City helping visitors navigate downtown parking amid lot closures

Published on February 27, 2018

.jpg photo of Area 5 parking booth

9,000 parking spots available near site and apps help visitors get around

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. –
As the City prepares to close Areas 4 and 5 parking lots on Oakes Street SW to make way for the Studio Park project, it is helping visitors navigate the changes and know their options. Area 4 closes March 7, while Area 5 is expected to close in mid-April. 

“There are more than 9,000 parking spaces in or near the Arena South district in public and private lots that are available throughout the construction period,” said Josh Naramore, the City’s MobileGR and Parking Services manager. “Plus, there are several ways to get around downtown – by automobile, bus, foot or bike. We have several resources that can help people connect with nearby public parking spaces and different transportation options.”

One resource is the Downtown Parking and Mobility Guide that helps visitors find parking and other mobility options. It is available at grandrapidsmi.gov/getarounddowntown. For those with smartphones, there are the myStop Mobile, GR Park and Parkmobile apps. These are available in the App Store and Google Play.

The myStop app provides real-time bus schedule and location information for DASH and Rapid buses. The City’s DASH buses are free to ride and circulate downtown, while The Rapid’s Silver Line is free north of Wealthy Street. Additionally, the GR Park app shows availability in City facilities and shows the closest locations first. Parkmobile allows users to pay for metered street parking directly from a mobile device.

The groundbreaking for Studio Park, which will include a movie theater, hotel, apartments, office space and parking ramp, is expected in April or May. The development will include 900 parking spaces, replacing the 595 in Areas 4 and 5 combined. The City will lease 300 spaces for public parking.

In anticipation of the development, the City began transitioning monthly permit holders from Areas 4 and 5 to other parking areas more than two years ago. The process is nearly completed. 

The City also began making changes to the surrounding roads this month, with work continuing through late summer and resuming next year. The changes include removing the northbound and southbound US-131 business routes between Cherry and Oakes streets, extending Ottawa between Cherry and Oakes, and installing a traffic signal at the Ionia Avenue-Cherry Street intersection. 

The road construction project will include seven phases – six of which will occur this year. Detours will be clearly marked throughout construction, which will end before ArtPrize in September. 

More information about the street changes is available at grandrapidsmi.gov/studiopark or by calling the City’s 311 Customer Service at 311 or 616.456.3000.