Downtown Muskegon's Revitalized Hamilton Apartments Combine History, Comfort And Convenience

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Muskegon's Hamilton Apartments merge art deco styling with 21st century amenities. Recent renovations protected the historic building while making it more attractive to renters.

Ottawa County investment partners David R. Gregersen and Blake P. Hotz have restored Muskegon's historic Hamilton Apartments to their original grandeur as the downtown area continues its rapid overall improvement.

In 1929, local captain of industry Thomas Bennett, of Bennett Pump fame, erected the Hamilton Apartments to fill the need for a high-end apartments catering to the Muskegon elite. The 17,000 square foot Building at 81 Hamilton was showing signs of its age until Gregersen and Hotz decided to purchase and restore the structure in April 2009.

The duo decided to make the downtown landmark an attractive component of ongoing downtown revitalization. "We invested in renovations inside and out," Gregersen noted, "we addressed the terrace, the front steps, the surrounding landscaping and even installed a period wrought iron fence. Inside, we made a point of restoring the original marble and hardwood floors. They look better today than they did in 1929."

The new Hamilton Apartments have been updated to meet the expectations of today's renters, but Gregersen was quick to explain, "We did everything with the original beauty of the building in mind. We wanted to maintain the history and essence of this great building while making it a completely modern environment." He describes the renovated apartments as a "combination of Art Deco and 21st century living."

The decision to revitalize the Hamilton apartments stemmed, in large measure, from the surrounding progress in Muskegon. "The location has always been fantastic," Hotz observed. "It's within walking distance of the Muskegon Lake waterfront and the cross-lake ferry. The building is so close to parks, beaches, concerts, special events, festivals and trails. It's just an ideal spot that keeps getting better and better."

The improvement stems from over $80 million in area development over the last decade. The Baker Culinary Art School, the Muskegon Smart Zone and Heritage Landing, Hot Rod Harley and other new businesses are injecting new life into the area.

Hotz and Gregersen are excited about the prospects for the new Hamilton Apartments. "We've managed to create something that merges history with comfort, convenience and affordability. These are amazing apartments and they're within blocks of museums, restaurants, Hackley Park, a historic library and Walker Sports Arena," Hotz stated. "The Hamilton is close to the hospital, local government offices and the post office. It's right at the heart of everything and we think that makes it an incredibly attractive choice for renters."

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David R. Gregersen
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