Economic Development and Real Estate

Corporate center changes hands

July 31, 2015
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Grand Rapids Corporate Center
The Grand Rapids Corporate Center on Roger B. Chaffee Memorial Drive is managed by Colliers International | West Michigan. Courtesy Colliers International

A business complex in the heart of Wyoming’s manufacturing district has a new owner.

The Grand Rapids Corporate Center, 3526 Roger B. Chaffee Memorial Drive, has been purchased by J.B. Davies, owner of Bloomfield Hills-based real estate company JBD Acquisition Corp. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Davies said he plans to put the industrial property, which has four buildings, through extensive renovations over the next two years. Those renovations, some of which have already started, will include a new parking lot, landscaping, signage, three roofs and exterior and decorative lighting and exterior painting.

The center has suffered from high vacancy rates for years, but John Kuiper and Trent Wieringa of Grand Rapids-based Colliers International | West Michigan recently took over the marketing of the site and have increased occupancy from 40 percent to 60 percent over the last three months, according to Colliers. Spaces still available for lease range from 2,000 to 42,000 square feet.

“As a previously mismanaged facility, the Grand Rapids Corporate Center and its tenants — current and prospective — will benefit greatly from J.B.’s hands-on landlord style and flexibility in tailoring a space to a tenant’s needs,” Wieringa said.

“This is the firm’s second Grand Rapids investment purchase in the past six months, making it obvious J.B. is passionate about the opportunity that exists in our community.”

JBD Acquisition also recently purchased the six-story, 80,000-square-foot Weyhill Building, an office building that was formerly owned and managed by Calvin College. Davies said he has a plan to take that space to 94 percent occupancy.

“We are willing to take a chance on young companies with a strong business plan that are adequately capitalized,” Davies said. “The startup atmosphere is a wonderful quality unique to Grand Rapids, and we want to be attentive and responsive to that framework at this facility.”

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