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Wednesday, 12 September 2018 10:12

DDA to provide financial support for Hinman hotel project in downtown GR

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DDA to provide financial support for Hinman hotel project in downtown GR COURTESY RENDERING

GRAND RAPIDS — The Hinman Co.’s scaled-back hotel project in the city’s central business district received a financial boost this morning.

The board of the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority (DDA) voted to offer its financial support for a proposed 13-story hotel in the middle of the central business district.

The DDA board, which administers a tax increment financing mechanism, awarded just over $1.2 million to be paid over 15 years to the project’s developer, a subsidiary of Portage-based real estate firm The Hinman Co.

With the incentive, Hinman plans to build a 13-story “flatiron” building on the wedge-shaped surface parking lot bordered by Fulton Street, Louis Street and Ionia Avenue. The company says the building will offer ground-floor retail space and a 146-room Marriott Residence Inn extended-stay hotel on the upper levels.

“We think is a great opportunity to create some interesting architecture by utilizing the shape and developing a really awesome structure,” Hinman COO Rich MacDonald told DDA board members.

The approximately $36 million project is expected to break ground in early 2019 and work on an anticipated 18-month construction timeline.

MacDonald shared that Hinman has partnered with Fargo, N.D.-based hospitality development firm Dakota Legacy Group to build and operate the hotel.

The project joins a slew of other hotel inventory planned or under construction in the downtown area. Another extended stay hotel — a Homewood Suites — occupies space in the Waters Building.

MiBiz first broke news of the Hinman project when the firm initially proposed it as a 42-story, 418-foot mixed-use tower in 2016. In June of this year, the developer revealed that plans for the residential project had been scrapped in favor of a hotel.

Hinman executives said at the time that the decision was purely an economic one.

“With thousands of apartment units recently built, under construction, or planned, it was necessary to revisit this part of the project in response to market pressures,” Hinman Company President and CEO Roger Hinman said in a statement to MiBiz.

Hinman noted the real estate firm evaluated going forward with fewer apartments but doing so would have resulted in a loss of cost efficiencies for the project.

The DDA board also lent financial assistance to the developers of the 12 Weston apartment project proposed for the vacant site at the southwest corner of Division Avenue and Weston Street.

The joint venture between Rockford Construction Co. Inc. and Sibsco LLC was awarded $35,000 to help make barrier-free improvements, fill an existing areaway and make streetscape improvements.

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