City plans $11M redevelopment of arena


A conceptual rendering of the redeveloped Holland Civic Center. Courtesy city of Holland

After an anonymous donation of roughly $2 million, a city in the region has announced its plan to redevelop an iconic structure in its downtown.

The city of Holland announced this week its proposal for a roughly $11-million redevelopment and design project to overhaul the Holland Civic Center and the surrounding property located at 50 W. 9th St.

The multi-purpose arena has 2,700 seats and originally opened its doors in 1954.

The plans

The proposed conceptual plan includes investing in the structure's infrastructure, adding square footage, updating the interior with modern amenities, such as air conditioning and expanded meeting areas, and outdoor improvements.

Several of the outdoor amenities would include expanded green space, a jet splash pad, children’s sculpture garden and a band shell performance stage with terraced seating.

The redeveloped center would be roughly 30,000 square feet.

“This conceptual plan takes into account the popularity of the Eighth Street Market and acknowledges the passion that our community has placed on this part of downtown,” said Kurt Dykstra, former mayor of the city of Holland as of July 1. “It is an iconic re-definition of our downtown.”

Ryan Cotton, city manager for the city of Holland, indicated the final design and public review will take place this summer and in the fall.

The conceptual design was created by GMB Architecture + Engineering, which has locations in Holland, Grand Rapids and Indianapolis.

Need and downtown development

“The facility has been a center of recreation, events, shows and the farmers market for decades,” Cotton said. “It is tired, and it is time for re-investment.

“We also have the new opportunity of doing so in coordination with new growth of downtown toward the waterfront, new snowmelt potential, new reational amenities and changing traffic patterns on 9th Street at the same time.” 


Dykstra said the city and community partners will seek additional private support to make the project a reality.

He added that the Holland Civic Center has long “occupied an important place in the Holland community.”

The city of Holland anticipates the fundraising campaign and debt-issuance process will begin concurrent with final design work.

Fundraising, budgeting and bidding for a contractor are expected to begin this winter or early next spring, according to Cotton.

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