Jonathan Rooks Bringing New Life to Old Factory

Developer Jonathan Rooks can’t wait to take the old Shaw Walker factory and make it into something new for Muskegon. The developer plans to transform the space into condos and apartments, and may even include a rooftop pool and restaurant in the space for residents to enjoy.

Formerly owned by P&G Holdings, a part of the space has already been transformed into residents, a Coffee Factory restaurant, and the Watermark 920 event center. Still, with 700,000 feet undeveloped, there’s more room for positive change.

Rooks plans to close on the property no later than November 25th, following a sale date no later than October 25th.

Of the quick turnaround, Rooks said, “This project is really challenging. It’s also challenging to close that fast.”

Some issues with the building could be costly to fix, according to Rooks. One of the most concerning problems with the structure is possible vapor intrusion. Water pressure issues could also be a problem, and Rooks believes that fire protection repairs could be an issue as well. Rooks estimates that it will cost about $150,000 to remedy all of the issues with the building, and the developer has asked the city to chip in $50,000 towards making the building into something new.

Rooks is known in the area for his development of the VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center, the Terrace Point Landing subdivision on Muskegon Lake, and the Highpoint Flats apartments.

Mayor Ken Johnson is excited about Rooks working on the property.

Johnson said, “I’m really appreciative that you’re exploring taking on this challenge. As a resident of the Nims Neighborhood, I see it in its current sad state, and I hear it a lot from residents about how that site has languished and has been an eyesore and has been a hazard and safety concern as well.”

Commissioner Michael Ramsey had similar sentiments.

“Fortunately, or unfortunately, the bar at this property is set really low so you show up and cut the grass and I’ll bet people will clap for you when you walk down the street,” Ramsey said.

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