Historic Grand Rapids building gets facelift under new ownership COURTESY PHOTOS

Historic Grand Rapids building gets facelift under new ownership

BY Tuesday, July 07, 2020 02:29pm

GRAND RAPIDS — The historic Sobota building on Grand Rapids’ West Side that was previously a grocery store, tavern and restaurant will continue as a coworking space after recently completed renovations by a new owner. 

For the past decade, the nearly century-old building has been a collaborative space for small businesses, mostly in the marketing and advertising field. Previous owner Rick Overway, an account executive with Grand Rapids-based VizCom Media, fostered the creative incubator when he purchased the building in 2010. The effort is continued by Paul Soltysiak, who bought the building in March for $125,000, according to property records. 

“My passion for the space was parallel to that of Rick’s, and I was fortunate to be in a position to purchase the building from him and continue the creative legacy that we have here,” Soltysiak said.

Built in 1928, the 1,623-square-foot building at 900 Muskegon Ave. NW is owned and operated by Soltysiak, a sales consultant for Zeeland-based Holland Litho Printing Services. The renovation included exterior work and rebranding the building to “The Hub,” which will offer small businesses a space to network and brainstorm with other companies. Soltysiak declined to say how much was invested in renovations.

“The Hub is really a unique location that provides an opportunity to collaborate with other like-minded entrepreneurs,” Soltysiak said. “And The Hub has really nourished a really cool creative culture here, and become part of the continued rebirth of the West Side, particularly among like-minded, imaginative small business owners.”

Like many businesses, some tenants switched to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, Soltysiak said. 

“What is really great about The Hub is that the floor plan makes it easy to maintain social distance, yet we still have the ability to collaborate and discuss ideas across our respective businesses,” Soltysiak told MiBiz in an email.

The building has housed employees with Overway’s and Soltysiak’s businesses, in addition to GRNow.com, Com616, The Polishing Center, FoldFox LLC and Lucid Group LLC. The Hub has also been home to the Stockbridge Business Association board, projects for Bissell Business Ventures and home base for the president of the American Marketing Association of West Michigan.

Current tenants of the building are Soltysiak’s Holland Litho sales office, as well as Castello Creative, Red66 Marketing LLC, Mayan Industries LLC and Branding Loud and Clear. The Hub has the ability to add at least five more business offices to the space, Soltysiak said.

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