Historic Renovation Scheduled for Completion in Downtown Grand Rapids

CWD Real Estate Investment to Open the 37 Ottawa Building for Leasing

May 1, 2019

After 7 years of planning and almost 2 years of work, CWD Real Estate Investment plans to open the Class A loft office building at 37 Ottawa in May of 2019. The Grand Opening for the AC Hotel by Marriott next door at 50 Monroe is scheduled for June 3rd.

“This is an exciting day as we see the opening of the beautifully restored office building at 37 Ottawa,” said Rosalynn Bliss, Mayor of Grand Rapids. “Our community is fortunate that CWD saw the potential in this building and brought it back to life, adding another historic gem to our downtown and adding to our evolving skyline.”

CWD's Newest Office Spaces in Grand Rapids

Office and retail suites available for lease at 37 Ottawa provide extraordinary views, incredible architectural details, and amenities. This truly is a one-of-a-kind experience among office spaces in Grand Rapids.  Large, open floor plates allow tenants to create a unique place of their own within a historic building that has all the technology, features and amenities of a contemporary one. Each floor offers 15,500 SF of bright, open space. Currently, suites from 2,000 SF to 30,000 SF are available.  In addition, CWD is still in search of the right partner to occupy the 7,000 SF of restaurant space on the ground floor of the building.  The restaurant space is right next to 20 Monroe Live and the Van Andel Arena and includes an extraordinary outdoor patio space.

Renovations were focused on a celebration of the property’s history which includes its scars. Efforts were taken to not attempt the reconstruction of parts that were destroyed but rather use complimentary contemporary materials to “fill in” those areas, inspired by the Japanese tradition of Kintsugi. Missing pieces and damaged details on the building tell the story of the building’s long history.

When we removed the skin, we discovered that so much of the building was actually missing that we had to pivot a little,” said Sam Cummings, co-managing partner of CWD Real Estate. “We have restored a lot of old buildings and we made the commitment to do the best we could with what we had, given the market realities of Grand Rapids. We also wanted to make sure that the building could tell a story—that its scars were an important part of its history and needn’t be completely covered."

37 Ottawa and Downtown Grand Rapids

This historic site has been a fixture of the Grand Rapids skyline for 132 years. The earliest of the three buildings was the first location of the Grand Rapids Refrigerator Company and was built in 1887. The company eventually expanded into all three by 1902. In 2019, it will once again contribute to our growing city’s vibrancy. The location places businesses at the epicenter of urban activity and offers a deeper connection to the community and its history. The two properties will activate the area and link landmark destinations within the City of Grand Rapids.

“CWD’s remarkable renovation of 37 Ottawa and 50 Monroe is a showpiece for historic preservation and urban redevelopment,” said Tim Kelly, President of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. “These buildings have tremendous character inside and with this rehabilitation, they bring new energy to the Downtown street space and further revitalize the business district. This is the type of project that further elevates Downtown as a unique place that offers a unique experience, and strengthens its draw as the employment center of West Michigan.”

The renovations at 37 Ottawa and 50 Monroe reflect CWD’s mission to provide the best places for people to live, work and be entertained in Grand Rapids. It is especially meaningful for us when that mission also involves restoring and preserving historic Grand Rapids sites.

For more information regarding leasing at 37 Ottawa, call 616-726-1700. For more updates on CWD's growing portfolio of residential, retail, and office spaces in Grand Rapids, click here.


CWD Real Estate Investment is a leading, local real estate investment and property management firm in Grand Rapids. Formed in 2008 by partners Sam Cummings, Scott Wierda, and Dan DeVos, CWD commits to strengthening the urban center and community of Grand Rapids by making strategic investments that provide high-quality places to work, eat, shop, live, and be entertained.