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The B.O.B. orders extra year for expansion plan

July 24, 2013
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The B.O.B. plans new biergarten, marketplace and concert venue
A rendering of The B.O.B.’s expansion on the adjacent parking lot. Courtesy The Gilmore Collection

The 20 Monroe Building Co. LP has another year to decide how it will expand The B.O.B., a popular four story, 70,000-square-foot entertainment complex downtown.

City commissioners agreed last week to amend the development agreement with the partnership by giving it a one-year abeyance to come up with a plan to develop the parking lot 20 Monroe Building purchased from the city in 2009 for $1.9 million.

The firm asked the city to temporarily set aside its plan for the lot, which is adjacent The B.O.B., at 20 Monroe Ave. NW.

Last week’s action by the city marked the fourth time the agreement has been amended.

“This will permit them to re-program the space,” said City Economic Development Director Kara Wood.

The plan

The partnership revealed plans earlier this year for a 62,000-square-foot expansion of The B.O.B., which opened in 1997 and is owned by The Gilmore Collection.

The plan includes a 22,000 square foot, two-story entertainment venue that would feature national and regional acts and seat 1,500, with standing room for another 500.

It also calls for a 40,000-square-foot outdoor piazza — with a marketplace and biergarten.

It’s a multi-million-dollar plan that would have been built over two construction phases, with a planned completion by June 2014.

Re-thinking plan

But Wood said the partnership decided to re-think the expansion, because of recent projects that have been announced for, and developed in, downtown.

She added the firm is still highly interested in the expansion and may be able to develop a more comprehensive project for the building.

The lot

Wood also told city commissioners no other party has expressed an interest in the 29,000-square-foot lot near the intersection of Ottawa Avenue and Fulton Street, across from Van Andel Arena.


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Commissioner Walt Gutowski said Greg Gilmore, who heads The Gilmore Collection and the 20 Monroe partnership, is a good corporate citizen.

Gutowski said he was confident the partnership would follow through with the expansion.

The amended agreement calls for the city and the partnership to determine by next July 1 whether a timeline for a project can be established.

If one isn’t set by that date, the city can terminate the agreement.

In addition, 20 Monroe has to file a progress report each quarter with the city’s Economic Development department. 

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