Underground parking discussed for GR

The Downtown Development Authority discusses a possible underground parking plan for Grand Rapids. (Feb. 12, 2014)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – The Downtown Development Authority is looking at possibly adding underground parking in the new Arena South District in downtown Grand Rapids.

A firm presented a study on underground parking to the DDA during a meeting Wednesday morning, saying it is feasible but also somewhat expensive.

Officials said underground parking would add more than 1,000 spots to the downtown area.

The study included four sites in the Arena South District.

The whole goal of this research was to find out if officials could make the underground structures work in that area.

24 Hour News 8 talked to Kris Larson of the DDA who said despite the cost, the added parking would be a huge benefit to downtown.

“When you evaluate the opportunity to go deep, we could potentially discover more than 1,000 parking spaces, bury them, which would then reclaim all of that area above ground for development,” said Larson.

One question brought up during Wednesday’s meeting — would flooding be a concern?

That is something officials have thought of, and Larsen said they will continue to study all possibilities before moving forward with a project of this size.

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