Construction, Real Estate, and Retail

Muskegon’s initial ‘skyscraper’ is reborn

Highpoint Flats apartment complex also will feature ground-floor retail space, office space.

February 16, 2018
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Highpoint Flats
Highpoint Flats, located in the old Hackley Union National Bank Building, will feature 47 apartments when completed. Courtesy Parkland Properties

After a nearly decade-long hiatus, including almost two years in planning and construction, Highpoint Flats Apartments is set for completion in late May.

Jon Rooks, owner of Parkland Properties, in December 2007 bought the old Hackley Union National Bank Building, 285 W. Western Ave., Muskegon. The building originally was built in 1918 and, at nine stories tall, was known as the first “skyscraper” in the city of Muskegon.

Rooks originally planned to turn the old structure into a condo development before the 2008 crash threw a wrench into his plans.

“It became apparent that it was not a good idea to develop condos then,” he said. “So, we mothballed the project for a few years, and I put it up for sale.”

After several years of making other investments in the region and with no buyers interested in the Hackley Union Building, Parkland decided in 2016 to hire an architect and put plans together for a mixed-use apartment complex.

“We weren’t sure there was a demand for apartments yet until a couple years ago,” Rooks said. “Market studies showed there would be demand, and now it seems like it’s all happening at once. There’s $80 million of development happening in this little four-block radius.”

Highpoint Flats makes up about $8.5 million of those developments, along with the total $1 billion in health care, manufacturing, beverage, science, technology, waterfront, environmental revitalization, higher education, tourism and craft business developments happening in Muskegon County.

Parkland finished the building exterior and over half of the planned 47 apartments.

The development also includes 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and a mezzanine adding an additional 5,000 square feet of office space.

There also is a basement adding 1,000 square feet of unspecified space.

The 47 apartments occupy the second-to-eighth floors, and the ninth floor will feature a bar and clubhouse with deck access.

Other amenities include a game room, fitness center, on-site parking/storage and in-unit laundry. The structure is pet-friendly.

Apartments come in one- and two-bedroom units and range from 528 to 1100 square feet.

Rental rates range between $795 and $1,950 per month, but the building sits within the Muskegon Renaissance Zone, meaning residents receive income tax benefits toward their monthly rent.

For example: A unit with a market rate of $925 per month will cost $772 for a household earning $35,000 per year, $641 per month for households earning $65,000 and $509 per month for households earning $95,000.

The Muskegon Renaissance Zone will last until 2023. Preleasing began two weeks ago, and 11 units already have been claimed.

Parkland contracted Grand Rapids-based Visser Brothers for the redevelopment and Concept Design for architectural services.

Parkland also issued a request for proposal for a grocery store within the retail area. Parkland is offering financial assistance in the form of a lease with three years rent-free, as well as $100,000 for improvements.

“I’m trying to be super aggressive about it,” Rooks said.

Terms of the lease include a minimum 10-year agreement and a rate of $10 per square foot once the three-year period ends.

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