Economic Development, Real Estate, and Travel & Tourism

CAA taking steps on $180M hotel and amphitheater projects

January 11, 2019
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DeVos Place hotel rendering
A rendering of the 24-story hotel at the DeVos Place property. Courtesy CAA

The Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority is continuing to explore two major projects totaling an estimated $180 million.

The authority, or CAA, is considering pursing projects to build a new hotel costing an estimated $140 million and a new amphitheater costing an estimated $40 million.

Hotel

The 400-room, 24-story convention-style hotel would be constructed in downtown Grand Rapids in an underused area of the DeVos Place convention center on Monroe Avenue NW, between DeVos Performance Hall and the Windquest Building, at 201 Monroe Ave. NW.

A recent study from Chicago-based HVS estimated the hotel would cost $140 million and include a restaurant, lounge, coffee shop, 40,000 square feet of meeting space — including a 20,000-square-foot grand ballroom — pool, whirlpool, exercise room, business center, gift shop and guest laundry room.

The CAA said the additional convention meeting space is aimed at drawing more convention business to Grand Rapids and boosting demand for the entire area’s portfolio of hotel rooms.

According to Rich MacKeigan, regional manager of SMG, his staff, per the CAA, is in the process of enlisting an architect to conduct an in-depth analysis of hotel construction, enlisting an investment analyst to assess funding options available for financing and beginning discussion with the city and county about potential support of the project.

The architecture firm Progressive AE completed a feasibility study in 2017 on the possibility of the hotel, which came about in response to the Grand Rapids Destination Asset Study revealed in 2016.

Amphitheater

According to MacKeigan, based on input from experts, the amphitheater would likely contain 10,000 to 15,000 seats and cost about $40 million.

He said it would potentially be constructed in Millennium Park, located at 1415 Maynard Ave. SW in Walker.

Discussion about this project, including a Progressive AE feasibly study, began over a decade ago.  

The CAA board voted today to re-engage the firm to perform additional geotechnical work, confirm the ability of proposed sites to handle the venue and develop a scope of services necessary to finalize a complete project cost.

The state recently approved $5 million this year toward the project and indicated it may contribute another $5 million for next year.

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