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Conversion of Historic Buildings Into One Larger Multi-use Space

Warner helped a client who invested $7.5 million to convert two historic structures on a high-traffic corner of Fulton Street and Division Avenue into one building with more than 40,000 square feet of retail, office space and apartments.

The Grand Rapids Brewing Company opened on the ground floor in late 2012. All 21 apartments on the upper floors of the five-story building were leased before completion. In a mere 10 months, the client completely turned around this underutilized corner of the Heartside Entertainment District.

Warner secured a total of $461,500 in incentives which included BRIP and CRP grants and a $361,500 Community Revitalization Program grant—the first one approved for West Michigan—through the Michigan Strategic Fund, administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Warner also worked with the city of Grand Rapids to obtain a pair of $50,000 Building Reuse Incentive Program grants, one for each building.

Warner also represented 616 Development and BarFly Ventures in the joint venture to open Grand Rapids Brewing Company in downtown Grand Rapids, along with the addition of office space and apartment housing. Barfly acquired the iconic Grand Rapids Brewing Company name in order to preserve its history. Warner helped establish lease agreements and operating agreements for the revitalization of the building and continues to serve as counsel.