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Tuesday, 24 April 2018 11:25

Studio Park development receives $5.5 million in state loan support

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Renderings show Jackson Entertainment’s proposed Studio Park movie theater project south of Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. Renderings show Jackson Entertainment’s proposed Studio Park movie theater project south of Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. COURTESY RENDERING

LANSING –– The state has approved a loan for the developers of the mixed-use Studio Park project in downtown Grand Rapids.

The board of the Michigan Strategic Fund agreed to provide a $5.5 million performance-based loan from the state’s Michigan Community Revitalization Program to developers Jackson Entertainment LLC. The loan will cover approximately 7 percent of the total development cost of the entertainment district project, according to documents from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Crews have been at the roughly 5-acre site along Ionia Avenue south of the Van Andel Arena for weeks doing site preparation work on two previously publicly-owned surface parking lots. Streets in the area have been closing or will close as construction commences.

Jackson Entertainment principal J.D. Loeks told MiBiz in a text message Monday evening that the state’s participation stood as the final financial hurdle for the long-planned $140 million project that’s set to include a Celebration Cinema movie theater, apartments, hotel, office building and retail space. The plans also call for a parking deck and public space.

Greg Tedder, executive vice president and chief community development and marketing officer at the MEDC, told MiBiz that the organization frequently serves as the last gap financing for projects such as Studio Park.

“The development would not go forward as planned if it weren’t for the state’s participation,” Tedder said.

The gap financing from the state will be used to alleviate brownfield conditions at the site and help in the construction of a more than 900-space parking ramp.

The city of Grand Rapids’ Brownfield Authority and Downtown Development Authority have previously approved financing for the project.

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