50 Monroe Avenue development will bring 19th century buildings back to life

Apr 12, 2017

Century old brick buildings with stone arches lay underneath the metal and glass facade that wraps around 50 Monroe Avenue. Developers will remove the facade as part of the rehab project.

The Grand Rapids City Commission is moving forward with a $42 million new development that will restore three Grand Rapids buildings originally built in the 19th century. City Commissioners approved Tuesday an application for a Brownfield Plan Amendment from CWD Real Estate Investment for a redevelopment project proposed at 50 Monroe Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids. The $42 million development project will include a new five story hotel, as well as office, ground-floor retail and restaurant space. 

Constructed in the 1800’s, the current building at 50 Monroe Avenue originally consisted of three separate buildings with brick exteriors and stone arches, however in the 1980’s the two buildings combined and wrapped with a metal and glass façade, which is how it appears today. The rehabilitation project will remove that façade and restore the buildings on the site back to their historic design and character according to city officials.

Kulapat Yantrasast has been named as the project’s chief architect. Yantrasast is also responsible for designing the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

CDW officials say they estimate the new project will create 85 new full time jobs after completion, which officials should say should take around 18 months.