A new life with new purpose is on the horizon for a small neighborhood store that has been a flower shop since the late 1800s. The two-story building on the corner of Crescent St. NE and Union Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, was the longtime home of Crescent Street Floral
and then Violet Northeast, but will soon be the new location for the real estate team of Griffin Properties
The original building burned down in the thirties, says Griffin Properties owner Diane Griffin, and the current building was grandfathered in to always be a flower shop. After months of meetings with the Heritage Hill Association
, the Historic Preservation Commission
, the Grand Rapids Planning Commission
, and others, Griffin says all entities approved the building's new use.
"One issue was the intensity of the business and the need for street parking by residents," Griffin says. "We agreed to add a small parking lot, tastefully, so as not to take up any street parking. I was going to be the listing agent for the building and I kept looking at it and looking at it and it just kept hitting me that this building could be for us."
Griffin will add the parking area adjacent to the building on the north. The exterior of the building, covered in distinctive green glazed tiles, will be restored. Inside, a small storage area under the windows will be removed to increase floor space and the building will get a new HVAC system, including, for the first time, central air.
Griffin Properties now operates out of 800 square feet on the corner of Fulton St. NE and Fuller Avenue NE. Griffin Properties will retain ownership of that building and might lease it or use it as extra office space.
Griffin expects to close on the building Oct. 31 and move in by early December.
Source: Diane Griffin, Griffin Properties,
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor