KCLBADave

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KCLBADave last won the day on June 15 2012

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About KCLBADave

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  1. Predictions for the coming year

    It was awarded LIHTC's. The project is located on the site with the abandoned church on the corner of Burton just East of Division.
  2. Keeler Building - 56 North Division

    The good news in all of this is now that it is on the National Historic Registry, that stays on the building no matter what. I can't imagine the option the developers that had on this building is still alive. Most likely the historic designation might open the door for another development to make sense on this site.
  3. The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    Jeff, I do not disagree with you at all. Let me point us back to the title of the topic, "Affordable Housing." While Eastbrook Builders is certainly able to deliver at $110-$118/sf, they are able to do this on land they control where they can build critical mass, and bring in a sales price north of $200K as a baseline. The KCLBA has brought Eastbrook Builders, along with at least 6 other large scale developers through the City to tour our 100+ buildable lots to see if there was any interest. There was none, even from Sable Homes who builds very basic entry level homes in the region at a price point less than $200K. So, we turned to local smaller builders and our price per square foot ballooned quickly to $150/sf at the min to a high of $185/sf. Even when we exclude the cost of the land because we own it outright, we are still looking at $225-$250K sales prices for 1,300-1,500/sf homes. This brings me to modular. I will try to use as much restraint and grace as I can in this next comment. The KCLBA had a lot of hope with Bossardet's modular concept. All we were told was that his concept would deliver to the urban in-fill market a price that would fit the neighborhood. The $249K sales price blew our hair back. Frankly we wish we were not mentioned in the article about his project as we don't want to be associated with it...Oh well. Here is the good news. The KCLBA has partnered with Champion Homes, one of the largest modular home builders in the country. They have vast experience in the urban environment using modular for in-fill new construction at a neighborhood level. They are working on specific designs finishes, and floor plans for the KCLBA. I posted a draft rendering of one design here. [Side note on the photo: A3 -before you tear into this design or use of materials we are making some substantial changes so it does not look so suburban, changes to pitch, gables, porch post materials, etc.] What you see here is a 1,400 square foot 3 bed, 2.5 bath. We also have a couple of REALLY cool long narrow front to back ranch homes. Based on substantial meetings last week with the Champion executive team, we are pretty confident we can deliver these completely finished with appliances at the $159-$189K price point and not lose money. To be fair, the KCLBA does not have to worry about cost of land, and we do not need to build in huge mark up due to our funding model. That being said, I do not think there is a neighborhood in GR that couldn't support these price points. Now that I understand costs for modular, it leaves me a significant question about the price point on the Race Street modular home. The land was purchased for a very low cost. What I see looks like two very simple modular boxes stacked on top of each other. I find it hard to not imagine there is a rather hefty mark up on this project at $249K. Although, there was one little pearl in the article that did make me pause a bit. The manufacturer that built this home state they did 77 homes last year. Champion has two plants making our homes and each plant produces 350 units a month! Stay tuned, there is a lot more to come from the KCLBA on this front. I am hoping it will be a game changer when it comes to affordable home ownership in the City. As we get more details, I will post them here.
  4. Wealthy Street Needed Renovations

    Seeing it last night, I was really impressed at how much is new and how many historic elements have been maintained inside. I spoke with the builder last night and he told me about the incredible amount of work that went into reclaiming the terrazzo floor alone, and it is impressive. Plus the open kitchen is really impressive and I cannot believe the amount of work that took.
  5. Wealthy Street Needed Renovations

    I was able to take part in Georgina's soft opening last night. I believe their grand opening is today. In the spirit of this forum, let me say what an amazing transformation of this building. I also think it is pretty darn cool that Chef Tony, the owner will be living in one of the apartments upstairs. Let me also add that our meal was probably one of the top 5 meals I have ever eaten in our fine dining City. This is certainly a welcome addition to our restaurant scene. Chef Tony is a bit nervous about this new venture as it is a huge investment, I hope people support him. Latin/Asian Fusion, seriously good!
  6. New projects on the West Side

    Overall, I am pretty concerned about the incredible overuse of metal panels as an exterior application on many of the new developments around town. I am not sure how they will hold up over time. I believe one of the first uses was Metropolitan Park Apartments on Ionia (photo attached). I drive/walk by this development multiple times a day as my office close. These have not held up well at all. They look pretty weathered and grungy.
  7. People talking about Grand Rapids

