DDA Gives Virgin Grant

GRAND RAPIDS — The Downtown Development Authority awarded Virgin Soil Development LLC a $50,000 building reuse grant last week for the firm’s renovation of 65 Monroe Center, the former home of Central Bank and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Virgin Soil will use the money to make façade improvements and utility upgrades to the structure and provide barrier-free access throughout the building. The company will add a third floor to the two-story building at the southeast corner of MonroeCenter and

Ionia Avenue

and build six condominiums on the upper levels.

Virgin Soil will also locate its office in the building, which is in the Monroe Center Renaissance Zone. The grant advisory board recommended DDA give the firm the financial assistance, despite the building’s nearly tax-free status through 2017.

“The committee agreed this was a priority building with its location on MonroeCenter,” said DDA Executive Director Jay Fowler.

Virgin Soil, which is spending $2 million on the project, hopes to finish the conversion by September.    

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