Building, Building Everywhere!

It’s boom time for residential and commercial projects, particularly in the heart of downtown Traverse City but in outlying areas as well. Here’s a round-up of some of the developments nearly completed, underway, or in the planning stages.

Meijer Superstore, Acme

The largest project is the long-anticipated – and hotly-debated –Meijer Superstore under construction in Acme and slated to open this fall. The combination grocery and department store will cover an impressive 194,500 square feet. It is the first of many tenants that will inhabit the 180-acre Grand Traverse Town Center. The master plan includes 1.5 million square feet of commercial buildings and 650 residential units.

Hotel Indigo, Downtown Traverse City

After years of delays – from financial to environmental – Grand Rapids-based developer Jeff Schmitz will finally see the completion this fall of the Hotel Indigo, an upscale, 107-room hotel across from the Open Space and West Grand Traverse Bay. But construction activity will not go away with the hotel’s completion. Next door, a 130,000 square foot development is planned, featuring the Grandview Market – a giant market offering retail, restaurant, vendors selling wine, cheese produce and more – as well as condominiums.

The Moorings

The earth is moving on a 97-unit single-family condominium and single-family home “neighborhood community” called The Moorings on 44 acres in Traverse City and Elmwood Township – just beyond the Tom’s West Bay Shopping Center off M-72.
Projects developers are Bob Brick and Ted Lockwood of RE/MAX Bayshore Properties, Traverse City and Mark Johnson and Jason Warren of MI Local Investments, also of Traverse City.
It features 91 single-family homes with up to 30 lots featuring panoramic views of West Grand Traverse Bay. The 56 condos will offer single-level living. There will also be a public walk along M-72 and a raised boardwalk through one of the property’s wetlands, as well as a trail that would connect to the TART trail. The subdivision should be ready for home construction by late fall. So far, 16 of the homes have been reserved with deposits.

The growing demand for downtown living has resulted in several projects in various stages of development. They include:

Uptown Riverfront Townhomes

The Boardman River is getting a new neighbor downtown. Uptown, at the corner of Pine and State streets, featuring condos that overlook the Boardman River. When all three phases are complete, the project will include 15 condos with eight facing the river and the others along State Street. There will also be street level commercial space. Developer Midtown Development broke ground in October, 2014 and expects to complete the  third phase by the fall of 2016.


Washington Place

Washington Place, at the corner of Washington and Cass Streets, is a five-story building with commercial space planned for the street level and 15 residential condos on the upper four floors. Condo prices range from $282,600 to $637,500. Developer is Tom McIntyre and wife Sheila.

200 River Place

The overgrown, long-vacant parcel between the Traverse City Record-Eagle and J&S Hamburg will finally see action this fall. Construction is slated to begin on a five-story, mixed use building that will rise along the Boardman River with retail and restaurant space on the street level and 47 modern, luxury residential units above. A Pine Street pedestrian bridge will offer connection from this development to the Warehouse District.

537 Bay Street

Just 300 feet from West Grand Traverse Bay will be 537 Bay Street. Led by Mansfield Land Use Consultants in Traverse City, the residential project will feature 15 units in a pair of four-story buildings that will be connected. Each building will be roughly 13,500 square feet with each condo unit featuring a balcony with a view of the bay. Some will have covered parking, while others will use a surface lot. Prices have not been finalized.

Windward Condominiums

Across the street from 537 Bay Street, TC-based Socks Construction is moving forward with its latest project on Randolph between Bay Bread and Tilley’s Party Store. The three-story, 27,555 square-foot building will include commercial space on the first level and residential on the top two floors.
The one-story residences, Windward Condominiums, will be 1,600 square feet with two bedrooms and two bathrooms and are listed for $489,000. The first units are slated to be move-in ready by Spring 2016. Details on the commercial portion of the project are still forthcoming.

In the proposal stages:

– A nine-story, mixed-use development is being planned for the corner of Front and Pine Streets, adjacent to the Riverview Terrace. Although specifics are still bring ironed out, the development is designed to be high density – with some 174 residential units and 20,000 square feet of commercial space. Mansfield Land Use Consultants is also leading this project.

– A major project that could (if a lot of moving pieces and brownfield funding fall into place) dramatically change the look of downtown Traverse City is a $50 million, four-phase development proposed by Regency Midwest Ventures – owners of the Park Place Hotel. It’s envisioned as a public-private partnership affecting the Park Place, an adjacent State Street property and the Governmental Center.
In phase one, the Park Place Dome would be demolished to make way for an upscale conference center that could host events all year round. Bender Midwest Development would partner on phase two, which proposes a 400-space parking garage and 30 row house-style apartments along Washington Street in the current Park Place parking lot. Phase three calls for redeveloping the Governmental Center parking lot along Eighth Street into a mixed-use development with two floors of commercial units, residential condos and multiple parking levels. Phase four would redevelop a single-story office building next to the Park Place into a multi-story, mixed-used development with two floors of commercial units, residential condos and multiple parking levels.

– 150 residential units in five buildings and a deli/store to the industrial park on Aero Park Drive near Parsons Road. Traverse Development Group estimates that 60 percent of the units would be one-bedroom and the rest two-bedroom, designed to serve workers in the industrial park businesses and Northwestern Michigan College students.  The project would require re-zoning of four parcels from industrial to community commercial, which city planners are expect to review in coming months.

– Also in the early stages of development is a project by Socks Construction that would result in 12 residences at 209 Fourteenth Street. It would also require a re-zoning of the site from multiple-family dwelling to office service.

– Groundbreaking for Maple Ridge, a 232-unit apartment complex planned for LaFranier Road north of  Hammond Road in Garfield Township, could take place late this year or early in 2016. Early units could be available in 2017. The complex will include 76 one-bedroom units, 136 two-bedroom units and 20 three-bedroom units, plus a children’s play area, walking trails, a fire pit, a club house with a fitness center, an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub area, a dog park and sidewalks within the site and along LaFranier Road.  Plans call for Maple Ridge to include nine buildings, some three stories tall, over roughly 22 acres of the 30-acre location, which features a number of mature maple and beech trees.

– In Kalkaska, the village planning commission has approved a site plan for a new Wal-Mart store to be built on a 22-acre site along U.S. 131. It still needs approval from county officials, the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Department of Environmental Quality. The 124,000-square foot store would include a gas station. Company officials estimate the store would employee up to 300 workers and anticipate its opening sometime in 2017.