Amphitheater Coming to Downtown Grand Rapids
The efforts to bring an amphitheater to downtown Grand Rapids have taken another step forward. Talks for this project began ages ago, back in 2007, but were put on hold due to financial concerns. Recently, the idea has gotten some new momentum to ride as the city continues to find ways to make downtown more appealing, and the amphitheater is just the beginning of a long list.
The city has been looking for ways to add fun outdoor activities to their beautiful downtown district which is full of great breweries and restaurants to hop between. They have been exploring plans to add an adventure park to this area to generate traffic in the area. This adventure park is said to possibly include a Zipline, Kayak Launch sites, green space, the amphitheater, and even housing towers that would provide ground level retail units.
Assembling An Amphitheater
The Grand Rapids/Kent County Convention/Arena Authority has been giving permission to look at purchase options for land and have now proposed to buy 11.6 acres of land on Market St in Downtown Grand Rapids. They have proposed an offer of 24.3 million dollars for the city owned land. The proposal will be seen by the Grand Rapids City Commission on Tuesday, March 29 and then by the CAA board of directors the following day, March 30.
The estimated cost for this project is not cheap. This is slated to be an 116 million dollar project (which includes the land purchase that must be done before June 30 unless an extension is granted)but with the cost being distributed between multiple investors. 81 million dollars are set to come from donor, state and private investments, another 15 million coming from the CAA themselves for property resale, and the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority or the Grand Rapids Brownfield Authority would pitch in the last 20 million.
Fast Forward To The Future
These dollars would be placed into a fund that already as allocation for the funds, mostly going to help out with the displacement of what is currently in the 11.6 acres of land that will be purchased. Most of the costs will be used to relocate business and add affordable housing at a Kent County Road Commission site located at 1500 Scribner Ave SW.
The plans for this amphitheater are not being rushed, they will be drawn out and executed to perfection as the 1500 Scribner location won't be purchased until 2023. They do eventually want to expand out as well, making this a total of 31 acres in land, with many various business and activities occupying the space.