MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — The developer behind Muskegon’s new convention center has set its eyes on the historic and half-derelict Shaw-Walker Furniture property.

(A courtesy image shows Jon Rooks, president of Parkland Properties of Michigan.)

Parkland Properties of Michigan President Jon Rooks confirmed to News 8 Monday that he put a formal bid in for the property in May and reached an agreement with current owner P&G Holdings NY LLC this month. Rooks declined to disclose how much he money he offered for the property, which was listed online for $7.99 million.

“The Shaw-Walker Furniture buildings have been vacant for decades and are one of the few remaining blights in downtown. We think the buildings would be an incredible adaptive reuse project for not only our portfolio and Muskegon, but West Michigan as a whole. At 700,000 square feet, we don’t know of any larger available, historic, adaptive, reuse projects in West Michigan,” he stated in an email to News 8.

Rooks said Parkland Properties of Michigan had been talking with the previous property owner for several years. P&G Holdings NY LLC acquired the property earlier this year.

“The Shaw Walker Furniture property represents an important part of Muskegon’s history and our goal has been to see it repurposed and preserved for future generations,” he stated.

Rooks said Parkland Properties of Michigan is trying to determine how to best utilize the property, which may include redeveloping the vacant area into new market-rate condominiums and apartments with some retail spaces that’ll complement the community.

“We enjoy finding ways to adaptively reuse cool, old buildings, and make them useful again. All of our current plans for the property involve finding a way to preserve the existing buildings,” he stated.

dock with boats in foreground, brick building in background
(An undated image provided by Jon Rooks shows the former Shaw-Walker Furniture Company building, as seen from Muskegon Lake.)

Rooks said most of the condos and apartments would have “uninterrupted views” of Muskegon Lake or downtown Muskegon and would include amenity packages their other properties are known for, like rooftop pools, restaurants and bars, club houses and fitness centers.

Parkland Properties of Michigan previously developed 10 housing communities in West Michigan, including transforming a five-story furniture factory in Grand Rapids into Boardwalk Condominiums. The developer also converted a Grand Rapids high school into Union Square Condos and redeveloped a bank building into apartments and offices as Highpoint Flats in Muskegon. The developer also created Terrace Point Landing in Muskegon, Ellenwood Landing in Montague and Bayou Meadows in Spring Lake. Parkland Properties of Michigan also owns and/or operates two hotels and two restaurants in Muskegon, as well as the VanDyke Mortgage Convention Center.

Rooks says their vision for Muskegon Lake and the city align with the vision of community and business leaders who have invested in the area over the last decade, “creating a lively downtown corridor” and attracting world-class festivals and visitors from across the region.

“Muskegon is not just a summer destination, but a place that many people work, live, and play year-round. It has become the focal point on the Lake Michigan lakeshore and we envision the community continuing to build on its existing momentum – and more and more people moving to the area,” Rooks stated.

Rooks said the Shaw-Walker building acquisition is under contract. Right now, Parkland Properties of Michigan is in the due diligence phase and conducting environmental research on the site.

When asked about the most recent push by city leaders to shore up the crumbling portion of the Shaw-Walker building, Rooks said they’re “still working through the details” with the city.

“They have been great partners with us over the years and we are all motivated to see something positive happen with this property,” he stated.

If all goes well, Rooks said the deal could close in about 45 days.