Vision Coming Together for South Arena Project

Posted at 12:18 PM, Apr 10, 2013
arena south

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– Plans are coming together as to how the area behind Van Andel Arena should look.

After months of collecting input for the community, the people behind the Arena South Project explained their vision to the Downtown Development Authority Wednesday. The plan is to attract more businesses and tenants to that area, all while making it flow better for vehicle traffic and people living and visiting there.

The plan is to include “mass” by adding tall buildings that can be used for living and retail space. Another idea being seriously considered is rerouting the US-131 ramps in order to flow better onto Fulton Street. That requires ongoing talks with the Michigan Department of Transportation. Another issue is parking.

“We are looking at creative ways to disguise parking, Sinking the parking to subterranian level or two in that area,” said Tom Nemitz, an architect with Cornerstone Architects. “That way we could increase usable square footage but provide that ever present need for parking.”

A final report is expected to be released to the city in May.