Tag: grand rapids real estate

Why Grand Rapids Property Values Is Building A Healthy Economy

This Guy: David Korten Is On Point

Mr. Korten is an author of the Living Economies Forum, and the tagline is lovely. “The old economy of greed and dominion is dying. A new economy of life and partnership is struggling to be born. The outcome is ours to choose.” This optimistic fact/belief is only helpful.

His background is as a former professor in the Harvard Business School, and it’s no secret that he’s a political activist that’s against Corporate America.2325235254_c08b63ac5a_b

Think Monopoly for a second, and let’s get philosophical. The board is GR. There’s the river dividing east and west, and Divison Ave. runs parallel drawing the half line. Broadway is East Grand Rapids. Xfinity is general electric. 6th street bridge, blue bridge, Marquette Rainroad bridge and 131 are the railroads. It’s green, or trying to be: the middle of the board is about 36% tree canopy. There’s Alpine and 28th street to shop. Meijier all over the perimeter.

Let’s Play Monopoly: GR

And you, a blue or white collared individual set to play against the big doughs: Devos, Meijer, VanAndel.

They are going to try to buy the board on short sale with a hedge fund.

Oh, and you did not start with the same amount of money. That rule was just so you didn’t kill a sibling growing up. This is real life, and you learned to get a long even when it’s not fair. This game will be short.

In this imaginary Monopoly game and maybe real life…You are going to use Grand Rapids Property Values and be apart of establishing what David Korten calls a “Healthy Economy”.

  • Financial Stability – the opposite of “phantom wealth” and speculation on financial bubbles…real wealth has sound productive investment that responses to community needs and creates opportunity.
  • Earth Balance – this calls for a reduction of aggregate, many parts that come together for a whole, consumption and an increased commitment to the health of the earth.
  • Shared Prosperity – Everyone earns a livelihood conducive to well-being. “This requires dealing with defects in the system structure that deprive a majority of the world’s people of access to an adequate and dignified means of living.”
  • Living Democracy – Every person being an active part of society working in communities to solve problems (politics) and economic decisions that bear on health and happiness, which requires restoring the caring relationships of ‘the village’ which breaking up “unaccountable concentrations of economic and political power.”

A different individual owning one spot each would create those four things, no matter what each individual believes. There’s a cat’s game, right there. No one wins. Everyone plays. And the game goes on and on.

You know how monopoly goes. Especially with this inequitable share of wealth, you are toast.

The Game Ends, The Bubble Bursts…

The dude, or corporate entity, that gets the property monopoly may have values in all these areas(for example): financial stability (Devos), earth balance (LEED certified buildings), shared prosperity(Philanthropy), living democracy(ArtPrize?)…and could create an idyllic world…

Because things like ArtPrize are holding space for people to come together. 

Then there are things like ArtPrize creates this national-global reputation and Grand Rapids increasingly becomes a gem, attractive to outside investors. All of sudden there’s more than the local high rollers involved. 

Well known in the news, Grand Rapids is a great place for renters, rentals, flips… Here’s an Mlive sample. 

Word on the street is: Renters are experiencing a rent hike…how hard it is to find a good rental place…With so many colleges are pouring out graduates who want to stay and raise their families here because also hear how great Grand Rapids is for families. Here’s a sample from Forbes.

There’s this humm on the street of “investors”: Here’s a sample from Compass Properties.

Hummm…Hedge Funds…

These things aren’t easy to explain…and that’s part of their definition. Transparent handling of funds is not part of hedge fund. It’s in the namesake…you trim it, and you can’t see what’s behind it. Mysterious Funds…Read an article from Complete Real Estate about “What In The World Is Going On With Hedge Funds“. 

There’s this: “Vision Real Estate Investment in Grand Rapids is a cutting-edge real estate investment firm, focused on the acquisition, development and management of commercial properties in the West Michigan area. We strive to make a positive impact on our community while adding value for our investment partners.”

This is speculation, but it sounds like the cutting-edge is hedge funds, and maybe there’s that localist community values that happen in a healthy economy AND investment, faceless, far away (perhaps) partners will profit. (Eye brow raises)

There’s this: “Build local is the next buy local”,healthy economy

Thanks for playing and pulling this apart a little bit to see how greed and dominion can die to leave room for life and partnership.

“I’m Over The Hedge” Unless…

Unless…the grassroots communities that are under-resourced can be funded through big investors. Balle is a group, sort of like a rule keeper (value keeper?) for that Monopoly, lost. When the people who have the money have the priorities of a healthy economy it can be more than just bubble and bust…but bustling…

If you are interested in investing click here… 

If you are interested in buying your own home…

The post Why Grand Rapids Property Values Is Building A Healthy Economy appeared first on Grand Rapids Property Values.

