90-year-old building in Grand Rapids' Creston district renovated for Sun Title expansion

As the installation of seven environmental bioretention islands down the middle of Plainfield Avenue continues between the Creston and Cheshire business districts, a circa 1920s building in the nearby 1400 block is undergoing its own renovation.

The building's tenant, Sun Title, currently resides in 6,000 square feet at 1410 Plainfield Ave. NE. But with the renovation of the entire building from 1400 Plainfield NE (at Spencer St. NE) north to 1410 Plainfield, Sun Title will expand to nearly 10,000 square feet.

"We've continued to grow since 2005," says Tom Cronkright, a partner in Sun Title with Lawrence Duthler. "We've got around 30 full-time folks and we have an opportunity for additional work space. Adding the corner unit at Spencer Street will allow us to conduct training, client mixers and networking events in that part of the building."

The building was once a two-story structure, but fire destroyed most of the second floor in 1982, says Duthler. The new construction will add a parapet at the second story level at Spencer and Plainfield to give the building definition. Inside, the original oyster tile floors, original wood and ornate pillars that were uncovered during demolition will be preserved and restored.

The new functionality will include an employee lounge area and office space for future growth.

"It was pretty dilapidated, and it's such a prominent corner that the renovation will beautify the area," Duthler says. "We're fortunate to have a number of neighbors here who have done a nice job of restoring their buildings, such as Red Jet and Stone's Throw, and we own the Creston Market building and did some façade improvements there. It's a great district to be in and it's a positive sign that folks want to be in this neighborhood."

Cronkright and Duthler expect construction will be completed by mid-September.

Source: Tom Cronkright and Lawrence Duthler, Sun Title
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
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