TRAVERSE CITY — A local development group purchased a high-profile commercial property on east Front Street that houses Chase Bank and several nonprofit agencies.
Business partners Snowden Development and the Miller Investment Company bought the four-story Chase Bank building at 250 E. Front. The deal also includes a parcel adjacent to the Chase building, a Chase drive-through structure on State Street and two parking lots.
The new owners on Monday said they will upgrade the property and there are no plans to evict tenants or raise rental rates.
“We are basically going to be redeveloping an older building downtown ... so that it’s more compatible with the location,” said Jerry Snowden, of Snowden Development.
The project, Snowden said, will offer “new retail and office opportunities at this corner, which is close to the parking deck, close to the courthouse and close to the Park Place Hotel. It’s the perfect location.”
The Miller Investment Group invested in other commercial buildings at high-profile intersections in the Traverse City area, including the Westport building at M-22 and Carter Road and the Bayview Professional Centre at M-72 and M-22.
“There are already some great tenants in the (Chase) building and we would like to keep them,” said Adam Miller, partner in Miller Investments. “They want to have a landlord investing in the property they are renting.
“That corner is really becoming the new Main and Main with the State Theatre and all the great restaurants in the area,” Miller said.
Several tenants said they were excited the property is now locally owned. The previous owner, according to Traverse City assessment records, is EFN Traverse City Property LLC, based out of Westmont, Ill.
“We are pleased to have local ownership,” said Phil Ellis, executive director of the The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, which is based in the Chase building. “We look forward to a great relationship and anticipate this will be great for our community and certainly for us as a foundation.”
Emilee Syrewicze is executive director of the Northwest Michigan Supportive Housing agency, located on the third floor of the Chase building. She said the sale “is, from a downtown development perspective, exciting.”
“Anytime someone wants to do something towards revitalizing our downtown, I think it’s commendable,” Syrewicze said.
Chase Bank Community President Doug Wolf said the bank will continue serving customers at 250 E. Front and its nearby drive-through.
“They have already demonstrated their commitment to Traverse City and I’m very pleased with the fact they bought the building,” Wolf said. “We’ve been here almost 30 years. This is one of the nicest things that has happened on this corner.”