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WALKER, MI-Urban Retail Properties Co. and its joint-venture partner Trademark Property Co. plan to erect an urban-style, mixed-use community on 240 acres in this northern suburb of Grand Rapids, MI. Scheduled to open in 2009, the first phase of Orchard Park comprises a regional tourist-oriented retail anchor, 500,000 sf of retail and restaurant space, 50,000 sf of office space, up to 200 residential units, up to 250 senior housing units and a hotel. The city of Walker approved the re-rezoning and preliminary area site plan on Oct. 23.

Tom Carter, a Trademark principal, calls the project’s site “the best long-term opportunity for retailer expansion” in an “underserved” market. “Trademark has identified the Grand Rapids metropolitan market as one of the most under-retailed markets in the country,” Carter says. “The intersection of Walker and Interstate 96 is one of the most regionally accessible locations in greater Grand Rapids, with access within a 10-15 minute drive time to the largest population densities in the metro area.”

Greater Grand Rapids, one of the fastest growing regions in the Midwest, is midway between Detroit and Chicago and home to approximately one million people. Ross Glickman, Urban’s CEO, says the Orchard Park development should be a boon for the region and the development team. “Adding Orchard Park to our development and management portfolio is a significant step for Urban as we continue to aggressively grow our core business,” says Glickman, who’s company has developed more than 75 mixed-use and retail projects. Urban also manages more than 40 million sf of space across the nation.

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