Few Reservations For New Hotel

February 1, 2008
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GRAND RAPIDS — Developers of Mid Towne Village could get the green light to build a hotel on the 16-acre parcel just north of Michigan Street in a few weeks. That’s when city commissioners will decide whether to amend the Planned Redevelopment District they gave the project in 2003.

Lead developers David Levitt and Brad Rosely, principals in Third Coast Development Partners, have already seen the Women’s Health Center, Park Row Condominiums and the Omelet Shoppe restaurant go up on the property. Now they’re looking to add a five-story Hyatt Place Hotel with a two-level parking structure on the western edge of the site, which is currently a surface parking lot.

City Planning Director Suzanne Schulz said she was impressed with how the developers had designed the project for such a small site that features a steep grade. Schulz was also pleased that Levitt and Rosely were building their own parking into the project and not relying on the city to do that.

“They’re setting a good precedent,” said Schulz.

There is, though, one obstacle to the hotel project. The city requires that at least 20 percent of a development site be devoted to greenspace, and the project falls just short of that requirement. But Schulz didn’t see that shortfall as a project killer because the runoff from stormwater will be retained on the site. She said that design element may qualify the developers for a greenspace waiver, which would lower the requirement number.

“We’re trying to find a balance right now between the greenspace and the project,” said Schulz. “We may need to ratchet down some of those numbers a bit.”

The Planning Commission unanimously approved the PRD amendment last month. It goes to the City Commission on Feb. 19.

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