Firm plans urban retail and apartment project


Courtesy Construction Simplified

A local developer is re-imagining a vacant lot in a Grand Rapids neighborhood.

Grand Rapids-based Construction Simplified has the okay from the Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission to develop a mixed-use building at 706-708 Wealthy St. SE in the Cherry Hill historic district.

The site was previously home to the Wild Bunch motorcycle club of Grand Rapids. The group lost its home to a fire in 2017. The city demolished the building because of structural issues late in 2018, and Construction Simplified purchased the vacant property a few days afterward.

The firm's plan went through a few hurdles before coming to fruition. Construction Simplified President Brent Gibson said the firm came before the historic commission originally in December 2018 and again in February 2019 for a series of advisory discussions of the preliminary plans prior to a formal review.

“We’re building ground up in a historic district,” Gibson said. “We had to create something that paralleled the neighborhood. It may be a little bit more challenging.”

The official plan calls for a two-story building with 3,000 square feet of retail. Gibson said it is possible to divide it into two 1,500-square-foot units depending on demand. While the firm is in discussion with a handful of potential tenants, no leases have been signed.

The second floor would house three apartments, with two 850-square-foot one-bedroom units in the rear of the building and one 1,280-square-foot two-bedroom unit in the front facing Wealthy Street.

The firm is in the process of obtaining a building permit. Gibson expects ground to break on the new building within the next 30 days and finish by the end of October.

Gibson did not offer a specific cost, but estimated it would be in the $1-million to $2-million range. The project is currently being funded by the partners at Construction Simplified.

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