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Thursday, 05 February 2015 12:29

New 12-story spec office tower proposed for GR

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If all goes as planned, developers hope to build the first speculative Class A office building in years in downtown Grand Rapids.

Developers Sibsco LLC and Rockford Construction Co. Inc. presented plans to the Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) last night to build a 12-story office tower at the southwest corner of South Division Avenue and Weston Street in the city’s Heartside neighborhood, just south of downtown.

Branded as Twelve Weston, the project would bring online a new, approximately 150,000-square-foot facility. The development would take shape at the site of the former Pub 43, which was razed in September 2014.

Developers have proposed that the first floor of Twelve Weston consist of retail and restaurant space. Floors two, three and four will be a parking deck and all floors above the fourth floor would consist of Class A office space.

A handful of commissioners at last night’s meeting expressed concern at the height of the building, listed as 142 feet in the proposal. At that height, it would be shorter than the nearby mixed-use Gallery on Fulton building, but a few stories taller than the adjacent 38 Commerce building.

HPC Chair Emily Uebbing said she could get behind the project if it were a story or two shorter.

Ted Lott, a principal at Lott3Metz Architecture LLC, said the developers were careful in “respecting the fabric (of the neighborhood) while still proposing a tall building.”

“What we’re gaining here is a better usable footprint and we think a more respectful building as it relates to the street and to the neighbors,” said Lott, whose Grand Rapids-based firm is designing the project. “What we are asking for is a few more stories in height from what 38 Commerce is in the back. … We are a little taller than that.”

The project is not without other complexities. For example, the facility’s three-level parking deck would need to be physically connected to the adjacent parking ramp at 38 Commerce.

Exact timelines for construction and lead tenants were not immediately clear. The project is expected to be back in front of the HPC in approximately 30 days. Rockford Construction will serve as general contractor. The total project cost was not available.

“It’s incredibly exciting to think we can help bring vibrancy to this area along (South) Division,” Charlie Secchia, a partner at Sibsco, said in a statement.

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Editor’s note: This story has been changed from its original form to correct the size of the proposed Twelve Weston building. 

Read 6785 times Last modified on Friday, 06 February 2015 12:22

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