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Arena authority approves option to buy riverfront property for amphitheater in Grand Rapids

The public authority that owns Van Andel Arena is moving forward with a proposed plan to build a 14,000-seat amphitheater in downtown Grand Rapids.The Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention Arena/Authority (CAA) approved an option agreement with the city to purchase part of a 17-acre stretch of property along the Grand River.

This is the “second step in a process” of securing the city-owned land at 201 Market Ave. SW, said Dick Wendt, an attorney for the arena authority, during the CAA’s Friday, Feb. 5 meeting.

The agreement will now go to the Grand Rapids City Commission for approval on Tuesday, Feb. 9.The CAA estimates the amphitheater would require at least 11.6 acres of the land. The estimated cost of the property is $24.3 million with the site valued at $48.12 per square foot.

The agreement does not require the entire property to be purchased, and further development could occupy the remaining space.

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, a CAA board member, said the approved option agreement is an “exciting step forward” in the dream of building an amphitheater.

The city and the CAA already reached a cost-sharing agreement for $18.6 million in pre-development infrastructure work that must be completed prior to any construction in and around the proposed amphitheater site, which includes a mix of public and private properties along Market Avenue SW between Fulton and Wealthy streets to prep the site for development by relocating a sewer line.

The CAA has until Dec. 31 to close on the property.

The concept of building an amphitheater in Grand Rapids is also being eyed by Grand Action 2.0, an economic development group.

Posted By: mlive on February 5, 2021.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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