County Gives To DeVos Place Again

September 16, 2002
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GRAND RAPIDS—Kent County commissioners agreed last Thursday to donate another $5 million to the building project of the new DeVos Place convention center.

The donation brings the county’s contribution to $95 million for the $220 million project.

The gift is contingent on Grand Rapids City Commissioners ratifying a $5 million bond package passed by the Downtown Development Authority last month.

An authorized bond package would bring the DDA’s investment in the downtown facility to $10 million.

The additional monies from the county and the DDA all but eliminate nearly a $13 million shortfall in the project’s final construction phase, which features the renovation of Welsh Auditorium into a dining hall and ballroom.

So far $207.3 million has been secured and pledged for the $219.5 million project, leaving the construction budget $12.7 million short.

But donations from the county and DDA will erase $10 million of that deficit, and the remainder is expected to come from contingencies in the construction budget.

DDA Chairman Verne Barry and Kent County Chairman Steven Heacock worked together in July to create the $10 million agreement that cut the shortfall.

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