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terra firma

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About terra firma

  • Birthday 03/28/1967

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  • Location
    Grand Rapids, MI USA
  • Interests
    Real Estate development and investment, industrial -- office --- retail

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terra firma's Achievements


Whistle-Stop (3/14)



  1. @ GR Urbanist-- yes we are busy cleaning that fire mess up as we simultaneously are rebuilding 650 Wealthy next to it (Dime& Regal, Palace Flophouse) from damage related to the fire. We'd have cleaned the building site sooner (we bought it in may I think) but permitting took forever ! We do not yet have a plan for the "Tatum" site, which was formerly known as 666 Wealthy and is now called 680 Wealthy. We are beginning meetings w/ our architect to evaluate / identify a direction and will start making plans once we've got a path. It will be based on what we think fits there, and not driven by a particular use or tenant. Before we do anything on that site, we will at long last commence renovations on 710 Wealthy (the fish mural bldg) in hopes of being done mid-winter with that one, at which time I hope to roll right into new building development @ the 680 / Tatum site. No specific users identified for any of the above at this time. We are super happy that our Tenants along this corridor are enjoying good business volume and vitality. What a cool district. eric wynsma / terra firma development
  2. I think this writer from Calvin College did an excellent job representing both sides of the discussion. Fun little slam in there about "not expecting the developer to know anything about good urban planning": http://www.calvin.edu/chimes/2013/10/17/city-votes-against-building-new-starbucks/
  3. Pedestrian insults ? $750 million in projects ? Donald Trump himself isn't even this important.
  4. What the developer doesn't realize is that McDonalds has been grandfathered in. It has been there for so long, I remember getting Happy Meals there. The Bagel Beanery has been there forever as wel <<<Believe it or not, I realize this.. I'm not a caveman ! I too got happy meals there as a kid. It was across the road from (then) Calvary Church. McDonalds can easily replace their bldg within the existing foundation footprint, thus never need to comply with the new rules...>>
  5. I'd like to chime in here, since i am the developer on this one. No doubt you've been by the site. My portion of it (the nasty, vacant apartments) and Kameel's site (the long-vacant office bldg) are way too far gone for any hope of renovation. I think everyone agrees on that. I stopped renewing Leases in the apartments on 2011 due to life-safety concerns. These buildings are done. I say this as a renovation guy who has done many projects in DT Grand Rapids which some of you are familiar with. Our project is not being built of recycled shipping containers as suggested above. That idea was abandoned in favor of a LEED-certified structure that has natural materials and is very cool (check the sample pic in post #2861 above). Yes, there is outdoor seating and a walk up window. There is simply not enough land here for a large indoor seating area (or a multi-story mixed use development as suggested elsewhere). We are quite limited by the fact our sites (combined) total about 0.24 acres. After many years of searching for a re-development concept for this challenging site, we've found one that works and fits the neighborhood. We're a bit trapped here with a McDonalds (that isn't going away) a power station (not going away) and a street (not going away). Under the circumstances, this redevelopment plan should be welcomed as the best possible option, a great retail service to the neighborhood, the elimination of four derelict structures and a productive neighborhood investment driving new jobs and tax base. This site has always been a fun source of debate, including many past renovations of my own, I respect the variation in opinions here and glad to see so much progress in our 'hood ! eric wynsma terra firma development, llc
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