Purchase of Bridgewater Place is Calif. investment firm's first foray into Michigan real estate

When completed, the planned purchased of Bridgewater Place, one of Grand Rapids' largest office buildings, will be California investment company Hertz Investment Group's inaugural foray into the Michigan investment real estate market.

The 17-story building (333 Bridge St. NW), known for its sea blue mirrored-tile exterior that rises along the Grand River, was a foreclosed property with GMAC Mortgage and will be sold for an undisclosed price, says Michael Visser of Colliers International. Visser assisted Colin Kraay, the lead sales manager in the transaction -- a process that began in 2010 with marketing the building nationally.

"We had nine offers from qualified buyers," Visser says. "I think this is a tremendous highlight of the attention the city has received. Part of our marketing is articulating what's going on here. The first day Hertz came to tour the building was when ArtPrize was going on, and that kind of event really makes it easy to market Grand Rapids."

Hertz Investment Group owns and manages dozens of massive office buildings in large cities in a number of states. The company's website touts the firm as "specializing in the acquisition, marketing, and management of exceptional properties throughout the country, encompassing prominent high-rise office buildings, international market centers for fashion, gift and jewelry, historically significant landmark properties, luxury hotels, high profile theaters, large retail centers, and multi-family residential properties."

"Having national investors like this purchase an asset that's been highly distressed throughout its history will be a great thing for our downtown office market," Visser says of the building, which has changed hands several times.

Bridgewater Place has 353,000 square feet of leasable space, says Visser. Varnum Law occupies the top five stories; Spectrum Health is building out 38,000 square feet of newly leased space for its human resources department. Visser says about 30 percent of the building is available for lease through Colliers International.

The transaction does not include River House Condominiums, which is owned by a separate entity. The sale will close in 30-45 days, Visser says.

Source: Michael Visser, Colliers International
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
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