GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – To the naked eye it’s a dilapidated building, but to design architect Matt Slagle ’2 East Fulton’ is a blank canvass.
“The space itself is a concrete structure, which is pretty fantastic because we can do anything to it we need to. And has the strength to support that,” Slagle said.
He’s with the architectural and engineering firm Tower Pinkster. He says his company plans to renovate the building and the address will change to 4 East Fulton.
Tower Pinkster then plans to move into the second floor of the building. There are about 7,500 square feet upstairs, and it’s in full view of the UICA.
The first floor will have room for up to four businesses. Slagle says one of those may be a restaurant, housed closest to the intersection.
It’s a project aimed in part, at breathing life back into the abandoned space.
“It`s been vacant for 15 years. Junior Achievement was the last tenant. The building was built in 1949,” Slagle explained.
He says Tower Pinkster’ wants a LEED gold certification for the interior by using sustainable material during construction and recycled content in the furniture.
Slagle says the goal is to preserve the exterior.
“The exterior skin of the building is a historic preservation, so we have the different city and state entities to work with as well as to obtain those tax credits to help with the project, to make the project possible,” he explained.
He said, “It`s hard to see, but it`s a really great space. Of course it`s at the heart of downtown. We want to be in the new arts corridor, as well as bring our leadership down to the center of Grand Rapids with the other leaders.”
No other tenants have signed up just yet. The company plans to complete renovation and move in by mid to late summer 2013.