Construction underway on adaptive reuse project in downtown Mason

Lincoln was president and the Civil War was being fought when the cornerstones were engraved for two buildings undergoing a 21st century makeover in downtown Mason.
In the late summer, Lansing's Kincaid Henry Building Group began redevelopment of the historically-sensitive and long-vacant Shopping Guide Buildings at 124 Ash Street. The end result will be a mixed-used project that includes new apartments and the home office of Oracle Financial Solutions.
"You can do things right and you can do the right thing," says Ryan Henry, chief operation officer for Kincaid Henry. "This is an example of doing the right thing with repurposing a historic structure."
The $2.75 million development is supported by the Michigan State Housing Development Agency Rental Rehabilitation Program, Michigan Economic Development Corporation Community Development Block Grants, and a Façade Grant from the City of Mason Downtown Development Authority. Dart Bank provided financing, with Capital Fund Title Services handling title insurance and settlement services.
"A lot of us joined together and said we really want to make this happen," says Henry. "Everyone agreed it would make sense to save and repurpose a derelict historic structure. It's become a successful model for redeveloping what we call 'historic white elephant' buildings in other cities and towns."
A ceremonial groundbreaking on September 23 followed construction that began earlier in the month. When completed, the project will offer 10 650- to 750-square-foot apartments on the second floor, with Oracle occupying the entire ground level and a repurposed conference room on the third floor.
"The building used to be a meeting place for the International Order of Odd Fellows," says Henry. "Oracle liked that so much that they wanted to redo and preserve the meeting spot on the third floor that overlooks the courthouse."
Henry anticipates a May 2015 ribbon cutting for the Ash Street property. About 100 to 150 workers will be involved in reconstructing the site. The project is the first of many that Kincaid Henry is working on in various downtowns across Michigan.
Source: Ryan Henry, Kincaid Henry Building Group
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor
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