Parkland’s founder Jon Rooks buys his first property, at age 15 (with an investor who took a chance and believed in him). While attending Grand Rapids Christian High School, Calvin College, and obtaining a business degree from the University of Michigan, Jon Rooks continues to purchase and renovate properties. Jon also enjoys promoting, marketing, and selling properties.


Parkland was founded in 1988. In the beginning, Rooks achieved its initial five-year goal of marketing and selling $34 million worth of condominiums, home sites and boat slips, comprising nearly 100 acres. The marina/condominium property today remains the City of Montague’s largest property tax source and a catalyst for additional economic investment activities by the Downtown Development Authority.

- (1993) Jon Rooks named the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Marketing and sales include:
- Ellenwood Landing Marina and Boat Storage, Montague, MI
- Ellenwood Landing Estates, Montague, MI
- Weathervane Inn on White Lake, Montague, MI
- Harbor Hill Marina and Condominiums, Montague, MI
- Parkland retail building on White Lake, Montague, MI (Former City Hall)
- White Bay Marina on White Lake, Whitehall, MI
- Maple Cove Home Sites on Grand River, Grand Haven, MI
- Various home sites on Lake Michigan and White Lake, Montague, MI


Preparing for an extended sabbatical during which he would travel the world, Rooks sold the majority of his speculative assets and used the proceeds to pay off all debts on his income producing properties (such as marinas, hotel, office, retail, etc). Using triple-net leases, his initiative created the opportunity for 3 new entrepreneurs, their employees, and their small business start-ups.


After owning a condo downtown for two years, Rooks bought his first Renaissance Zone property, a personal residence at Monroe Terrace Condos. This is when he found out what tax free living was all about.


Bayou Meadows Lakefront Homes, Spring Lake, MI. Parkland sold 46 acres of home sites on Spring Lake with Lake Michigan access.


In Grand Rapids, Parkland successfully and rapidly sells hundreds of condos in four large urban 100-year-old commercial structures (school, office building, bank, and factory) converted to effectively sold-out residential and multi-use commercial real estate projects. The firm has adapted in a challenging economic environment, successfully undertaking projects that draw together people and resources that will influence sustained neighborhood growth and economic development for decades to come.

By 2007, Parkland promoted 460 condominiums to the market, attracted some 830 new residents, and achieved more than $70 million in condo sales in Grand Rapids’ urban core.

(2003) Monroe Terrace, Grand Rapids, MI
Reflecting on the tax-breaks and personal benefits Rooks was enjoying as a condo owner at Monroe Terrace, it wasn’t a huge leap of faith to acquire all of the unsold units in the building with the goal of re-energizing sales. This five-story warehouse conversion with 24 condominiums on the top four floors and commercial and retail tenants including a restaurant on the first floor, sold out within two months of Rooks' purchase. Before that, the previous owner had not sold any units for many months.

(2004) People’s Building and Cityview Condominiums, Grand Rapids, MI
13-story downtown residential and commercial mixed-use building with Ren Zone benefits; top seven floors residential and the lower floors commercial. Sold out in 6 months.

(2006-Present) Union Square Condominiums, Grand Rapids, MI
Currently, 177 of the 180 condos are sold at Union Square Condos, a 100-year-old high school, an award winning adaptive re-use project, which rescued this architectural gem from further deterioration or worse, demolition. It was the state’s most successful and was then the City’s biggest condo project (note: Plaza Towers, previously the biggest, was 140 units). Union Square was the only project in the state with both Ren Zone benefits and NEZ (Neighborhood Enterprise Zone) benefits.

Marketing efforts for this project won prestigious Addy Awards.


Union Square won the 2007 Gerald R. Helmholdt Grand Award, the city’s Grand Prize for Real Estate Development, from the Neighborhood Business Alliance.

Parkland nominated for Small Business of the Year.

Grand Rapids Business Journal names Parkland West Michigan’s largest condo seller.

Boardwalk, Grand Rapids, MI
The Boardwalk is a mixed-use apartment, office, and retail complex that won the Governor’s Historic Preservation Award and the Neighborhood Business Award in 2001. Parkland handled all sales after the apartments were converted to condos. Currently, 199 of 230 units are sold and the project continues to sell an average of 5-10 units per month, making it the City’s and State of Michigan’s biggest and most successful adaptive re-use project to date.

Marketing efforts for this project won prestigious Addy Awards.

(2008-2009) HighPoint Flats, Muskegon, MI
Marketing began for the historic Hackley Bank Building in downtown Muskegon. It is being converted into HighPoint Flats, featuring 70 customizable luxury lakeshore condos with Renaissance Zone tax benefits until 2023.


(2012) Parkland Properties, Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Business Journal gives Parkland Properties owner, Jon Rooks the 2012 Redevelopment of the Year Award for his foresight in the downtown Grand Rapids condo market.