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Douglas J/Aveda Institute - 138 Commerce


Mark Miller

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The old post office on Commerce and Cherry is going to be rehabilitated using state historic tax credits. This building is currently a parking facility, so it should be a good thing for it to actually be utilized as a real building again.

The main tenant will be the Douglas J. Aveda Institute, which will have a teaching salon and also retail their Aveda product. In addition to the Aveda Institute, there will also potentially be a Beaners Coffee Shop here.

This was once a very nice building, hopefully this renovation will return it to some dignity.

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In addition to the Aveda Institute, there will also potentially be a Beaners Coffee Shop here.

I wonder if that's why there's been a delay opening the Beaners at McKay Tower. Maybe they haven't completely decided on a location yet.

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The old post office on Commerce and Cherry is going to be rehabilitated using state historic tax credits. This building is currently a parking facility, so it should be a good thing for it to actually be utilized as a real building again.

The main tenant will be the Douglas J. Aveda Institute, which will have a teaching salon and also retail their Aveda product. In addition to the Aveda Institute, there will also potentially be a Beaners Coffee Shop here.

This was once a very nice building, hopefully this renovation will return it to some dignity.

This is the one that's been heavily "decorated" with graffiti recently right?

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This is the one that's been heavily "decorated" with graffiti recently right?

Yes, but mostly just the windows, I believe. Despite abuse from vandals and use as a parking lot / homeless hang out, the outer facade still looks pretty good. I'm very excited about this news!

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Yes, but mostly just the windows, I believe. Despite abuse from vandals and use as a parking lot / homeless hang out, the outer facade still looks pretty good. I'm very excited about this news!

Oh I think it's awesome don't get me wrong, I was just trying to figure out which building it was. Nice that most the "demo" work has been done for them :)

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I wonder if that's why there's been a delay opening the Beaners at McKay Tower. Maybe they haven't completely decided on a location yet.

I beleive beaners future plans include expanding rapidly (according to people who know about these things).. they may be at both locations.

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Does anyone know, was this the old main post office, before the one where GRAM is now, or was this some kind of mail sorting facility (I ask this because is is very close to where the train depot used to be) ? I always liked this building, it seemed to be some sort of ancient ruin of the past. It will be good to see it restored to glory and will just intensify the redevelopment of that area. Commerce ave is better all the time!

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Do any of our great urban historians have the scoop as to how this building became what it is? The interior looks like it has been entirely gutted and has become almost indoor parking. This will be an interesting conversion IMO.

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Douglas J. and Beaners????

Is East Lansing moving to GR?? :P

I used to live in East Lansing, and I loved the Douglas J. institute. It's a classy joint with cheap prices (appx $12 for a haircut!), Also the Douglas J. in EL had great manicure services, massage, facials... etc. all discounted because it's actually a school. It was a great resource. Yeah!!

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Douglas J is actually a school of cosmetology. I think there are a few here in GR now.

As much as I like the "ghetto parking ramp", it will be nice to see that building with some better use.

After re-reading the press article about 138 Commerce, i am:

1. Stunned the United way used it as a parking ramp, seems rather small, and useless as a parking ramp, why use it as one, when there is an open surface lot right next door.

2. How in the heck did the united way get 750,000$ for the building, it is a shell, it is almost like Douglas J could have done better just buying property somewhere, and erecting a brand new building. I must take my hat off to the family owned company for seeing the value in the heartside district, liking the proximity to WMU Cooley, and realizing the benefit of being part of a neighborhood revitalization. I wish more business owners would be like them. :thumbsup:

Douglas J is actually a school of cosmetology. I think there are a few here in GR now.

As much as I like the "ghetto parking ramp", it will be nice to see that building with some better use.

I don't think there are any Douglas J's in GR. E. Lansing, and Ann Arbor, but not GR yet.

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2. How in the heck did the united way get 750,000$ for the building, it is a shell

I too thought this price was crazy high. Anyone have a justification for this? Don't get me wrong, I think it's awesome that they value the area so highly, but that seems like a TON.

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Douglas J is actually a school of cosmetology. I think there are a few here in GR now.

The original Douglas J is a huge salon and day spa in Okemos -- quite tony. The institute (school of cosmetology) and another retail salon have been open in E. Lansing for several years. More recently, they have expanded to AA. This is the first facility of any kind in GR. I understand that they will likely open a retail salon here at a later date, in addtion to the institute.

In regards to the Post Office building, this building was used for parcel post, otherwise known as packages. So the location near the train station was important. United Way wanted to tear the building down for surface parking, but the Historic Preservation Commission denied the request.

HPC was criticized at the time, but now their wisdom shows.

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Sorry, put my emPHAsis on the wrong syLLAble. What I meant is there are other schools of cosmetology in Grand Rapids, I believe, not other Douglas J's. :P

I don't think that $750,000 is unreasonable. I would bet it would actually fetch more cash if it were just a surface lot. Anyone know how much Tall House is paying for the surface lot they are buying?

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