Studio Park transaction signals start of changes to downtown streets
Published on February 01, 2018
City to hold informational open house on project’s impact on traffic, parking
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The City of Grand Rapids and Downtown Development Authority today are expected to complete the land transaction for the Studio Park project downtown, signaling the start of construction and changes to surrounding streets. Jackson Entertainment LLC purchased two city parking lots – Areas 4 and 5 – and the northbound and southbound U.S. 131 business routes between Cherry and Oakes streets, just south of Van Andel Arena.
In anticipation of the Studio Park development, the City is making changes to the surrounding streets this month, with work continuing through late summer and resuming next year. Planned 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 business routes close to traffic today. The Areas 4 and 5 parking lots remain open.
The City will hold an informational open house about the project and how it will impact downtown traffic and parking from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21 at Grand Rapids Community Foundation, 185 Oakes St. SW. Staff from the City’s Engineering, Traffic Safety and Mobile GR-Parking departments will be on hand to provide information and answer questions.
The Studio Park project – a public-private partnership – will require seven phases of street construction, six of which will occur this year. Detours will be clearly marked throughout the project. The 2018 work will conclude before ArtPrize in September.
Assistant City Engineer Rick DeVries said the project would include multiple phases to minimize impact on the community.
“We anticipate that work will move smoothly and that each project phase will highlight the progress of the work,” DeVries said.
The tentative phases are as follows:
Phase 1 – February - COMPLETE
A temporary traffic signal has been installed at the Ionia-Cherry intersection. New left and right-turn paving markings will be installed on the US-131 off-ramp at Cherry when weather and conditions allow. These improvements are in preparation for today’s permanent closure of the northbound and southbound US-131 business routes between Cherry and Oakes.
Phase 2 – March
Cherry under US-131 will be closed for storm sewer and street lighting work.
Phase 3: April – July
- Part 1 – Oakes between Grandville and Ionia will be closed for sanitary sewer, water main, street lighting, sidewalk and landscaping work.
- Part 2 – Northbound Ottawa between Oakes and Weston will be closed for sanitary sewer work.
Phase 4: August
Ionia between Cherry and Oakes will be closed for utility work.
Phase 5: August – September
Cherry between U.S. 131 business routes and Ionia will be closed for storm sewer, street lighting and street widening work.
Phase 6: June – July 2019
The addition of a new segment of Ottawa between Oakes and Cherry will bring street lighting, sidewalk and landscaping work. No street detours are anticipated for this phase of construction.
The road construction work is unique, with the developer building streets as part of a larger project and the City paying back the costs. Road construction costs are estimated at $3.2 million, with roughly $261,000 from the City’s Water System Fund, $369,000 from the Sewer System Fund and $2.6 million from the Street Capital Fund. The City will front end the costs and be reimbursed though Brownfield and DDA Tax Increment Financing – new taxes generated by the Studio Park project.
More information about the street changes is available at grandrapidsmi.gov/studiopark. Updates on other Grand Rapids road construction projects are available at grandrapidsmi.gov/roadconstruction or by calling 311 or 616.456.3000.
The $110 million Studio Park project will include a movie theater, hotel, apartments, office space and parking ramp in Phase I. A future $30 million Phase II would include a residential tower constructed above the parking ramp. The City’s Downtown Development Authority is selling the Areas 4 and 5 parking lots to the developer for $6,876,606.