$49 Million in Change: Midland’s East End Project

4 Oct

ImageOver 140 young professionals packed the Dow Diamond on Thursday, Sept. 26 to hear the latest news about the East End development (a.k.a. “the huge building across from the stadium”). On hand were Midland City Manager Jon Lynch along with Gillespie Group President Pat Gillespie and Caddis Development Group President Kevin McGraw (the project developers) and Spence Brothers President/CEO Herb Spence (responsible for the construction). Here are some of the highlights:

The Tenants

  • Current tenants include Chemical Bank Wealth Management, Warner Norcross & Judd, MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland, and a second-floor fitness center, along with another “major” tenant to be announced soon. The Michigan Baseball Foundation has also announced State & Main Restaurant will be a tenant as well.
  • In total, there are only about 7,000 square feet left to lease (out of over 250,000), and the developers would like 4-5 restaurants to start with. They’re looking for suggestions (see the end of this post for the way to contribute).

The Construction

  • The construction, which has been greatly accelerated, is still even a little ahead of schedule. The “core and shell” work to enclose the building might be done as early as the first week of November. Indoor “fitouts” for the major tenants’ spaces are starting this month.
  • If all goes well, there should be people in the building by sometime next spring.
  • The building is working toward LEED Silver certification to be environmentally friendly.
Conceptual rendering taken from midlandeastend.com

Conceptual rendering taken from the Midland East End website

The Impact

  • About 800 people currently work in Midland’s Downtown. Pat Gillespie predicted the East End project will add another 800 by itself.
  • The development will help fill current vacancies even though it’s adding new space. Gillespie has seen businesses eager to take advantage of new development rent nearby existing space at a lower price point. He predicts that within three years, Downtown Midland will be entirely filled with “stuff you don’t have now.”
  • The project was originally a $33 million investment; today, it’s $49 million. This has raised the taxable value of that property from $800,000 in 2011 to $13 million today.

The Future

  • The East End development is not including residential space – it’s difficult for residents and businesses to share the same elevators and other infrastructure. But the developers and the City are discussing other possible residential development. Since Pat gets “five to ten calls a week” asking if there are apartments available in the East End, he predicted there will eventually be 70-100 apartments in Downtown Midland.
  • In order to have those apartments, though, and to have associated services like taxis, there needs to be enough demand for a private-sector investor to take the projects on. Apartments downtown would probably need be priced between $775 and $1100/month to be viable.

The East End project is exciting by itself, but the impact on Midland and the region will be even bigger. As the project shapes up, the developers encouraged MYPros to have our say in the tenants we’d like to see. Leave a comment on this post and tell us what you think should be in the East End!


4 Responses to “$49 Million in Change: Midland’s East End Project”

  1. jeff October 7, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Chick-fil-A would be a great restaurant addition to Midland.

  2. Jake October 17, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    1. Downtown NEEDS apartment space if Midland would like to be an attractive location for new hires to local companies. The nursing home on main street is an incredible location, but the lots in and around the East End would be primo as well. $775-$1100 would be a perfect price point, as that’s what im paying now, and I live all the way near Plymouth Park.

    2. PLEASE don’t add some national chain to the East End. Uggghh gross. What people want, and what Midland needs is more unique, local restaurants. Invest in Michigan. Look at Whichcraft Taproom – I love that place! They invest in Michigan, and have a great menu, and are busy constantly. Midland has enough chain fast food places.

    • ryandrichards October 21, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      Jeff – I agree!

      Jake – WhichCraft is great, isn’t it? I can’t get enough of that place (though I’m sure some of my Facebook friends wish I would). As far as I can tell from their site (http://www.stateandmain-mi.com/about), State and Main is a new local startup restaurant too.

      As for the housing – I think downtown housing would be a huge boost to the area. Now it’s all about proving there’s a demand so an investor will be willing to take it on.

      Thank you both for commenting!


  1. Downtown Update: What’s Going On | Midland Young Professionals - March 19, 2014

    […] Our earlier blog post on the East End project […]

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