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Downtown projects get tax breaks

Two downtown building rehabilitation projects got a little help from Lansing on Wednesday when the state announced it was granting tax credits worth nearly $400,000. The owners of the Fox's Jewelers building 83-85 Monroe Center, and former Brunswick warehouse building, 64 Ionia Ave., will get the breaks to help defray restoration costs. The six story Fox's building, owned by commercial real estate agent Deborah Shurlow, is expected to get a 1.8 million overhaul for us as condominiums and apartments on the upper floors, with commercial space at street level. The state granted a single business tac credit woth $189,500. The six-story brunswick building is being renovated for use as office and retail space by Robert Haverman, a former treasurer of Prince Corp., and president and treasurer of EDP Management Co. in Holland. That $2 million project won a tax credit worth $207,000.

- These two projects will definitely help bring life to two under-utilized buildings. The Fox building on Monroe Center is in desperate need of a renovation to make its Art Deco facade shine (I heard they will even keep the giant 1940's era stainless and neon sign if possible). The Brunswick building (an old bowling pin storage facility?) falls in the Cherry Hill district and will help further revitalize that area.

Masonic Temple Building being sold

The Masonic Temple in downtown Grand Rapids has a buyer for its building, at 233 E. Fulton St., but have not yet completed the sale. The building has about 87,000 square feet of space on six floors, three of which are leased for private offices. Van Kampen said the facility serves 3,000 area Masons, down from the 26,000 members the organization supported at its peak.

- This building is one of the more ornate buildings in downtown Grand Rapids. It has a couple of huge ballrooms that are original and intact. I hope the new buyer adds residential to the mix.

Source: Grand Rapids Press

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