Downtown Alliance honors several with its new awards
ArtPrize, the JW Marriott, Rockford Construction and Mark and Michele Sellers were the big winners in the first-ever “Making Downtown Great” awards given out Friday morning by the Downtown Alliance at the group’s annual meeting held in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.
ArtPrize, which drew upwards of 450,000 people to downtown over its recent 19-day run, won the moniker award for “making downtown great.” The annual event, founded by Rick DeVos, has drawn worldwide acclaim through the media and high praise from downtown merchants.
“Everybody in the world knows about ArtPrize,” said Bob Herr, chairman of the Downtown Improvement District just before he handed the award to ArtPrize Executive Director Bill Holsinger-Robinson. “It has been fun, huge and amazing, and has had a strong economic impact.”
The JW Marriott Hotel on Campau Square Avenue won the Chairman’s Award, while Rockford Construction Co. was given the Unsung Hero’s Award. “It’s hard to find a part of downtown that they haven’t improved,” said Herr of the builder and development firm.
And the Sellers were named twice. They won the Adaptive Reuse Award for 53 Commerce Ave. SW, which is home to Stella’s Lounge and the Viceroy. The Sellers also tied with the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum in voting for the Smaller Project, Big Impact Award for their first downtown venture, HopCat, at 25 Ionia Ave. SW. The museum, 22 Sheldon Ave. NE, was honored for its outdoor mural that was painted during the inaugural ArtPrize last year.
Grand Rapids Community College picked up the Best Kept Secret Award for its Heritage Restaurant at 151 Fountain St. NE. The New Construction Award went to Locus Development for its mixed-use building at 38 Commerce Ave. SW and to the Grand Rapids Art Museum on Monroe Center. The Grand Rapids Civic Theatre at 30 N. Division Ave. won the Exterior Renovation Award, and the Game Changers honor went to the Convention and Arena Authority.
Each winner received a “Gretchen,” a beautifully framed print of a painting done by noted downtown artist and architect Gretchen Minnhaar. “If you receive a Gretchen, you’ve received a great thing,” said Ray Kisor, past alliance chairman.
In addition to winners, the alliance gave honorable mentions to 32 other projects and events at the annual meeting, which was the largest in the alliance’s history.
“We want to focus on the growth and investment that continues in downtown, even in rough financial times,” said Bob Partridge, current alliance chairman, of the reason for the awards. “People are making a choice to invest in downtown Grand Rapids, and we believe that their confidence in the downtown and their accomplishments need to be recognized.”
Grand Rapids Community Foundation awarded its Jack Chaille Community Philanthropy Award to John Canepa Friday. Canepa is the retired president of Old Kent Bank (now Fifth Third Bank). He works as a consultant at Crowe Horwath.
According to information provided by the foundation, Canepa, who was originally from Boston, and his wife, Marie, never intended to stay in Grand Rapids beyond his tenure as president of Old Kent. But during the years he served the bank (1972-1995), Grand Rapids grew on them.
ABC salutes projects
The Associated Builders and Contractors Western Michigan Chapter recognized top area construction projects and companies at its 2010 Construction Awards of Excellence banquet last week.
The following winners were announced at the 25th annual event:
2010 Construction Safety Award of Excellence: The Bouma Corp.
Concrete: Kent Companies Inc. — Spectrum Health, Blodgett Hospital.
Precast: Kerkstra Precast Inc. — Hope College Van Andel Soccer Stadium.
Roofing-Metal: Buist Sheet Metal — Wexford County Historical Society Carnegie Library Museum
Roofing-Single-Ply: Langerak Roof Systems Inc. — The Stow Co.
Glazing, Under $2 Million: Vos Glass Inc. — Holland Hospital.
Glazing, Over $2 Million: Vos Glass Inc. — Van Andel Institute, Phase II.
Video Surveillance: Parkway Electric & Communications — Central Wesleyan Church.
Audio/Visual: Parkway Electric & Communications — Cornerstone Church.
Low-Voltage Systems: SecurAlarm Systems Inc. — Van Andel Institute, Phase II.
Electrical: Parkway Electric & Communications — Haworth Inc.
HVAC: Northwest Kent Mechanical Co. — Caledonia Paris Ridge Elementary School.
Process Piping: Allied Mechanical Services — Donald K. Shrine Water Treatment Plant, 1B.
Mechanical: Allied Mechanical Services — Haworth Inc.
Fire Protection: Brigade Fire Protection — JCI Southview.
Finish Flooring: Ritsema Associates — Van Andel Institute, Phase II.
Interior Finishing, Under $1 Million: Ritsema Associates — Women's Health Center of West Michigan.
Interior Finishing, Over $1 Million: The Bouma Corp. — Van Andel Institute, Phase II.
Renovation, Under $2 Million: Triangle Associates Inc. — DP Fox Ventures corporate headquarters.
Renovation, $2 Million-$4 Million: Elzinga & Volkers Construction Professionals — Holland Hospital.
Renovation, $4 Million-$10 Million: Dan Vos Construction Co. — Bissell Innovation Center.
Renovation, Over $10 Million: The Christman Co. — Spoelhof Field House Complex.
Historical Renovation: Lakewood Construction — Hope College, Graves Hall.
Pre-Engineered: Dykhouse Construction Inc. — Byron Township Community & Athletic Center.
Subcontractor, New Construction: Nugent Builders Inc. — Ottawa County Courthouse.
Commercial Construction: Elzinga & Volkers Construction Professionals — StoneWater Country Club.
Educational Construction: Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. — New Community-Based Transition Center.
Living-Area Construction: Erhardt Construction — Breton Ridge at Breton Woods of Holland Home.
Mixed-Use Construction: Lakewood Construction — Plaza Center East.
Governmental Construction: Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. — Ottawa County Courthouse.
Parking-Structure Construction: The Christman Co. — Gerald R. Ford International Airport terminal area and parking improvement program.
Institutional Construction: Owen-Ames-Kimball Co. — Van Andel Institute, Phase II.
Green Building, Under $5 Million: Rockford Construction — Bridge Street Place.
Green Building, $5 Million-$7 Million: GDK Construction Co. — City Flats Hotel & Bistro.
Green Building, Over $7 Million: CSM Group — Kalamazoo Public Schools Linden Grove Middle School.
Alternative Energy: Windemuller Electric Inc. — Stoney Corners Wind Farm.