About

Midtown Development is Traverse City’s Premier In-Town Residential Developer

OUR EXPERIENCE

Midtown Development, Inc. is based in Traverse City and operates as a leading community builder with an extensive portfolio in downtown residential condominiums. Midtown understands the movement to return to urban living and subscribe to the principles of the New Urbanism and Smart Growth. Midtown designs and builds very intentional communities that resonate with the groundswell of people who are focused on sustainability and a desire to live “green”. Projects include River’s Edge, Midtown Centre, Fairway Hills, Traditions and our latest: Uptown Riverfront Townhomes.

OUR MARKET

Midtown understands and speaks to a very specific, but growing market. The return to an urban lifestyle is attractive to the full population spectrum: young professionals through retirees. In keeping with national trends, people want to live in-town to save time and money in the daily commute, but also for all the cultural benefits that Traverse City is famous for. The ability to walk or bike to school, the beach, shopping, dining and entertainment is the benefit and the closer to the heart of downtown, the better.

OUR PHILOSOPHY

Midtown strives to meet the objectives of efficient and smart land use by building higher density projects close to public infrastructure and utilizing green building techniques to provide energy efficient, environmentally sensible structures.

Where others find the daunting mountain of added work involved in reclaiming environmental properties too burdensome, we find opportunity. We understand the unique challenges of Brownfield Redevelopment through considerable experience: River’s Edge and Midtown Centre. We have a strong team of experienced environmental, civil and structural engineering and business professionals that are used to working together and bring a depth of experience from other brownfield projects too numerous to mention.

Infill development is not only our specialty, it is our passion. We actively seek residential development opportunities within the City’s core because of that. We are proud to offer sustainable alternatives to sprawl and find it fulfilling to add to and build upon Traverse City’s success.  We are involved in the community and live in the projects we build.

Traverse City carries the dual burden of serving not only its own residents and visitors, but a huge population that lives outside of town coupled with a tax base that is severely limited because of all the property that is off the tax rolls: schools, parks, civic buildings, hospitals, Boardman Lake and the airport. We take great pride that our infill residential projects help to balance that deficit.

OUR APPROACH

In spite of the current, long recession, Midtown has been successful, not only because of the demand for our product, but because of our innovative, but simple business model.

We avoid traditional apartment-style condominium projects, as they are difficult to finance, both for us and the end user. In doing so, we also avoid major factors that drive up cost to build and maintain, time to construct and risk. Our townhomes are functionally independent of other units. There are no shared hallways, elevators multiple egress stairways, parking structures or mechanical equipment. Vertical separation walls are sound-proof and there is no one else living above or below.

Each townhome has its own attached garage, internal stairs and private elevator. This provides the individual owner freedom in design within his “footprint” and flexibility in choosing mechanical systems and features. It also gives great comfort in the ability to control utility and maintenance costs, especially for those who are not year-round residents.

Midtown continuously searches for, identifies and negotiates the purchase of infill opportunities and private investors who like our projects and our approach buy and hold the land on our behalf. Midtown does the due diligence and works through the design and approval process, our objective being to precisely determine the building footprints and generate site condominium documents and surveys as quickly as possible. Once finalized, we are in a position to sell and close on the lot. The land investor releases and is paid for each lot as sold and the remainder of the purchase price goes into an escrow account that funds the land improvements and infrastructure.

Concurrent with the Purchase Agreement for the lot, the buyer enters into a construction contract with Midtown to build their townhome at a set price per square foot based upon a defined set of specifications, but with freedom to customize the size and plan of the unit.

Each buyer provides the financing for the construction of their unit. Since we are not building multi-unit condos, owner financing for their home on their lot is relatively simple and common. Thus, we do not need to reach a large number of reservations to begin construction. Most buildings consist of just a couple of connected but independent (except for a party wall) townhomes, so we can build with just one or two sales per building and we will self-finance the shell of an unsold unit, finishing it on the outside so the whole building appears finished, but only constructing the bearing walls on the inside until that unit is sold.

Midtown will strive to meet the objectives of efficient and smart land use by building higher density projects close to public infrastructure and utilizing green building techniques to provide energy efficient, environmentally sensible structures. Now and in the future, the company will utilize progressive community development concepts, innovative business practices, and education outreach in ways that best serve the residents of new neighborhoods and the community as a whole.

Timothy K Burden, President of the company, is an entrepreneur with extensive experience in the construction industry.

Tim Burden is responsible for the overall direction of the company including oversight of all sales and marketing efforts.

He has been involved in the construction industry for 40 years, having grown a small local painting company into a diversified paint and coatings business serving the Midwest, eventually expanding into asbestos and lead remediation services with nationwide offices. Since the sale of Burdco Group, Inc., in 1996, Mr Burden has undertaken re-development of the blighted brownfield site previously occupied by Traverse City Ironworks on the Boardman River in downtown Traverse City. His efforts produced two highly-acclaimed projects: River’s Edge and Midtown Centre.

Mr. Burden is an experienced builder, having acquired his residential builders license in 1974. He served on the board of the Northwest Michigan Builder’s Exchange for three years and one term as president. He is a member of the Rotary Club, is active in community and service groups and has chaired the Chamber of Commerce, New Designs for Growth, United Way Construction Division and is an active member of The Grand Vision.

Mr. Burden attended Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, Michigan where he studied Business Administration.

Michael Wills, Project Manager, is an entrepreneur with extensive business and development experience.

Mike Wills is responsible for company operations including site investigation and feasibility analysis, design, estimating and construction.

Mike started, operated and sold several local businesses and a multitude of real estate since moving to Traverse City in 1971. He developed Harbor West Marina and played a key role in the development of River’s Edge with Tim Burden. Following that, Mr. Wills operated a mechanical contracting firm for six years before returning to the real estate development field as a consultant in 2006. Since then, Mike has served as a development consultant on such notable local projects as Stony Point Commerce Park, SkipStone Crossing and the new Cambria Suites Hotel, which opened in the summer of 2009, at which time Mike joined forces with Tim Burden again in the summer of 2009.

Mr. Wills attended the University of Michigan and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture.