An Evening Of Recognition

November 12, 2007
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GRAND RAPIDS — There was little doubt that many in the business community have considered him to be a winner for most of his adult life, but last week that title was made official when the Neighborhood Business Alliance and Neighborhood Ventures crowned Bob Sullivan with the John H. Logie Neighborhood Business Champion Award.

The Sullivan business empire includes a carpet and furniture store, a tile and linoleum mart, and a rug and carpet cleaning business. He also is and has been a hotel operator, a semi-pro baseball and football team owner, and a mentor to younger aspiring business owners like Swift Printing Co.’s Walt Gutowski Jr.

But Neighborhood Ventures Executive Director Kimberly VanDyk said Sullivan was also honored for his service to the neighborhoods by serving on planning and zoning boards that affected those districts in a very positive way. VanDyk also said Sullivan donated money to help keep the neighborhood swimming pools open last summer, an action those business districts appreciated.

In winning the Logie award, named for the city’s former three-term mayor, Sullivan joined Bob Israels, Ed De Vries, Sharon Evoy and Logie as the recipients of the prestigious honor.

Parkland Properties of West Michigan, headed by developer Jon Rooks, won the Gerald R. Helmholdt Grand Award for its Union Square Condos at 600 Broadway Ave. NW. VanDyk said the award judges felt Union Square had the biggest impact on a neighborhood over the past year and held even more promise because it will soon become a mixed-use building, as Rooks is planning to add a restaurant in the near future.

“It’s just done beautifully with a lot of detail, and it’s affordable,” said VanDyk.

Parkland Properties joins Dwelling Place and Mercantile Bank as recent winners of the Helmholdt Grand Award, which was named in honor of the late businessman and past mayor of the city.

Additional winners were:

  • Best exterior maintenance: Logan’s Alley, 916 Michigan St. NE

  • Best exterior renovation: O’Brien & O’Brien DDS PC, 1503 Coit Ave. NE

  • Best interior renovation:  Literary Life Bookstore, 758 Wealthy St. SE

  • Best longstanding business: Jurgens & Holtvluwer Men’s Store, 1054 Leonard St. NW

  • Best new business: Bobby J’s Restaurant & Catering, 15 Jefferson Ave. SE

  • Best new construction (tie): Lighthouse Communities for Uptown Village, 350 Wealthy St. SE, and Cherry Street Investors for the 924 Cherry St. SE project.

  • Best reuse of a building: The Elevation Group for Hopson Flats, 212-216 Grandville Ave. SW

  • Best promotional event: Creston Business Association for the Creston Car Show

  • Best use of a sign/awning: City Life Church, 451 S. Division Ave.

  • Best window display: 954 East/Resale with Attitude, 954 E. Fulton St.

Last week’s ceremony marked the 18th consecutive year the NBA has honored business owners in the city’s 20 business districts. Neighborhood Ventures co-sponsored the event, which was held at Wealthy Theatre.

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