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Cordia Opens Doors to Traverse City Past, Future

October 21, 2013
Cordia Opens Doors to Traverse City Past, Future

For the first time in decades, a bustle fills the halls of Building 50’s north end – and The Ticker has an exclusive look inside.

The building is the centerpiece of the former Traverse City State Hospital and now the Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Built in 1885, the hospital was shuttered in 1989.

Boston-based Cordia Senior Living purchased the remaining as yet undeveloped north end from The Minervini Group, who has redeveloped other portions of the building into offices, residences, restaurants and shops. Redevelopment of the north end will mark the completion of the building’s historic renovation.

Cordia at Grand Traverse Commons will consist of 109 private senior residences, a spa, theatre, pub, art studios, and more within the 111,000 square foot club. The $30.7 million project is expected to generate fifty permanent full-time jobs (including the positions of Executive Director and General Manager, which have been filled by locals Linda Price and Nate Glidden, respectively).

A look inside today reveals peeling paint, long hallways and small rooms with the unmistakable feel of an early 20th century asylum (the former lobotomy room will become a two-bedroom suite).

Farmington Hills-based Cunningham-Limp is the general contractor for the (literally) historic undertaking. Project Manager Randy DeRuiter says activity will continue to ramp-up to a peak of 150 workers on-site -- working toward a common goal of an October 2014 opening.

Several local subcontractors are involved in the project, including Advantage Electric, Brayton Excavating, Hallmark Construction, Northern Analytics, Northern Restoration, Old Mission Windows, Quality Environmental, Spence Brothers Construction, and Story Roofing.

The project is no small task, considering:

The structure itself is a giant, old, deteriorating hulk that hasn’t been touched for more than twenty years. Floors and ceilings are virtually gone in certain areas, while sections in the best condition include walls more than two feet thick, with asbestos and lead paint found throughout the building. DeRuiter says many oversized dumpsters will eventually haul away concrete, twisted metal and rubbish – “hundreds of them, easy.”

The expectations for speed and quality are aggressive. Just twelve months from now, the space will showcase one of the most upscale and expansive senior living complexes in the Midwest. When asked about the pace of presales, Cordia CEO Karen Anderson says "early interest is very strong."

Mere reconstruction is one thing, but this project – like any redevelopment at the Grand Traverse Commons – must adhere to very strict historic preservation guidelines set and enforced by the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office. Following site visits and reviews of construction plans, the State has mandated that Cunningham-Limp maintain the style of any “historically important” features. Hundreds of new windows must replicate the original “mutton” pattern; a wood railing common through all hallways must be kept and restored when possible, or replicated when not; no new bricks will be introduced into the project, as those from former chimneys are being cleaned and re-used.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held this Wednesday at the site.

Click on the image at top to get an inside glimpse of Building 50’s north end today – and how it will appear once redeveloped as Cordia at Grand Traverse Commons.
 


Most Recent Comments

 
Linda Price on October 24, 2013 10:03am

Hello! It is thrilling to be a part of Cordia at Grand Traverse Commons and want to thank everyone for their well wishes, comments and questions! If you would like to receive information please call: 231-994-4004 ~ you may also email (me) Linda Price, Executive Director at lprice@cordia.biz or Nate Glidden, General Manager at nglidden@cordia.biz
I am pleased to share that the we are painstakingly salvaging the bricks and other parts of the building for use in this vibrant project.

J. P. Hall on October 22, 2013 8:54pm

I am hopeful that the insensitive comment about the lobotomy room in paragraph five will be removed from any future reference promoting this project. Any reference that refers insensitively to the sadnesses prior residents experienced as a result of circumstances over which they had no control and had to endure, most often endlessly, certainly are inappropriate in their current form and this context.

Ann Reed on October 22, 2013 1:26pm

What a wonderful use of this space. Special congratulations to Linda Price - they are very fortunate to have someone with her talent and enthusiasm on board. Can't wait to see it unfold.

Leslee Fritz on October 22, 2013 10:28am

Fantastic reuse of this building. This, along with existing condos and apartments, will make a wonderful community of people of multi-generations. How cool is that?

Congratulations to Linda Price and Nate Glidden. You will have a beautiful place in which to work and serve others. Best Wishes!

Vicki on October 22, 2013 9:23am

I am so thrilled about this!!! I also am very curious on cost & size of the apts. I am so grateful someone cares enough to save our history. The original architecture & craftsmanship is something that we don't often see nowadays. I hope they keep the tiled floor in the dining room area, the idea that that was all laid by hand was unbelievable & worthy of respect. The original gentlemen who had a hand in constructing these buildings deserve a little awe, gratitude & respect-as do the gentlemen with the monster task ahead of them. Thank you, ladies & gentlemen! Go, for it!!!! :)

Nancy on October 21, 2013 8:23pm

Any idea what the sticker price will be for these. Who do we contact for information?

Daniel on October 21, 2013 7:51pm

Yes, Jennifer. I'm so pleased your sister singlehandedly rescued the entire Grand Traverse Commons. She's amazing. Wait, who is she and what did she do, considering she wasnt even a member of the Commons board at any point? Funny!

Danielle on October 21, 2013 6:35pm

Katie, I think YOU need to read the article again. And I quote: "Hundreds of new windows must replicate the original “mutton” pattern; a wood railing common through all hallways must be kept and restored." Gee, that sounds to me like they have to keep the guard rail and windows. Truth is, I think the windows are beautiful from the exterior (ground level). Its having to look out of them every day with their obstructive slats that would grow tiresome. If you read my comment you would also know I praise the developers (you perhaps?) and think the place is going to be awesome when complete.

jennifertobinhaydock on October 21, 2013 6:29pm

Fantastic! I am really proud of Traverse City and my sister, architect Suzannah Tobin, for saving this historic place.

Katie on October 21, 2013 5:14pm

Danielle, read the story again, view the video and look at the new windows at the other end of the building. No one said anything about maintaining "creepy guard rails and windows." The replacement windows just have to look the same as the original paned ones (and those are "muntins," by the way; mutton comes from sheep). The wood railing is most likely the chair rail shown, which would have protected the walls from wheelchairs and gurneys. Be glad the original look will be maintained, as it has been on the rest of the building! Be glad it was saved from vandals and the wrecking ball!

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