Visser Brothers Inc. seeks to repurpose the DeltaPlex Arena & Conference Center in Walker into industrial storage space. Visser Brothers Inc. seeks to repurpose the DeltaPlex Arena & Conference Center in Walker into industrial storage space. COURTESY PHOTO

New DeltaPlex owner seeks to repurpose venue into industrial warehousing space

BY Monday, June 13, 2022 03:34pm

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated with comments from Walker Mayor Gary Carey.

WALKER — Visser Brothers Inc. seeks to repurpose the DeltaPlex Arena & Conference Center into an industrial warehouse site, according to documents filed with the city of Walker.

The Grand Rapids-based contractor, doing business as DEG Development Co. LLC, purchased the 6,000-person capacity venue in Walker on Dec. 23 for $5.5 million. The venue has operated for 25 years as a conference and concert venue, as well as a sports arena that hosted the Grand Rapids Gold. 

The DeltaPlex is officially set to close on July 31, DeltaPlex President Joel Langlois previously announced.

The city of Walker Planning Commission on Wednesday will consider preliminary plans and a request to rezone the property from a Community Commercial (C-2) designation to an Industrial Planned Unit Development (IPUD). 

The proposed development at 2500 Turner Ave. NW and associated rezoning would be a “better suit for the area,” especially amid a widespread shortage of available industrial land, city staffers noted in a planning memo. IPUD rezoning requests must also be approved by the Walker City Commission.

“Quite frankly, when I look at Walker right now, what has really been good for our community has been the industrial and the manufacturing jobs,” Walker Mayor Gary Carey told MiBiz. “That really has kept us in strong financial shape through the pandemic.”

Carey said the city will remain sensitive to neighbors in the area regardless of the property’s future uses, adding that warehousing and office space could potentially produce less noise than the venue.

The preliminary site plan review and rezoning request seek to combine smaller parcels at 2574 Hillside Drive NW and 2621 West River Drive with the Turner Avenue property, according to plans filed with the city. 

The proposal would redevelop the site in two phases, starting with converting the DeltaPlex building into three tenant suites, each proposed as office or warehousing uses. The parking lot would be reconfigured to provide space for truck and trailer parking, loading docks, as well as adding sidewalks, outdoor storage and landscaping. 

The second phase would include constructing a 165,000-square-foot building adjacent to the DeltaPlex building with similar truck docking areas, according to planning documents.

Grand Rapids Gold officials recently announced that the team will now play its home games for the upcoming G-League basketball season at Van Andel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids.

A Visser Brothers official could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Read 1900 times Last modified on Monday, 13 June 2022 16:43