Plan to add apartments to historic Grand Rapids building on hold

(An undated photo included in the Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission’s agenda packet shows the historic building at 76 S. Division Ave..)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — New plans for the historic Grand Rapids building once home to Tini Bikini’s Bar & Grill are on hold for now.

The Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission voted Wednesday to table its decision about a conceptual plan to build a six-story attachment onto the three-story building at the corner of S. Division Avenue and Oakes Street SE.

Midland-based Brookstone Capitol wants to transform the space into an apartment complex. The gray brick addition at 78 S. Division Ave. would include five levels of apartments, a penthouse in the northeast corner and ground-level parking. The plans also include repairing the existing building at 76 S. Division Ave. and installing new windows.

A city official said commissioners plan to take up the proposal again on Sept. 2 if the developer can provide more design information that will address concerns about the proposed expansion dwarfing the original building.

The new structure in Grand Rapids’ Heartside neighborhood would span about 43 feet along Division Avenue and stand roughly 73 feet, which is 30 feet higher than the current building. The original proposal called for an eight-story attachment, but was scaled back to six stories in order to be eligible for a federal tax credit.

(A rendering compares the height of the proposed apartment complex at 78 S. Division Ave. to neighboring buildings.)

The building at 76 S. Division Ave. was created in the late 1800s as a commercial facility. A quarter of the building was demolished in 1929 when the city widened Division Avenue.

A one-story section to the north was replaced by a parking lot several decades ago, according to the historic preservation commission. The proposed expansion would take over that north-side parking lot.

(An undated courtesy photo included in the Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission’s agenda packet shows the historic building at 76 S. Division Ave., which a developer wants to expand into an apartment complex.)

Heartside Ministry purchased the former home of Tini Bikini’s Bar & Grill in July 2014, selling it to Brookstone Capitol years later, city property records show.