Higher Education and Real Estate

College approves $3.3M land deal for downtown parking

February 15, 2017
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GVSU Pew campus downtown Grand Rapids land for parking lot
A land deal is increasing GVSU's downtown parking options by 3.5 acres. Courtesy GVSU/Bernadine Carey

A local college has approved the lease and eventual purchase of a $3.38-million piece of land adjacent to its downtown campus in order to expand parking.

Grand Valley State University’s Board of Trustees voted last week to lease the land owned by Louis Padnos Iron and Metal Company next to the south end of the university’s Robert C. Pew Campus.

GVSU will lease several parcels: 650 Butterworth St. SW; 648 Butterworth St. SW; 633 Emperor St. SW; 219 Gelock Place SW; and 201 Tolford St. SW.

The agreement is for a 10-year, $10,000 monthly lease of 3.5 acres, and GVSU will eventually be able to purchase the land once Padnos is done with it, putting all lease payments toward the fixed purchase price, according to James Moyer, associate VP for facilities planning, GVSU.

Moyer said the deal allows GVSU to build parking areas that would be completed by fall 2017, if the plans are approved by the City of Grand Rapids.

“The city review may bring a list of requirements, which will need to be addressed in the final design solution,” Moyer said.

Hundreds of spaces

GVSU says it has long needed more parking at the Pew campus, and this land deal would allow for up to 300 more spaces.

“The board approved a lease/purchase agreement, which could result in two parking lots,” Moyer said. “The smaller parcel would have approximately 50 spaces, and the larger parcel would have approximately 250 spaces.”

Moyer said the lots would provide extra room for “shifting of parkers” as the $15-million Consumers Energy training facility on GVSU land at Front Avenue SW nears completion.

“The Consumers Energy building is a training facility, and this creates short-term demands for space when there is a training event,” he said.

The new lots would aim to alleviate that congestion.

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