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Published in Economic Development
GR sewer relocation project starting next month to fuel Market Avenue redevelopment COURTESY RENDERING

GR sewer relocation project starting next month to fuel Market Avenue redevelopment

BY Wednesday, March 10, 2021 10:52am

GRAND RAPIDS — The first phase of the trunk sewer relocation project that will allow for redevelopment along the city’s Market Avenue SW corridor was approved Tuesday by the Grand Rapids City Commission.

The infrastructure project will clear the way for redevelopment of the 201 Market Ave. SW site where an outdoor amphitheater and other amenities are planned. Kentwood-based Kamminga & Roodvoets Inc. earned the bid for the first phase of the $8 million sewer relocation project, which is expected to start in April and be completed by spring 2022. 

“Starting on the eastside trunk sewer relocation project is a key milestone in the Market Avenue corridor reconstruction plan,” City Engineer Tim Burkman said in a statement. “We are thrilled to see the sewer relocation project kick-off as it really does fuel the subsequent greater redevelopment plans for the riverfront.”

The full trunk sewer relocation project involves the area along the Grand River and Market Avenue SW between Wealthy Street SW and Fulton Street W. The City Commission will consider a separate contract this spring for the second phase.

The outdoor amphitheater is a key part of a conceptual plan recently presented by Grand Action 2.0 that illustrates downtown development possibilities along the Grand River. 

In February, the city and the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority voted to approve an option agreement for the potential sale of the city’s 201 Market property to the CAA. 

Prior to that, both parties also approved a memorandum of understanding to fund the relocation of the trunk sewer that runs underneath the Market Avenue property. The sewer has served as a barrier to previous redevelopment efforts. 

Under the conditions of the MOU, the CAA is contributing $5 million to the $18.6 million infrastructure project from funds the CAA received in 2018 from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. The contribution is contingent on the CAA purchasing the property by June 30, 2021. 

In addition to the city and the CAA, other parties that agreed to fund the sewer relocation include Amway Hotel Corp. and 63 Market Avenue Holdings LLC, which is registered to RDV Corp., the DeVos family office, and owns property in the area.

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