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Old Citizens Building in downtown Howell getting new owners, new name, new look

The iconic Citizens Building on Grand River Avenue in downtown Howell — once the headquarters of one of Livingston County’s largest employers — will be drastically modernized and enhanced to become the 645 Building, a space for multi-tenant and medical offices.

“We’re really excited,” said Joe Schimizzi, principal of Acquira Realty Holdings of Novi. “We’ve been investing in the Livingston County area for a number of years. This is a tremendous opportunity.”

The 645 Building project is in active design phase, and Schimizzi said exterior construction should begin in the early fall.

The rear of the old Citizens building.

One of the biggest changes will be the addition of a two-story atrium in the rear parking lot that will include an elevator and canopy for easier access in and out of the building.

In the front, Schimizzi said the integrity of the ramp will be maintained but modernized with a new railing, and the landscaping will be “drastically enhanced.”

Other improvements, which will begin in the winter, include renovating and modernizing the front lobby, replacing the interior mechanicals, and improving the interior office spaces.

In addition to the 645 Building, Acquira Realty Holdings owns the Heart of Howell building (home of the popular 2FOGs Pub), and the CrossPointe Building, located next to the Saint Jospeh Mercy Livingston Woodland Health Center in Brighton.

The 645 Building was most recently home to Keller Williams Realty.

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Journalist Maria Stuart worked at The Livingston County Press/Livingston County Daily Press & Argus as a reporter, editor and managing editor from 1990-2009. These days, she runs The Livingston Post.

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