Development to convert a buttoned-down marble bank lobby into majestic ballroom space in downtown Grand Rapids is halfway to its goal with Planning Commission approval last week. If the Grand Rapids City Commission approves the new use on Nov. 27, the historic McKay Tower (146 Monroe Center Ave. NW) could open the proposed Ballroom at McKay for its first wedding reception, banquet, or business conference in spring 2013.
The former Grand Rapids National Bank lobby features impressive granite walls, massive floor-to-ceiling marble columns, a mezzanine overlooking the main floor, and the original bank vault, all of which will be incorporated into a new 250-seat event space in the heart of downtown. The space has been vacant since 2008.
Building owners Steadfast Property Holdings, LLC, plan to add a commercial catering kitchen and obtain a liquor license for the venue.
Steadfast Property Holdings has received approval from the Grand Rapids Planning Commission to convert the former banking lobby on McKay Tower’s second floor into a ballroom.
The $800,000 renovation project would create a public banquet space that could be used for business meetings, wedding receptions, holiday parties and other gatherings for up to 250 people.
Steadfast Property Holdings, which owns the 16-story building, also plans to apply for permits to serve liquor in “The Ballroom at McKay Tower,” if city commissioners approve its project on Nov. 27.
“McKay Tower is a centerpiece of downtown Grand Rapids, so it’s only fitting that the building offers a centerpiece space for everyone to enjoy,” said Chaundra Derks, operations director for Steadfast, in a statement.
“We hope that this project is viewed as a welcome addition to the city in that a vacant grand space will be returned to use for the enjoyment of the public,” she added.
City planners have given the green light to plans by the new owners of McKay Tower to convert the building’s soaring second-floor bank lobby space into a public banquet room.
The Grand Rapids Planning Commission approved the special land use request from Steadfast Property Holdings on Thursday, Nov. 8. Steadfast is a business entity owned by Jonathan Borisch, founder of what’s now Amphenol Borisch Technologies of Kentwood.
Borisch purchased the downtown landmark in May for $10.5 million.
“The Ballroom at McKay” would be used for special events like wedding receptions, business meetings, holiday parties and banquets of up to 250 people. The ballroom will seek permits for alcohol service.
In a news release, Steadfast said would it begin renovations immediately upon receiving approval from the City Commission, which must give final say on the plans on Nov. 27.