Real Estate and Small Business & Startups

Real estate firms form partnership

June 12, 2017
| By Pat Evans |
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Derek Coppess large
Derek Coppess. Courtesy 616 Development

A Grand Rapids real estate firm has entered a partnership with a national company.

Derek Coppess, the founder and CEO of Grand Rapids-based 616 Development, said the firm has “right-sized” and partnered with the Mount Pleasant-based property management firm KMG Prestige.

Coppess said there are financial benefits to the partnership, which will allow him to focus 100 percent on development moving forward.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The courting for the partnership happened within the last few months and came quickly, Coppess said.

The number of employees at 616 Development has dropped from nearly 30 to 14, according to Coppess, including departures by former Director of Development Jeff Olsen and former Director of Community Relations Monica Steimle-App, who has moved to Grand Rapids-based Rockford Construction.

KMG Prestige manages more than 25,000 units across the country and provides 616 an opportunity to venture into new asset classes, such as affordable housing, Coppess said.

The Mount Pleasant firm will handle property management for 616, while Coppess works on future developments, including two projects in Grand Rapids' Creston and East Hills neighborhoods and a proposed venture with Celebration! Cinema downtown.

The partnership also provides 616 a platform for expansion into new markets, with a new Michigan market planned in the coming months.

“I’m a big believer in those seven-year cycles — there’s something to that,” Coppess said. “In the next seven years, I’m going to really pay attention to that even more.

“This one was building up, and there was change and innovation that was needed, and I ignored some of that, because I was overwhelmed. As things flattened out, I should have been paying attention.”

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