GRAND RAPIDS — City officials have approved a $2.2 million contract with the architect designing a new public services facility, which will help to facilitate the development of a downtown amphitheater.
The Grand Rapids City Commission on Tuesday night approved the design contract with Bergmann Associates Inc., which is creating a site plan for the city to relocate various city services from 201 Market Ave. to 1500 Scribner Ave. NW on the city’s north side.
The relocation opens up 201 Market for the development of a planned 12,000-capacity amphitheater.
The relocation also has been the primary barrier for the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority (CAA) to exercise a $24.3 million option agreement with the city of Grand Rapids to purchase the 201 Market property. The option agreement deadline for the CAA to purchase the property from the city has been extended multiple times. CAA officials have said they hope to meet the current June 30 deadline for the property sale.
The Market Avenue property currently houses a range of city services, including the public works, parks and recreation, forestry, and fleet and facilities management offices.
The $2.2 million design contract with Bergmann Associates will be funded by the city’s capital improvement fund.
The design firm is tasked with creating a site plan for relocating the city services to Scribner Avenue, which currently houses Kent County Road Commission offices and facilities. Accommodating city services will require renovations to the existing 38,000-square-foot office building on Scribner. An additional 74,000 square feet will also be added to the existing 72,000-square-foot garage for indoor vehicle storage. A new 74,000-square-foot fleet maintenance and facility space as well as a new 41,000-square foot refuse facility would also be added at Scribner, per the city’s plan.
The Road Commission plans to relocate to 1900 4 Mile Road NW at the WalkerView Industrial Park in Walker.
The design process could take seven months for Bergmann to complete, but bid packages are expected to go out before that to plan ahead for longer lead times for construction materials, Grand Rapids City Engineer Tim Burkman said during a Tuesday morning committee meeting.
“All of this is in preparation for the anticipated amphitheater and surrounding redevelopment opportunities in and around the 201 site,” Burkman said.
Grand Action 2.0 is leading the amphitheater development, which is part of a broader, mixed-use vision for more than 30 acres along the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids.
The city previously worked with Bergmann Associates on an earlier planning phase to move city services from 201 Market. The city approved the early planning contract on June 16, 2020 for $66,000, with total authorized project expenditures not to exceed $78,100. Additional services were authorized on Jan. 17 this year in the amount of $132,500 to provide initial site investigation and pre-design services.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Bergmann Associates is based in Grand Rapids, where it has a satellite office.