Construction, Economic Development, and Real Estate

State approves $19.3M for West Side project

April 25, 2017
| By Pat Evans |
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Rockford Construction Bridge Street NW and Seward Avenue NW mixed-use development partial rendering
Courtesy Rockford Construction

A $55-million West Side project, including a planned Meijer store, has been approved by the state for $19.3 million in funding.

Grand Rapids-based Rockford Construction said today it was awarded a $6.3-million loan and $13 million in Tax Increment Financing by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Michigan Strategic Fund for a mixed-use development in Grand Rapids on the corner of Bridge Street NW and Seward Avenue NW.

The developer will contribute 13 percent of the project costs in equity, or $7.6 million, and has secured a $41.7-million loan from Mercantile Bank, according to the MSF board packet.

“A project of this scale requires a high level of collaboration at the local and state level,” Rockford Construction CEO Mike VanGessel said. “This is a key approval for this transformational project, and it couldn’t move forward without it.”

Demolition of existing properties will begin next month, according to Rockford, with construction starting in June.

The first phase is expected to open in fall 2018.

The project will include a 38,000-square-foot Meijer, 116 market-rate apartments, parking deck and an office and retail building. The West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology will occupy 20,000 square feet of the available 56,000 square feet.

“We are delighted to play a part in this exciting development and are pleased that things continue to move forward,” Meijer President and CEO Rick Keyes said. “We remain confident that we will be able to complement this project with a convenient, neighborhood grocery store for those who live and work nearby.”

The area will also include a 64-unit affordable housing development by the Inner City Christian Federation, which received Low Income Housing Tax Credit funding in December.

The 3.3-acre site is surrounded by Bridge, Seward and First.

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