Hotel Clears Another Hurdle

February 22, 2008
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GRAND RAPIDS — City commissioners have approved a brownfield plan for a new hotel that will be built on the southeast corner of Monroe Avenue and Newberry Street in the Monroe North Business District.

Hotel Holdings Monroe LLC, owned by the Beukema family of Rockford, plans to invest $37.2 million in the project that will result in a nine-story, 238-room hotel with meeting rooms, parking for 395 vehicles, a glass-enclosed restaurant, and 8,000 square feet of retail space along Monroe Avenue. The firm will also make infrastructure improvements to the property, which has been vacant since 2004.

The hotel site sits in the city’s Renaissance Zone, an area nearly free from city and state taxes, and commissioners extended that status for the site in October. Deputy City Manager Eric DeLong said the state recently added its approval to the zone extension, which runs through 2022 and gives the Beukemas additional time to recoup their investment in the project.

“Everything is nicely moving along with this project,” said DeLong.

City Economic Development Director Kara Wood said brownfield tax credits generated by the hotel can’t be captured because the site is in the Ren Zone and the SmartZone. But amending the project’s brownfield lets the Beukemas apply for a state business tax credit of nearly $3.5 million.

Wood also said the hotel will create more than 150 new jobs, which will be worth almost $36,000 each year in income-tax revenue to the city. She told commissioners the hotel will be a major catalyst for further development in the business district.

The Beukemas own three hotels under the Suburban Inns of Rockford banner: the Hampton Inn and the Holiday Inn Express in Holland, and the Holiday Inn Express in Grandville. The family has been in the hospitality business for roughly three decades and hopes to open the new Monroe Avenue hotel next year.

The Beukemas bought the 40,000-square-foot site, former home to Western American Mailers, from Blue Bridge Ventures LLC last August.

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