GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Economic Development Corporation on Tuesday approved a request to reduce interest rates on loans for three Grand Rapids properties.

The mixed-use Rockford Construction properties are located at Fulton Street and Seward Avenue, Bridge Street and Turner Avenue, and Bridge Street and Stocking Avenue. There are more than 200 residential units between the three properties, which currently have a 95% occupancy rate, MEDC said. The 100,000 square-feet commercial space has a 91% occupancy.

  • Fulton Place, located on Fulton Street near Seward Avenue.
  • New Holland Brewing, located on Bridge Street near Turner Avenue.
  • Barley Flats, located on Bridge Street near Turner Avenue.
  • The Bridge Street Market, located on Bridge Street near Seward Avenue in Grand Rapids.

Tenants of the properties include Meijer’s Bridge Street Market and New Holland Brewing.

The residential units were aimed at Grand Valley State University students, but the demand from students for the housing units was not as great as anticipated, MEDC said. There has also been a high turnover, mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All that means the project has not had as high of a cash flow as expected. The interest rate decrease was requested to give some relief to project owners.

The interest rates were lowered from 3% to 1%.

In a statement, Mike Mraz, the president of real estate development for Rockford Construction, said the company has “has remained persistent and patient in its placemaking and community-building efforts which has helped bring impactful amenities and services to our neighborhoods.”

“From high quality grocery with Bridge Street Market and the various entertainment and restaurant spaces along the Bridge Street corridor, we continue to see more business owners invest in Grand Rapids, and more specifically, on the West side,” he wrote.

Mraz said Rockford Construction is still seeing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As businesses and workforces continue to return to work, we are still seeing the effects of the pandemic on communities and real estate development; however, there is still a need to be mindful and intentional when building community,” he said. “We continue to work hard to attract new retailers and office users to the area.

“As the West side continues to be in high demand, we are committed to appropriately navigating the changing landscape and trends as people and businesses return to work – and we continue to see positive improvements,” he continued. “MEDC has certainly been a key contributor in building a vibrant community and its long term investment is an integral element to success.”