GRAND RAPIDS, MI – At McKay Tower Residences, the motto is, “What’s your question? The answer is ‘Yes.'”
That’s how operations director Chaundra Derks describes the all-inclusive approach Steadfast Property Holdings is taking with the 15 luxury apartments they have created on the 13th, 14th and 15th floors of downtown’s McKay Tower, 146 Monroe Center NW.
That means the turn-key apartments include furniture, sheets, towels, covered parking and all utilities including cable and wi-fi access. They will even stock the pantry.
“We tell people to bring your clothes and you’re all set,” says Derks, who will host a ribbon cutting next Wednesday, Aug. 12, for seven units they recently completed on the 13th floor.
The apartments range from a 723-square-foot one bedroom unit on the 15th floor for $2,000 a month to a 2,180-square-foot two bedroom unit with two bathrooms for $5,100 a month. Rents are based on the apartment size and the views from the windows, Derks said.
Two apartments on the 13th and 14th floors include balconies overlooking Rosa Parks Circle. Two of the apartments also include gas fireplaces.
Residents access their apartments via key-coded elevators that open up to marble lined hallways. Inside, they will find oiled oak floors, granite topped kitchen islands with Kitchen-Aid appliances, laundry rooms with washers and dryers.
The master suites include king-sized beds, blackout shades, ensuite bathrooms with ceramic tile flooring, walk-in shower and walk-in closets.
Tenants also have access to the 16th floor, where an owner’s lounge offers extra space for socializing and an outdoor deck with gas grilles for entertaining, star-gazing or watching fireworks.
The 16th floor also includes an exercise facility. With an eye towards accommodating visiting executives or medical professionals, Steadfast will lease the apartments on monthly or long-term leases, Derks said.
Steadfast, which bought McKay Tower in 2012, completed its first apartment conversion in 2013. But it’s not the first time someone has lived on the corner of Monroe Avenue and Pearl Street. Pioneer Joel Guild built the first frame house in Grand Rapids on the site in 1833.
The city’s first non-Native American wedding occurred in the home in 1834. The current structure began as a four-story bank building built in the 1914. In 1925, 12 more stories were added, making it the city’s tallest skyscraper. Two more levels were added in the early 1940s, making it the tallest building between Detroit and Chicago.
In 1941, political boss Frank D. McKay bought the tower and maintained a luxurious two-room office suite on the ground floor. He willed the building to the University of Michigan upon his death in 1965.
NOTE: Originally appeared on MLIVE.com.
Downtown Grand Rapids’ most historic high rise opens its event space, the Ballroom at McKay, on Friday, May 17.
The 10,900 SF rental space, which includes a commercial kitchen, sits in a former bank lobby on the second floor of McKay Tower.
The Ballroom at McKay, as it is called, will be used for special events such as wedding receptions, business meetings, holiday parties and banquets. The space, which intends to offer alcohol service, will accommodate approximately 200 guests.
The project was renovated by Owen Ames Kimball (O-A-K); architect was Craig Architects of Grand Rapids and the interior design was led by Kathryn Chaplow, LLC.
Founded in Grand Rapids in1891, O-A-K shares more than a zip code with the iconic downtown building.
“Our company built the original two-story building, then known as Grand Rapids National Bank, in 1915, and we also built the twelve stories that were added in 1925,” says President, Frank Stanek. “Our history is really important to us at O-A-K. What a great opportunity this is to continue the story that our founder’s helped write nearly a century ago.”
The 10,900 square foot renovation of McKay Tower’s second floor was approved by the Grand Rapids City Planning Commission in November 2012. The building is located at 146 Monroe Center NW in downtown Grand Rapids
“McKay Tower is a centerpiece of downtown Grand Rapids, so it’s only fitting that there be a public space for everyone to enjoy,” said Chaundra Derks, Director of Operations for Steadfast Property Holdings, the company that owns the building. “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.”
The Ballroom at McKay has been renovated in way that showcases the historic charm while providing the amenities required for modern event production, including a state-of-the- art sound and lighting system and commercial kitchen. The original marble walls have been restored back to their original beauty. The original bank deposit table still resides in the space at the front entrance and the original bank vault is used as a wine cellar. The Ballroom at McKay comes fully-furnished with the most impeccable tables, chairs, and glassware available.
This investment by Steadfast is one of several renovations to the historic building. Façade improvements are currently undergoing and new elevators are being installed. Last fall the company made interior renovations to the first floor lobby and renovated the 15th floor to accommodate residential apartments.
Learn more about the Ballroom at McKay at www.mckaytower.com
McKay Tower to undergo exterior touch up work starting in March
The historic McKay Tower is scheduled to undergo some exterior renovations starting in March and lasting through late summer.
Scaffolding and machinery are currently being set up along the foundation of the building. Protective walk-thru canopies will cover the building’s public entrances through the duration of the project, including entrances to all the building’s retail tenants. Additionally, all retail tenants will continue to operate as normal during the construction.
“McKay Tower needs some exterior repair, so we’ll be working diligently to bring the building back to historic charm while ensuring the structure itself is completely taken care of,” said Chaundra Derks, Operations Manager for the building’s owner Steadfast Properties. “We will do all we can to minimize distractions to our retail and commercial tenants, and hope that the public will continue to support them as well.”
The primary work that will be performed is cleaning and rust-proofing the structural steel behind the terra cotta exterior of the fifth floor. Grand Rapids-based restoration contractor D.C. Byers Company will performing the rust-proofing repairs while Illinois-based structural engineering firm WJE Engineers will oversee the entire project.
The repairs are part of Steadfast’s long-term $4m investment in enhancing the historic high-rise.
“WJE informed us when we were purchasing the building that exterior repairs were necessary, so we decided to pursue this work sooner than later to avoid further damage,” Derks adds. “We hope our retail tenants and building guests understand these repairs are necessary.”
Steadfast intentionally chose March to begin some of the repairs, specifically near Biggby and Kilwins so to be completed before outdoor seating areas are in full swing. “So much of these repairs are weather-dependent, but we’ll do all we can to minimize interfering with any outside seating,” said Derks.
First floor building tenants include Subs-N-More, Biggby Coffee, Kilwins and Tanaz Hair Salon. Lower level tenants include Sushi Yama, Chic’s Frame & Poster and Charlie’s Shoe Repair.
All repairs will be performed between 7:00am and 4:00pm on weekdays.