Samuel M. Cummings


Sometimes referred to as the City’s leading champion, Sam Cummings has dedicated the last 25 years of his life to the preservation of Grand Rapids’ history and the revitalization of the community through the built environment. One by one, Cummings has brought back to life some of Grand Rapids’ most historic treasures and long neglected buildings. Today, Sam and his partners, Scott Wierda and Dan DeVos, are working to bring new vision, vibrancy, and vitality to the urban core and community.

Since forming CWD Real Estate Investment in 2008, Cummings and his partners have assembled more than 2.7 million square feet of retail and urban office real estate in West Michigan – making CWD one of the largest, locally-owned property management firms in the area. CWD’s investments in the community are focused on providing quality spaces and stability for generations. CWD’s most recent projects include the renovation of three historic downtown buildings: the Michigan Trust Building, Ledyard Building, and CWD Building. Built in the late 1800’s, each has undergone multi-million dollar updates – the first significant renovations in decades – breathing new life into more than 300,000 square feet of downtown office and retail space. CWD also owns and manages the Bucktown development in Grandville, which includes signature retailers such as Cabela’s, Target, Ulta, and Five Guys, among others.

Prior to forming CWD, Cummings was founding principal and president of Second Story Properties. The real estate development, investment, and management firm was widely recognized as a pioneer in adaptive re-use in West Michigan. Under his leadership, Second Story developed and renovated more than 24 properties and 850,000 square feet of office, residential, and mixed use assets. Previously, Cummings served as partner/president of Macroe Properties.

Cummings possesses a keen understanding of the processes necessary to utilize local, state, and federal financial incentives to maximize value in underperforming assets. He also has significant experience working with local and state governments on successful public-private partnerships.

As an industry expert, Cummings often speaks on topics such as: adaptive reuse, historic renovation, real estate investment trends, architectural design, office space trends, placemaking, urban core re-development, downtown living, pedestrian-friendly design, demographic inversion, transportation, green spaces, private-public partnerships, and land use – blending development and natural resources. He is also a past contributing editor to Grand Rapids Magazine.


BA / Business and English / Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI 
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker / State of Michigan
USGBC LEED training 

Professional Affiliations

CCIM Institute 
International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)
Economic Club of Grand Rapids, Executive Committee
Michigan Association of Realtors, Special Task Force for Michigan Business Tax Modification, Chair, 2008
National Association of Realtors
National Trust for Historic Preservation 

Community Involvement

Aquinas College Foundation, Board of Directors, 2014-present
State of Michigan Office of Urban and Metropolitan Initiatives, Advisory Board, 2012-present
State of Michigan, Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund
  -Trustee, appointed by Governor Rick Snyder, 2011-2013
  -Chair, 2013-present
The Right Place Inc., Board Member, 2006-present
Grand Rapids Community Foundation
  -Trustee, 2000-2007
  -Investment Review Committee, Member, Past Chair, 2002-2010
Grand Rapids Art Museum Foundation, Trustee, 2002- 2010
Grand Valley State University Foundation, Trustee, 2002-present
Grand Rapids Art Museum, Board of Trustees, 1998-2002, 2010-present
  -President, 2000-2002
  -Accessions Committee, 2000-present


Numerous state and local historic restoration awards, 1996-present
Grand Rapids Business Journal “40 under 40,” 2003-2007, "Distinguished Alumnus," 2013
Urban Land Institute/University of Michigan "Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Real Estate," 2011
Van Andel Legacy “Casey” Award for Community Service, 2011
National Kidney Foundation "Galaxy Award for Excellence in Business," 2010
Business Review West Michigan “Green Building Restoration Award,” 2009
Grand Rapids Magazine “25 Most Powerful People," 2007
Business Direct Weekly “40 Business Leaders Under 40,” 2004
State of Michigan "Certificates of Achievement for Service to Faith Inc. and Grand Rapids Community

Guest Lecturer Appearances  

Associated Builders and Contractors
Central Michigan University, Business/Real Estate Department
Construction Finance Managers Association of Michigan
Grand Rapids Art Museum
Grand Valley State University, Seidman School of Business
International Council of Shopping Centers
Leadership Grand Rapids
Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Michigan Historic Preservation Network
Turnaround Management Association
West Michigan Construction Industry Forum



CWD is proud to offer superior customer service and communication through our team of highly trained and knowledgeable staff. If you are interested in finding out more about our company and the services we provide, please contact (616) 726-1700