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Venue Tower breaks ground in downtown Grand Rapids

BY Wednesday, February 03, 2016 11:30am

GRAND RAPIDS — Orion Construction Inc. and The Gilmore Collection broke ground today on the long-planned Venue Tower project that will bring 88 new apartments and a music venue to the corner of Fulton Street and Monroe Avenue in Grand Rapids.

The 140-foot, eight-story tower will fill in the parking lot adjacent to the Gilmore’s B.O.B entertainment and restaurant facility. The project will include studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments, as well as 24 micro-units, or efficiency apartments, with less than 500 square feet.

The micro-units will include a number of built-in features and appliances to maximize space, according to a statement.

“The motivation behind the (micro-units) is to create living space that goes beyond being small,” John Wheeler, vice president of business development at Orion Construction, said in a statement. “It’s about efficiency and the impact of everything from the physical space to the utilities to the lifestyle it encourages. These are not for the tenant who spends 15 hours a day at their apartment.”

The residential aspect of the development — expected to be completed in the spring of 2017 — is budgeted at $22 million, according to an Orion Construction spokesperson.

A cost estimate for the venue and entertainment aspect of the project was not immediately available.

Orion’s real estate development arm, Orion Real Estate Solutions LLC, will serve as the developer for the project.

Grand Rapids-based Mercantile Bank is financing the venue portion, while Chemical Bank will provide equity financing on top of tax incentives provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC).

Grand Rapids-based Concept Design Group PC is the project’s architect.

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