Architecture & Design, Real Estate, and Travel & Tourism

CWD announces major hotel in downtown Grand Rapids

‘How cool is that?’

February 3, 2014
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CWD Monroe Hotel
The hotel does not yet have a brand but will be between five and seven stories with 100 to 130 rooms. Courtesy CWD

(As seen on WZZM TV 13) The Grand Rapids skyline will soon have another major hotel defining it.

CWD Real Estate, a major Grand Rapids-based real estate firm, announced today plans to build a new hotel designed by an internationally known architect on the parking lot at 50 Monroe Ave. NW in downtown Grand Rapids. Construction is slated for fall of this year. The project is already in the engineering phase.

“This site, which is literally in the center of our city, has been a parking lot for at least 30 years,” said Sam Cummings, CWD co-managing partner. “We are thrilled with the prospect of adding an iconic structure to this important location and we hope to submit plans to the Grand Rapids Planning Department by late spring for construction to begin later this year.” 

CWD purchased the property in April 2012, Cummings said. Although much of the project is still “under discussion,” he did say the hotel, which will feature 100 to 130 rooms, will be about five to seven stories tall and will generally be in line with LEED-certification standards.

Kulapat Yantrasast, co-founder and creative director of the Los Angeles-based firm why design, will design the new hotel. Yantrasast also served as designer of the Grand Rapids Art Museum building, Cummings said, and has gone on to become a renowned international designer with a soft spot for the city that gave him his first break. 

No hotel brand has yet been announced for CWD’s new hotel, but Amway Hotel Corp. is being considered for management, Cummings said. 

The architect of record in Grand Rapids is Integrated Architecture; Nederveld Inc. will have oversight on construction engineering.

The hotel will include options for guests who desire to stay five nights or more, and many rooms will include a kitchen. The new building, announced as mixed use, also may include restaurants, retail space and even residential housing units.

“Place-making is more than just the current buzzword; it’s a real movement with real momentum here,” said Scott Wierda, CWD co-managing partner. “This mixed-use development will further solidify that the core of our city is the place to work, live and be entertained.”

The fact that a parking lot occupies the absolute center of downtown has always bothered Cummings. Now he hopes his new hotel — viewed by him as a complementary neighbor to downtown’s hotel roster of the Amway Grand Plaza, JW Marriott, CityFlats and Holiday Inn — will change that, offering the city a more iconic building to fill the Monroe Avenue space.

“One of the things that’s very important to us is we want this building to activate the corners of the streets it addresses,” he said. 

“I am so excited we are building and creating something iconic at the center of the city, something (on top of) a previous parking lot. How cool is that?”

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