Robinson Flats aims to bring new mix of apartments, retail to Eastown

Grand Rapids

A conceptual rendering by Ghafari shows the proposed Robinson Flats, which would be located at 1407, 1409 and 1417 Robinson Road SE in Grand Rapids’ Eastown neighborhood.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A developer considering adding dozens of apartments to Grand Rapids’ Eastown neighborhood will share details of the proposal with the community Monday night.

Wheeler Development Group will hold an informational meeting about the Robinson Flats proposal on site in the rear parking lot of 1409 Robinson Road SE at 5:30 p.m.

WDG says the four-story development at 1407, 1409 and 1417 Robinson Road would be a “boutique mixed-use development” with a total of 50 parking spots in a lot, along the street and below the building.

After the first round of community input, WDG revised its site concept from 39 market-rate units to 36 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, giving retailers more ground floor space — approximately 5,400 square feet total.

Ryan Wheeler told News 8 that WDG has reached out to all the retailers in the existing buildings, including Commune, Coy Salon and The Grassy Knoll. He said conversations to include them in the new development are ongoing.

“We have the space for it,” Wheeler said.

He said WDG is working with its real estate broker team to relocate tenants while construction is underway.

Jason Wheeler said WDG is also considering whether to alter the modern design in conceptual renderings of Robinson Flats after calls from close neighbors to consider a look that would better fit the historic nature of Eastown.

WDG expects to spend this year gathering community input, nailing down the final design of Robinson Flats and applying for a Brownfield TIF reimbursement for the cost of site and soil remediation. The project timeline also hinges on project bids and construction costs, which Jason Wheeler said are “very unpredictable” right now.

WDG says it has invested $15 million into the Eastown community developments over the past six years, including Eastown Flats and Fulton Square. This is the company’s first project involving the redevelopment of existing buildings.

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