Michigan Street Grand Rapids has been undergoing massive re-development for the past 10+ years, dubbed “Medical Mile” due to the large investment in our regional healthcare and now Grand Valley State University’s urban health campus. Given this activity, there is a great draw for restaurateurs to have their spot here but finding a suitable building with good bones to start with has been the challenge.
Originally connected by a large-scale developer of the corridor, Construction Simplified met with our soon-to-be clients to review a dilapidated single-story masonry building that was originally constructed to the street and the full width of the property. Access was only available through the narrow alley are the rear of the building. Space was at a premium both during construction and finding the final locations for all new utility services, parking & delivery, and the all-important beer fridge. Also, the street elevation was lower than the rear of the building, so aligning all building code requirements for ADA and access had to be blended across the entire design. With a very talented and supporting team, Construction Simplified worked with the A/E firms to not only make it functional but hit all required aesthetic marks.
The second largest challenge with this project was the owner’s desire to have a rooftop patio and deck; people love outdoor dining in Michigan and it nearly doubled the amount of dining space of the small footprinted building. With no existing structure in place, we devised plans to support through the existing roof to new foundations building an elevated deck slightly off the existing roof. Coordination and detailed planning of the location of the HVAC & kitchen equipment also become of utmost importance blending the exact location for the kitchen below, mechanical code clearances, all while ensure the placement wouldn’t impact the rooftop diners.
When the team at Construction Simplified chooses projects to be a part of as the builder, this checks the boxes. Because of the above challenges and the great clients who embraced those challenges with us head on, we were able to do something amazing. The Construction Simplified team loved taking a building seen by many as invaluable and leading the way to bring the Friesian, a gastropub to life.