Preserving the past



Standing at the corner of First and Muskegon Streets, the former Huntington Bank Building is an iconic downtown Muskegon structure. The building was originally constructed in 1962 for National Lumberman’s Bank (Muskegon’s oldest financial institution at the time) and featured Michigan’s first rooftop helipad. After sitting vacant for a number of years, John Essex and the team at Core Development  stepped in to preserve the original structure and this piece of downtown Muskegon history. 

Core has invested in several projects in downtown Muskegon, including NorthTown 794. The team hopes to bring the same synergy of NorthTown to the new Core Plaza Building through a mix of restaurants, retail, corporate offices, and coworking space. 

The restoration is centered on creating the Lumberman’s Vault, a Food Collective plus bar that will overlook West Webster Avenue as well as preserving many original features such as the bank vault, safety deposit boxes, newspaper clippings, and construction photos.

In May 1859, Muskegon County’s first bank, National Lumberman’s Bank, was established by Captain T.J. Rand. In 1872, Rand acquired a national charter for the bank. His son-in-law, A.V. Mann (pictured), became president after Captain Rand’s death and led National Lumberman’s for the next twenty-two years.


Construction begins on the new National Lumberman's Bank building. Pictured is the former building and the start of construction.


National Lumberman’s Bank opens a new six-story headquarters building at the corner of First Street and Muskegon Street in downtown Muskegon.


National Lumberman’s Bank changes its name to FMB - Lumberman’s Bank.


FMB - Lumberman’s Bank merges with Huntington National Bank. FMB-Lumberman’s Bank was Muskegon’s oldest bank at the time of the merger.


Huntington National Bank operates within the building from 1997 - 2017.


John Essex and Core Development purchase the property for redevelopment into a mixed-used space.

About the Core Plaza Building

Core Plaza will feature a mix of restaurant, retail/boutique space, offices, and coworking space over six different floors. The first floor will house Lumberman’s Vault Food Collective, while the second floor overlooking The Vault will feature a variety of retailers and boutiques. The third and fourth floors will house the headquarters of Core Realty and Brickley DeLong. Coworking spaces will be available for short-term and long-term leases on the fifth floor, and the sixth floor will be the headquarters for Next I.T., a Valeo Networks Company.