    With an average sales price of $249,000 and the fact that it costs about $250,000 to build a reasonably sized home it means we are not going to be able to build our way out of the housing shortage any time soon. On another, somewhat related note, I was told by a VERY credible source that the rental market in GR is softening very fast. To quote my source: "The rental market is down, various sectors of the rental property business have rising vacancies and good tenants are getting harder to find forcing the to reduce rents and re-think their requirements for an applicant." We should watch this closely.
  8. New projects in Monroe North

    You are brave. I am deathly afraid of heights. Looking through those photos made my stomach queasy.
  9. The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    Jeff, I could not agree with you more. The housing recommendations are live now, we finished them up this AM. Potentially even more impactful is the recommendations from the Rose Fellowship. As I just stated in the morning commission meeting, if one understands the full implications of many of these recommendations, they have the potential to be incredibly controversial and impactful (the latter is my personal opinion. Here is a link: http://s3.amazonaws.com/downtowngr.org/general/Rose-Center-Presentation-to-City-Commission-11.14.17.pdf?mtime=20171114104222
  10. The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    Back story, I got a call on Friday from someone telling me that they saw that I was on this panel. That was news to me! . Since my mug was already distributed for the event and I had the evening open, I participated. Frankly, it was kind of hard for me to answer some of the questions because they were so pointed as it relates to the City Commission. Regardless, I was open and blunt and will own what I said. The room was packed.
  11. Warner Tower - Lyon and Ottawa

    So do you take an elevator up to the cab or do you have to climb all those stairs? I was talking with GRFD leadership last week. A few weeks ago they did some training exercises with one of the cranes, practicing a rescue from one of the cranes. If anything happens to the crane operator while up there it is our firefighters/rescue teams that have to get up there, with a bucket or a stretcher and get the person down with ropes and cables. Funny, you don't think of those type of things typically.
  12. Mangiamo/Paddock Place Residential Development

    x99 - Cost of construction in our region starts at $150 per square foot, and that's for entry level construction. This does not include the cost of the land. I would love to know where someone could spend $255K for the home in the suburbs that you describe. Personally, I do not like the label "good neighborhood" and "bad neighborhood."
  13. Mangiamo/Paddock Place Residential Development

    We got the total construction price of our townhouses down to $255K in a historic district, we are about $230K for the same townhouse anywhere else. What potentially makes it work for us is that the KCLBA does not have to build in large amounts for overhead and profit. We view ourselves as the first risk taker that can get the ball rolling on a non-traditional product and then once the baseline is established let the market take over.
  14. Mangiamo/Paddock Place Residential Development

    Joe, I'll try to get this discussion back on track. I for one, really hope this project comes to fruition in some form or fashion. Here are my reasons, I'll admit some are self serving for my day job at the KCLBA. We have a desperate need for more housing options in the region, especially in GR's central city neighborhoods. I know of numerous employers that are having a hard time attracting new employees from outside the area because of the lack of housing available. Let me be clear on what I perceive is the need: high quality housing in the $175-$275K range. This need exists in the neighborhoods and not necessarily downtown. Because the need is at the Neighborhood level I believe that one answer to alleviating the shortage of housing in GR is to provide a market for housing types other than the traditional single family home. Attached single family home owner townhouses is one of the types I think will work at the neighborhood level. The KCLBA got attached single family townhouses approved on Donald Place in a historic district. We are breaking ground in a few weeks on these. Our RE Agent used the Fairmont Square condo's/townhouses at comps. I am excited to see more comps for projects like this. We also got plans approved for a larger site on Bates just West of Eastern, and Euclid behind Fair Housing on Hall street. Unfortunately the market value of the completed townhouses cannot support our cost to construct, and we are building at cost with no mark up. In general I believe there is a serious structural issue in a market like ours when simply the the as built value of a new home cannot support the cost to construct. We have to be able to build our way out of this shortage. OK, discuss amongst yourselves in a positive manner.
  15. The State of Downtown Grand Rapids Retail

    Duh, now I see it, Mondays...