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Retrofit: A Michigan Building Maintains a History of Creating Growth

Retrofit: A Michigan Building Maintains a History of Creating Growth

Retrofit published an article about Highpoint Flats Apartments, an adaptive reuse of the historic Hackley Union Bank Building, which dates back to 1918 and is considered the first “skyscraper” in Muskegon, Michigan. In “A Michigan Building Maintains a History of Creating Growth in a Community that Continues to Survive Troubled Times”, Ghafari Marketing Coordinator Kendra Achenbach describes the nine-story, 56,000 SF structure’s transformation into a mixed-use building, an effort that required exhaustive renovations to meet modern building codes without compromising its architectural character.

Ghafari served as architect on the project, working closely with developer Parkland Properties to evaluate the existing construction to determine which of the original building elements could be left exposed. Original features include the curved granite staircase ascending from the basement up to the third floor, the brick on the perimeter walls, and the window openings.

To expose the brick on perimeter walls, for example, the team removed the plaster that was added in the 1960s and then cleaned and repaired the original brick. In the areas where the original terrazzo flooring was left, extensive polishing and repair was required. The original Hackley Union Bank logo was left untouched in the terrazzo flooring but was protected with glass. On the exterior, existing granite stone panels and joints needed to be repaired because of damage and vandalism, and masonry tuckpointing of the exterior brick facade also was necessary.

Filled with the historic features of a bygone era, Highpoint Flats Apartments brings vibrant living to Muskegon, attracting young professionals, empty-nesters, and retirees alike. In total, there are 14 apartment floor plans, featuring one- and two-bedroom market-rate units that range from 600 to 1,100 SF. The units contain high-end finishes, walk-in closets, and in-unit laundry, as well as exposed brick walls, concrete pillars and beams. In addition, each unit features high ceilings and expansive picture windows offering views of Muskegon Lake and a bustling downtown area. On clear days, Lake Michigan can be seen from some units.

Read the complete article here.