ULI Michigan LandLink

Get to Know Derek Coppess, Founder and Managing Director of 616 Development

Derek J. Coppess is an experienced developer, community advocate and the founder/managing director of 616 Development.

His mission: to inspire community by rehabilitating underutilized urban spaces.

After attending the College of William and Mary, Derek moved back home to invest in West Michigan, his home turf. In 2003 he formed the Coppess Group, a real estate investment company which would reinvent itself into 616 Development. His model of development is uniquely focused on residential occupancy. By making urban residents the cornerstone of his development efforts, Derek and his 616 Tribe seek to incubate community, economic growth and, ultimately urban density.

Derek and the 616 Tribe have developed notable projects such as 616 Lofts on Ionia (1 Ionia, above Grand Rapids Brewing Company) and 616 Lofts at the Kendall (16 Monroe Center).

Currently, Derek Coppess is working with local city planners and developers to achieve critical mass downtown, including collaborating on a number of projects with Grand Rapids’ Downtown Development Authority, Kendall College and Design West Michigan. He also sits on the board of directors for Sunny Crest Youth Ranch in his hometown, Lake Odessa.

Derek serves on a citizen committee working to rehabilitate Memorial Park, which sits directly in front of the Kendall Building – 616′s soon-to-be new home.

Learn more about Derek Coppess’ intriguing career and hear him speak on the topic of Why Urban Centers Matter at day one of the UM/ULI Real Estate Forum, Wednesday, November 7, 2012.

About Alison Watch

Associate, Urban Land Institute Michigan
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