Real Estate

Maplegrove Property establishes itself in downtown market

Company buys residential portfolio from Heritage and becomes a player.

November 29, 2013
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Maplegrove properties
Iowa Flats Apartments are part of an eight-building portfolio in or near downtown Grand Rapids purchased by Maplegrove Property. Photo by Chris Pastotnik

Although it’s not the biggest investment the firm has made, it is the largest single portfolio it has acquired.

Heritage Collection LLC recently bought eight multifamily residential buildings located in the urban core of Grand Rapids for $10.3 million from Heritage Management LLC.

Maplegrove Property Management and its investors comprised Heritage Collection. Chad Cassidy is the owner and president of the Heritage Investment Group, which made up Heritage Management.

The eight structures are multi-story apartment complexes located in and near downtown. Two are on Fountain Street, including Fountain Hill Flats at 301 Fountain St. NE. There are two more on Lafayette Avenue NE, and two on Prospect Avenue NE. One is on Ransom Avenue — namely, the iconic Park Place apartments at 68 Ransom Ave. NE. The Iowa Flats building at 125 Jefferson Ave. SE is the only one of the eight situated south of Fulton Street.

“It’s eight properties. It’s a portfolio; it’s a lot of properties to acquire. So as far as the number of properties, it’s probably our biggest deal,” said David Emdin, an owner of Maplegrove Property Management, which is based in East Lansing but has a Grand Rapids office on Lake Drive SE.

Emdin told the Business Journal the purchase of the Heritage portfolio took about two months to complete. He said the location of the buildings drew Maplegrove’s interest to the portfolio.

“The location was big. They’re all either downtown or right on the edge of downtown — kind of on the west edge of Heritage Hill or on the east side of downtown Grand Rapids. So that was attractive,” he said.

“We really believe that apartment living in downtown is a good thing right now. There is a lot of demand, and we were seeking opportunities to potentially have a bigger presence. So this worked out great.”

Maplegrove really established its presence here last April when it bought Thirty-Eight Commerce, an office, retail and residential development in downtown’s southeast sector, from Locus Development.

Emdin said another key factor in the acquisition was Heritage offered some wonderful properties that would allow Maplegrove to make an entry into what it sees as an appealing market.

“The buildings themselves were great properties. We were excited about that. The segment of the market the buildings service was exciting, too. These are kind of mid-priced apartment properties, and there is a lot of new stuff going in downtown which will be on the higher end — kind of like Thirty-Eight Commerce,” he said.

“These mid-priced ones were very enticing to us and made a nice addition to our portfolio.”

Emdin said students and young professionals are the firm’s primary targets for the apartments. All the structures are near Grand Rapids Community College, the hospitals and the rest of the medical industry that has established itself along Michigan Street.

“Those particular aspects of it really interested us,” he said. “And the price range and the locations were very key.”

Emdin said Maplegrove doesn’t plan any major renovations on any of the structures, as all were well maintained by Heritage Management.

The eight buildings give Maplegrove 131 apartments to manage. The firm is off to a good start, as each one is occupied, a scenario that doesn’t happen often when that many buildings and units are involved in a sale.

“It goes to show that the apartment market in downtown Grand Rapids is just hot,” said Emdin. “It shows there is demand.”

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