Downtown GR amphitheater gets closer look as Grand Action takes over PHOTO: EXPERIENCE GRAND RAPIDS

Downtown GR amphitheater gets closer look as Grand Action takes over

BY Friday, October 02, 2020 12:30pm

GRAND RAPIDS — A downtown Grand Rapids amphitheater appears to be the most plausible of the major downtown development projects now being pursued by Grand Action.

The Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority board approved a resolution Friday morning authorizing the authority to “proceed with efforts to determine whether there is an appropriate site for the location of an amphitheater.”

Those efforts are now being led by Grand Action, the business group that has pushed major Grand Rapids development projects over the past 25 years. MiBiz first reported the group’s involved on Thursday.

Grand Action has “embraced this potential (amphitheater) project and likely will get involved in its planning and fundraising for it,” Steve Heacock, president and CEO of Grand Rapids Whitewater and CAA board member, said during the meeting. “We don’t know that for certain yet, but that’s a very, very good potential.”

Heacock added that multiple studies over recent years have all concluded a downtown amphitheater would result in positive economic activity, and that “site selection is the next big step.”

Two potential sites on Market Avenue Southwest along the Grand River have been previously mentioned: 201 Market, where the city recently walked away from a separate $270 million development deal, and 63 Market Avenue Southwest, the site of the former Charley’s Crab restaurant.

The resolution approved Friday effectively means Grand Action will take over the due diligence of examining potential sites and what kind of economic spin off would occur with a new amphitheater. That effort has been led for the past two years by a “proof of concept task force” under the CAA.

Doug Small, executive director of Experience Grand Rapids and chair of the task force, said the resolution means the task force would “step back and allow the CAA board to work with Grand Action on these projects,” which also include potentially expanding convention space downtown.

“We’ll stand ready to assist should you ask us to reconvene,” Small said.

Read 3254 times