Family Ties

Michigan BLUE magazine enjoyed an insightful chat with Kyle O’Grady, a 28-year-old partner at O’Grady Development in Traverse City.
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O’Grady Development’s Kyle, Vicki, Kevin, and Kevin O’Grady
O’Grady Development’s Kyle, Vicki, Kevin, and Kevin O’Grady.
Photos courtesy of O’Grady Development

Michigan BLUE magazine enjoyed an insightful chat with Kyle O’Grady, a 28-year-old partner at O’Grady Development in Traverse City. O’Grady — together with his brother, Kevin, 29, and their father, also named Kevin — runs the 30-year-old company. “It’s a small family business,” says O’Grady, who explains that he handles sales and project development, while his brother is project manager. The company, once called Insight Building Co., was originally based in metro Detroit. Over time, they’ve built north of 500 homes, including condos, houses, and quadplexes. “We changed the branding when my brother and I graduated from Albion College,” O’Grady says. 

In our interview, O’Grady, who grew up in Waterford and attended Clarkston schools, shed light on the building industry, running a family business, and the company’s relatively new Peninsula Shores development. His family’s company, which has been based in Traverse City for a decade, worked with the real estate firm Live Traverse City on this project.  

Michigan BLUE: Did you know at a young age that you wanted to get into development and work for the family?

Kevin O’Grady:  I think so. My brother and I grew up in the industry, since our dad was in it. We swept curbs and vacuumed houses. We got our start early, in general labor. And, of course, our mom (Vicki) is our manager, and has always kept all of us guys in check.  

An inviting home in Peninsula Shores
An inviting home in Peninsula Shores, on Old Mission Peninsula. It’s one of a kind because of the lay of the land, the developers say.

MB: Would you say the Peninsula Shores development is the grandest in your company’s portfolio?

KO: For sure. It’s on Old Mission Peninsula and is one of a kind because of the lay of the land, the water frontage, and the views. Each home comes with a boat slip in East Grand Traverse Bay. Ten of the homes have private beaches, while the others share a quarter mile of water frontage. No matter where you are, you hop into your golf cart and head down to the sandy beach, the dock. It’s a natural, beautiful bluff, and each home has views that look out to the water. 

MB: When you got involved with the property, it had been for sale for about 20 years. At the time of this issue’s press date, you’ve completed about 21 homes out of a total of 41, and 15 are occupied. Each features four bedrooms and ranges in size from 3,500 to 6,000 square feet, is that correct?

KO: Yes, that’s right.

MB: Did you get caught in the Covid pandemonium during the development process? 

KO: Oh, yes. We got the road in and then we were scratching our heads on how to push forward. The first day the governor said our industry could go back to work is the day we started construction on the first home.

MB: Are most of the residents from Michigan?

KO: Many are, but some come from Texas, Florida, and Illinois. Some families use the homes as their summer getaway, while a few live there full time.

Nearly every spot in each home has a wonderful lake view.
Nearly every spot in each home has a wonderful lake view.

MB: What sets this development apart from other waterfront complexes?

KO: The huge appeal is the construction quality. We have nothing to hide with the quality of our construction. It stands apart in the state of Michigan. We have a great group of contractors, and the same group builds every home. Meanwhile, it’s the view! We’ve got windows, windows, windows. We don’t spare any expense for windows, and there are lots of views of water from various parts of each home. 

Quality kitchen
Quality runs throughout the residences, including in the kitchens. “We have a great group of contractors,” Kyle O’Grady says.

MORE INFORMATION: 

ogradydevelopment.com

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