Morton House plan to create hotel rooms clears hurdle

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Morton House in downtown Grand Rapids is about to undergo another transformation.

On Tuesday, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation signed off on developers’ plans to convert part of the 13-story building at the corner of Ionia Avenue and Monroe Center into 32 high-end hotel rooms.

A Dec. 18, 2019 photo shows the Morton House in downtown Grand Rapids.

The Morton House was renovated into apartments and condominiums in 2016, but some of the 85 units remain empty. Owners 55 Ionia Partners LLC decided to change over some of the apartments and unsold condos to hotel rooms to “meet the perceived demand for additional hotels in downtown Grand Rapids,” according to the pitch submitted to the MEDC.

Developers believe the hotel rooms will make the ground floor commercial space more marketable and generate $300,000 to $600,000 in additional cash flow.

A Dec. 18, 2019 photo shows the Morton House in downtown Grand Rapids.

The MEDC had to approve the new project because of funding the development received in 2015.

The Morton House hotel rooms are expected to open in 2020.