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More “Beautification-Construction” in Downtown Grand Rapids

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We sure don’t sit still in Grand Rapids.  When one project finishes another begins.

This time it’s the renovation of the “sort-of- alley” between DeVos Place and the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

It’s a $4 million Lyon Square project that aims to make the area between Monroe and the Grand River look and feel welcoming to pedestrians. It also will rebuild the riverfront plaza for hosting public events.

Pretty much from the sky bridge west, they’re going to remove everything and replace it.

It’s ‘okay’ as it is, but the upgrades will certainly help and be much more inviting.  The street now serves as an access point for cars parking at DeVos Place and trucks loading and unloading at the hotel and convention center. The riverfront area includes a little-used amphitheater.

What they are planning will be a cleanup of the skywalk bridge exterior, planters, a grove of trees and canopies over the convention center loading docks.  Also, changes include a snowmelt system to alleviate winter snow removal hassles, wayfinding signs, banners and outdoor seating at Benthams, a restaurant in the hotel. The existing plaza will be redone, with the step-seating in the amphitheater replaced by a pair of 8-foot high concrete chairs.

Water fountains and wind turbines initially considered for the project are no longer in the plans, however, strings of lights are still being evaluated.

If on schedule, work should start in May and be finished by the beginning of ArtPrize in September.

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