$26 Million Public/Private Project Lined Up and Ready to Go

Grand Rapids, MI, February 08, 2009 --(PR.com)-- The developers of the mixed-use development at the corner of Weston and Commerce in downtown Grand Rapids, known as Thirty-Eight, have received all the necessary approvals to begin the construction drawing phase of the region’s first new construction, non-owner occupied, mixed-use L.E.E.D. project.

Developers John Green and Andy Winkel, who recently partnered to establish Locus Development, LLC., (www.locusdevelopment.com), a commercial real estate development firm, recently finalized purchase agreement language with the City Commission and secured the project’s financing from Mercantile Bank. With all the legal details lined up, Locus can now focus on tightening up designs for this unique public/private partnership with the City of Grand Rapids.

“Our working relationship on this project with City staff and Mercantile Bank has been very constructive,” says Locus Development partner John Green. “With these final blessings, we are ready to go,” Green adds.

Both the City, who will construct and own the 360-space public parking ramp, and Locus, who will develop the 68,000 SF mixed-used structure lining the perimeter of the ramp, have been working hand in hand, along with their respective architects and engineers, to integrate and complete final plans by fall.

Construction of Thirty-Eight is expected to commence this fall with the demolition of an existing building at the corner, followed by a groundbreaking of the new buildings and parking ramp. The entire project, including parking ramp, residential, retail and office space, is expected to be complete by the end of 2009. Total project costs are estimated at $26 million, with the private portion costing $16 million.

Highlights of the 8-story residential and commercial buildings include:

- The region’s first non-owner occupied, mixed-use L.E.E.D. project.
- A 360 + space, seven-story parking ramp that will feature the City’s first green roof.
- Approximately 30,000 SF of office space and 10,000 SF of ground floor retail dedicated for small shops and a restaurant.
- Open-air rooftop bar space that accommodates up to 150 patrons
- Thirty-five market-rate one and two-bedroom apartments on floors 2-6 along Commerce Avenue,
- Eight two-story penthouse condominiums with rooftop patios overlooking downtown on floors 7 and 8 along Commerce Avenue.
- Direct access to retail, offices and residential spaces from each level of the immediately adjacent parking ramp.

Thirty-Eight is an example of one of the most advanced designs, integrating a public parking ramp and two private mixed-use buildings within the City’s urban core.

Locus Development partner Andy Winkel notes, “We’re excited to show prospective tenants just how innovative this development will be. Features such as environmentally friendly materials, a green roof, outdoor patios, customized penthouses and direct same-level access to the parking ramp will surely receive some attention. The design of the parking ramp and buildings will allow tenants to park their cars on the same floor in which they live, work, dine or shop.”

“We’re very excited and proud at how well this development has come together, Green adds. “The City, Historic Preservation Commission, Downtown Development Authority and Mercantile Bank have all been very supportive of this initiative. We’re eager to produce a product that we’ll all be proud of.”

“It’s great when a project like Thirty-Eight comes together this well, especially considering the economic conditions of our region,” Winkel notes. “Being able to secure financing without allocations such as new market credits is a testament to Mercantile Bank’s faith in the project.”

Green, former owner of Elevation Group, and Winkel, former president of Kelwin Properties, established Locus Development in April of 2008 after working together on three very successful downtown renewal projects. Thirty-Eight symbolizes the company’s commitment to building better, smarter places to live, work, and play in the city’s urban core. The company’s tagline “Life, People, Places” emphasizes the firm’s belief that the three components must work in harmony to create a truly great environment.

Locus Development
Craig Clark
(616) 550-2736