Street Talk: Living near downtown


The fledgling property management firm spun out of Orion Real Estate Solutions, PURE Real Estate Management, has entered 2019 with considerable momentum due to the neighborhood apartment interest in downtown Grand Rapids.

The firm is owned by Michael Maier, owner of Cusp Group, and Ryan Wheeler, VP of Orion Real Estate Solutions, a division of Grand Rapids-based Orion Construction, and was created to manage the properties the owners develop.

PURE has reported two of its neighborhood properties are 100 percent full, with a waitlist for the residential components.

PURE has four neighborhood properties in the portfolio that offer market-rate residential units in Eastown, Heritage Hill and the Belknap/Lookout neighborhood.

Eastown Flats is a mixed-use development containing 35 apartments and three retail spaces between two buildings in the heart of Eastown. Located at 1400 and 1415 Wealthy St. SE, Eastown Flats has been full for a majority of 2018. It contains studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom units along with ground floor retail space that also is 100 percent occupied.

Fulton Square, a mixed-use development containing 47 residential units along with ground floor retail, also is fully occupied. It has a neighborhood farm market, grocery store, restaurants, green space, public transit resources and on-site parking.

PURE also has been actively marketing its newest property Heritage Place, and leasing trends indicate the Heritage Hill apartment building will be fully occupied in spring 2019. Heritage Place offers a mix of studio, one-, and two-bedroom units within the historic neighborhood. The complex has a clubhouse, fitness center, storage room and on-site parking.

There are 86 units in the building and PURE began leasing them in fall 2018. More than 40 units already are leased.

Finance feud

The Association for Corporate Growth Western Michigan is hoping to raise money for its college scholarship program by hosting a friendly financial trivia competition.

“Finance Feud,” now in its third year, will be held 5:30-8:30 p.m. Feb. 7 at The B.O.B., 20 Monroe Ave. NW in Grand Rapids.

The competition is open to any individual or five-person team. Team fees are $500 while individuals wishing to be placed on a team may register for $50.  Registration is available at

The event, a fundraiser for the ACG Cup intercollegiate scholarship competition, pits law firms against accounting firms, banks, M&A advisers and corporate executives in a round-based game focusing on financial topics and light-hearted pop culture questions.

The 2019 ACG Cup competition takes place Feb. 23. College teams interested in participating can learn more at

ACG Western Michigan is led by board President Jonathan Siebers, Rhoades McKee; Vice President Jason Brinks, Oxford Financial Group; and Treasurer Heather Hoezee, Crowe LLP, along with 19 other board members.

Super Sunday

Break out the queso dip and wings; Super Bowl Sunday is almost upon us.

In addition to the game, which often becomes secondary, Americans love to eat and critique. The critiquing part comes in the form of parties centered around the TV advertisements. Bill McKendry, head of lakeshore advertising firm HAVEN, throws an awesome ad party if you can finagle an invitation.

Feeling a bit more charitable? Grand Haven restaurant Fricano’s Pizza Tavern is breaking its “closed on Sunday” rule and offering takeout-only pies on the afternoon of the big game. Proceeds from the pizza sale will benefit Grand Haven Musical Fountain’s Sound Investment Campaign.

“Celebrating its 70th year, Fricano’s recognizes the longevity of the musical fountain and the tourism it brought to Grand Haven over the last 57 years,” said Jeanne Meyer, Fricano’s manager. “We felt this was a great opportunity to give back to the musical fountain, a Grand Haven tourism staple that helped put Fricano’s on the map.”

To date, approximately $55,000 of the $150,000 goal to restore the fountain’s sound system has been raised.

“Breaking the ‘closed on Sundays’ tradition is significant,” said Andy Cawthon, Grand Haven Musical Fountain chairman. “Doing so on behalf of The Grand Haven Musical Fountain is nothing short of spectacular, like Fricano's Pizza.”

Speaking of food, Americans will enjoy their party snacks.

According to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, adults will spend an average of $81.30 per person — for a grand total of $14.8 billion — on the Super Bowl spread as they view the game between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams.

“You don’t have to be a football fan to celebrate the Super Bowl,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Whether it’s to see who wins, watch the halftime show and commercials, or just get together with friends, this is the biggest party since New Year’s Eve. Spending is expected to be at one of the highest levels we’ve seen. And retailers are ready whether you need food, team jerseys, decorations or a new TV.”

The average per-person spending is virtually unchanged from last year’s $81.17 and is the second highest in the history of the survey after a record of $82.19 set in 2016. The total amount is down from last year’s $15.3 billion, primarily because fewer people plan to watch the game — 182.5 million this year compared with 188.5 million last year. The overall spending still is the third highest on record, after last year’s figure and $15.5 billion in 2016.

The biggest spenders are those ages 35-44 at an average $123.26 while the lowest are those 65 and older at $40.97. Viewers in the Northeast plan to spend the most, at an average $94.89, followed by the West at $84.01, the South at $79.09 and the Midwest at $69.24.

The survey found that 72 percent of adults plan to watch the game, down from 76 percent last year. Among those watching, 79 percent plan to buy food and beverages, 10 percent team apparel and accessories, 7 percent decorations, also 7 percent for new televisions and 4 percent furniture such as entertainment centers.

Close to a quarter (24 percent or 61 million) plan to attend a party, while 17 percent (44 million) will throw one and 5 percent (13 million) will watch in a bar or restaurant. The largest share of those watching (43 percent) say the game is the most important part of the event, but 23 percent cite the commercials, 14 percent getting together with friends, 13 percent the halftime show and 7 percent the food.

The survey found that 76 percent see the commercials as entertainment and that only 10 percent say they are influenced to make a purchase, but the ads carry more weight among younger viewers. Of those ages 18-24, 17 percent say the commercials influence them to buy and 16 percent are prompted to search online for more information.

“The numbers vary from year to year, but regardless of the economy, politics or the weather, most Americans manage to take a break every year for the Super Bowl,” said Phil Rist, Prosper’s vice president of strategy. “The big game is a day for big spending regardless of who plays or wins.”

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