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Tuesday, 28 February 2012 14:39

GR Urban Market names board; Restaurant Week GR dates moved

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GRAND RAPIDS — Grand Action and the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority today announced a board of directors to oversee the development of the Urban Market planned for the former Sonneveldt site. The announcement was made at its annual Experience Grand Rapids luncheon at the JW Marriot.

The board includes:

  • George Aquino, general manager for JW Marriot
  • Kayem Dunn of the Downtown Development Authority
  • Wayman Britt, assistant administrator for Kent County
  • John Green, principal at Locus Development
  • Lew Chamberlain, CEO of the West Michigan Whitecaps
  • Tom Coon, director of the MSU College of Argiculture and Natural Resources
  • Melissa DeVos, of the Windquest Group
  • Dirk Hoffius, attorney at Varnum LLP
  • Amy Ruis, owner at Art of the Table
  • Doug Small, president of Experience Grand Rapids.

The members will direct a nonprofit that will own and operate the market, including hiring a market director, facilities manager, vendor coordinator and other professional staff.

Partners in the project expect construction to start this spring with the market open by July 2013. The board expects to start a private fund raising campaign to raise the rest of funds needed to complete the project estimated at $28 million to $30 million. A private fund raising goal of roughly $12 million leverages about $15 million in public funds available through tax credits, grants and other sources, said Dick DeVos, co-chair of Grand Action.

Local chefs and farmers as well as many community business leaders were also on hand to promote the farm-to-table experience of locally produced food and other products. Chefs from the restaurants Grove, Six One Six, Amore and Reserve prepared a four-course meal with locally sourced products.

Small also announced that Restaurant Week GR has moved to August 15-25. A check for $26,393 was presented to the Grand Rapids Community College Secchia Culinary Institute on behalf of Experience Grand Rapids and the DDA from Restaurant Week 2011.

According to Small, 2011 was another record year of growth for tourism in Grand Rapids. Hotel revenue was up 10.9 percent for 2011 and visitors spent roughly $1 billion in Kent Country in 2010.

Read 2088 times Last modified on Sunday, 12 August 2012 13:09

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