One struggle for condo buyers can be the lack of options and variety. For a couple looking to downsize after owning a house decorated with the imprint of decades of personal tastes, cookie cutter condos can be a turnoff. Jerry Sommer, president of Sommer Building Company, recognized the need of some condo buyers to have options. Since his development company, Modern Equity, bought remaining plots in the Parkside development, he set out to complete a forgotten project while giving buyers a choice in the floor plan and design.

For about five years the Parkside development sat empty and unfinished by a previous developer. Modern Equity, owned by Jerry Sommer and Tyler Pray, bought the remaining land, which included 38 plots, for about $100,000, according to Pray. Since the purchase, four plots have been built on, leaving 34 left over. On the developed plots is one model home, giving potential buyers an idea of the possibilities offered through Sommer Building Company.

The other condos are waiting for the vision of buyers, though at least one has been purchased and two more are nearly ready for purchase, according to Eric Crandall, owner of Weichert Realtors.

Crandall has been impressed by the potential in Parkside Acres. There’s an absence of condos in Charlotte, but the demand keeps growing. As Crandall and his realty company show the condos, he’s pleased with how much control buyers can have.

“We’re open to moving around floor plans as needed,” said Sommer.

While the basic layout of the condos remains the same across the board, walls and designs can be changed as needed and desired. To Sommer, both the options for buyers, and the fact that there is a new housing development in Charlotte, are a big deal. Modern Equity primarily renovates and refurbishes old rental homes, but picking up the Parkside project is another way to expand the reach and bring better housing to Charlotte.

“Development takes a long time,” said Sommer. “There have been other developments in the area the haven’t been done correctly, so we have to make sure we’re doing everything correctly.”

“I like seeing local people developing our own town,” said Pray. “A lot of what we’re doing is to attract bigger developments from out of town. At the same time, we’re showing the rest of the area that we have people interested here too. Bigger corporations might see what we’re doing and be excited by that.”

The continuation of the Parkside development comes alongside other development efforts in Charlotte. The state’s Rising Tide program, in which Charlotte has taken part, as well as the Michigan Main Street program through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation have propelled the mid-Michigan town to jumpstart efforts to update and become economically friendly and affluent. Parkside Acres is one example of homegrown, grassroots efforts to generate interest in Charlotte.

For readers interested in viewing the Parkside Acres condos, or learning more about options in the condos, Weichert Realty can be found online at, or reached by phone at (517) 543-7363. Sommer Building Company can be found online at, or reached by phone at (517) 543-3935.