2 Reasons Why Grand Rapids, MI, Needs the LIHTC for Affordable Housing

Wealth isn’t distributed based on how hard you work, not even in the glorious Grand Rapids. If it were a hard-working lower-class citizen would make the same as the hard-working upper-class. And it would be the working-class and the lazy-class.

Laissez-Faire Is Not Lazy-Free: It’s Free Market

Laizzez-Faire is said today by businessmen wanting government subsidies and incentives out of the picture entirely. It was originally used by Physiocrats in the eighteenth-century France, who believed that self-interest meant people would act in the direction of the common-good. Let’s see how that plays out…

affordable housing

“Hi, builder. Could you accept less every month than you COULD so that other less healthy parts of the economy can heal and thrive?”

“No, I’ll use my self-interest to maximize my profit.”

Yes, People have the right to their self-interested business decisions. All people have a right-to-life and life looks like food-shelter-water. I repeat, SHELTER. So protecting low-income people is vital to a healthy community. A sort of boomer-rang in the plan is needed to redirect self-interest towards the interest of other-selves. It’s called learning to share.

The LIHTC, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit plays the role of an invisible-hand of the free-market when income disparity causes the rich to serve the rich and the poor get displaced. Instead of putting money right into the real hands of the lower-rung, the LIHTC is an incentive for a builder to serve a lower-income need: cheaper than market-rate rent; affordable rent. For this promise a business will not pay as much in property taxes, and a penny saved is a penny earned – for everybody.

LIHTC #1 Drives the Market For Builders, #2 Creates a Space For Individuals or Families With Low-Income To Rent

So LIHTC does 2 things. It drives the market. It connects builder to renter. It lets the market be free and do it’s own thing but it also protects affordable options. Click here to Read more about how the LIHTC accomplishes this here.

Without the LIHTC, imagine this ask, “Hi, builder. Could you accept less every month than you COULD so that other less healthy parts of the economy can heal and thrive?”

“No, I’ll use my self-interest to maximize my profit.”

Yes, People have the right to their self-interested business decisions. All people have a right-to-life and life looks like food-shelter-water. I repeat, SHELTER. So protecting low-income people is vital to a healthy community. A sort of boomer-rang in the plan is needed to redirect self-interest towards the interest of other-selves. It’s called learning to share.

 

If Affirmative Action is an example of an invisible hand within the job market, then the LIHTC is an invisible hand in the real estate market, specifically for renting. Click here to Read more here.

Local Grand Rapidians made GR a Grand Place to Belong…

Great, unless…GR fills with outsiders with more money and the market-rate rent within downtown would increase with increased competition, and then the areas surrounding downtown rent would increase, outward and so on. As these areas fill with wealth, suburban areas swell in the opposite direction with refugee-like environments.Social_Network_Diagram_(segment).svg

This trickle down effect isn’t healthy for a community: it’s divisive. Clearly it can cause resentment and a whole slew of cultural problems, including gangs and violence. Of course, given it’s course, it would eventually flip back over. The cool is still cool and the money would still follow it around.

Instead of all that…we can have places like 20 East Fulton. 54 affordable renting people living next to people able to pay market-value prices. Read more here…

There’s the wealthy building-owners and the building-renters. There’s wealthy renters and not-wealthy renters. The LIHTC works to bridge the gap.

If you need help bridging your gap to affordable housing CLICK HERE.

Bridging the Gap Between Buyers and Builders in Grand Rapids, MI

If you are from the U.P. you call those residents under the bridge trolls.  If you are from Grand Rapids you know we don’t have real rapids, and we aren’t really trolls.  We have lots of bridges though: 6th street bridge, Gillette Bridge, the (rainbow) Blue Bridge, Fulton Street and the old railroad bridge with Punk Island, and maybe Gerald Ford’s S-Curve conglomeration counts?

There are lots of people considering the metaphorical bridges of Grand Rapids as well.  The Rapidian posted this article of one such group, the ADAPT theater company. Overall, the Grand Rapids landscape is broken into neighborhoods:

  • East Grand Rapids15551693870_6382dd2bc4_b
  • Easttown
  • Southtown
  • Cherry Hill
  • Heritage Hill
  • Southside
  • Heartside
  • Blackhills
  • Downtown
  • Westside
  • Fulton Heights
  • North side, etc.

Unfortunately and/or logically, the verdict is up to you on which, the neighborhood also correlates to race, a people-scape? This is highlighted by ADAPT in a play that performed in April 2016 at the Wealthy Street Theater called Lines: The Lived Experience of Race in Grand Rapids.  The play touched on many areas of life: religion, business, education but especially housing.

As a place grows in culture (shared ideas) and cultural diversity (different ethic groups) you are like a magnet for more culture and more immigration.  If you hit the 100,000 population the land becomes a city, and if you are in the city of Grand Rapids you have 188,040 as of the 2010 census.  Like every growing human endevour there are growing pains.  There is a tension between the newcomers and the ‘indigenous’ people. Familiar story right? There’s an awareness, an optimism in Grand Rapids that we don’t want to repeat the results of this historical story: The people with more money win and the indigenous people go on their new trail of tears.

