The BOB Morphs To 'House Of Blues' Concept

March 13, 2008
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GRAND RAPIDS — A proposed expansion of The BOB in downtown Grand Rapids has the potential to be a 20-story building, with the most “uses” under a single downtown roof since the facility opened a dozen years ago at 20 Monroe Ave. NW.

The Gilmore Collection, which owns The BOB and many other thriving restaurants in the area, is part of the 20 Monroe Building Co. Limited Partnership driving the development, which would go up to the immediate north and east of The BOB on a city-owned parking lot that reaches east from Monroe to Ottawa Avenue.

Gregory Gilmore, Gilmore Collection CEO, said the project would have a 35,000-square-foot footprint and would feature a below-ground theater “similar to a House of Blues concept” that would accommodate 1,500 customers. Gilmore said he couldn’t reveal the identity the operator of a planned six-story boutique hotel with 200 rooms that would sit above the parking structure.

“It will be a tremendous thing for the city,” said Gilmore, after he and the city’s Parking Commission agreed today to extend a purchase option for the property.

Gilmore said it was too soon to put a price tag on the project. He acknowledged that the partners would apply for a brownfield and a state business tax credit, and that he has talked with the Downtown Development Authority about the development. But he added that the project wouldn’t depend on the results he gets on their requests for financial help from the state and city.

More details on the expansion plan will be found in Monday’s Business Journal.

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