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KCLBADave last won the day on June 15 2012

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  1. KCLBADave

    The State of Downtown Grand Rapids Retail

    There really is no tax benefit to the developer. The only reason they have to do retail on the first floor is because of zoning regulations. Where incentive comes in, is that they have no incentive to build because it is so incredibly hard to make retail work in these locations. If the City would allow residential on these developments from the ground up, they would be finished and leased up quickly.
  2. KCLBADave

    The State of Downtown Grand Rapids Retail

    Correct, 20 Fulton, along with several other commercial spots on South Division are owned by Chew. Here is a little known piece of information as to why they can be left vacant for so long. Zoning in all of these developments requires commercial on the main floor with residential then allowed in the upper floors. Because this is a zoning requirement the structural aspects of the first floor retail, meaning the complete exterior, the foundation, the floors, etc are all included in what is called “eligible basis” of the tax credit portion of the project. The only cost Chew has to absorb to lease it out is basically from the drywall in. So, he literally has no $ in the game to maintain these units until he leases one to a commercial tenant. When we did the Uptown Village project on the corner of Wealthy and Diamond, it was structured the same way. However, leasing up commercial space on Wealthy is a heck of a lot easier than 20 Fulton or South Division.
  3. KCLBADave

    Proposed Projects / Current Projects Underway 2017

    The KCLBA assembled all the parcels over 2.5 years in partnership with Dwelling Place. We also were able to garner significant help from the DEQ to remove the leaky gas tanks from the ground and clean the site. Dwelling Place has taken ownership of the land and broken ground on this mixed use affordable housing development. Much needed for this neighborhood as the target for renters is families whose kids attend Harrison School and are being priced out of the neighborhood. Some of that is due to the Challenge Scholars program which guarantees that kids who graduate from Harrison and then Union High get a college education paid for at any State College. That made and already got rental market white hot.
  4. Drove by there this AM and was wondering the same. This project has a MASSIVE footprint!
  5. For what it is worth, I was told by a highly reputable source that among many other reasons related to software changes etc, that all pay-by-cell parking systems are phasing out the use of start and stop parking for credit card compliance rules and were limiting even more the amount of customization that can be done to make it more City specific. The move to MOTU was kind of inevitable. They knew there would be bugs but by designing and running their own platform they can make changes over time as needs/issues change. There really is no cost or income savings by moving to MOTU. The problem is they did not BETA test it before launching it, so instead of "testers" working through the bugs, the general public is by default working through the bugs. I can tell you that every time someone at our offices has had a problem with a ticket being wrongly issued, the City has responded quickly to rectify the situation.
  6. KCLBADave

    New projects in Monroe North

    Those homes/condos on Look Out Hill in Belknap really stand out. You can see em clearly as you come into town from the north. I heard they are selling fast too.
  7. Jeff, I could not agree with you more. In 2008 I worked on Oak Industrial Drive. I lived on Madison and Hall an I had no car at the time. To take the bus I had to catch it at Duthler’s Foods and go all the way to the central terminal where I had to transfer to another bus to take me to Plymouth and Oak Inustrial where I had to walk a block and a half to get to work. On a good day it took me 50 min to get to work. Finally I chose to ride my bike 5 miles there and back every day and it only took me about 20 min.
  8. KCLBADave

    The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    Joe, the walls are not only drywalled and finished they are also primed with a special type of primer, cabinets on the walls, lights installed, pretty much 90% done. We have some drywall patches to do where the two walls come together. On these first three we got them without flooring installed, but moving forward, we will have flooring done as well.
  9. KCLBADave

    The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    Jeff, reading MLive comments is about as constructive as watching grass grow. The key to it all is having a home that has a State stamped approval. Michigan is WAY behind the times on this issue. LARA has to approve the drawings. We got one approved in two weeks, another took 90 days, no rhymn or reason to it. We will soon have 13 different house designs approved, and several of those can have 4 or 5 variations. With an approved plan, one we order a home it is no more than 4 weeks and the home is built and ready for delivery. Our first 3 were done on two weeks. All of our homes meet all local zoning and building codes. We are provided with a full set of stamped fully engineered specs. A local architect did our foundation plans. These plans detail loads for the foundation and how the house connects. These drawings are done for all of our homes. We then pay the architect to do a site plan for the home and the lot. Going forward, that’s our only cost on architectural. With building and site plan approval we are good to go do excavate and prepare the site for the house. I would say 90 days start to finish is the maximum length of time to have the house done and ready to move in, if pre ordered or hit the MLS is it’s spec.
  10. KCLBADave

    The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    We did three houses in 3 days, here are the photos of each one before we start finishing the exteriors and button up the inside. On Thursday we ordered 6 more and will be doing these all in one week later this summer. With proper planning and site work completed, InnovaLaB (formerly Kent County Land Bank) has built the capacity with Champion Modular Homes to put in several homes a week going forward. As long as the home meets current zoning requirements with set backs, transparency, etc these can be installed by pulling a building permit. These first three were very specifically closen as I believe it exhibits how modular can be done to fit any neighborhoods design aesthetic. Herrick is in a cul-de-sac with all ranch homes, Sigsbee is on a block with several talk narrow homes that look kind of like a farmhouse, and Cooper is a traditional neighborhood. We will very soon have a show room set up in our offices on Division where buyers can come in, choose one of our lots, a home design, and then pick their interior finishes. Once they order their home, we can have it ready to install in 6-8 weeks depending on scheduling .
  11. KCLBADave

    The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    Here are some photos of today’s installation on Sigsbee, We staged on Madison in a large lot north of Dickinson. And hauled the home over to Sigsbee. We started at 8 AM with the first of 4 boxes and by noon all 4 were up. The roof is hinged and is lifted in place before lifting the box. We had a developer walk through who is interested in working with us on these in another area. He builds and is known for Million Dollar homes. He was blown away at the quality of materials and construction. In his words, these are built better than stick built. We will not finish installing the siding, put on a porch, button up the inside, flat work, and landscape. Should be ready to be listed on the MLS in about 3 weeks,
  12. KCLBADave

    The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    Joe, we are doing a configuration something like this on Bates West of Eastern in the South Hill Neighborhood. Not quite as dense, but several in a row.
  13. KCLBADave

    The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    Thanks, when we have our full line up completed, I will upload some renderings. In the mean time, here is a preview.