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Prominent business district building changes ownership

A prominent building in downtown Grand Rapids was purchased for an undisclosed sum by local developers last week. It is more than 100 years old and is one of the area's oldest Masonic Lodge temples.

The building is located near the entertainment and business districts. The purchase is considered to be another sign of revitalization for the downtown commercial real estate market. Downtown areas all over the country have been struggling in the recession, but new purchases and renovation plans bode well for Michigan commerce zones.

The new owners are planning to make some big improvements to the building. They will spruce up the lobby, install a new roof and new elevators, and repair the façade. An iconic sculpture that normally rests on the roof has already been removed. The company would like to increase the occupancy rate through a renewed tenant marketing effort. The building is currently at about 35 percent occupancy.

Real estate transactions can be very complex. Especially for commercial uses, there can be different zoning and land use ordinances for the location. Many real estate transactions are not as simple as exchanging money for a deed. There are often many pitfalls that even the most experienced business people may fall victim to. In order to avoid any complications now or when you try to sell the land later, it is always advised to work with an experienced real estate attorney. Competent legal advice can help make a property purchase a sound investment rather than a transactional headache.

Source: M Live, "Another key piece of downtown Grand Rapids commercial real estate market changes hands," Garret Ellison, March 14, 2012.

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