- people on the move
Third Coast continues Mid Towne Village development
Hotel provides a solution to area’s need.
As Third Coast Development’s Hampton Inn and Suites project is finishing up, the rest of the Mid Towne Village project is far from complete.
The nearly $30 million, 142-room hotel project is on track to be finished by the end of this year, and the management company, Lodgco Management, should take over in the next couple of weeks to prepare for the opening.
When Third Coast initially bought up 50 homes in a three-block area on Michigan Street and Union Avenue, the developers estimated the development of the site would end up at approximately $27 million.
Instead, the hotel alone surpasses that estimation. With the already-built Women’s Health Center and Park Place Condominiums, and the mixed-use office building that also houses The Omelette Shoppe and El Barrio, Third Coast is well past that initial estimate.
Counting three new mixed-use apartment projects now under construction or soon to be constructed, Third Coast now expects the Mid Towne Village project to pass $100 million.
With more housing coming to Michigan Street, Third Coast principal Dave Levitt said the residential options will give rise to a variety of other service businesses.
“It’s quite the transformation in 15 years,” said Levitt, who admitted it took a bit longer than expected because of the Great Recession.
The hotel was always part of the plan for the site, but not at the current location, Levitt said. Third Coast originally imagined the hotel would sit parallel with nearby I-196, where the Women’s Health Center currently sits.
The Hampton Inn and Suites is Third Coast’s first hotel project.
“If we look at this area, it wanted and needed a hotel,” he said. “That site wanted to be a hotel.”
At the center of Mid Towne Village is a large parking lot. After the 200-car hotel parking garage opens, construction of a third and final apartment building will begin, along with a long-promised park.
The hotel, currently with a Dec. 10 opening target, is a seven-story building with rooms on floors three through seven and parking on the first two floors and one underground level.
The hotel was built to LEED specifications, but it likely won’t receive final accreditation.
The hotel rooms will offer spectacular views of I-196, with the Medical Mile buildings and downtown to the west and miles of residential neighborhood to the east. The views are something Third Coast was told the hotel would lack; an appraiser initially looked at the site and said it was low visibility.
Directly to the east of the hotel are two apartment buildings currently under construction. One is a three-story, mixed-use building with eight apartments and 2,500 square feet of retail. Across Union Avenue is a similar building with 3,500 square feet of retail and 18 units.
Pioneer Construction is the lead contractor on the hotel and apartments.
When Third Coast first started the development, it primarily focused on office and retail buildings, but that has largely changed in favor of more housing.
“Over time, the demand for office has lowered,” Levitt said. “It was less than anticipated. And there’s a shortage of residential housing.”
The change took place while Third Coast was working on Lumberyard Lofts at 855 Michigan St. NE. The developer had finished the retail portion of the building and wasn’t sure whether to go ahead with the planned office space. Third Coast decided to include eight apartments instead.
That number jumped to 30 residential units under construction this year and likely will near 200 next year with Diamond Place — 150 apartments at the Proos Manufacturing and Fabrication and Party Cooler sites at 1037 and 1001 Michigan St. NE — and 25 Jefferson, which was acquired last month.
“We’re heavily focused on the Michigan Street corridor,” Levitt said, and then, recognizing the recent 25 Jefferson investment that is not on the Michigan Street corridor, he added, “We are focused on development in the city.”
The Third Coast team — Levitt, Max Benedict and Brad Rosely — mentioned the 25 Jefferson purchase as one it couldn’t pass up — partly because of the financial deal but also because of the location. Third Coast purchased the four-story building for $900,000 and plans to transform it from office condos to 21 residential units.
“Right group, right time,” Rosely said. “It’s something we’ve focused on: How do we position ourselves so we’re a one-stop shop.”