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Troy Chamber selects best of best

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published December 23, 2013

 These altars at the Bharatiya Temple feature hand-carved marble and were part of a $16 million, seven-year expansion.

These altars at the Bharatiya Temple feature hand-carved marble and were part of a $16 million, seven-year expansion.

Photo by Deb Jacques


The Troy Chamber of Commerce recently recognized investments in bricks and mortar made by those who provide space to work, play and worship in Troy.

The Best of Troy awards recognize completed construction projects that best exemplify financial investment and aesthetic enhancement within the city, said Tom Krent, who served as the 2013 Best of Troy chair. Krent also serves on the Troy Planning Commission.

“We know how vital these investments are to the continuing prosperity of our city,” Krent said.

“The chamber solicited nominations from the community and obtained a list of completed construction projects from the city of Troy,” said Jaimi Brook, director of events for the Troy Chamber of Commerce. “Committees comprised of chamber members reviewed the nominations, narrowed them down, and the at-large committee visited all the selected finalists to make the final selections.”

Looking at 46 properties to come up with the eight honorees for this year’s awards, the committee based its decision on function, use of space, uniqueness, aesthetics and overall “wow” factor, Krent said.

This year’s winners are AirTime Trampoline & Game Park, The Bharatiya Temple, Doeren Mayhew, Midcoast Studio, Steelhouse Tavern, United Shore Financial Services and ViSalus. The Green Award is being presented to O’Brien Construction.

AirTime Trampoline & Game Park, a place that has proved popular with local youth, converted 27,000 square feet of retail space into an entertainment center that features trampolines, dodge ball, a mosh pit and basketball hoops.

Owner Pam Wannemacher said she and her husband, Will, plan to expand their business to locations in Sterling Heights, Novi and Taylor using the same business model of renovating vacant retail space.

“We like high-visibility areas near shopping areas, where parents can drop off their kids in a safe environment and go shopping,” she said. She added that the Troy location is adding a dodge ball court in a couple of weeks.

The Bharatiya Temple, on Adams, recently completed a seven-year, $16 million expansion, bringing the facility to more than 60,000 square feet that includes three 60-foot towers. The place of worship now accommodates 600 people and features gathering space throughout the facility for community meetings and special events. Use of hand-carved marble throughout the temple aims to represent purity, beauty and strength of character.

Doeren Mayhew purchased the Columbia Center II building and extensively renovated it over the last two years to accommodate the growing staff. Improvements include a grand staircase, a lobby garden and a “Rat Pack” inspired lounge.

Midcoast Studio renovated a 3,200-square-foot photography studio with two loft areas, custom woodwork and desk spaces sourced in Michigan, and a large studio with a garage door to allow for full-size vehicles to be photographed on site.

Steelhouse Tavern opened in April in renovated space the Wellington Pub once occupied on Rochester and Long Lake roads. The eatery is known for its chicken pot pie and hand-cut steaks. The bar serves as the focal point in the restaurant, and there’s also a patio with a fire pit. 

United Shore Financial Services combined many offices into a national headquarters in Troy. The 140,000-square-foot building features exposed ductwork and beams, lounge furniture, 23 conference rooms named for surrounding cities and street signs that designate departments.

“We wanted to create an amazing place for our people that would excite and inspire them,” Mat Ishbia, USFS president and CEO, said in a prepared statement. “Great people in a great location is a formula that’s tough to beat. We’re honored to earn the recognition as a Best of Troy.”

ViSalus remodeled a 65,000- square-foot space that features unique seating areas designed to encourage collaboration in a cool and stimulating environment.

O’Brien Construction relocated its headquarters from Pontiac to Troy and employed many green features, such as rain barrels, swales, geothermal heating and cooling, an electric car charging station, and solar lighting. The centerpiece of the executive meeting room is a conference table made entirely of wood taken from a deconstructed Hamtramck home.

The winning businesses were honored at the Holiday Luncheon and Best of Troy Presentation Dec. 18.