38 Commerce reduced to rubble as “Thirty-Eight” prepares to rise

By: Deborah Johnson Wood

Heartside office workers and residents were treated to a show earlier this week as as long-necked dinosaur-esque machines bit and pulled at 38 Commerce Ave. SW over the course of three days.

Fated to be rebuilt as Thirty-Eight, the two lots on the corner of Weston Street and Commerce are the future site of Locus Development’s proposed “liner building” mixed-used development — a public/private partnership with the City of Grand Rapids to bring Heartside innovative new spaces for offices, retail, residential, a restaurant and parking.

“We started demolition Monday morning,” says John Green, a partner with Andy Winkel in Locus Development. “We removed what we could that would still be useful — some interior brick and beams will be reused, and some of the light fixtures and some of the ceiling boards will be reused.”

The city will purchase the interior portion of the two lots to construct a $10 million, 379-space parking ramp. Green expects to close on the city’s purchase on December 23.

Locus Development will own the two “liner buildings” that will line Weston and Commerce and seclude the parking ramp from street view.

Adtegrity is the first commercial tenant to sign on the dotted line in anticipation of the project’s completion. No additional tenants have been announced.

Pitsch Companies is handling the demolition, plus the sorting, recycling and disposal of the demolished materials. Integrated Architecture is the architect. Pioneer Construction begins construction in early January. Green and Winkel expect construction to be complete in spring 2010. The structure will be LEED certified.

Source: John Green and Andy Winkle, Locus Development

Photo by Brian Kelly

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Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at [email protected].

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