Construction, Economic Development, and Real Estate

Brownfield panel approves Third Coast's northeast plan

Developers are eligible for reimbursement funds and state revitalization grant.

November 14, 2012
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The boys are back in town
Brad Rosely, left, and Dave Levitt are the partners in Third Coast Development Partners. Photo by Jim Gebben

The Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority recently put its stamp of approval on a brownfield development and reimbursement agreement submitted by Third Coast Development Partners.

The partners, Dave Levitt and Brad Rosely, plan to renovate the former Miller Zeilstra Lumber Co. at 833 Michigan St. NE and a nearby two-story building at 411 Houseman Ave. NE.

The agreement will allow the developers to capture up to $434,227 in brownfield reimbursements over 12 years for cleaning up the sites and making public improvements to the properties. They will also be eligible for a community revitalization grant of $487,000 from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Third Coast is investing $5.6 million in the project. Work on the development is expected to get underway any day now and take about a year to complete.

Portions of the interior in the Miller Zeilstra building will be demolished and the single-story structure will be turned into medical office space due to its proximity to the Medical Mile along Michigan Street. The building’s south wall will be removed and replaced with glass. The structure’s north side will get new entryways, seating areas and parking with ADA-compliant sidewalks.

The site’s lumberyard, which has drawn vandals to the property, and lumber storage area also will be razed.

So far, Third Coast has two doctor groups as tenants. One is moving into the building from its current downtown location and, if this space wasn’t available, would likely have moved to a site outside of the city. The other tenant is moving into the building to be nearer to the Medical Mile. When the work is done, there will be 11,000 square feet of office space.

The brick building on Houseman will be redeveloped into retail space on the ground floor and medical offices on the second story. When completed, the building will offer 15,000 square feet of space. The property will feature an outdoor seating area, a conference room and three storefronts facing Michigan Street. Some interior demolition will be done, as well.

Third Coast plans to make the property more pedestrian friendly by eliminating one of the curb cuts along Michigan Street and replacing the sidewalk on the property. The firm also will relocate a curb cut on Eastern Avenue and replace the sidewalk there. Third Coast expects to remove 455 square yards of concrete, 250 linear feet of curb and 5,475 square yards of asphalt.

The demolition work has been estimated at costing $107,000, while the site-preparation work has been estimated at $238,850. The public improvements have been pegged at $20,000. Other clean-up costs include the baseline environmental assessment, a review charge, a fee to create the work plan and a 15 percent contingency.

All totaled, Third Coast should spend $434,227 on the remediation part of the project — the amount the redevelopment authority said the developers are entitled to collect through tax-increment financing through 2023. There isn’t any lead or asbestos to be removed from the buildings.

The project is projected to create 50 new jobs — 40 full-time and 10 part-time — and retain another 50 jobs. The city is expected to receive $18,000 in additional property taxes annually from the development and nearly $7,500 in new income taxes each year.

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