Anyone driving by The Grand Castle gets a sense of the building’s momentous size. Construction materials for the 522-unit apartment community off I-196 west of Grand Rapids included 200 million pounds of concrete, 900 tons of steel and 320,000 kilograms of granite.
The Grand Castle is indeed grand. In fact, at 1.2 million square-feet, it’s the second largest castle in the world!
But you have to tour The Grand Castle to get a full appreciation of how grand it really is.
How each apartment has brand-new stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops, full washer and dryer and its own water heater, plus high nine-and-a-half-foot ceilings.
How there’s a variety of floor plans that fit a variety of living situations and budgets, and more than 90 percent them get at least one covered parking space.
How the extraordinary architecture is complemented by unparalleled amenities:
- Outdoor swimming pool and clubhouse
- Castle-themed playground for kids
- Two-story library with a “Beauty and the Beast”-style twin staircase
- On-site gym with cardio and weight training equipment
- Game room with ping pong, shuffleboard and arcade games
- Spacious outdoor terraces and sun decks
- 23-acre lake for fishing and kayaking, with a waterside walking trail
- Covered loading docks for easy move in
- Expansive courtyard with outdoor seating and water fountain
- Fenced-in dog park
- Fitness classes, watch parties and other organized social events
- Conference rooms for personal parties
“It has everything you could want in an apartment,” said Taryn Willett, 27, who lives on the sixth floor with her fiancée, dog and cat. “We like it for a lot of reasons.
“It’s newer, cleaner. It has a fresh feel. And it’s actually a really good price for the area considering it’s very close to downtown. We’re actually paying less money (than we were at our previous apartment) for a new building, and it’s closer to the highway. That’s a really huge plus because you can get anywhere in 10 minutes.”
There are a lot of apartments in West Michigan, but there’s only one castle. The Grand Castle was inspired by a similar marvel in southern Germany.
The Neuschwanstein Castle itself was a monumental feat of construction for its time, requiring more than 500 tons of marble, over 1,700 tons of sandstone and some 400,000 bricks. It also featured then-innovative amenities including central heating, running water and toilets with automatic flushing.
The Neuschwanstein Castle attracts upwards of 1 million visitors per year. Yet, only 522 tenants get to call The Grand Castle home.
“I teach dance at night and once my little dancers found out I lived at The Grand Castle they were like ‘Are you a princess?’” said Brooke Hanges, who lives in a 2-bedroom apartment on the fourth floor with her puppy.
“My nephew is 3 and he thought that was the coolest thing to have Aunt Brooke live in The Grand Castle. He even put together a Lego structure of the Castle for me.”
A year after opening, The Grand Castle is more than 70-percent occupied. Studio apartments rent for as little as $730 per month, while three-story penthouse suites have more than 4,000 square-feet. One-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans also are available ranging in size from 712 square-feet to 1,500 square-feet, with rents from $930 to $1,770 per month. The apartment community also includes several accessible units with barrier-free features.
Preferred employer discounts of 5 percent or more are available to employees of many of the Grand Rapids-area’s largest employers.
The Grand Castle is proving to be a great fit for people of all ages. In addition to 20-somethings just starting out and mid-career professionals, many residents age 55 and up are finding a home at The Grand Castle, too.
“It’s no maintenance,” said John Green, 72, who moved into a two-bedroom apartment with his wife after downsizing from a 4,900-square-foot home on 18 acres. “We love it here. It has so many things that make it worthwhile as far as things to do.”
As for The Grand Castle’s distinctive architecture, Green loves it.
“Whenever we have somebody come to visit, we never get the excuse that they couldn’t find it.”