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 Matt Desantos and Alex Kocoves, the president and CEO of Farmington Hills-based GLP Financial Group, respectively, stand outside their soon-to-be new headquarters at the historic Farmington State Savings Bank building.

Matt Desantos and Alex Kocoves, the president and CEO of Farmington Hills-based GLP Financial Group, respectively, stand outside their soon-to-be new headquarters at the historic Farmington State Savings Bank building.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Historical Farmington bank building sold to local financial group

By: Jonathan Shead | Farmington Press | Published February 3, 2020

 The historical Farmington State Savings Bank, 33335 Grand River Ave., was recently purchased for $2.6 million by Farmington Hills-based GLP Financial Group.

The historical Farmington State Savings Bank, 33335 Grand River Ave., was recently purchased for $2.6 million by Farmington Hills-based GLP Financial Group.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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FARMINGTON — After roughly 12 years of city officials and the Downtown Development Authority hoping an investor would pursue revitalizing the historical Farmington State Savings Bank building, at the corner of Grand River Avenue and Farmington Road, the building has finally been sold.

Farmington Hills-based GLP Financial Group bought the property from the seller, Farmington Holding Co., represented by Managing Partner David Cornwell, for $2.6 million.

GLP Financial Group is a 50-year-old financial firm, according to its website.

The building dates back to 1921, when it was originally home to the Farmington State Savings Bank. It was sold to NBD — now known as Chase Bank — in 1950.

Chase Bank eventually moved out, and the building sat vacant for a number of years before it was converted into retail shops in the 1970s. Farmington Holding Co. took over management in 1975 and became a partner 10 years later. Today, the partners and sellers of the property said they are excited the property will “be given a new lease on life.”

“(We) are optimistic that the proposed redevelopment of the property will be as positive for downtown Farmington as the original development was nearly 100 years ago,” Cornwell stated in a news release.

GLP Financial President Matt Desantos said the company was looking for something “more unique” than a run-of-the-mill boxed office space. GLP Financial CEO Alex Kocoves added that the company is interested in helping to invest in and further establish downtown Farmington.

“We saw this and thought, ‘Look at the potential — not only for the building itself, but for downtown Farmington,’” Kocoves said. “If we can do something that makes this a centerpiece … it’ll help the traffic, help build the community and hopefully raise the value and make Farmington more popular and a better place.”

DDA Director Kate Knight said she’s delighted to welcome the company into the space for that reason.

“When we talked about the pending Farmington Road streetscape and those improvements being part of our incentive for whoever wanted to buy that property, they were very enthusiastic about that,” Knight said. “They see the value of what’s happened on Grand River and are able to visualize the opportunities that could develop.”

The company’s plans for the building include stripping the building down to its original stone material and adding more windows to allow more natural light. The inside, they said, will be almost entirely gutted and redeveloped to meet their needs.

The company has hired Biddison Architecture, in Birmingham, for the work.

Phase one of the development will solely focus on reconstructing the main bank building. Phase two will include investments in the other three retail spaces bought with the acquisition to foster business growth. Phase three — while far out, Kocoves said — may include the development of residential spaces above the bank.

Businesses stationed in the Village Mall currently will have to vacate the property. Desantos said they’ve worked with everyone in the building to try to find them another space nearby — or at least in downtown Farmington.

“We’ve accommodated just about everyone in terms of at least showing them an option of what they could have,” he said. “Then they made a decision about where to go, and some are staying within the property itself.”

“The plan was, we wanted to keep as many as possible, because they’re our neighbors. If we couldn’t keep them, we’re trying to promote them to stay in downtown Farmington,” Kocoves added.

The DDA is assisting with relocating, too, Knight said. The DDA was approved for a $2,500 grant — which it will match — that businesses, especially those affected by the move, can apply for to help them find a new home within the downtown district.

Both Knight and the GLP Financial executives said they’re aware of parking concerns that may arise from the move. They’re working together on creative ways to mitigate any forthcoming issues.

Kocoves said they anticipate construction to start in March or April, at the latest. He was told construction for the first phase should take roughly six-nine months, which would potentially put their opening sometime between September and January 2021.

For more information, visit downtownfarmington.org or contact GLP Financial Group at (248) 489-0101.

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