Renovated historic buildings bring $1M worth of apartments, office space to Grand Rapids' East Hills

A project begun last year to renovate a historic rooming house and a mid-century modern split-level in East Hills wraps up next month, bringing 16 modern apartments and 3,800 square feet of office space to the corner of Cherry St. and Eastern Avenue, a $1 million-plus endeavor.

The buildings, at 822 Cherry St. SE and 220 Eastern Ave. SE, are being developed by Malone Development, LLC. The two properties connect via an L-shaped parking lot behind both buildings, which will provide tenant and customer parking.

822 Cherry, a split-level brick building, was built for the Builders and Trade Association as a showcase for their skills in 1958, says Shayne Malone, principal of Malone Development. Its renovation added two 2-bedroom and two 3-bedroom, 2-bath apartments to the garden level, and 3,800 square feet of office space above. Baas Creative has leased 1,300 square feet of the office space, leaving 2,500 that can be leased as one unit or divided.

"This was a great opportunity to work on a mid-century modern building, especially considering the fact that in East Hills, the majority of the structures are very much older," Malone says. "We've had a ton of interest, and once the space is complete with the build-out we expect it to lease very quickly."

In the early 1900s, 220 Eastern was a boarding house for the streetcar operators, who used to park the streetcars out in front and used Wellington Avenue, a curved street that exits onto Eastern, as the turnaround, Malone says.

The three-story building now has 12 new apartments with original hardwood floors. The building required a major overhaul, including: new roof, new HVAC, new plumbing and electrical, drywall throughout, and insulation.

The apartments include 11 2-bedroom and one 1-bedroom, which will each rent at market rates.

"It's very important in a historic district like East Hills to remember that the architecture and planning designed over 100 years ago are what make the area unique and successful," Malone says. "Any new development needs to be in tune with that to enhance the framework that's already there."

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Malone Development, LLC

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