GRDadof3

McKay Tower Renovations

203 posts in this topic

McKay Tower sold

Saturday, April 15, 2006

By Chris Knape

The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS -- McKay Tower, the grand dame of Grand Rapids "skyscrapers," has been sold to a Spring Lake man making his first major investment downtown.

The 18-story building was purchased Friday by McKay Tower Partners LLC, a firm owned by Mark Roller, for an undisclosed price...

...."I've been watching the Grand Rapids real estate market really carefully," Roller said. "I think this is the time to get in, not get out. I really see Grand Rapids on the cusp of exploding right now, just doing some great things."

http://www.mlive.com/business/grpress/inde....xml&coll=6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I think McKay is a great looking building, but I've never been crazy about the top. (that jungle gym looking thing)

Do you guys like it?

If not, what do you think could be done to it to finish off the top...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always wondered about that top- it looks like they started to build something and then quit. I like it though; it makes the building unique.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I give it two thumbs up; one of my favorites. The unique shape, the globe, and the history. It would all make for a great suspense thriller.

Edited by Rizzo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The new owner stiffed me on $1000 dollars.

Suprised he's not turning the place into a beer garden.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This building seems to have changed quite a few hands over the past 5-6 years or so. Hopefully, it will find an long-term owner/investor to continue to improve it.

Personally, I like the bottom and the general shape of the tower, but the top does look rather unfinished as if the original owners after the expansion planned to expand it again. Maybe, one day, the building will get a few more floors and a more appropriate crown/roof.

Being Grand Rapids tallest historic high-rise, I would hope the investor will add some exterior lighting and other upgrades to make it more attractive. The Boji's took over Lansing's tallest a few years back and have tremendously upgraded the building replacing all of the windows, adding exterior lighting to the crown, and all other cool upgrades.

Edited by Lmichigan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the interior floors once you get into the office areas are pretty out dated from what i've seen, only been in there a few times, but it seems like the McKays upper floors could use some upgrading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the outside, I like it just the way it is. I've never been on the inside. The dome thing took some getting used to, but now I kinda like it. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I definitely think some exterior flood lighting would be an excellent addition to the building. I wonder if the new owner would consider it? It would certainly add to the prestige of the building at nighttime, and would make that section of downtown more vibrant. Imagine coming out of the Amway or being out on the town and seeing it lit up like Wrigley or Tribune:

98132341_93cae2f4cd.jpg

We should encourage the new owner that this would be a great first investment. :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I definitely think some exterior flood lighting would be an excellent addition to the building. I wonder if the new owner would consider it? It would certainly add to the prestige of the building at nighttime, and would make that section of downtown more vibrant. Imagine coming out of the Amway or being out on the town and seeing it lit up like Wrigley or Tribune:

We should encourage the new owner that this would be a great first investment. :thumbsup:

That's exactly the kind of thing I was thinking of when I first brought it up and the building that first came to mind was Wrigley. Thanks for the photos!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we should write a UP - GR letter to the new owner :) Flood Lighting please. Other then that, leave The McKay the way it is :thumbsup:

Edited by Rizzo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boy, take off the ornate tower of the Wrigley Buildling in that picture and you almost have McKay Tower. I wonder if they were done by the same architect? (Never mind, I'm just asking to go off-topic with that question :P )

72534736_09cbe1bfee.jpg

98132341_93cae2f4cd.jpg

Another interesting aspect of this is that Mark Roller is the sixth Lakeshore person/group I can think of that has invested heavily in downtown lately:

Jon Rooks - Whitehall/Montague area resident, Union Square, The Boardwalk

George Haworth - Spring Lake resident, Tall House at 45 Ionia

Mark Roller - Spring Lake resident, McKay Tower

Space Source - based out of Holland, The Founders Trust Building

Macatawa Bank - Holland Twp, reportedly going to invest in a new downtown GR HQ.

Craig Hall, Lean Logistics - Holland, now owns 50 Monroe with Dave Samrick

Did I miss anyone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I give it two thumbs up; one of my favorites.

I love the structure; the interior finishes need help. This is a project, but was priced accordingly.

Pretty big project for a first-timer, but it can be done over several years as floors turnover. I think of the McKay tower more as a career than an investment.

