Grand Valley State buys Barden building for charter school HQ

Grand Valley State University is taking a high-visibility stake in downtown Detroit, acquiring the 3-story Barden Companies building at 136 Madison St. The building is next to the Detroit Athletic Club and overlooks the infield of Comerica Park. Grand Valley State University will use the circa 1908 structure to house offices and support space for the university’s Charter School Office. The university oversees 24 charter schools in Metro Detroit, many of which are in the city.

"It's our long-term plan to put a couple of classrooms in the building and use it for our in-service education," says Matt McLogan, vice president for university relations at Grand Valley State University.

Grand Valley State University purchased the building for $3 million from Waycor Development Company, the real-estate development arm for the late Don Barden's family of businesses. Barden was a pillar of Detroit's business community, owning successful businesses in cable TV and casinos among other ventures. He passed away last year.

Grand Valley State University plans to begin renovating the building this year, remodeling it to accommodate classrooms and make it complaint with the American Disabilities Act, among other improvements.

Source: Matt McLogan, vice president for university relations at Grand Valley State University
Writer: Jon Zemke

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