Prime HighTech Downtown Space On The Market

June 21, 2002
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GRAND RAPIDS — One of the best-wired and best-known buildings in downtown is now available, as the renovated headquarters of Choice One Communications can be leased.

The building, restored and enlarged a few years ago by Rockford Construction Co. for U.S. Xchange, offers 50,000 square feet of loft-style, high-tech space at 56 Grandville Ave.

Choice One, a voice and data telecommunications firm that acquired U.S. Xchange last year, sinces has moved its business units next door to 44 Grandville Ave.

Commerce Realty and Management Co. is offering the building.

Ray Kisor, a veteran commercial real estate agent and principal with Commerce Realty, feels the structure can give a company some unique geographical advantages in addition to its high-tech capabilities.

One is the nearby access to U.S. 131.

“With the easy-on, easy-off ramp at 131, that literally is Oakes, and Oakes is the next street to the south; it puts you right onto a traffic-controlled on-off ramp,” he said. “It’s easy for employees to get to and from work.”

Another plus, Kisor said, is that the building’s location makes entertaining clients easy, being just a block west of the Van Andel Arena and near high-quality restaurants and hotels. And the structure is also close to the central business district.

“You’ve got an abundance of city parking, which takes the edge off,” said Kisor.

“This seems to be rather convenient from that standpoint.

“The fact that Choice One is staying in the building next door at 44 Grandville means that you have tremendous IT support and an excellent high-speed voice-data connection.”

Choice One, headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., serves small- and medium-sized businesses. The firm completed its merger with U.S. Xchange in August 2000 by paying $303 million in cash and issuing 6.74 million shares of new common stock.

Choice One serves about 50,000 clients in a dozen Midwestern and northeastern states and employs 1,700 workers nationwide.

The local office moved 300 employees to its new site at 44 Grandville, another warehouse restored by Rockford Construction that is also known as the Travel Consultant Building.

Rockford finished renovating 56 Grandville in the summer of 1999.

The $6 million project, which took a year to complete, included a four-story addition that connected the building with 44 Grandville. True North Architecture designed the renovation.

The Williams Investment Co. owns the building.

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