McKay Tower ballroom takes step toward spring completion


The second floor of McKay Tower is a former bank lobby. Courtesy Steadfast Property Holdings

Steadfast Property Holdings has received approval from the Grand Rapids Planning Commission to convert the former banking lobby on McKay Tower’s second floor into a ballroom.

The $800,000 renovation project would create a public banquet space that could be used for business meetings, wedding receptions, holiday parties and other gatherings for up to 250 people.

Steadfast Property Holdings, which owns the 16-story building, also plans to apply for permits to serve liquor in “The Ballroom at McKay Tower,” if city commissioners approve its project on Nov. 27.

“McKay Tower is a centerpiece of downtown Grand Rapids, so it’s only fitting that the building offers a centerpiece space for everyone to enjoy,” said Chaundra Derks, operations director for Steadfast, in a statement.

“We hope that this project is viewed as a welcome addition to the city in that a vacant grand space will be returned to use for the enjoyment of the public,” she added.

Derks said Craig Architects is designing the lobby conversion, but a general contractor hasn’t been selected yet. The firm hopes to have the renovation completed by the spring.

Steadfast Property Holdings is currently making façade improvements to the building and is considering some upgrades to the residential areas on the upper floors.

Steadfast Property bought the 97-year-old building at 146 Monroe Center for $10.5 million last spring. Jonathan Borisch is a principal in Steadfast. He founded Borisch Manufacturing Corp., a Kentwood firm that serves the aerospace and defense industries, in 1994.

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