Cranes along the skyline: Changes to enhance GR cityskape

Posted at 10:49 PM, Sep 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-09 22:49:10-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- You’ve likely seen large cranes towering over the city’s downtown skyline if you’ve driven in Grand Rapids recently. This weekend we found out what type of work is being done and when it will be finished.

The projects are set to make the downtown area bigger and better.

“So we’re in one of the largest construction booms in downtown Grand Rapids history,” said Tim Kelly, president of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. “We’re close to 3/4 of a billion dollars in development either under construction or planned to happen in the near future.”

Construction of the Warner office tower is well underway and the Hyatt Place Hotel, once completed, will have 160 rooms.

“Right now we’re finishing up we’re finishing up our last vertical columns,” said Jeff Smigielski of Orion Construction. “In a week or so we’ll be putting the roof on.”

Both of these projects should be completed by the summer of 2019.

Meanwhile, the Studio Place project in underway next to Van Andel Arena.

“Studio Park is going to be a very easy place for people coming in from the outskirts of the city to find easy parking and also navigate everything that’s around here,” said Emily Loeks, of Studio C Public Relations. It will have a movie theater, a piazza, hotel and apartments; along with a parking ramp,” she said. This is going to be an incredible place for people to find a landing spot in the city. It’s right in the heart of the city."

The planning director for the City of Grand Rapids reported about $50 million in projects from 2007-2013.

“We’ve had 21 projects over 10 million dollars happening in the past couple years,” Loeks said.

The Amway Grand Hotel is also expected to see some revamping. Their facelift project will start in January and should be done by fall 2019. Also on the way, a 42 million dollar Embassy Suites Hotel.

“The Amway Grand Plaza, we’re putting new glass on the entire facade of that,” said Tim Kelly. “It’s safe to say that investors see our core city as a safe place to invest business.”