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Sunday, 10 November 2013 22:00

Bankruptcy firm buys downtown office out of receivership for $1M

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230 East Fulton St., Grand Rapids 230 East Fulton St., Grand Rapids COURTESY PHOTO

A historic building on a main thoroughfare in downtown Grand Rapids that recently fell into receivership now has a new set of owners.

Keller & Almassian PLC recently closed on the property at 230 East Fulton Street and hopes by June or July of next year to move into the building, known as the Pike House. The two-story, 25,000-square-foot building is recognizable for its massive white pillars at the entryway that fronts Fulton.

The Grand Rapids-based law firm purchased the property out of receivership from Amicus Management for just more than $1 million. Kent County Circuit Court Judge Christopher Yates approved the sale on Oct. 11.

Architecture firm Design Plus, which merged with Progressive AE last year, was the last occupant and bought the building in 2006 for $950,000, according to Kent County property records. The firm did a massive renovation and restoration on the building, which also carries an “obsolete property rehabilitation exemption” that freezes its taxable value at $140,374 through 2018.

After being on the East Beltline since 2009, Keller & Almassian will move back into the city and closer to the courts, partner Todd Almassian told MiBiz.

“In 13, years we’ve expanded a lot. We wanted to get back downtown and had been looking at number of different spaces when Pike House became available,” Almassian said, noting the urban setting fit the needs of the “young firm.” Being centrally located should help cut down on commutes, he said.

The firm focuses on bankruptcy and turnaround cases, and attorneys spend much of their time at the bankruptcy court and Kent County District Court, Almassian said.

“While we’ll be a quick walk to where we do a lot of our work, we’re looking forward to frequenting the restaurants and coffee shops and enjoying the city not only professionally but personally,” he said. “I want to spend the rest of my career in downtown Grand Rapids, and this property gave us that opportunity.”

The firm had been eyeing the property, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, for nearly a year before making an official bid, he said.

Because of the nature of Keller & Almassian’s practice, the firm typically receives referrals from other lawyers, he said, adding that being closer to the downtown legal community should help the firm continue its growth.

The building was built in 1844 by trader and businessman Abram W. Pike, who brought the building’s columns from a defunct hotel in Port Sheldon. In the 1920s, the site housed the Grand Rapids Art Gallery, the predecessor to the city’s art museum. The organization expanded the facility several times for more gallery space.  

In a separate transaction, Keller & Almassian also bought the furniture and redemption rights to property. Almassian said his firm is in the process of planning some additional office space and improvements to the parking lot. The firm has hired Orion Construction for the work.

“We’re really fortunate to be able to get this building and preserve its unique status,” he said. 

Read 2428 times Last modified on Saturday, 09 November 2013 17:46

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