Rockford Construction generates $30M in recent GR property sales, to reinvest in new projects

GRAND RAPIDS — Affiliates of Rockford Construction Co. Inc. sold several Grand Rapids properties late last year for more than $30 million that will support the company’s investments in future projects.

Rockford Construction’s affiliated entities sold the properties to companies linked to Fort Wayne, Inc.-based VIA Developments LLC, which first acquired an office building at 1925 Breton Road SE for nearly $8.9 million on Aug. 30, 2021, according to property records. Rockford Construction acquired the property in 2016 for $1.55 million. 

The sale led to several more property deals between the two companies.

“We were working with them on (the Breton Road building) and they had started to look at these other properties. We got together and met about our capabilities for other properties,” Mike Mraz, president of Rockford Construction’s real estate development team, told MiBiz

MrazMMike Mraz. COURTESY PHOTOVIA Developments purchased seven additional properties from Rockford for nearly $7.2 million on the city’s west side on Oct. 4, 2021. The properties are located on Dewey Avenue, Fourth Street and Fifth Street. 

VIA Developments then acquired the John Widdicomb Building at 665 Seward Ave. NW for $14.5 million on Dec. 17, 2021, according to property records. 

“This is helping us to grow and redeploy significant investment into the future of downtown and the west side, and into other neighborhood districts,” Mraz said. “We acquired these properties years ago when they were mostly vacant. We had confidence in our redevelopment abilities on the west side and worked hard to fill those vacancies.”

Mraz declined to share additional details about the future projects. The deals represented more than $30 million in gross sales for the company.

Throughout the pandemic, Rockford Construction has worked with office tenants across its portfolio on lease extensions and new office leases. The Widdicomb Building on Seward contains 101,000 square feet of office space and eight tenants. The property at 560 Fifth St. NW comprises 50,000-square-feet of office space and 17 tenants, as well as 60,000-square-feet of warehouse space with two tenants. 

Both properties are fully leased and will continue to be managed by Rockford Construction despite ownership change, Mraz said. 

Tenants’ office space needs at the properties have changed throughout the pandemic as some companies downsized under a hybrid work model while other businesses expanded, Mraz added. 

“The collaborative spirit (with VIA Developments) is great,” he said. “This allows us to maintain the facilities to the standards we require, at the highest level of quality. We were able to with these two sales redeploy capital into future growth and are looking at a few new projects specifically on the west side.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was clarified to note that the recent property deals represented more than $30 million in gross sales for Rockford Construction.