Focus, Construction, and Real Estate

Orion breaks ground on $28M Arena Place

Eleven-story structure will be home to a law firm, ad agency, restaurant and more.

August 1, 2014
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ArenaPlace groundbraek
Arena Place will be home to the law firm of Miller Johnson, as well as Domoregood/Hanon McKendry and a locally sourced restaurant from Meritage Hospitality Group. Courtesy Orion Construction
Construction work on one of the city’s major mixed-use projects is underway.

A ground-breaking ceremony, hosted last Wednesday by Grand Rapids-based contractor Orion Construction Inc., was held at 55 Ottawa Ave. SW in downtown Grand Rapids, launching the $28 million Arena Place project located near Van Andel Arena.

The 11-story, 373,347-square-foot Arena Place will feature 100 market-rate apartments, office space, ground-floor retail, and a parking garage with at least 280 spaces. The project is expected to be finished sometime in winter 2015.

Orion has been at work financing, designing and doing pre-construction work on the 1.01-acre site since June 2012, according to company officials.

“Arena Place is an iconic project for Orion in many ways. It will bring economic benefit to the district. It will help fill the need for market-rate housing in downtown Grand Rapids, and it opens the doorway to future development per the Arena South Visioning Plan,” said Roger Rehkopf, president of Orion. “It represents the culmination of a public/private partnership to a tee — one that we are very grateful for.”

Arena Place will be anchored by a variety of professional tenants. Miller Johnson, a Grand Rapids-based law firm, will occupy the top four floors of the building, working with about 54,087 square feet of office space.

“Miller Johnson is eager to call Arena Place home,” said Craig Mutch, Miller Johnson managing member. “Our law firm is excited to partner with the local companies, restaurants and retailers in the development, as well as this growing and vibrant area of downtown Grand Rapids. We see the benefits of our investment as an extension of our firm’s ‘dare to be different’ attitude that distinguishes us in the community.”

About 14,500 square feet of space will be occupied by Domoregood|Hanon McKendry, a Grand Rapids-based brand-building agency.

“Over the past 24 years, we've been proud to call the Arena District our home. In that time, we’ve watched this area change and grow, and our business has grown right along with it. That’s why we’re thrilled to be moving into Arena Place,” said Bill McKendry, the agency’s co-founder and CEO.

“To us, it represents more than just a new office; it represents continued momentum toward turning the Arena South area into one of our city’s most vibrant business districts and neighborhoods.”

The first floor will feature a locally sourced, 6,054-square-foot restaurant from Meritage Hospitality Group, a Grand Rapids-based firm that owns about 50 Michigan restaurants. Meritage also will have 12,500 square feet of office space.

“Our executive and culinary teams are hard at work developing a new concept centered around our ‘Commit to the Mitt’ philosophy,” said Tom Brady, director of operations at Meritage’s Twisted Rooster and Crooked Goose. 

“Our adjunct concepts, Twisted Rooster and Crooked Goose, have been embraced by the community for providing each guest with simply impeccable food and drinks. Our new concept will take our mission for ‘uncommon hospitality’ to the next level.”

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