GRAND RAPIDS, MI—This city in Western Michigan has begun to attract notice from investors located on the coasts, and has now just notched the largest commercial real estate transaction recorded in the state so far this year, according to Marcus & Millichap. The firm just helped complete the sale of the Grand Rapids 6 Apartment Portfolio, a 1,651-unit portfolio of six multifamily properties located in and around the city which sold for $102,150,000.

Earl Elliott, vice president investments, and senior associates Gordon Navarre and Christopher Futo, represented the seller, as well as the buyer, a New York-based private investment firm.

“The Grand Rapids 6 Apartment Portfolio is a true long-term investment built on Grand Rapids' rich history of quality and family values,” says Elliott. “All of the properties are within 15 minutes of each other and make a huge statement in the market.”

“Grand Rapids is currently looking at a multifamily housing vacancy rate of less than 5% and was also ranked as the nation's top market for job growth, according to a 2014 survey,” Joe Elias, the head of Grand Rapids, MI—based Loquidity, a real estate crowdfunding platform, told He did not participate in the apartment portfolio deal. “The same report said that this growing city is the best place to own rental property, in part because of the strong regional economy and job growth.”

The properties sold are:
• Woodland Creek, 756 units, in suburban Kentwood.
• Woodbridge, 168 units, Kentwood.
• Wyndham Hill, 192 units, Grand Rapids.
• Autumn Ridge, 328 units, Grand Rapids.
• Oak Valley and Pinery Woods, 207 units, in suburban Wyoming.

Grand Rapids, located along the Grand River 25 miles east of Lake Michigan, is the second-largest city in the state. Major employers include Steelcase Inc., Herman Miller Inc., Spectrum Health, Johnson Controls Inc., Alticor, Kellogg's, Meijer Inc., Axios Systems, Perrigo and Farmers Insurance.


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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.