City Commission approves movie theater, hotel development downtown Grand Rapids

Image from Celebration! Cinema announcement of Studio C

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids City Commission unanimously approved the first phase of development for the mixed-use Studio Park plan including a movie theater and hotel downtown.

The vote follows the Downtown Development Authority’s unanimous vote last week, and approves the $110 million first phase of development. Directly south of Van Andel Arena, phase one will include a nine-screen Celebration! Cinema movie theater, hotel, housing called affordable with rent under $1,000, a 750 to 900-space parking ramp, then office and retail space, some of which reserved for women and minority-owned businesses.

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss says Studio Park is accomplishing in part the city’s goal of creating space where people want to be.

“I’m really excited about having an incubator for minority and women-owned businesses,” said Mayor Bliss. “The hotel, I think will add a lot of vibrancy to that space, and then the residential space. So it truly will be a mixed use space.”

“We have two massive parking lots in the heart of our city which is not the highest and best use of that space. So for years we’ve been talking about how do we redevelop that space? How do we make sure that is has a lot of density but also it’s a place where people want to go?”

Road construction will also ensue to build the Ottawa Avenue SW extension. Grand Rapids Deputy City Manager Eric DeLong says Ottawa Avenue will extend south to Cherry Street, giving access to the planned parking ramp. The parking beneath the US-131 “S curve” and the on ramp will remain untouched.

“This will be an entirely walkable design,” said DeLong. “This is a really all about drawing people to downtown.”

DeLong tells FOX 17 the Ottawa extension will cost roughly $3.5 million, though the city will be reimbursed. Developers say groundbreaking should begin in the next three to six months.