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.
Guest Lecturer Appearances