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Sunday, 11 October 2015 20:58

Orion plans mixed-use development along Grand River

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Orion Real Estate Solutions plans a mixed-use development at 1001 North Monroe Ave. on the banks of the Grand River. The project, which was designed by Grand Rapids-based Progressive AE, will offer 35 one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as on-site parking and a ground-floor restaurant and bar, according to Orion’s John Wheeler. Orion Real Estate Solutions plans a mixed-use development at 1001 North Monroe Ave. on the banks of the Grand River. The project, which was designed by Grand Rapids-based Progressive AE, will offer 35 one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as on-site parking and a ground-floor restaurant and bar, according to Orion’s John Wheeler. COURTESY RENDERING

GRAND RAPIDS — Orion Construction plans to build a mixed-use development along the banks of the Grand River just north of downtown Grand Rapids.

The River’s Edge development at 1001 North Monroe Ave. will consist of 35 one- and two-bedroom apartments, on-site parking as well as a ground-floor restaurant and bar, said John Wheeler, director of business development at Orion Construction and president of its development subsidiary, Orion Real Estate Solutions.

Wheeler declined to name the operator of the restaurant project.

The development at the site of a now-vacant law office Orion acquired last year for $1.3 million — a building that — will be demolished, is located along an in-demand corridor, particularly as the city plans to go forward with restoring the rapids in the river and improving access to the waterway throughout the downtown.

“(River restoration) would be right in front of us,” Wheeler said. “I’m not saying we’re banking on it, but if it goes, it’s really going to enhance this. All of the rest of the land is (proposed as) a city park. I just can’t see any other competitive development. We have the only site on the river.”

The River’s Edge development joins other North Monroe projects at various stages of development, including 616 Development LLC’s Lofts on Monroe and a proposed addition to the Icon On Bond.

Orion estimates the total project cost for River’s Edge at approximately $8 million. Wheeler said the company will not seek any incentives from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. but plans to work with the City of Grand Rapids for brownfield redevelopment funds.

The project will go before the Grand Rapids Planning Commission on Oct. 22.

Grand Rapids-based architecture firm Progressive AE designed the proposed building.

All the apartments will be market-rate and Wheeler said he expects them to rent for between $1,000 and $2,000 per month. The developer hopes to break ground in the early spring.

The River’s Edge development adds to a growing list of projects for the construction and development firm. Over the summer, Orion opened Eastown Flats, a mixed-use apartment and retail development in Grand Rapids’ Eastown neighborhood. Orion’s other mixed-use projects include the Gateway at Belknap north of downtown and One Carlton Place at the corner of Fulton Street and Carlton Avenue.

Next spring, Orion also plans to open the mixed-use Arena Place building consisting of apartments, office and retail space in Grand Rapids’ Arena South neighborhood.

“We really like these niche projects like Eastown Flats. … This fits right into our wheelhouse,” Wheeler said. “It’s a spectacular site. … We’ve worked really hard over the last six months coming up with the right concept.”

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