Proposal for Grand Rapids’ 201 Market Ave. revealed

201 Market Avenue
A rendering of the proposal for 201 Market Ave. in Grand Rapids. (Flaherty & Collins Properties)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s been the site of controversy and the home of dump trucks and salt piles; now we’re getting our first look at the plans for 201 Market Ave. in Grand Rapids.

Three companies made the final cut for their ideas to turn the nearly 16- acre public works yard into the city’s vision for the property.

Two of the companies, including Rockford Construction, are waiting in the wings while the project considered No. 1 on the list gets a more thorough vetting. That proposal belongs to Indianapolis-based Flaherty & Collins Properties.

INSIDE THE TOP PLAN

Built in three phases, the first part of the project would take shape at the center of the site and feature 246 housing units, sitting above 34,000 square feet of retail space, as well as parking.

The city’s requirements for the project also call for public space along the river. Flaherty & Collins Properties’ plan includes a park and boardwalk.

Phase II of the company’s project would be built on the south end of the property and include more housing units and retail space in a taller version of Phase I.

Phase III is the skyline changer, with more residential space and a two-tower luxury hotel. Amenities such as a grocery stores are also part of Phase III.

>>Photos: 201 Market Avenue proposal

OTHER OPTIONS

Rockford Construction’s proposal is similar, with a little soccer thrown in.

The company has been looking for a new home for the Grand Rapids Football Club.

Along with housing, retail and public space, Rockford Construction’s plan includes a 10,000 seat, multipurpose stadium that would open along the riverside.

Southfield-based Redico’s proposal is also being vetted, although the company has expressed concerns over the density of the project.

AVOIDING THE SAME MISTAKE?

The city accepted all three plans for 201 Market Ave. in October, more than a decade after the much-maligned “Mystery Project.”

It earned the name mainly because no one at city hall was discussing details like the viability of the plan and taxpayer risk if the property sale was approved.
As time went on, Atlanta developer Duane Faust’s grandiose project that seemed too good to be true turned out to be just that. It all fell apart.

Grand Rapids city officials have promised more transparency this time around, yet 24 Hour News 8 had to place a Freedom of Information Act request to see this proposal.

When questioned about why Grand Rapids wasn’t releasing the details and renderings back in October, city officials overseeing the project said the plans are preliminary and they want to avoid raising public expectation on a project that could change before the first shovel of dirt is thrown.

Right now, a special committee including representatives from the city, Downtown Development Authority, Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. and the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan is about two months into a four to six-month process to figure out if Flaherty & Collins Properties’ project is viable.