Internet provider partners with Third Coast on new development

Spartan Net, a relative newcomer to the Grand Rapids internet market, partnered with Third Coast Development to provide up to one gigabit of internet speed to property residents.

Third Coast’s new mixed-use property, Diamond Place, located along Medical Mile, broke ground early in 2017 and is close to its target completion date of September. Recently, Spartan Net announced it has completed a fiber installation in the building that will deliver the high-speed internet for residents.

Richard Laing, principal and COO at Spartan Net, said Diamond Place residents will be able to purchase an entry-level package of 100 megabit download speeds and will be able to upgrade their service up to 1 gigabit.

“As long as the appropriate equipment is applied to the network, there is unrestricted connection,” he said. “It’s all about answering the connections as fast as possible and being able to do things simultaneously.”

Liang said entry-level data packages start at around $55 per month, with gigabit service at $65 per month, no hidden fees and free installation.

The buildout also includes DirecTV for an additional fee and free HD service.

The Diamond Place fiber build is the first partner project between Spartan Net and Third Coast.

“When we looked at it and what our tenants would pay, it was a no-brainer,” said Max Benedict, Third Coast Development principal. “For us, we were really excited we found this great alternative.”

Third Coast also tasked Spartan Net with providing its one-gigabit fiber to Midtown CityZen, a 44-microunit apartment complex at 637 Michigan St. NE. The development is slated for completion in November. Laing also hinted at possibly working with Third Coast in the future to retrofit existing properties.

The fiber build for Diamond Place is an almost $250,000 investment on Spartan Net’s part. Laing is confident Spartan Net is delivering data service at a competitive price for a strong return on investment.

“Everybody really enjoys our internet service. We’re new to the Grand Rapids market. We’ve been doing business there for a little over a year, but everybody is really ecstatic about it,” he said.

Spartan Net also services about 1,000 apartments in the Grand Rapids area and around 6,000 in the greater Lansing area.

Diamond Place will deliver 165 residential units, with over 100 units available at rates affordable to households making 80 percent area median income or lower.

As a mixed-use development, Diamond Place also will provide one-gigabit internet access to its retail occupants. Benedict said Third Coast already has secured a tenant for an on-site restaurant and is in discussion to secure a tenant for an on-site grocery.

Spartan Net is including community wireless in its build, allowing users to connect anywhere in the building.

Diamond Place will feature a courtyard, common area and workout facilities, which are Wi-Fi accessible.

Pioneer Construction is the general contractor for the build, with Progressive AE providing architecture and interior design.

Mercantile Bank is the senior lender, but Third Coast also has received a mix of tax incentives, for both affordable and market-rate housing, to help finance the project.

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