THE OFFICE BUILDING AT 822 CHERRY SE, GRAND RAPIDS IS THE FORMER BUILDERS AND TRADERS EXCHANGE BUILDING WAS BEAUTIFULLY RENOVATED IN 2015 BY MALONE DEVELOPMENT.
A little about the history....
The Grand Rapids Builders and Traders Exchange built a brand new beautiful modern 2-story brick, glass and panel office building at 822 Cherry SE. According to the Grand Rapids Press, March 4, 1958, the building was designed by Donker Engineering and the construction was completed in 1959 by a corporation called Jedco, formed for the purpose by builder Cleave D. Barnes. The go-ahead to build the building was given by 70 members attending an evening dinner meeting of the Builders and Traders Exchange at the old Pantlind Hotel. Cost of the building was $195,000. It was to be 9,500 s.f. on two levels with brick, concrete block and steel frame construction. Parking for 54 cards was to be available in the blacktopped parking lot.
The Builders Exchange of Grand Rapids and West Michigan today has deep roots. One of the primary purposes of the organization is to made building plans for upcoming construction projects in the lower and upper peninsula available to members. Also this organization started the Grand Rapids Home Show. The first members were 8 masons who launched the Exchange at an October 1885 meeting of the Master Masons of Grand Rapids. The Exchange reformed in 1911 as the Builders & Traders Exchange of Grand Rapids. S.A. Norman, a building materials dealer located on Wealthy and Ionia Avenue, was elected the first President. That was the same year that the Furniture Manufacturers’ Association and the Association of Commerce formed. For 30 years, the Builders and Traders Exchange operated from basement quarters in the Association of Commerce Building on Ionia.
By 1959 when the new building at 822 Cherry SE opened, the original group of 8 masons had grown to over 400 members including architects, engineers and city officials. The building held offices for the Builders and Traders Exchange, as well as several members of the Exchange, including the GR Home Builders Association occupied offices there. Second floor was to be leased. They only occupied the building for a short time. The Exchange moved back to the Association of Commerce Building, citing as their reason that they needed more space to operate and that they wanted to get the association out of the rental business. The next move was to new larger and more accessible quarters built for that purpose and still in use in the convenient Cascade Road location, near the I-96 highway.
Today 822 Cherry SE is again renting out office space. It was beautifully renovated in 2015 by Malone Development and fits well with the other restored buildings here representing a variety of historic building styles.
Grand Rapids City Archives
Grand Rapids Press Archives
March 6, 1955, Grand Rapids Press
January 18, 1959 Grand Rapids Press
January 11, 1970 Grand Rapids Press