Construction, Real Estate, and Travel & Tourism

Amway Grand Plaza plans $40M renovation

August 28, 2018
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Amway Grand Plaza glass tower renovation exterior rendering
A rendering of the renovated glass tower at the Amway Grand Plaza. © Gensler

A key piece of Grand Rapids’ skyline is getting a new look.

A $40-million project to renovate the exterior of the Amway Grand Plaza’s glass tower in downtown Grand Rapids will begin in January 2019, Ada-based Amway said today.

The tower, located at 187 Monroe Ave. NW, will remain open to guests and others throughout the project. 

Construction should be finished in April 2021.

The renovation will completely replace the glass exterior of the building, expected to “dramatically change” the tower’s look, though not significantly impacting the structure’s shape.

The new glass will feature a "much lighter tinting," create energy efficiencies and “modernize the overall look” of the structure.

Rooms will also feature floor-to-ceiling glass, enhancing views.

“When Dad and Jay (Van Andel) opened the tower in 1982, it ushered in a re-birth of downtown Grand Rapids that continues to be felt today,” Amway President Doug DeVos said. “Renovating the hotel tower now will help cement Grand Rapids as a world-class destination for visitors, residents and businesses from around the world for years to come.”

The slanted roof will remain, though the building height will increase slightly. The most significant difference in appearance will be the glass tower’s color.

The clear, insulated glass will appear lighter and silver or gray at street level and be more transparent for guests, while maintaining privacy. The glass will also be more reflective, meant to create a “crisp and clear” building appearance throughout the year.

The new glass is expected to result in a 10-15-percent energy savings for the tower.

The top three floors of the structure will be highlighted by a slight variation in glass panel size and lighting. This will highlight the angled roof profile that has become the signature of the structure.

The hotel will operate mostly as usual. About 55 of the hotel’s 682 guest rooms will be unavailable as glass is replaced floor by floor. 

A local team from the Chicago and Minneapolis offices of Gensler, a global architecture and design firm, is leading the project’s design.

Grand Rapids-based Rockford Construction is the construction manager on the project.

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