Kat Dodge, left, and Michelle Besemer, employees of 24G, a digital marketing company that operates in the renovated Thunderbird Lanes bowling alley on Maple Road, take care of their clients’ business as Sara McGuire, back, takes a break and bowls on one of the 10 bowling lanes preserved in the space.

Kat Dodge, left, and Michelle Besemer, employees of 24G, a digital marketing company that operates in the renovated Thunderbird Lanes bowling alley on Maple Road, take care of their clients’ business as Sara McGuire, back, takes a break and bowls on one of the 10 bowling lanes preserved in the space.

File photo provided by 24G


Chamber honors best of Troy

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published January 23, 2018

TROY — The Troy Chamber of Commerce once again has recognized investments in bricks-and-mortar businesses that make Troy striking — including renovation projects at two bowling alleys. 

This year’s Best of Troy award-winning projects include renovations of existing buildings and three new constructions. The new projects are Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, Fidelity Investments and Sedona Taphouse. 

The other honorees are Escape, formerly Troy Lanes; 24G, formerly Thunderbird Lanes; and Massage Luxe. 

Jessica Minnick, director of communications for the Troy Chamber of Commerce, said there were over 40 nominations this year. She explained that a committee visited each property. 

Tracie Greene, director of events for the Troy Chamber of Commerce, said the committee looked at function, uniqueness, use of space, aesthetics and the “wow factor.”

“The businesses, companies and organizations made a true investment into the city of Troy,” she said. 

The iconic Thunderbird Lanes, constructed in 1957 on Maple Road, west of Livernois Road — where the TV show “Beat the Champ” was filmed — is now home to a digital marketing company, 24G, with a client list that includes Google LLC, Volkswagen of America, Nike Inc. and Microsoft Corp. 

Scott Wiemels, co-founder and CEO of 24G, said he started the business in the basement of his Royal Oak home 10 years ago. They later expanded and renovated a former feed store on 14 Mile Road in Clawson, and then expanded into a former dental office.

Wiemels explained that he purchased Thunderbird Lanes in January 2016 when it was in receivership, and he spent 19 months and just over $1 million to renovate the 44,000-square-foot building into workspaces, preserving 10 bowling lanes and repurposing the wood from the other lanes and the material used in the tabletops. 

Troy Lanes changed its name to Escape and converted its traditional 40-lane center into a center that has 30 bowling lanes; a 3,300-square-foot, two-level laser tag arena; a 28-game arcade room; and a pub/restaurant with 24 beer taps.

Massage Luxe is part of a FedEx Office Print & Ship Center that decided to downsize and was looking for a tenant. The buildout included new floors, new bathrooms, a new employee room, a new music system, nine massage rooms and an esthetician room. 

The new, two-story Fidelity Investments building is part of a mixed-use center at 888 W. Big Beaver Road, east of Crooks Road. 

Unicorp President Charles Whittall told the Planning Commission last February that the company was investing $150 million in the mixed-use site at 888 W. Big Beaver Road. He said it would include a five-story apartment building, a decorative internal street, retail space, and Shake Shack, Yard House and Seasons 52 restaurants. 

Darden, owner of the Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Olive Garden restaurant chains, demolished an existing three-story, 9,941-square-foot office building on Big Beaver Road, west of Crooks Road,  to construct a free-standing Eddie V’s Prime Seafood restaurant. 

The high-end restaurant incorporates a two-story entry feature; a fountain; a fin design; and a large, circular drive with valet parking service in the front of the restaurant. 

Sedona Taphouse sits on the site of a former one-story insurance company office on Big Beaver Road, east of Livernois Road, which was razed to construct the 5,100-square-foot restaurant, complete with a rooftop patio. 

The businesses will be honored at a breakfast Jan. 31. 

Jeff Mason, CEO of the Michigan Department of Economic Development, is scheduled to be the keynote speaker.