Show/Hide Menu

From Bank Building to Veterinary Office

Anyone who has lived in a place long enough can remember all the various ways in which their neighborhood has changed. Storefronts come and go, restaurants change hands, parking lots turn into high rises. This is a natural part of living in the city.

Commercial real estate brokers have a 3-dimensional view of the world. They remember not only the businesses but also unique details about the property’s history.

6225 42nd Ave N
One such property is 6225 42nd Avenue North in Crystal. Built in 1979, this 6,800 square foot property was originally the location of Crystal State Bank. Its corner lot allowed cars to go through the bank’s drive-thru.

The property was eventually sold and used by Hunt Electric as a lighting showroom. Then in 1999 the property was refurbished into an office for Grace Management, a company which specialized in building and maintaining senior communities.

A Turn of Events
Grace Management did very well at the location and eventually outgrew their space. The owner contacted Ron Scholder at The Ackerberg Group in hopes of selling the property.

Ron originally marketed the property as a traditional office. “It had several great amenities already in place,” explains Ron. “Conference room, break room, production room. It was a great property with lots of potential.”

But instead came an entrepreneurial and surprising threesome. Jenna Buley, a veterinarian from Milwaukee, along with William and Gregory Frahm-Gilles, had a vision. They wanted to build a new veterinary concept, walk-in clinic and urgent care center that would provide affordable and accessible pet care to the community.

After a few negotiations between the buyer and the seller, the property sold on October 27 of 2017. Access Veterinary Care was born.

Redesigning the Floor Plan

After the sale, 6225 42nd Avenue went through an amazing transformation.

Originally the main floor was filled with cubicles. Greg, the vet business owner and developer explains, “The property appealed to us because of the absence of structural columns on the main floor. This gave us the flexibility to design the space the way we wanted.”

First the team partitioned off the main floor to create a lobby in the front and storage section in back. This allotted a space for treatment tables, pharmacy, in-house laboratory and staff work stations. Then they built a second wall to create a space for dog kennels and washing machines. These modifications still left them plenty of floor space for dogs on leashes to move about safely and securely.

The Exam Rooms

The second benefit to the property was that it had a full basement. This allowed the owners to run plumbing into every room on the upstairs main level. The basement made this process much easier than if the building had been a slab-on-grade design where plumbing would have to be trenched in the concrete.

The private window offices were converted into exam rooms. These rooms are fun, spirited and reflect the personality of the owners. Each room has a different color and Minnesota theme:

  1. The blue room represents Steger, Bancroft and Schurke, a trio of Minnesotans who were the first to lead a dog sled team to the North Pole.
  2. The red room represents Judy Garland who was born in Minnesota. This room is decorated with pictures of Dorothy from Wizard of Oz and her ruby slippers.
  3. The purple room presents Prince, whose iconic face is stenciled on the wall.
  4. And the green room reflects cats. Because cats need no introduction.

Each door frame is painted its respective color giving the hallway a fun and inviting atmosphere for guests and their pets.

The Operating Room
The part of the bank that once held the main drive-thru window is now an operating room. The long horizontal format is the perfect shape for an operating table. And the original teller window is still there, it’s just covered by a curtain.

The drive-thru canopy remains and is appreciated by customers. Pet owners often park in this space and it certainly helps those elderly and recovering “patients” who need protection from the elements.

Grand Opening 
The vet office opened for business in 2018 and immediately drew an array of clientele both 2 and 4-legged.

As a former city economic development director, Gregory Frahm-Gilles appreciates the value of protecting assets that are already there. This includes developing existing real estate and providing services to urban communities. He explained, “Given the mission of the business, it was vital that we were seen as integrating into the community rather than trying to transform it and gentrify the area. Renovating an existing asset supports the idea that this great community has buildings that are worth enhancing. We love when people say that we are in the ‘old bank’ because it’s a demonstration that the building meant something to them.”

Access Veterinary Care also does community outreach where they provide vet care to people experiencing financial distress who might not otherwise be able to afford vet care. “Veterinary care is expensive — we know that. It’s important to us that as we grow a more sustainable business, we also connect with those experiencing distress or have barriers to accessing our services. We want to be a place where everyone is welcome.”

For more information about Access Veterinary’s services and community outreach, visit

Ron Scholder, SIOR
Senior Real Estate Consultant & Agent

“I work with companies who want to consolidate or expand their owned or leased real estate by providing them with informed market knowledge and negotiating experience. I have over 30 years of experience and hope to put it to work for you!”


Danielle Gamble
Posted January 15, 2019

Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviors. Keep your behaviors positive because your behaviors become your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.

Mahatma Gandhi