Green And Winkel Create New Firm

May 6, 2008
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GRAND RAPIDS — They happily collaborated on a trio of recent downtown projects over a relatively short amount of time, so it only seemed natural for them to formalize their working relationship.

That’s why John Green and Andy Winkel announced Monday that they have formed Locus Development LLC, a commercial real estate development firm they say is committed to building better and smarter places for people to live, work and play in the city.

Winkel and Green finalized the decision to combine their talents last month and the two are now equal partners in the new company.

“While operating as separate entities, Andy and I realized we share the same passion for creating sustainable environments that work. Our strengths compliment each other, and it was only natural for our relationship to progress into creating Locus Development,” said Green in a release.

Green spent six years in the local market working with Sam Cummings at Second Story Properties before he started his own firm, the Elevation Group, in the fall of 2006. In all, Green has 18 years of commercial real estate and development experience.

“His strengths match up with my strengths and we complement each other very well,” Winkel told the Business Journal.

“At the same time, we have fun working together and that may be the most important thing. In this business, if you’re not having fun, then it’s not worth doing,” he added.

Winkel came to Grand Rapids from Chicago in 2005 and started Kelwin Properties, a firm that shared Green’s concern for building sustainable developments in the urban core. Prior to arriving here, Winkel spent four years managing properties, assets and developments for the Marquette Companies in Chicago

“Andy has a very good handle on what it takes to make a project work, both financially and in the best interests of the community. He is one of the best young developers I have ever worked with and a true asset to the city,” Green told the Business Journal.

Green and Winkel got together to renovate two five-story buildings into Hopson Flats, convert a warehouse for the Founders Brewing Co. location, and transform a two-story structure at 444 Bridge St. NW into retail and residential space. They did all three in a span of 18 months.

Now they’re working on their biggest project to date; the pair of “Liner Buildings” that will go up at the corner of

Weston Street
Commerce Avenue
in the Heartside Business District. They say their $26 million development will result in 42,000 square feet of office space, 35 rental apartments and nine condominiums across the two buildings.

The city is joining the development, as Parking Services will spend $11 million to build a 360-space ramp that will be tucked behind the new structures.

Winkel and Green have located Locus Development’s office in the Flat Iron Building at 109 Ottawa Avenue NW. Green said “locus” is Latin for ‘place’ and is a word that aptly suits their vision, which is to create unique places in downtown.

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

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