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