Conference center expands


Work on the Crossroads Conference Center addition should be completed by the end of July or early August. Courtesy Crossroads Conference Center

There’s now more space for corporate events, weddings and other events in Grand Rapids.

The Crossroads Conference Center, 6569 Clay Ave. SW, is finishing up an expansion that nearly doubles its size.

The one-story, 4,000-square-foot center, located off U.S. 131 and M6 next to the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Grand Rapids, which shares the same address, recently added 3,500 square feet of meeting space, putting the center’s total size at 7,500 square feet. The expansion is attached to the existing building as one large, dividable section.

The work started in March and is expected to be completed by the end of this month or in early August, said Tony Strout, director of marketing and sales for the conference center and the Holiday Inn.

A grand opening for the new space likely will be held Aug. 13, he said.

The center previously had a maximum capacity of 300, Strout said, but that figure will jump to 500 with the addition.

“The driving factor (for the addition) was, really, there’s a lot of expansion going on in the area. We’ve got the Tanger Mall going in (Byron Center). We just have a lot of development in the area, and there are really no other large meeting venues in this part of Grand Rapids,” he said.

“There are some golf/country clubs, but to accommodate the larger corporations coming into the area … we felt expanding would be a better way to capture some of that business.”

Strout said enhancing the conference center’s technological capabilities also was an important part of the project, which he said likely will amount to more than $1 million, although he didn’t have the precise figures.

“It’s not like a lot of meeting spaces in the area. All this stuff is built right into the facility; our projectors are ceiling mounted, screens come out of the wall,” he said. “We’ve put a very robust Internet IP system in there. There’s a lot of high-speed bandwidth coming into the building.”

The Crossroads Conference Center and the Holiday Inn are both owned by Sudhir Modi, who built the hotel in 2001 and the center in 2007, after identifying what he saw as a general lack of meeting space in the southern Grand Rapids area, Strout said.

“It’s not so much that there’s new corporations coming in; it just seems that existing companies in the area are doing more meetings and larger meetings,” he said. “And it’s not even so much that it’s larger meetings — it’s just our current space only had three sections and those were filling up pretty quick. We were at maximum capacity.”

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