Arena Place Plans Move Forward

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.–Plans are moving forward for a $45 million mixed-use development project to bring more office, retail and living space to Downtown Grand Rapids.

The Downtown Development Authority approved the project, headed by Orion Construction. It’s grown to 11 stories and 60 thousand square feet; larger than the original $28 million, five-story project presented last August.

“This is a tough enterprise to do,” John Wheeler with Orion Construction said last August.

“Tough to get financed. There’s not a lot of comparable. We`re filling a need, we`re not creating a want. There are people who want to live down town. They want to park in the basement, take the elevator to the top floor. They want an experience to stay in their building, get out walk around, do the local shopping downtown instead of going to the suburbs. We`re going to provide those opportunities.’

Much of the expansion is due in part to a new tenant, The Miller Johnson Law Firm, who is moving from the Calder Building on Monroe.

The project will now have space for 300 office employees, more than 100 residential units and ground level retail and restaurant space.  Because the DDA expanded their tax increment financing by about a half million dollars Wednesday morning, Orion Construction plans to break ground this Spring.

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