Fostering healthy growth by nurturing ethical business relationships

Founded in 2019 by Ben Sietsema, commercial real estate investment and development company Honeycrisp Ventures initially focused on acquiring properties that could be renovated and, in turn, would better meet market needs. In 2021, however, as demand continued to grow, Honeycrisp Ventures began building property with the intent to lease. As of 2021, according to a news release, the company’s portfolio consists of “1.3 million square-feet with an additional 60 acres under contract for future development throughout West Michigan.”

“With everything Honeycrisp does, we value partnership above all else,’ says Patti Kelly-Kim, director of operations.

This collaborative approach was able to be mutually beneficial during a recent project. When Honeycrisp Ventures was engaged by Acme Marine to help them meet specific needs as they secured new production space, Honeycrisp Ventures proposed developing a space that not only met Acme Marine’s needs but also provided space for third-party tenants. “This approach lowered Acme’s cost by 25% and delivered a diversified real estate investment,” says Sietsema in the news release.

Within the engagement, Honeycrisp Ventures was able to work with a local building group and financial institution who helped the project run smoothly. “We had a great partnership with Wolverine Building Group. They were fast, communicative and provided solutions for each challenge we faced. Wolverine’s ability to self-perform much of the work allowed us to be flexible and adaptive. Additionally, Mercantile Bank made the banking side of the equation simple and easy,” says Kelly-Kim.

Despite changing material costs, labor concerns and other market fluctuations being seen in numerous industries, Honeycrisp Ventures was able to complete this project — a 285,000 square-foot development located at 3501 Fruit Ridge in Walker — both under budget and three months ahead of schedule. 

3501 Fruit Ridge development

“Having open communication and reliable partners allowed us to succeed in a difficult market,” says Kelly-Kim.

The design, partnership and innovative approach to meeting tenant’s needs within the project earned Honeycrisp Ventures the 2021 Industrial Development Project of the Year from the Commercial Alliance of Realtors West Michigan.

Looking ahead, Honeycrisp Ventures is poised to continue meeting market needs. “We have a simple ownership structure that allows us to make quick decisions as the market changes,” says Kelly-Kim. “We want to provide quality assets that meet modern industrial requirements as well as the needs of tenants in the future. Staying well-informed on how major manufacturers operate and utilize their space will allow us to keep our portfolio in demand.”

For others in the industry, Kelly-Kim encourages them to also form strong partnerships. “We are a hands-on company that cares about relationships and doing business ethically. We want to maintain great relationships with our tenants, investors, contractors, banks — everyone involved in the process — through open communication and mutual respect. These relationships allow us to thrive. I’d encourage everyone in this industry to do the same — invest in your relationships by handling business ethically and that will lead to healthy growth.”

Photos courtesy of Honeycrisp Ventures

About Leandra Nisbet: Leandra Nisbet, Owner of Stingray Advisory Group LLC and Co-Owner of Brightwork Marine LLC, has over 15 years of experience in leadership, sales & marketing, and graphic design. She helps businesses grow and assists with: strategic planning, marketing concept development/implementation, risk management, and financial organization. She is actively involved in the community, sitting on several Boards and committees, and has been recognized as one of the 40 Under 40 Business Leaders in Grand Rapids.

Contact Leandra Nisbet by email at [email protected]!
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.