GRAND RAPIDS — 616 Development LLC and Loeks Theaters Inc. today detailed plans for a multi-phase, $140 million mixed-use development in the Arena South District of downtown Grand Rapids.
The initial $100 million phase will include the Grand Rapids-based Celebration Cinema constructing a nine-screen movie theater concept dubbed “Studio C.” The proposed development also includes 38,000 square feet of retail, 187 residential units, an outdoor public plaza and a 900-space parking deck, or about 300 more spots than currently exist at the site.
The proposed development site includes two surface parking lots — known as Areas 4 and 5 — bounded by Oakes Street and Cherry Street as well as Ionia Avenue and the Business U.S. 131 off ramp.
“Our goal right now is to activate the site from corner to corner,” 616 Development’s Director of Development Jeff Olsen told reporters at a news conference today.
The developer hopes to break ground on the first phase in early 2017.
Olsen said plans for the second phase tower call for an additional 150 residential units. The company expects to release further details about that phase at a later date.
Loeks initially proposed the theater back in 2012 but pushed back plans as the company addressed financing issues and parking concerns. He told reporters today that he realized he needed to think bigger with the project, noting the theater and mixed-use facility project needed to be part of a “game-changing development.”
The developers will seek the approval of the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority — which owns the two lots — at a board meeting at 8 a.m., Friday, April 15.
“During nearly four years of collaboration with the development team, we’ve worked to ensure the proposed theatre project also meets the community’s city building goals of good urban design, more and better parking, improved public spaces and residential density,” Andy Guy, chief outcomes officer of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., said in a statement. DGRI is the public-private agency overseeing the DDA.