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Wednesday, 09 August 2017 13:37

DDA approves Grand Rapids movie theater project

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DDA approves Grand Rapids movie theater project COURTESY RENDERING

GRAND RAPIDS — The board of the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority today voted unanimously to support a new development agreement that could result in a new mixed-use entertainment district in the Arena South district.

As MiBiz first reported yesterday, Grand Rapids-based Jackson Entertainment LLC and other development partners plan a project of at least $110 million on the site of two existing surface parking lots immediately south of the Van Andel Arena.

Plans call for a nine-screen movie theater, 98 residential units with a 10-year option to build at least a 10-story tower with at least 100 more units, office and retail space, a public plaza, between 750 and 900 parking spots, and an extension of Ottawa Avenue SW to Cherry Street.

J.D. Loeks, principal with Jackson Entertainment, said the company intends to build smaller apartments initially to promote housing affordability. He said the company could explore the opportunity to add condominium units in the second phase.

The Grand Rapids City Commission still needs to approve the development agreement. If all goes to plan, the project could break ground in the fall, with the first phase opening within two years.

Kris Larson, president and CEO of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., the organization that administers the DDA, noted at today’s meeting that the initial first phase of $110 million makes this project the most significant investment in downtown since the construction of the J.W. Marriott hotel.

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