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terra firma

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About terra firma

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  • 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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  1. Paul--- great to see your progress here and the continued enthusiasm for the block you were so instrumental in getting started. Full support from us for sure, we're watching with full interest and hope to see it happen ! eric wynsma / terra firma development
  2. There are probably many of us that would buy these properties, but when you look at 710 Wealthy ("the fish building") for sale @ $710,000 it really is not 'for sale'. I made the guy an offer a few years back, I really do not believe he wants to sell-- but I suppose at that number he would. His number is probably what it's worth after someone does a full-on renovation, there's really no room for a developer OR end user to have this make any kind of sense---- so there she sits---- it's frustrating to those of us who are invested in neighborhood improvement....
  3. Chris, we have no Tenants for this one. Purely a speculative project. What we've learned from our other 3 projects in the neighborhood is that marketing before "nearly complete" does generate interest, but it's a whole lot easier once people can see and feel what the end product will be like. SO--- we'll begin that process once we have a basic structure outta the ground. Currently, doing some sub-surface demo as we found a bunch of old concrete in the ground (from the old gas station days). Site work begins immediately thereafter, steel goes up next, etc. We like the idea of starting tenant buildout in June-July, but who knows how real that is. Therefore, we'll pause on the Tenant hunt. We like the idea of continuing our walkable, street front local retail theme as we did with 650 and 619. Not saying 'no' to a restaurant or pub but it's not our first choice for the area, if other (read: easier, simpler) options exist.... standby here for updates ~ eric wynsma
  4. Less than 5 hours, the whole building was gone... We're gonna roll straight into site work, and ideally, we will be ready to start doing Tenant buildouts beginning in June. Took us forever to get all the approvals, but all is well and here we go--- thanks for the interest.
  5. Article about Wealthy Street in MiBiz: https://mibiz.com/item/26160-wealthy-street-corridor-emerges-as-‘jewel’-of-gr-real-estate-market
  6. GRDad--- I consult with industry pro's on every project and generally stay out of the way on overall design--- I'm no designer or architect -- and perhaps x99 is God's gift to urban revitalization but his know-it-all style sucks and I dont care for the insulting nature of his words. OK--- enough on that. I'll move along now. Thanks for your interest.
  7. I had a long, lengthy, and overly academic explanation typed up That seems to be your style... As a developer, I don't expect you to know any of this, Yes, developers don't know what basic architectural fundamentals are. Obviously. When we go to developer school, they teach us to ignore these principles. unless you're also a historic preservation aficionado. Yes, I have a few historic preservation projects in my past. . You want traditional you call Dixon Architects in Ada, Finally we agree on something. I've done numerous historic renovation projects with Ken Dixon. For various reasons, I used Metz on this one and I could not be more impressed by their ability to help me "get away with" this design, per your earlier comment. They really are great to work with--- I'd say the same about Dixon of course. Both firms are awesome, for different reasons. Have you ever worked with either on any of your projects ? Next time around, don't be afraid to try something like that. Next time around, it sounds like I should just call you for permission on whatever I'm thinking about, since developers aren't "expected to know any of this" and such. Some of us are busy doing projects, others are busy 'instructing' from keyboards on the internet. The styling of this building reflects what we wanted, what the community said they wanted, what our architects designed, and what the HPC could / would approve. I'm pretty surprised the HPC didn't call you to ask what you thought !
  8. there’s always the argument that ‘enough money’ can fix it— but not here. this building was bad even before the fire. and since that time, much of the upper floor found its way downstairs, it is dangerous to walk through and cannot and should not be saved— one guy’s opinion here but with a bit of experience. a new 2-story retail down / office up or residential upstairs is the obvious answer.. I am nominating X99 and GRdadof3 !
