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Michigan Moguls Join Forces

In a partnership that brings together two families with long histories in Michigan real estate, Gershenson Realty & Investment has teamed with the Kiriluk family’s Kirco Management Services to develop mixed-use projects in the Midwest and Southeast.

The firms say they have four projects worth more than $200 million in the works. In Michigan, the joint venture is developing the 350,000-square-foot Gardens of Rochester Hills, the 650,000-square-foot Village at Springfield and a 223,000-square-foot project in White Lake. The firm is also working on a project called E Street in Grand Rapids.

“We feel although there has been press regarding the state of the Michigan economy, there are still various areas that are vital, that are growing areas and areas that are still underserved,” says Bruce Gershenson, a principal with Gershenson Realty. “We believe the areas that we have picked are very strong retail, mixed-use type of areas.”

The Gershenson family has been in commercial real estate for more than 60 years. It helped launch Ramco-Gershenson Properties Trust, a shopping center REIT which last month celebrated its 10th year as a public company. Gershenson Realty was formed by three of the four Gershenson brothers—Joel, 65, Richard, 60, and Bruce, 57—who all vacated management positions at the REIT. Fourth brother Dennis, 63, remains with the REIT as president and CEO.

“I think our brother Dennis is doing a great job in running Ramco-Gershenson,” says Bruce. “For myself and my other two brothers we felt it was better to go back to our entrepreneurial roots, go back to smaller venue and create mixed-use projects.”

The Kiriluk family, meanwhile, has specialized in office and residential construction for nearly 40 years. The firm was founded by Alan Kiriluk and is now run by his son Matt, who serves as president.
The new joint venture combines the proficiencies of both firms as it pursues mixed-use development.

-- David Bodamer
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