Step Closer to Seeing Arena South Project a Reality

Posted at 12:10 PM, May 08, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-08 12:10:23-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– It’s another step in seeing Downtown Grand Rapids expand. The Downtown Development Authority plans to start making room in their budget for smaller enhancements that will help bring the Arena South Project to life.

Right now, it’s the parking lot area behind Van Andel arena and across the street from Peppinos. But developers and the Downtown Development Authority can already see the plans becoming more concrete.

Now begins the process to know exactly what will go into making the Arena South Project come to life. That’s the creation of new residential, commercial and retail space, outlined in two conceptual scenarios, estimated to cost between $350 – $675 million.

To establish the ultimate vision, smaller projects will have to start coming together, like trials and plazas. And in june, those projects will start showing up in the DDA’s budget.

All this is important because it’s now giving the DDA a playbook or guidelines as they move forward with the project.

“There’s a lot of little things that have to occur,” said Kristopher Larson, of the Downtown Development Authority. “There are hundreds of actions that have to occur to help to implement the division as it was dreamed from the community. This really begins to set that playbook for us to figure out how to march it on the field.”

Ideally, the Downtown Development Authority would like to link the new Downtown Market with the new Arena South Project.

“It’s a high priority,” said Larson. “There’s a perception that there’s too long of an expanse between the Ionia corridor and the new Market. Its really not that far. If you walk it it’s about a seven minute walk from Hopcat to the Downtown Market. It’s really what’s around you that makes that walk feel so large and expansive.”

How to incorporate more shops and attractions along that route will be the subject of meetings to come.