616 Development & 616 Lofts was founded by Derek J. Coppess in 2008 with the noble purpose of creating and nurturing community in urban settings. We started with one employee and we began in our backyard – Grand Rapids, Michigan. We are bootstrappers, so we could not start by developing the massive community I dreamed about in one building, we had to innovate a different way to get started. By redeveloping multiple, smaller projects and branding them all “616 Lofts on Maple Street” for example, it allowed us to appear larger than we were at the time – it grew our brand quickly and we kept the overhead low. We then innovated different ways to bring our residents together such as The 616 Pass, shared amenities between the buildings, resident liaisons and “beer and board games” every Wednesday night at an Irish Pub were just a few ways we emerged into something special. A place where cross-pollination began creating community.
Fueled by a passionate and creative vision to bring urban living back Downtown – and a purposeful approach to brand management – 616 became a widely known and respected brand in the community.
While we acquired and redeveloped old vacant historic office buildings into thriving residential mixed-use assets, we began to grow. After successfully redeveloping four smaller yet very high impact projects in the downtown core (average size $5MM), a company of two was now a company of ten and things were going very well – the Mayor.
Now with a successful track record, around 2013 we decided to redevelop three additional and much larger assets (about $20MM each); the redevelopments were a success.
Today, 616 proudly owns and operates a stabilized portfolio of approximately one hundred million dollars of assets (seven total operating properties). To begin to restructure for the future, we made the thoughtful decision early this year to enter a strategic relationship with a national property management firm (KMG Prestige). KMG brings forty years of operational experience and efficiency and operates the 616 portfolios behind the strong 616 brand.