GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The exterior of McKay Tower in downtown Grand Rapids will get an early spring cleaning, as the historic high-rise undergoes some exterior renovations.
The project is part of the building owner's long-term renovation plans.
The exterior repairs are scheduled to start in March and last through late summer, and be performed between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays, according to a news release.
Scaffolding will soon be set up along portions of the building's foundation at 146 Monroe Center. Protective walk-thru canopies will cover the building's public entrances through the duration of the project, including entrances to all the building's retail tenants. All retail tenants will continue to operate as normal during the construction.
"McKay Tower needs some exterior repair, so we'll be working diligently to bring the building back to historic charm while ensuring the structure itself is completely taken care of," said Chaundra Derks, operations manager for the building's owner Steadfast Properties. "We will do all we can to minimize distractions to our retail and commercial tenants, and hope that the public will continue to support them as well."
The primary work to be performed is cleaning and rust-proofing the structural steel behind the terra cotta exterior of the fourth floor. Grand Rapids-based restoration contractor D.C. Byers Company will perform the rust-proofing repairs while Illinois-based structural engineering firm Wiss Janney Elstner Associates will oversee the entire project.
"As the next step of our ongoing facade maintenance program, we will be conducting restoration work on several bays of the fourth floor terra cotta water table on the North (Pearl Street), West (Monroe Avenue), and Southwest (Monroe Center Avenue) elevations," said Ross Smith, professional engineer from the West Michigan office of Wiss Janney Elstner Associates, Inc.
"WJE informed us when we were purchasing the building that exterior repairs were necessary, so we decided to pursue this work sooner than later to avoid further damage," Derks added. "We hope our retail tenants and building guests understand these repairs are necessary."
The repairs are part of Steadfast's long-term investment in enhancing the historic high-rise, which includes interior common area renovations, new cooling units and elevators, and construction of a second-floor ballroom.
Steadfast intentionally chose March to begin some of the repairs, specifically near Biggby Coffee and Kilwin's Chocolates, so to be completed before outdoor seating areas are in full swing.
"So much of these repairs are weather-dependent, but we'll do all we can to minimize interfering with any outside seating," said Derks.
Building owners also wanted to target completion of exterior repairs well in advance of the busy ArtPrize season.
"We hope that individuals will continue to patronize our building's tenants. We remain confident that there will be no interruptions in service for our tenants," Derks added.
First-floor building tenants include Subs-N-More, Biggby Coffee, Kilwin's Chocolates, and Tanaz Hair Boutique & Day Spa. Lower level tenants include Sushi Yama, Chic's Frame & Poster and Charlie's Shoe Repair.
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