  9. Hi Joe---thanks for your kind words... you've been around here many years so your opinion matters a lot, same for GRdad and many others here. We will continue our mission of trying to secure street-level retail, local business Tenants. We said no to a bunch with our previous buildings in that area--- chains, big cell phone shops with all their neon lights and stuff. We really want the same thing that (what I perceive as) everyone here wants to see. We are having conversations with boutique style clothing shops, local food operators some quasi-retail-office users, a residential design studio.... we have nobody secured it's purely a 'take the risk' scenario and we hope it'll be leased before we're done building it. I'm pretty busy with some industrial projects (easier, less drama, better returns, etc) so Andy will again be running this job along with architect Greg Metz and with McGraw Construction, it really is a dream team and as much as I like my industrial buildings its super fun to see these neighborhood projects and what they do as well. Very exciting. Who's got a vision for the Wild Bunch project ? Who's gonna buy that and do something cool ? What about 710 Wealthy ? These seem to be the glaring issues in the 'hood at the moment, at least to me... love to see the progress, and anxious to see what Paul Lee has up his sleeve here fairly soon as well -- as the pioneer of this neighborhood 10+ years ago, we need to support him too, we hear he's got some really cool ideas coming up ! thanks for your interest. eric wynsma, terra firma development llc
  10. Pretty tough crowd around here---- for the record, the buildings we've done in that neighborhood recently had been for sale a long time...... some of you guys shoulda bought them and done it *your way*. Lots of armchair developers around here. The design brief called for maximizing square footage, without need for any variances under the zoning code, with some off-street parking as outlined by the City in this zone. Architecturally, I personally like to respect the past with proper restoration (650 wealthy, 619 wealthy) while blending in some new and fun -clean-modern looks. The new project at 620 is intentionally not trying to pretend to be an old building. It is new. Our architects did a great job meeting my requirements while building what made sense economically, with plenty of input from SEVEN different neighborhood associations. It takes several months to get through all that process--- it's hardly efficient -- the building you see rendered is the result of all of these inputs. And it's gonna look a whole lot better than the unused surface lot next to a derelict house that's been vacant for years ! Not everyone is going to like what we do--- maybe you'll come around after it's a completed project, contributing vibrancy to the street and helping clean up what is currently a mess. eric
  11. Pardon my absence here---- YES we received approval from the HPC on wednesday evening to construct the retail building you see above (thanks for posting those, grdad) and will be moving forward without delay. Greg Metz will have to wrap up final drawings now that we are approved, Andy Molesta from Terra Firma will oversee the project, which will be built by McGraw Construction as we have a lengthy and favorable relationship there. Site work and demo of the existing structure hopefully in September, then we'll get right into it. Building overall is around 3,100 Sq. Ft, and is divisible for 1-3 Tenants but our experience in this market area suggests we'll likely end up with two Tenants @ 1,550 each. It's nice to have some flexibility though. We have no Tenants secured for this, but several inquiries from various retail users both in and out of our existing market area. As we've learned about the Wealthy St corridor, 'if we build it, they will come.' It's been fun--- looking forward to getting this one started this fall ! Many thanks to this online community and the neighbors and neighborhood associations for the overwhelming letters of support for this important corner.
  12. Friends of Wealthy Street--- This afternoon, we are hosting a small party to introduce our concept and drawings for a proposed new project at 620 Wealthy St. SE (existing surface lot at the corner of Wealthy and James). Our gathering is very informal, and is being hosted by Wealthy St. Studios, in our newly-renovated project at 619 Wealthy St. Light appetizers, beer and wine while supplies last ! We'd love your input on our proposed development, and a chance to show you some of our other work in the neighborhood. Today (tuesday, June 26) from 4:00 - 6:00 pm Hope to see some of you there ! eric wynsma / terra firma development llc
  13. Anxious to see what happens with this one, awesome spot with a garage and parking area behind it: http://signatureassociates.catylist.com/listing/30216151/710-Wealthy-St-SE-Grand-Rapids-MI-49503
  14. Dixon has done many projects for us over many years. 180 Monroe (now owned by CWD) was built to a concept originally drawn by VIA design- the rest of the planning and architectural work was indeed done by Dixon.-- I still use VIA and Dixon both quite a lot. OK--- back to Wealthy Street...
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