The 510-unit Grand Castle apartment community is scheduled to open later this year. Photo by Ehren Wynder
Since the project broke ground on July 29, 2016, Roger Lucas’ vision of building a “castle” has taken on an almost mythic quality. The nearly completed Grand Castle apartment complex looks as if it were taken straight from the pages of an Arthurian legend and dropped into Grandville.
As the owner of Land and Company Apartments, Lucas has built apartment complexes across West Michigan for more than 30 years. Building one that resembles a castle presented an interesting challenge. His vision came from several trips to Europe, across Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium. He loved the castles that he saw there and thought the design would be perfect for an apartment building.
“There’s some mystique that goes with castles. It’s not like anything else,” Lucas said. “So, the question was can we build an apartment complex to look like a castle?”
Lucas’ castle, which is based on the style of Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, is a 510-unit apartment complex surrounding a central courtyard and boasting a 15-story tower on the north end. The project is estimated to cost about $40 million upon completion.
Amenities will include a coffee shop, deli, outdoor trails, pool, library, gym, clubhouse and a 28-acre lake for fishing and water sports.
“On the lake itself, we’ll have a boathouse,” said Troy Zapolski, executive vice president for Land and Company.” We’ll have some boats to rent, paddleboards, kayaks; there’s a beach area out there.”
The castle also will have a two-story parking garage wrapping around the main complex with 750 parking spaces.
All companies contracted for the project are based in West Michigan. Land and Company has contracted Shoreline Power Services, Grand Rapids Gravel, Kerkstra Precast, Superior Walls and Accurate Plumbing.
Lucas said he hopes his project will inspire people. The 15-story building is visible from I-96 and has drawn several motorists off the highway to inquire about the project.
“When they see this, they don’t think apartments, they think, ‘Wow, what is that?’” Lucas said. “We have people stop off the freeway and say, ‘What are you doing?’ It’s something they like, but it looks terribly expensive. Most things in life, if you work at it, you can make the numbers work.”
Grand Castle is slated for completion by the end of 2017 depending on completion of the parking facilities.