Building Local Is The Next ‘Buy Local’

It would be pretty awesome if the new builders are the original homesteaders and outsiders came to their palace to enjoy the synecdoche (one part/you standing for the whole/Grand Rapids). Instead what we have is locals doing their small part to make Grand Rapids a great place on the whole and then outside investors want to come in and build new places for? Who? More outsiders?  This is Okay.  It’s not Grand Rapidian vs. everyone else. But what about the lower income population that did their part in giving Grand Rapids the reputation it has for that Big Wig’s profit?  There’s a gap.

South Division is a cool example, with a cool solution. The legend goes…Some low-income housing, especially for individuals with mental illness, was shut down in the late 1980’s. A big business moved in. The people had to go somewhere. The street Division in Heartside became the popular place.  Around the same time the LIHTC, Low-Income-Housing-Tax-Credit, became an option to give builders an incentive to keep part of their new buildings for a population who otherwise would be displaced.  The LIHTC helped a big business build in Heartside. Heartside grew and housed people, bridging that gap. The outside investors helps with urban decay, and the resident population is integrated into a thriving cultural life, with things like The Avenue and the Dwelling Place . Well, that’s the ideal.  Read more about LIHTC here.

Is a tax credit for investor the best way to ensure people with low-income don’t loose their place? No probably not. The builder can come in and promise that for 18 years 40ish% of his building will be stable affordable rent for those on disability, and get 9ish% of the project cost paid for the federal government.  That seems like a very convoluted way to help the poor…helping the rich get richer. Of course, the builder would be richer if it were 100% market-rate rent they were charging for 100% of a building. Does LIHTC help or hurt the Grand Rapids real estate market? Click here to read more. 

It definitely does something. The money from LIHTC, the $1.75 (adjusted for inflation)/resident, might be better spent donated to something like The Well House.

Click here…This can do something for you if you are in the real estate market. 

What the 20 East Fulton Project Will Do for Families in Grand Rapids, MI

Brookstone Capital, a Midland-based LLC, is building a new multi-use space on Fulton, right across from the Children’s Museum.   Mr. Karl Chew, president of Brookstone, is no one to scoff at around town if you are looking for a rental.Since 2006 Brookstone has built 300 rental units in Grand Rapids. This project at $37million is set to be their largest yet.

Brookstone Capital LLC, Your Next Landlord?

$3million of that budget is footed by tax payers through the Low-Income-Housing-Tax-Credit.  No, not because Karl Chew is low-income.  Mr. Chew gets the tax break because impressively 50% of the apartments will be designated for low-income families/individuals. That’s 54 affordable units and 54 market-rate.  40% of the units is typical for approval of the LIHTC. Good Job, Mr. Chew, working the system.

All people, but especially families in Grand Rapids can benefit indirectly from this development because of the prime location of this building. Broken window theory says that urban decay, empty or vandalized buildings, correlates to serious crime in that neighborhood. No, the empty building does not make crime happen. Yes, the shiny new 20 East Fulton could prevent crime from happening. If something looks nice, people are more likely to treat it nice. If something looks messy, people are less likely to take care of it.  Karl Chew is all over Grand Rapids making unused spaces livable ones.6961230324_1b0d85eb32_b

Back in the day, there were three major department stores in Grand Rapids, not on Alpine or 28th Street but right downtown.

Mr. Chew’s might be the next department store of GR at 20 East Fulton on the lower level in the 10,000 feet of retail space. No, just kidding. But something new will be there.

Looks like Rick Devos’s Artprize scheme is working! This savvy business man uses art as the medium for community, yes, that’s natural, and the American Idol model, yes, that’s capitalist, to create hype for his hometown. He wanted to give a kickstart to the economy and transform the downtown area; re-imagine a whole new thing in the ghostly buildings of the prior GR glory.

Devos can have Chew’s tennants as neighbors right across division to his big state-of-the-arts building. The new-er UICA, Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, is a similar muti-use space. At the tippy-top is an outdoor fireplace and patio for the GR elite. 20 East Fulton might have the same glitzy vibe, we’ll see, but it can boast that it’s 50/50 market-value (glitzy) and affordable (gritty).

At some point in the future, maybe someone can site this article for how past humans of GR handled gaps in income. They will write a sparkling article about how 20 East Fulton is now (then) 100% affordable housing for 100% of families. Until that day…here’s Mr. Chew helping families in GR by renovating eye sores for people to rent, encouraging the government to offer incentives to businesses that protect the marginalized, making ArtPrize look even nicer, creating some needed parking and downtown retail space in a centralized location – ultimately making Grand Rapids safer and happier.

Click here if you need housing to a part of this glitzy and gritty grand city.