Business History

 
 
  Unique Experience of John F. Cross;
The experience and expertise I have acquired over the past 30 years is unique; during that time period, I have owned and operated businesses including all of our own developments and I was personally responsible for all aspects of the process, the planning, funding, approvals, developing, building, leasing, managing, and the selling of our units.

 

I myself have owned & operated the following businesses and properties, except that I did not own V& B Coffee Service it was my fathers; I grew up working with him in this business.
• V & B Coffee Service / Pick a Snack – Grand Rapids, MI
• Whispering Needles – Grand Rapids, MI
• Alma’s Cleaning Service – Grand Rapids, MI
• Countryside Restaurant – Hudsonville, MI
• RE/MAX Towne & Country – Jenison, MI
• RE/MAX Towne & Country – Grandville, MI
• RE/MAX Commercial Group – Grandville, MI
• Cross Development Corp. – Grandville, MI
• Cross Homes – Grandville, MI
• Cross Mortgages – Grandville, MI
• White Tail Ridge – Grandville, MI
• Happy Hollow Lane – Jamestown, MI
• Crystal Pines – Rockford, MI
• Wedgefield – Egypt Valley, MI
• 4301 Canal Business Center – Grandville, MI
• Serentiy Ridge – Walker, MI
• Northern Reflections – Rockford, MI
• Meadow Field – Rockford, MI
• Fieldstone Farms – Grand Rapids
• Perry Ridge – Zeeland
• Wild Wing Condos – Zeeland
• Rose Garden Home “Assisted Living” – Grandville

I myself have managed, but not owned the following companies, and or properties.
• West Michigan Business Brokers – Jenison, MI
• Alanar effort – Mannorwood Subdivision – Benton Harbor
• Alanar effort – People First Housing Development – Detroit
• Alanar effort – People First “Assisted Living Facility” – Detroit
• Alanar effort – People First “Group Homes Division” – Detroit
• Alanar effort – Single Family Housing Development – Berkley Springs, WV
• Alanar effort – Group Homes Development – Madison, VA
• Alanar effort – Single Family housing Development – Huntsville, AL

These responsibilities give a person a unique insight, being responsible for all aspects of an operational business on a day to day basis gives a person a unique insight not gained by others.

As being the owner/developer I have lived and operated from a position of complete responsibility, and was responsible for every aspect of each development.

Some of our recent efforts for clients;

Benton Harbor, MI – 42 unit residential subdivision
We were introduced to this opportunity when the road construction had just begun. We were to finish up the roads and put in our model home and start selling units.

As we finished the road construction, and built and sold our first home I engaged the title company to close the sale of our first home. I discovered that our client did not have title insurance on the property when he took the property back on a deed-in-lue of foreclosure. We worked with the title insurance company to identify the clouds in the title and who we need to obtain releases from.

For the next two years I worked with the title company to clear the clouds in the title for our client unwinding a development effort that was not completed. We were successful in clearing the title for our client.

Detroit, MI – 65 unit residential subdivision
We were introduced to this opportunity after the property was brought through the City of Detroit and was ready for site work. We had to demolish 17 homes scattered around the site that encompassed 4 city blocks, and finalize design of the homes to be built.

We also had the responsibility of converting the plans & specs to meet the constraints of modular construction. We worked with two different modular manufacturers in converting the plans and specs into ones that could be used in the modular construction process.

As we were completing our duties on site, we also worked with a local consultant and grant writer to make application for a tax free status on all homes to be built on our site.

We were successful in obtaining a tax free status for a 12 year period on all homes to be built on our site.

Detroit, MI – 100 unit assisted living facility
We were introduced to this opportunity after plans and specs were completed, and property was brought through the City of Detroit for site plan approval. Our first challenge was that our owners did not control all of the property that our building was to be built on, there were two home owners that did not sell their property to our client.

After some months had pasted as the two home owners were holding our client at ransom asking for values approaching 3 times the values of their homes, I started over with engineers, vacated a street, changed the entire site plan and brought the site plan back through the City of Detroit for approvals again, and was successful on relocating the building and obtaining approvals once again.

At the same time that we were working on the site plan re-approval, we worked with consultants and grant writers to obtain a $2,000,000 grant from the City of Detroit towards the cost of construction of the facility.

As we started pricing out the building with sub-contractors using the existing plans and specs we quickly discovered that the plans & specs were sub-standard and would not meet the City of Detroit building codes. We also discovered that the specs were not adequate for the intended use of the building. We spent months on site engineering with sub contractors matching specs and building codes, adjusting specs to the correct application and use of the building. While we brought the building back to acceptable building costs we corrected the specifications to meet the intended use of the building.

Jaco, Costa Rica – mortgage program for 800 condos
We were introduced to this opportunity when a client was back in town discussing with us the lack of any mortgage programs available for US buyers in Costa Rica. He was on schedule to build some 800 condos in Jaco, and he wanted us to work on a mortgage program for his clients.

We recruited the previous owner of the # 1 rated mortgage banking operation here in Michigan to head up the mortgage process here state side. He completed a mortgage origination program, quality control program, and we obtained a written commitment for a warehouse line.

The relationship between the warehouse line and the firm bringing the pool of mortgages to the bond market is where our client did not have enough flow to fulfill the requirements of the bond offerings. We would have to increase the flow to the point were the 100,000,000 bond offerings could to be filled every 5 to 6 months.

I personally visited just over 200 active developments in Costa Rica and received confirmation from personnel of over 70% of the sites that they would offer our mortgage program to their clients. We provided enough evidence of support between our client’s demand, and from other active developments that we could easily meet the requirements of the bond offering schedule of some 65 to 70 mortgage closing on a monthly basis.

The timing could not have been worse, as we completed our efforts and prepared to support the activity both here and in Costa Rica, the bond market was already collapsing and the commitment to place the bond offering on Wall Street could not be sustained.

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