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Developer plans riverfront apartments downtown

October 13, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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Orion Real Estate Solutions River's Edge Apartments rendering
A partial rendering of the 34-unit River's Edge Apartments proposed for Monroe Avenue NW in Grand Rapids along the Grand River. Courtesy Orion Real Estate Solutions

A developer is banking on the Grand River.

Grand Rapids-based Orion Real Estate Solutions will go in front of the Grand Rapids Planning Commission on Oct. 22 seeking approval of an $8 million, 44,000-square-foot riverfront apartment building, at 1001 Monroe Ave. NW.

Orion is seeking approvals on art work, set-back variances and site details, said Jason Wheeler, a spokesperson for the firm.

Wheeler said that Orion hopes to begin the project next year.

River's Edge

The building, called River's Edge Apartments in a rendering, would replace a building at the site purchased last year for $1.3 million.

The development would be five stories tall with 34 units. They would be a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. Apartments would range from 680 square feet to 1,100 square feet.

The first story would feature an 1,800-square-foot restaurant space and parking, with the remaining four floors housing the apartments.


Orion would handle the demolition and construction. Progressive AE in Grand Rapids is serving as the project's architect. Wheeler said no interior designer has been selected.

The site was purchased with private equity, and financing for the development would be sought following approval of the project, Wheeler said.

"Boom" corridor 

The development would be along the river, which is in planning stages for a restoration.

The nearby corridor along Monroe Avenue NW has gone through heavy development in recent years, including the Boardwalk Condos.

616 Development recently opened up leasing at 616 Lofts Monroe, a $22-million apartment development in the former Sackner Products Co. building, at 820 Monroe Ave. NW.

A 12-to-13 story development was announced for 601 Bond. Ave. in September by New York-based 601 Bond Nassau Dutch John. It’s expected to be a $26.3-million mixed-use project.

Traveling south along Monroe, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine is building the Grand Rapids Research Facility at the former Grand Rapids Press site.

CWD Real Estate Investment is working on a $24-million restoration of The Rowe, which will be a residential and retail mixed-use building.

“It’s a big (return) to the north side of downtown,” CWD Vice President of Operations Nick Koster told the Business Journal in July. “The north end of downtown hasn’t been paid much attention in recent years, and now there’s this big boom.”

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