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Granger Group ramps up residential project

Multiphase 700-unit development The Reserve is estimated to have $200M worth of new construction.

August 30, 2019
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The Reserve
About 33 acres of The Reserve will be dedicated to a 300-unit multifamily property. Courtesy Granger Group

While Granger Group is probably best known for its continuous development of Metro Health Village, a mix of retail, hospitality and assisted living all surrounding the Metro Health-University of Michigan Health campus, the Wyoming-based developer has gradually been building out a planned 700-unit, single- and multifamily property since the early 2000s.

The Reserve is a 150-acre, multiphase development on the corner of 56th Street and Wilson Avenue in Wyoming, with Granger Group as the master developer of the project. The company estimates it will have $175 million to $200 million worth of new residential construction once completed.

The main entrance to The Reserve is through Nile Drive off 56th Street and runs through an existing 45.43-acre residential component consisting of 131 single-family homes. The project was rolled out in three phases between 2001 and 2015.

Granger Group Chairman and CEO Gary Granger said The Reserve is in a highly attractive location for prospective homebuyers and renters. The site is approximately 3 miles from Metro Health Village, is less than 2 miles from Rivertown Crossings Mall and has easy access to I-196.

“We feel generally good about the southwest part of greater Grand Rapids because there’s so much opportunity here,” Granger said. “We have access to the lakeshore, quick access to the greater metropolitan area; this is an area I feel really good about giving back.”

In addition to the ease of access from The Reserve to other parts of the metro area, Granger touted on-site amenities like walking trails and tennis courts that currently are under construction.

After the completion of phases one through three, Granger Group took a break from the project to focus on more developments in Metro Health Village and didn’t reengage with The Reserve until summer 2018. 

Phase four of The Reserve was approved by the city of Wyoming in September 2018. The project, scheduled to be complete this fall, will cover 59.85 acres south of phases one through three of the development and deliver 175 more single-family homes. 

According to Granger Group’s site plan, the property also is zoned for 138 single-story apartments to be built at a later, unspecified date. This portion of the project will extend Nile Drive, which curves along the southern edge of the property, and build it out to Wilson Avenue.

Granger said the project accomplishes a fairly equal balance of living options for both buyers and renters, as well as a range of floor plans for different lifestyles.

“Younger people are looking for more flexibility, but people my age and older are looking for flexibility, too,” Granger said. “They may have owned a home previously, but now they’re looking to downsize.”

The project also has out-of-state support. Recently, Granger Group sold an approximately 33-acre portion of the development plan to Continental Properties Company Inc. out of Milwaukee.

Continental Properties Company began development of a 300-unit multifamily property on the site in June. Rohde Construction in Kentwood was contracted for the build.

The community will consist of 15 20-unit buildings with a similar layout, brick façades and high-end interior finishes, including granite counter tops and stainless-steel appliances.

Community amenities will include a clubhouse, 24-hour fitness center, resort-style swimming pool, barbecue grills, a pet playground and a car care center.

The Continental-owned aspect of The Reserve is slated to be complete in April 2020, but Chad White, vice president of Rohde Construction, said the company may be done before then.

Jack Johns, first vice president of CBRE, who represented Granger in the transaction, said, “This will be a premier luxury apartments development for the city of Wyoming and the Grand Rapids market.”

The Reserve is the second investment Continental has made in the Grand Rapids market, including the Springs at Knapp’s Crossing, a 248-unit apartment complex on East Beltline Avenue.

Continental Properties Director of Multifamily Acquisitions Erik Hahn said the Wyoming submarket has had a historically low multifamily inventory growth with demand far outpacing supply. 

“The strength of the West Michigan market is astounding, based on population growth,” Hahn said. “Kent County is one of the best in the state, and there’s a startling lack of supply. … Looking out in the future with this development, we see limited competition, although the demand for housing is still there.”

While there is a lot of multifamily development happening in downtown Grand Rapids, there’s still a high demand in the greater metro area, particularly with a strong growth in retail and employment, Hahn said.

Continental Properties will manage this property once complete.

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