New owners for Grand Rapids' historic Pike House plan few changes before moving law offices

Todd Almassian cannot say enough good things about the historic renovation Design Plus completed a few years ago on the circa 1844 Pike House, 230 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids. In fact, Almassian and his law firm, Keller and Almassian, PLC were so impressed with the renovation, they bought the property complete with furniture and art.

The firm, which purchased the property for $1.25 million, will move its six attorneys and 10 staff to the 17,800-square-foot building by summer 2014, but plans very few changes to the structure.

"The architects at Design Plus (now part of ProgressiveAE) saved that property; it was in disrepair and they returned it to its original beauty and were wonderful stewards of that property," Almassian says. "We hope to be equally good stewards. It was a city treasure to them. I spoke with a few of the architects on the renovation and one of them handed over the history file they had acquired. They treated it like it's a community asset, not just theirs or ours."

The building, once the home of wealthy fur trader Abram W. Pike, has an auditorium in the back of the home that has 20-ft. ceilings. That space will become private offices for the attorneys and is the only major change planned. The front of the house contains five conference room areas that will be used for client meetings.

Almassian says the 60-space parking lot needs a major overhaul. Work will begin on that in the spring.

Keller and Almassian originally had offices in the Trust Building and moved to 2810 East Beltline Lane NE in 2000.

"Candidly, we miss downtown and we've been wanting to get back downtown," Almassian says. "Closer to the courts, closer to our colleagues. I want to spend the rest of my career downtown. We look forward to going out to lunch with colleagues, going to the coffee shops -- out here we're really not part of a community like we can be downtown."

Engineers: Nederveld
Construction: Orion Construction

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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