Build Well, Live Simply


2731 East Grand River Howell, MI



Owning commercial real estate during the last half dozen years has been an interesting experience, to say the least. This small building on the east side of Howell was originally built in the 1960's and has housed several businesses, most recently a print shop. The new Owner purchased the building with a tentative commitment from a tenant planning to open a bicycle shop.


A New Look

The Owner needed to renovate the building to make it more distinctive and competitive in today's market. In today's competitive real estate market, commercial buildings that have not stayed current are at a big disadvantage and generate little interest from prospective tenants.

The design for the facade, with a galvanized steel canopy was meant to evoke the speed and mechanical design of a bicycle.


The Bike Shop - Almost

The design and construction of the new exterior proceeded smoothly, but then things started to get interesting.

First, the economy crashed in the fall of 2008 and the prospective tenant took a pause and waited a year before deciding to proceed with the bike shop.

Then, part way through the process of getting the store open, the shop owner suffered a heart attack. While he survived, he reassessed his life and decided against opening a bike shop.


The Grow Shop

After the building continued to sit unoccupied, a tenant finally appeared and the building opened as Superior Growers Supply.

Despite high hopes, the store never really generated much business and closed well before the lease expired.


The Fitness Studio

The grow shop tenant subleased (with the building ownere's approval) the space to Tyler and Kevin, who relocated their TruFit fitness studio to the space. Only minor modifications were needed to bring the building up to code for a fitness studio. They also brought in several other fitness instructors, offering yoga study and spinning classes.

So after five years, it was only fitting that a building originally designed as a bike shop should be home to spinning claases. Hopefully the new tenant will be there a long time.


2731 East Grand River - Before (above) and after (below)



Preliminary Design




Construction Drawings for New Facade

(Sorry about the image quality, but the images have been reduced from 24"x36")





Renovations for Fitness Studio