Industrial V Michigan

Cohen moves to Grand Rapids for the opportunities available in West Michigan

Cathy Bronkema grew up in Grand Rapids, Mich. Now she's back in her hometown to lead the newest office of Cohen Financial.

Cathy Bronkema grew up in Grand Rapids, Mich. Now she's back in her hometown to lead the newest office of Cohen Financial.

Bronkema, partner and executive vice president with Cohen Financial, officially took over as head of the company's Grand Rapids office on Jan. 1.

While Bronkema says that she is excited to be working in her home state, she adds that she's equally excited about the commercial real estate opportunities that exist in Western Michigan.

"The fundamentals in Michigan are coming back," Bronkema said. "Manufacturing is strong now. Automotive is coming back. We are seeing more and more opportunities here."

Bronkema will continue Cohen's relationship with Colliers International in West Michigan, a relationship that the two companies started in 2011 to provide capital to clients across the country. According to Cohen, this partnership has resulted in more than $10.2 million in commercial real estate loans in both West Michigan and outside the state.

In the first quarter of this year, Bronkema arranged financing for three industrial properties through teaming assignments with Colliers. These transactions were a $500,000-plus acquisition loan for a 20,136-square-foot industrial property in Marne, Mich.; a $1.9 million refinancing loan for a 110,875-square-foot industrial property in Grand Rapids; and a $1.65 million refinancing loan for a second industrial property in Grand Rapids, this one a 101,250-square-foot facility.

Bronkema says that she expects business to remain strong in the second half of the year in the West Michgan region. And that's particularly good news. The state, after all, was one of the hardest hit by the recession and its slow recovery. If Michigan is improving, it only bodes well for the rest of the Midwest.