After recent acquisitions, Chicago property management firm sees ‘lot of opportunities’ in Grand Rapids

A Chicago-based property management firm sees long-term opportunity in the Grand Rapids market following a pair of apartment building acquisitions in the past six months totaling more than $17 million in investment.

CIG Management LLC most recently acquired Bradford Station for $4.65 million from Bazzani Building Co., as MiBiz reported this week. The mixed-use, carbon-neutral development sits just north of Medical Mile and sold just over a year after construction was completed on the 16,500-square-foot building.

CIG also purchased the Gallery Apartments in downtown Grand Rapids at 10 Commerce Ave. SW for $12.6 million on Dec. 31, 2021 from CWD Real Estate Investment, doing business as Two West Fulton II LLC, according to property records.

CIG Management President Jay Johnson — a veteran real estate developer and manager from Chicago — is eyeing additional property acquisitions in the Grand Rapids market.

“We like what’s going on from an economic standpoint (in Grand Rapids), and think it’s a good long-term position to be in, in that metropolitan area,” Johnson told MiBiz.

CIG Management has found a niche in smaller, infill properties, Johnson added.

Bradford Station, which Bazzani has said is the first carbon-neutral project in the city, includes 23 apartments and Tashi’s Place coffee shop on the ground floor in the city’s Belknap Lookout neighborhood just north of Medical Mile. 

“It’s in an area that I think is changing, it’s in proximity to the medical district, which will provide some long-term stability,” Johnson said. 

The Gallery Apartments include dozens of units located above the former Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts gallery in downtown Grand Rapids.

CIG, the property management division of Cornerstone Investment Group Inc., which Johnson founded in 1993, also has a presence in Kalamazoo, where it owns Mansard House Apartments just west of Western Michigan University’s campus. The company’s management portfolio includes about 250 housing units.

Johnson said the company will continue seeking investments in Grand Rapids.

“I really like the Grand Rapids marketplace and think there are a lot of opportunities there,” Johnson said.

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