arizona.

“In 2012, I sold my remaining interest in that company and began to look at the demographics again here in West Michigan,” said Cherette. “Nothing had been built in excess of 10 years … so we began to look for sites to develop new projects.”

Focusing on the 14.5-acre lot at the corner of 168th Avenue and Comstock Street in 2013, Cherette said the real estate development firm spent more than a year quantifying market analysis, potential apartment occupancy, rent pricing, undergoing a wetlands permit process and architectural design.

“Ottawa County is at the top for both net gain of population and job growth,” said Cherette in reference to the economic recovery since roughly 2010. “We think the timing is right based on those factors and our experiences in the marketplace.”

Cherette anticipates working with a Greater Grand Rapids area builder as the general contractor.

He worked with Oppenhuizen Architects for the design of the project. The Grand Haven-based architectural company has designed roughly 1,500 apartments, office buildings and medical buildings for Cherette.

Pending approval from the Grand Haven Township Board, Cherette said the first units are expected to be available for rent late next summer, depending on weather conditions.

Pleased with positive feedback from both township officials and neighboring property owners, Cherette said the lack of objection to the project may be due to factors such as staying consistent with what the township had planned for the designated area, incorporating oversized attached garages to a majority of the units, and his long track record.

“It really has been positive, and we are really grateful for that. The design is really cool; it is not cheap and we are doing things that I believe are state-of-the-art and best practice,” said Cherette.

“Ultimately, it will raise the bar for what comes after this project in the greater Grand Haven area. We have been grateful for the support of the township. We are excited to be hopefully moving forward soon and just think it is going to be really neat. It is in my hometown, so it is even more important to me.”

Cherette Group was established in 2012 and provides development, consulting, brokerage and property management services in the field of commercial real estate. The team at the firm oversees the entire process of real estate development, including: financial analysis, land acquisition, financing, governmental and environmental approvals, architectural design, construction oversight, leasing and ongoing property management.

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