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Not sure if this is legit to post, if it's a problem feel free to take it down.

Some of you know that my wife owns a small building across from the Bridge Street Market that we bought and renovated a few years ago.  It houses her real estate company.  She spent a lot remodeling the inside but the outside did not have a lot done to it - some new window openings and new windows.  She's at the point where she is going to need a new roof and wants to put some money into the exterior to make it look nicer.  We were talking about what kind of things would look good to do to the building (without breaking the bank, of course).  I joked that whatever we would do, someone on UP would either love it or hate it.  Ha!  Then I thought...why not ask the UP crew?  How do you dress up this building?  The inside is contemporary but the surroundings are a wide variety of old and new buildings.  Thoughts?  Ideas?  People we can talk to about exterior design?  Photos attached.

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While I'm not an interior/exterior designer, I'm just a Real Estate Photographer ;-) I would do something to compliment the color scheme of the logo of Clarity Realty. This would be a low-cost solutio

Hmmm....good question. I'll see if anyone knows.

Or "Help mgreven spend his wife's money..."  =)  

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It's a small building, so it might be difficult to pull off...But I would say try to aim for both looks (modern and old) in one building to match everything in the area around it. An example of the combo of modern and old brick style is down the street at the Knickerbocker. Either way, I could definitely get rid of the siding with either brick or some other hard material.

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I kind of like the way it is.  You and your wife have done a nice job with it.  It’s already got the modern and old look that GRLaker suggests.  I suspect that the building originally had wood siding so I don’t mind the current siding at all although I’m guessing it is vinyl not wood.  Having said that, design isn’t my field, I’m sure someone else with more imagination than me can come up some excellent ideas.

If it were my building though, I’d be thinking that with increased value in the neighborhood I might be thinking about flipping it, so I wouldn’t be spending much more money on it except for the roof.  But that’s just me, sounds like your wife intends to stay.    

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Its a million times better than it used to just from what you have done to it!  Thankful its not a pawn shop anymore!....ol Nash's Outlet

I like the brick and the new windows ..please dont paint the brick.  Although painting brick does seem to be 'in' right now.   That leaves what to do with the second story.  Maybe others will provide ideas.

Just curious though...is the opening on the right side of the second story accessible?  Is that a deck?  If not it should be :)

Heres a snapshot I found for what it used to look like for those curious....need Cash..see Nash

cbk?cb_client=maps_sv.tactile&authuser=0

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16 minutes ago, JoeSchmo said:

Its a million times better than it used to just from what you have done to it!  Thankful its not a pawn shop anymore!....ol Nash's Outlet

I like the brick and the new windows ..please dont paint the brick.  Although painting brick does seem to be 'in' right now.   That leaves what to do with the second story.  Maybe others will provide ideas.

Just curious though...is the opening on the right side of the second story accessible?  Is that a deck?  If not it should be :)

Heres a snapshot I found for what it used to look like for those curious....need Cash..see Nash

cbk?cb_client=maps_sv.tactile&authuser=0

Yes, you can go out the window and access the roof.  I would love to do a deck up there someday.  I'd love to have my own city apartment up there someday too...  =)

I've got great photos of the inside before...I'll look for them.  The place was gross!

The brick is tough...I hate the color but don't love the painting idea either.  It does seem to be common, however.

We don't have any idea what is under the siding.

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I think it’s a “cute” building, and while I agree that someone may offer big $$ in the future to redevelop it, you probably would recoup what you put into it. 

If it were me, I’d definitely change the roof color when you put a new roof on. I’d also look at replacing the vinyl with wood or some composite material. And then I’d paint the building to be more consistent (the black looks great, it makes the brown around the windows and waves look a little off). I’d consider painting the brown brick if it’s not original (though I know others might not like it)

And finally, put a cool railing across the upper right section. Claim it as your “man deck” and invite the rest of us up for beer. :)

ita a cool little building that just got really awesome neighbors. I don’t think you’ll lose money on any upgrades you make!

Joe

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I would suggest seeking information in the Grand Rapids History Facebook Group for photos of the building. If anybody knows what's under that siding, they'll be in there. My guess would be either wood clapboard, or the vinyl siding replaced previous wood clapboard.

Unless you were to convert the roof from peaked to flat, which I imagine would be pretty expensive, I think the siding it currently has is probably the best bet, unless there's some historic facade underneath that you know you can preserve.

Perhaps an interesting way to enhance the facade would be to add some classic roof support things I forget what they're called. Seen often on Victorian homes. Some subtle, simple ones might do the trick to enhance the facade without redoing the whole facade.

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1 hour ago, joeDowntown said:

I think it’s a “cute” building, and while I agree that someone may offer big $$ in the future to redevelop it, you probably would recoup what you put into it. 

If it were me, I’d definitely change the roof color when you put a new roof on. I’d also look at replacing the vinyl with wood or some composite material. And then I’d paint the building to be more consistent (the black looks great, it makes the brown around the windows and waves look a little off). I’d consider painting the brown brick if it’s not original (though I know others might not like it)

And finally, put a cool railing across the upper right section. Claim it as your “man deck” and invite the rest of us up for beer. :)

ita a cool little building that just got really awesome neighbors. I don’t think you’ll lose money on any upgrades you make!

Joe

I agree the brown roof and brown window trim have to go. And yes to the patio. 

Plan on taking the siding off and see what's under it Mark. If it's not salvageable put new siding on (in a different color). Go with a dark siding that compliments the brick. Blsck windows are cool but expensive.

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11 hours ago, crinzema said:

1306045078_ScreenShot2018-09-14at12_47.13PM-Edit.thumb.jpg.595f627a2aee0791a29cee6b7f3de60e.jpg

While I'm not an interior/exterior designer, I'm just a Real Estate Photographer ;-) I would do something to compliment the color scheme of the logo of Clarity Realty. This would be a low-cost solution to.

Ahhhh, painted brick!! :)  Otherwise it looks great. 

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That’s cool...whole new look for sure. Funny, the front isn’t brick on the bottom, it’s black tile. It had brown everything with that black tile when we bought it. Yes, the brown roof and windows have to go...the brown brick is the tough part. 

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