Coming attraction at Studio 28
Site of former cinema is now part of the planned 28 West town center.
Remember Studio 28? Well, something’s finally happening on the vacant site of what was often called the “largest movie theater in the world.”
It’s a plan for a new crescent-shaped street south of 28th Street between Burlingame and Michael avenues, curving across a corner of the old Studio 28 property then passing in front of the Wyoming Village Mall, 1220 28th St. SW.
The Wyoming Downtown Development Authority has a long-term vision for 28th Street — one of the area’s busiest roads— to become part of a sustainable and walkable town center. That vision, 28 West, will change up some of the former Studio 28’s 20 acres at 1350 28th St. SW, Wyoming, said Tim Cochran, Wyoming city planner.
Studio 28 opened in 1965 and closed in 2008. Its 125,000-square-foot building was demolished in 2014. The property is owned by the Loeks family, which also owns Celebration! Cinema.
The 28 West project is a vision of city leaders, business owners and residents in “making the area a definable place,” said Heidi Isakson, deputy city manager of Wyoming.
According to the city’s promotional video for the event (wyomingmi.gov/28west), “28 West is an economically vibrant, sustainable, walkable and mixed-use downtown area, located just a few hundred feet from West Michigan’s famous 28th Street — a street that is a shopping and dining destination for not only for the Wyoming and greater Grand Rapids area, but for the entire region.”
The project, which came out of the city’s “Turn on 28th Street” marketing plan, will guide redevelopment of the 28th Street corridor between Clyde Park and Burlingame avenues, Cochran said.
“We’re looking to build a new public street paralleling 28th Street. We’re working heavily with the Wyoming Village Mall. When it hits their land it would run though where Studio 28 used to be,” he said.
“Development agreements are in (the works) between Loeks, Wyoming Village Mall and the city. The agreement with Loeks is still being worked on, but I think the one with the (mall) is done.”
J.D. Loeks, president of Loeks Theatres Inc., said his company is involved.
“We are currently collaborating with the city of Wyoming on their ‘Turn on 28th Street’ project that runs through the northeast corner of the property. This project is intended to reinvigorate this part of the 28th Street corridor,” he said. “We have some restaurants interested in outlots along the 28th Street frontage and are talking with other users for the back 16 acres, but nothing to announce at this point.”
Isakson hopes the new street will be completed by October if everyone signs on.
She estimated the cost at $2.4 million including acquisition, construction and relocating utilities.
“We’re just going out for bids now, so we don’t have final costs,” she said.
In the 28 West vision, Michael Street marks the midpoint of a crescent-shaped street that eventually would continue to the east in front of the Rogers Plaza Mall.
The idea is to create a more urbanized character for the mile of 28th Street between Clyde Park and Burlingame, Cochran said. It’s part of a multi-year master plan involving the city, neighborhoods and a number of boards.
“We felt it was a way to revitalize and get more business here,” Cochran said.