Medical Mile Developer’s $50M Apartments Hit ‘Untapped Market’ Of Students, Professionals




GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A Georgia real estate developer wants to build a 287-unit apartment project along the city’s Medical Mile to meet the demand for housing by young professionals and students.

The $50 million-plus project would be built north of Michigan Street NE and replace 16 houses and a commercial building used by Goodwill Industries along Grand and Benson avenues NE. The project will include a 334-car parking deck.

The four-story units also will include a two-story fitness center, a business center and gathering space, said Matthew Marshall, vice president of RISE Real Estate of Valdosta, Ga.

The city Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed project on July 9. Marshall said they have assembled ownership or control of the 20 properties that will make up the project. He said they hope to begin work on the project by October.

“We believe Grand Rapids is kind of an untapped market,” Marshall said. “We’ve been searching for land for a year and a half now. We were fortunate to stumble upon the one.”

The project will include a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments that will rent at current market rates, Marshall said.

While the units will be aimed at professionals working in the growing medical center west of the complex, Marshall said they also expect students to become part of their clientele.

“The Medical Mile is a big job generator for Grand Rapids and we’re there probably because of that,” Marshall said. “We’re not marketing to students at all, but we know students are part of the local economy.”

The Medical Mile includes the Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, Spectrum Health’s downtown hospital campus and clinics, the Van Andel Research Institute, Grand Valley State University’s Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences and other health science-related businesses.

If approved and built, the RISE project will be the biggest new housing development to hit the Medical Mile and near Northeast Side. Two blocks away, 616 Development is building Lofts on Michigan, a 54-unit apartment and retail project.

The project is directly east of Mid Towne Village, a mixed used housing and commercial development that includes condominiums, the Women’s Health Center and a 142-room Hampton Inn and Suites hotel currently under construction.

Across I-196 on Belknap Lookout, developers are planning The Gateway at Belknap, a 75-unit apartment project north of Hastings Street between Clancy and Coit avenues.Clancy Lofts, an $8 million 66-unit apartment project also is being built in the Belknap Lookout neighborhood.

Last year, Grand Valley State University bought a four-block area east of the Gateway site for $18.9 million. The four-block area is bounded by Hastings and Trowbridge streets and Clancy and College avenues on the north side of I-196.

Formerly known as Ambling University Development Group, the company recently changed its name to RISE to reflect its shift away from student housing. The company bills itself as a “Christian, faith-based business.”

Over the past two decades, RISE has overseen the development of 72 projects in 22 states totaling more than 15.6 million square feet of properties valued at more than $2.3 billion, according to its web site.

In Lansing, the company recently unveiled plans to build SkyVue On Michigan, a $77 million 9-story development with 359 apartments and retail space on the former Story Oldsmobile site along Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

By Mlive

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