Nearly A Full House

January 14, 2008
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GRAND RAPIDS — In addition to revitalizing the Enterprise Metals and Drueke Gaming Co. buildings, Robert Israels is also renovating the South Widdicomb Building at 600 Fifth St. NW.

Work on that five-story structure is expected to finish in mid-August, but the building’s first tenant wants to move in by the end of this month.

“The first tenant, which is taking two floors of the building — and I can’t divulge who it is — will be moving in on January 31st,” said Israels.

“We have negotiated to represent the balance of all the high-end, American-made furniture companies on the fourth floor of the south building. We have three independent design corporations — one is coming from out of state — who are going to be on the fourth floor of that building,” he added.

The South Widdicomb Building was once a John Widdicomb Co. furniture factory, a four-story building with a total of 120,000 square feet that sits across Fifth Street from the Israels Trade Center at 501 Fifth St. NW. Part of the renovation project involves adding a fifth floor to the structure so it matches up with the Trade Center, the firm’s headquarters.

“We’ve added about 39,000 square feet of additional space to (the south building.) So we have the fourth floor and the first and the second floors occupied. We have a tentative arrangement with a very large group of people, again from outside the city of Grand Rapids, that are wanting to take the top floor completely,” said Israels.

“So it only leaves me with one floor that will not be totally occupied.”

Erhardt Construction Co. is managing the work, while Post Associates Inc. designed the renovation project.

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