September 2014

AVB Wins Avid® Ratings Award for Customer Experience


This is the second AVID Award for AVB, in 2010 we earned the award for the Best Customer Experience in North America.

AVID is an enterprise survey management firm that gives customers the opportunity to provide feedback across various industries. A total of 27 U.S. and Canadian homebuilders received awards across nine separate categories this year. The recipients were chosen from 747 qualifying builders which makes it the largest assessment of homebuyer satisfaction in North America in 2014.

“Our AVB team is working hard with a goal of providing the AVB client experience, creating lasting value through excellence in service, construction and development.  AVB is pleased our clients have recognized our efforts,” said Jack Gesmundo, Principal at AVB. He also explains that the award is humbling and an encouragement to continue to strive towards best-in-class service for our clients.

New $27MM, 65,000 SF Borgess Health Park Battle Creek Opens


AVB recently completed the energy efficient Borgess Health Park medical office pavilion in Battle Creek on time and under budget. The 65,000 square foot ambulatory care facility includes primary care and specialty physicians, as well as medical imaging, diagnostics, occupational therapy and sleep clinic with potential for bariatric, vascular and general services to be added in the future.


Borgess Health had the goal of incorporating sustainable features in the design and construction of the building. Some of the environmentally conscious attributes of the new Borgess Health Park include 100% LED lighting, Variable Air Volume ventilation systems that imitate human breathing patterns, and native plant species that require less irrigation and insecticide.

Borgess Health Park Battle Creek opened to the public in mid-June of 2014, and Borgess Health looks forward to continuing to extend its health care services beyond the Kalamazoo area. AVB is proud to continue our longstanding, thirty-five year relationship with Borgess and Ascension Health to provide sustainable, environmentally conscious health care facilities.

AVB Building Costco Anchored Corner@Drake Development

Corner@Drake is a new retail development coming to a sweet spot in Kalamazoo, the northwest corner of Stadium Drive and Drake Road, at U.S. 131. Construction on the 40 acre development began November 2013, but the concept has been forming for over twenty years. The property was acquired over that time by AVB co-founder Joe Gesmundo, who envisioned the potential of this location.  Curt Aardema, AVB Director of Development reports, “AVB has served as a patient caretaker of this land for over twenty years and we are pleased to see this come to fruition.” However, as a redevelopment site, the project has required a complex transition from an outdated residential neighborhood to a first-class retail center.

An important facet of the project has been modifying already busy adjacent streets to accommodate increased traffic and all new utility infrastructure. This has involved coordination with nearly a dozen government entities and consultation with engineers and contractors from across the U.S. The public-private collaborative effort will not only widen Stadium Drive, Drake Road and W. Michigan Avenue, but also allow for easier access to US-131 at a new Single Point Urban Interchange which will be completed by MDOT in the Fall of 2015.


The AVB team is delivering the project under a tight schedule to meet the needs of our exciting anchor tenant, national retailer Costco Wholesale. Costco will be making Corner@Drake their first location in our region, opening this November. Corner@Drake will not only be a new gateway to the community, but will bring new businesses and jobs as well.

Helpful Home Tips for Fall

Temperatures are starting to cool off: to keep your home looking its best, here are some easy tips to keep your home warm and dry for fall.

  • Temperature Control: Your HVAC system controls the temperature and humidity in your home, and is important to maintain. This is easily accomplished by changing your furnace filters as recommended, having an inspection performed on your furnace and air conditioner annually, turning on your humidifier, and setting the winter/summer damper in your basement to the “winter” position. Humidification is key to maintaining your home’s finishes, including drywall and wood floors.
  • Exterior Maintenance: Another important aspect is maintenance on your home’s exterior: cleaning gutters, extensions, bubblers and window wells of debris to ensure water drainage. Checking exterior caulking for any cracking, and inspecting roof and siding for weather damage will ensure your home is sealed tight against the winter wind and cold. 
  • Miscellaneous: Make sure that your hose bib valves are off in the basement as well as water lines for garage sinks to prevent freezing pipes. Check that your attic is properly insulated (30 inches of cellulose/fiberglass is average) and that your fireplace pilot is on to ensure your cold weather comfort and energy efficiency.

Thinking About Building a New Home? Call AVB!

AVB has earned more than 30 years of experience in the real estate development business since our founding in 1981. Working within  a forty-five minute radius of our office in Portage, Michigan, we look to serve the people of Kalamazoo County and surrounding area by helping them build beautiful places to call home.

The process of building a custom home with AVB is detailed and intricate to provide the homeowner with the best options for floor-plans, finishes and pricing options. The combined AVB team has many decades of experience and has completed hundreds of custom homes. We have built lake cottages, homes on golf courses, homes in neighborhoods, country and equestrian estates, from the very traditional to the industrial contemporary and everything in between.


Being a custom builder who builds more custom homes than anyone else in our area, means that nearly anything is possible. With the number of homes we build, we have experiences with different materials, products and layouts so we can narrow down the maze of choices and selections based on the homeowners’ needs and budget.

The first step to building or buying a home with AVB? Simply calling and talking to one of our sales representatives (269.323.2022), connect via our website at or find us on FacebookLinkedInHouzz, or Pinterest.

Collaboration, Innovation Key to $6.5 MM, 40,000 SF Newell Rubbermaid Design Center


When an international consumer products firm was looking for a place to centralize all product design, our community was ready to act. Southwest Michigan First purchased eight acres of land in the Business Technology Research Park near Western Michigan University’s Campus in June of 2013, selected AVB to lead their Design-Build team, and quickly began work on the “fast-track” construction of a 40,000 square foot facility to be utilized by Newell Rubbermaid as their center for collaborative product design.


AVB managed the design of the project, phased the bidding to allow for early construction start, and completed the innovative space in March of 2014. Newell Rubbermaid is seeking Two Green Globes Certification for the building’s energy efficiency and sustainable features planned and implemented by AVB and our design partner Byce & Associates.

This world-wide design center features “Immersion Rooms,” denoted by ash wood slats, for the design teams of various divisions of the company to research and develop new products. The collaboration-inspiring open floor plan contains a consumer testing area, a design and innovation center, and a 3D printing lab for prototypes. AVB is pleased to have helped Newell Rubbermaid join our community in Southwest Michigan!

Team AVB News: Fit, Active & Growing!

  • Dan Ruple and his wife, Betsy welcomed a new baby, Harper Mae Ruple into their family July 2014.
  • Field Customer Service John Feenstra and his fiancée Madeline will be getting married in September.
  • Trim Carpenter Bob DeVisser and his fiancée Kristen will also be getting married in September.
  • New Home Consultant, Vicki Gesmundo has been elected to the 2014-2015 Gull Lake Quality Organization Board
  • Larry Brownyard hired as Residential Project Manager.
  • Chuck Peak hired as Residential Construction Assistant.
  • Mark Ware hired as summer Commercial Construction Assistant.
  • Clay Stull hired as Commercial Superintendent.
  • Mason Mellema hired as Commercial Engineer Intern.
  • Melvin Keli hired as Monroe-Brown Intern.
  • Office Interns Josie Marshall and Jessica Fritz recently participated in a marathon on rollerblades outside Chicago!
  • Josie Marshall also completed a half-marathon  the first weekend of August. 
  • Principal Jack Gesmundo completed 2 triathlons in August.
  • Principal Greg Dobson participated in a 280 mile bike trip over six days with daughter, Sedona and Southridge Reformed Church’s youth group.
  • Director of Development Curt Aardema participated in the RAGBRAI bike trip across the state of Iowa  and will run the New York City Marathon this November.