Fulton Place housing set to open next fall

By Lucas Escalada | 10/22/15 12:48am

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GVL / Sara Carte Rockford Construction works on Grand Valley’s new housing, Fulton Place, on Fulton Street West on Oct. 21. Fulton Place will be finished are ready for students to move in for the 2016-2017 school year.

by Sara Carte / Grand Valley Lanthorn

Beside the usual social and academic challenges students face in the midpoint of the semester, most must also tackle their future living situation. For students planning to live in downtown Grand Rapids, the new Fulton Place housing option is trying its best to bring students in while staying on schedule for its opening date.

The new building, located on Fulton Street West adjacent to Grand Valley State University’s Pew Campus, is aiming to open for the fall 2016 semester.

Mike Mraz, a partner and member of real estate development at Rockford Construction, said construction has come along smoothly so far. He said they are working collaboratively with the staff to make sure the established milestones are being hit while still keeping safety in mind.

Safety for construction workers as well as anyone in the nearby area is an imperative concern. Mraz said the site has multiple buildings in a very tight area, which can make movement tough.

“We are very careful about material delivery, contractor parking and moving around the site in general,” Mraz said.

The entire project will cost around $34 million. Mraz said the team is hoping to complete the general site work and exterior walls before winter beings.

Once the lower temperatures of the Michigan winter come along, the workers will tarp and temporarily heat the interior of the buildings while they continue to complete their work.

“There are additional costs associated with building in Michigan winters, but those are already accounted for in the budget,” Mraz said.

The Fulton Place team monitors the budget and schedule on a weekly basis. Adjustments are made on the fly, if they are necessary.

A completed housing unit will not do the Fulton Place team any good if there are no students living in it, and that is why the team is already trying to convince students to sign a lease.

Mraz said right now is the best time to seize the opportunity and secure an apartment for next year. This way, students can have one less thing to worry about.

Mraz and his team are doing the best they can to get Fulton Place into consideration for more students. Through their website and social media interaction, Mraz said he is trying to encourage students to secure a great apartment for next year.

Carrie Subject, a GVSU junior who is looking for downtown housing, said Fulton Place’s location is exceptional. One of her main concerns when looking for an apartment is safety.

“The house could be beautiful and reasonably priced, but if it is surrounded by sketchy houses or roads, it’s a no go,” Subject said.

While she praised the apartment’s look and location, Subject said the price was unreasonably high for student housing.

Promoting the right aspects of the apartments will be key to Fulton Place’s success. Subject said there are a variety of aspects that every student considers, so finding the right fit requires some research on the student’s part.

For students who want to see a model before committing to a lease, Fulton Place will begin to offer onsite tours when construction progress is further along.

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