Builders: Can’t finish downtown apts. fast enough

Grand Rapids, 234 Market
The 234 Market development in Grand Rapids. (Aug. 23, 2017)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — With Grand Rapids in the midst of a building boom, one thing developers are focusing on is adding more living options in and near downtown.

More and more buildings continue to sprout up, the latest a massive mixed-use development behind Founders Brewing Co.

“We’ve been busy,” Ken Bailey, Rockford Construction’s project executive for 234 Market, told 24 Hour News 8.

Grand Rapids, 234 Market
The 234 Market development in Grand Rapids. (Aug. 23, 2017)

When it’s done, the building will include 235 market-rate apartments, 40,000 square feet of retail space and a large parking garage.

Bailey says there’s major demand.

“When these things get done, they get full,” he explained.

The developer hasn’t start leasing yet because 234 Market won’t be finished until next summer.

But across town, just down from the Medical Mile, The Brix at Midtown on Benson Avenue is already welcoming tenants. The mixed-use space has finished about a quarter of its 287 apartments and is racing to get the rest ready to go.

Grand Rapids, The Brix at Midtown
The Brix at Midtown development in Grand Rapids. (Aug. 23, 2017)

“We couldn’t turn the units over faster for the developer at this stage of the game because the demand is so high,” Wolverine Building Group President Curt Mulder said.

Work on The Brix at Midtown is expected to be complete by January.

Crews say the increased demand for livable spaces is another sign of an improving economy.

“Construction is great. It has been for the past two or three years,” Mulder said.