GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Developers Wednesday broke ground on a $45 million project in the Arena District downtown.
Arena Place will be a 200,000 square foot mixed-use property on Ottawa Avenue, southwest of Van Andel Arena. It will include 100 apartments, retail stores, office space, and a four-story parking garage.
Three tenants include a Miller Johnson, law firm which will relocate its headquarters to the space; Meritage Hospitality, which owns the Twisted Rooster restaurant; and Do More Good, the largest ad agency in West Michigan.
"We have been in refurbished buildings for 25 years, we really wanted to get involved in something. In the past we have been a renter and now we are an investor in this project," said Bill McKendry of Do More Good.
In the past, the city couldn't give away the empty lots, but now there is a high demand for apartments and commercial space.
"Over the past 20 years Grand Rapids' downtown population has increased by 188%. We have developers with waiting lists over 1,000 people long--people that want to live downtown," said Kris Larson, director of the Downtown Development Authority.
City planners want to see more projects like this, which is why they provided Orion Construction with $3 million in tax increment financing.
Developers hope Arena Place will be finished in 2015.