GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Developers have plans to revitalize a portion of the riverfront along Market Avenue in Grand Rapids.
One of the properties, 449 Market Ave. SW, located at the corner of Wealthy Street, is a vacant lot located near industrial buildings. Developers from PS Equities out of Mount Pleasant wants to put up a four-story apartment building that would also include retail space.
“We’re hoping to develop 23 units, multi-family, market rate riverfront property. [It would have] apartment spaces on the lower level, not sure the square footage, but some retail space on Market Street,” said Garrett Seybert with PS Equities.
The lot is currently owned by Jada Ventures LLC, though PS Equities has the lot under option and expects to close on it in the spring.
The property is among 14 that the city of Grand Rapids rezoned last year from industrial to transitional city center. The special land use proposal from PS Equities is the first for any of the properties.
“It makes me a little nervous because it’s out there pretty far from the city center and it’s still very industrial, but I think it has a lot of potential and between the river and everything the city is doing with the river, I think in the future, it’s going to be a great area,” Seybert said.
Down the road, developers have plans to turn the former Lady Godiva Showgirls strip club, located at 234 Market Ave. SW, into apartments and commercial or retail space.
“It’s obviously going to be an anchor building for that stretch of Market, so I think we’re going to be the first ones in the neighborhood and I honestly feel like it’s just going to be a matter of time before the rest of that fills in with additional development,” said David Emdin, the CEO of Maplegrove Property Management, which bought the old strip club.
Emdin believes there is demand for residential space in the area.
“We did a feasibility study and in our opinion, it works and according to the company that did the feasibility study for us, there’s still additional demand and will still be additional demand by the time the project’s completed,” he said. “We’re not concerned, but I think it’s something everybody is watching closely and I think time will tell.”
Developers believe more projects will follow in the years to come.
“We feel like this area, obviously the whole Grandville corridor, has grown a lot in the last couple of years with development, Founders Brewing across the street, and we feel like maybe that’s the next corridor. That whole Market Street from Fulton (Street) down to Wealthy (Street) we feel is prime opportunity for additional development,” Emdin told 24 Hour News 8.
Construction on the 234 Market Ave. property is expected to begin sometime in August.