Focus, Economic Development, and Real Estate

Third Coast starts Medical Mile development

Mixed-use project will include apartments, commercial and retail space.

July 17, 2015
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Third Coast Purple
The new structures at 555 and 601 Michigan St. NE will contain 26 apartment units between them. Courtesy Third Coast Development

Third Coast Development’s work on Michigan Street’s Medical Mile corridor never seems to cease.

On July 6, the Grand Rapids-based developer hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for its new mixed-use development at 555 Michigan St. NE, in front of the Women’s Health Center and Hampton Inn and Suites properties. The development includes a pair of buildings at 555 Michigan St. NE and 601 Michigan St. NE.

Called “Third Coast Purple,” the structure at 555 Michigan will be a three-story, 12,000-square-foot building that will offer 9,600 square feet of apartment space, with four units on both the second and third floors. There also will be about 2,400 square feet of commercial space on the first floor.

The building at 601 Michigan will be called “Third Coast Orange” and will be a four-story, 25,000-square-foot building with approximately 21,400 square feet of apartment space, including six units on the second, third and fourth floors. There will be nearly 3,200 square feet of commercial space on the first floor.

The total cost for both buildings is expected to be about $7.4 million. The project will create approximately 15 jobs in retail, which is likely to be restaurants.

Both buildings are expected to be completed in early 2016, possibly as early as the end of February.

Third Coast officials, as well as Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell and City Commissioner Rosalynn Bliss, spoke at the groundbreaking.

“Fourteen months ago we stood a few feet from here to break ground on Hampton Inn and Suites, and as you can see, we are well on our way. Just like that building over the last 14 months, the Michigan Street Corridor has gone through a lot of growth, change and opportunity, as well,” said David Levitt, partner at Third Coast.

“We like to refer to the corridor as ‘the second place.’ We refer to it as the second place because it serves as an adjunct to downtown. The mix of living, working and playing options here on Michigan Street makes the bordering neighborhoods and corridor a great asset to our city.”

Levitt thanked Grand Rapids-based Pioneer Construction, the project’s contractor, and Integrated Architecture, the project’s architect, for their work on the project, and thanked Mercantile Bank for serving as lender.

The Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority provided about $475,000 in local property tax breaks.

“You’ve taken what was a forgotten piece of property and turned it into an incredible urban center here in the Midtown neighborhood,” Heartwell said. “And you’ve done it not only with style and the beauty of the architecture, you’ve done it with clear, steady consistent communication with the neighbors.”

Levitt also thanked the Michigan Economic Development Corp., which awarded a $1 million grant to the project through the state’s Community Revitalization Program.

Levitt said there is a misconception that this was some kind of charitable donation from the state.

“As the state struggles to determine its budget priorities, there are often comments about the Community Revitalization Program, which funds critical urban development projects. In the dialogue, there’s a lot of heated rhetoric, and those who would shut down the CRP consider these funds to be gifts to fat cats,” he said.

“Over there stand several of the men and women employed here due to the CRP program. I can tell you without exception that absent the CRP program, none of these people would be working here on this site today. So the next time you read a blogger comment, consider these people and their families and don’t believe what the bloggers say because the working people of this city are the beneficiaries of this program.”

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