Wheeler Development plans 39 apartment units, ground floor retail in Eastown

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GRAND RAPIDS — Wheeler Development Group LLC is in the conceptual stages of a planned mixed-use development with 39 apartment units and ground floor retail in Grand Rapids’ Eastown neighborhood.

The four-story Robinson Flats development — planned for 1407, 1409 and 1417 Robinson Road — calls for demolishing some of the existing structure. The project would be roughly 6,000 square feet of ground floor retail and three floors of apartments, Wheeler Development Communications Director Jason Wheeler told MiBiz.

Wheeler Development Group and property owner Ufuk Turan, doing business as 1411 Robinson LLC, are partnering on the development. Ghafari Associates Inc. is the project architect.

“The project is very much a moving target and the timeline is very much in flux depending on this next phase, which is community engagement,” Wheeler said. “We are trying to be on the same page with the neighbors, and we’re truly there to invest in the community.”

The proposed concept and design could change slightly based on local feedback, Wheeler said.

The market-rate apartments would include studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. Parking is planned to be added with a one-level deck underneath the building. 

“We feel that Ghafari has done a really good job and spent a lot of time in the neighborhood eyeing the architecture and making a blend of creating something new and vibrant and still nodding to the tones of the existing neighborhood,” Wheeler said.

Conversations with existing tenants — including retailer Rebel — are ongoing to determine how to keep them on the property going forward, Wheeler said.

The development plans meet all zoning requirements and would not require a rezoning, though it would need site plan approval from the Grand Rapids Planning Commission, which Wheeler expects to happen sometime this year. Developers are also pursuing brownfield incentives for the project.

Wheeler Development Group is hosting informational meetings on Monday and on June 28 in the 1409 Robinson Road parking lot to hear community feedback. 



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