Always thought it'd be cool to build a ramp on the Ellis lot (I know how much you guys love to talk parking) and have connected parking for McKay right there. Could also collaborate w/ the new owners of Ledyard bldg. in the same manner, both of these bldgs. would be more marketable with attached parking, and they've both had a fair amount of vacancy in recent years.

Not at all sad to see the former McKay owners leave our market.

"Thanks for wasting our time guys."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boy, take off the ornate tower of the Wrigley Buildling in that picture and you almost have McKay Tower. I wonder if they were done by the same architect? (Never mind, I'm just asking to go off-topic with that question :P )

This probably sounds like blasphemy, but does anyone ever get the feeling that McKay was somehow "unfinished"? perhaps with the profile of a trapezod, as opposed to a half trapezoid.

It seems like it needs a second half almost, its like Bridgewater, only much older.

Edited by snoogit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It definitely needs a "back," definitely utilizing the space the Ellis surface lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


The Boji's took over Lansing's tallest a few years back and have tremendously upgraded the building replacing all of the windows, adding exterior lighting to the crown, and all other cool upgrades.

106134561_9bcc4a203e.jpg

It'll always be the Michigan National Tower to me...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the structure; the interior finishes need help. This is a project, but was priced accordingly.

Pretty big project for a first-timer, but it can be done over several years as floors turnover. I think of the McKay tower more as a career than an investment.

Always thought it'd be cool to build a ramp on the Ellis lot (I know how much you guys love to talk parking) and have connected parking for McKay right there. Could also collaborate w/ the new owners of Ledyard bldg. in the same manner, both of these bldgs. would be more marketable with attached parking, and they've both had a fair amount of vacancy in recent years.

Not at all sad to see the former McKay owners leave our market.

"Thanks for wasting our time guys."

When I worked at McKay parking was always an issue. I got to work at 3 or 4 am, and left around noon. We would park on Pearl, playing parking roulette hoping to get out and move before the meters "went active" at 8 am? Many times I wouldn't make it because I was on the air. We always complained to our company about the parking, but they didn't care they were getting cheap rent!

The Ellis lot would make a good parking, retail, and condo development. Or may be an shopping arcade?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two of my favorites outside GR, Lansing and MNT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another interesting aspect of this is that Mark Roller is the sixth Lakeshore person/group I can think of that has invested heavily in downtown lately:

Jon Rooks - Whitehall/Montague area resident, Union Square, The Boardwalk

George Haworth - Spring Lake resident, Tall House at 45 Ionia

Mark Roller - Spring Lake resident, McKay Tower

Space Source - based out of Holland, The Founders Trust Building

Macatawa Bank - Holland Twp, reportedly going to invest in a new downtown GR HQ.

Craig Hall, Lean Logistics - Holland, now owns 50 Monroe with Dave Samrick

Did I miss anyone?

The Bank of Holland

Edited by rnr-plnr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Bank of Holland

Oh yeah, you're right rnr-plnr.

Jon Rooks - Whitehall/Montague area resident, Union Square, The Boardwalk

George Haworth - Spring Lake resident, Tall House at 45 Ionia

Mark Roller - Spring Lake resident, McKay Tower

Space Source - based out of Holland, The Founders Trust Building

Macatawa Bank - Holland Twp, reportedly going to invest in a new downtown GR HQ.

Craig Hall, Lean Logistics - Holland, now owns 50 Monroe with Dave Samrick

Bank of Holland - Holland, new offices on Ionia

and I can't believe I also forgot Deb Lambers, Rivertown Books, who's original store is in Montague.

That makes at least 8. Do I see a TREND?!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and I can't believe I also forgot Deb Lambers, Rivertown Books, who's original store is in Montague.

That makes at least 8. Do I see a TREND?!!

the trend being, lakeshore people buying into downtown, so they can dismantle it, and move it towards Lake Michigan?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the trend being, lakeshore people buying into downtown, so they can dismantle it, and move it towards Lake Michigan?

:huh: No, that maybe people on the lakeshore are seeing a good investment. There is a lot of money along the lakeshore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the trend being, lakeshore people buying into downtown, so they can dismantle it, and move it towards Lake Michigan?

Brick by brick? :shok:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:huh: No, that maybe people on the lakeshore are seeing a good investment. There is a lot of money along the lakeshore.

plus JMPO the lakeshore is facing an uphill battle in the coming years. Since many jobs in that area are dependent on manufacturing, that area is going to be less desirable for anything but tourism dollars in the next 15 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.