June 14th, 2023

The Right Place publishes report highlighting trends and insights on region’s development sector

West Michigan Greater Grand Rapids Community Development

Following the success of its recent annual Developer Day event, Grand Rapids area economic development agency The Right Place, Inc. has published its first inaugural Development Report which provides an analysis of West Michigan’s industrial, commercial, office, retail, and housing development sectors.

“The intent of the report is to provide those in the development sector with the latest trends and insights regarding development corridors, market demand, and potential future growth areas,” said Tim Mroz, Senior Vice President of Community Development, The Right Place, Inc.

Much of the information in the 20-page report provides four-year trends in development in each of the development focus areas. Right Place was able to aggregate both third party reports from area real estate experts as well as firsthand information gathered by the organization to provide a more comprehensive view of the development ecosystem in the region.

“We built this report not just to provide research and education to the development community, but also to be used to spur new development in the future,” Mroz added.

Notable takeaways from the report include:

  • The industrial market is primed with demand for build ready sites throughout the region, with several large-scale projects consuming much of the available inventory. Industrial projects under construction are also climbing after having much of the pipeline drained from project completions through 2022.
  • The commercial office inventory has remained relatively flat historically. However, over the past year, inventory has grown nearly 5% largely due to large developments and consolidation downtown. And despite an increase in overall vacancy within the office space, asking rents for premier office space continue to increase reaching $21.57 per square foot in Q1 2023.
  • The retail sector saw significant net absorption in available vacancy in the past year. The pipeline of retail construction reached 14,250 square feet in the current quarter compared to roughly 172,000 square feet in the same quarter of the previous year possibly indicating a slight cooling in the market. However, at the same time asking rents have increased nearly 14% over the past year.
  • An analysis of residential building permits shows the pace of new residential construction increasing post pandemic, particularly among single family, 2-unit and 3- and 4-unit housing. Additionally, in the first quarter of 2023, numbers show a significant increase in building permit pulled for 5+ unit developments over 2022.

The full report was recently distributed to Developer Day participants. A PDF version can be found at rightplace.org/developmentreport.

Additional Developer Day events are planned across West Michigan throughout the summer and fall.

Newaygo County

June 22 – Half-day Event

Register at: tinyurl.com/newaygoDD

Ottawa & Allegan Counties

August 3 – Full-day Event

Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/l...

Osceola County

August 9 – Half-Day Event

Register at https://mmdc.org/event/1573162...

Barry County

September 7 – Half-day Event

Register at tinyurl.com/BarryDD

Mason County

September 28 – Half-day Event

Email Kristi at zimmermank@rightplace.org

Oceana County

TBD, Week of October 2

Email Curtis at burdettec@rightplace.org

Montcalm County

October 4 – Half-day Event

Email Jakob at bigardj@rightplace.org

Muskegon County

October 11 – Half-day Event

Register here.

Lake County

TBD, Late Nov/Early Dec

Email Jodi at nicholsj@rightplace.org