Developer builds 88 apartments off Medical Mile


A partial rendering of the Gateway at Belknap apartment building in northeast Grand Rapids, which will feature space for a restaurant and retail. Courtesy Orion Construction

An apartment building with a restaurant and retail space is being built just north of Medical Mile.


Orion Construction in Grand Rapids and its development arm, Orion Real Estate Solutions, will break ground on the mixed-use Gateway at Belknap in Grand Rapids, at 500 Coit Ave. NE, next Monday at 11 a.m.

Orion expects the project to be completed by next fall.

Concept Design in Grand Rapids is designing the project.

Representatives from Orion, DTN Management, Grand Rapids city officials and neighborhood organizations will be in attendance on Monday.

Officials from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Mayor-Elect Rosalynn Bliss will be on hand for remarks.

Mixed-use development

Plans for the three story, 98,471-square-foot development call for 88 apartments, parking, 6,500 square feet for a restaurant and 5,000 square feet of retail space.

The restaurant will be a to-be-named restaurant by Grand Rapids-based Meritage Hospitality Group, which also owns Twisted Rooster and Crooked Goose.

Neighborhood outreach

As the project replaces a large swath of homes, the it took much negotiation and compromise with the Belknap Neighborhood Association, said John Wheeler, president, Orion Real Estate Solutions.

“If it had not been for the feedback and genuine interactions with the Belknap neighborhood association, the planning department and the city of Grand Rapids, this project would have been tabled,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler said Orion "came to the neighborhood with a proposal and with compromise."

"So we can honestly say that the neighborhood, the local businesses and the greater initiatives in Grand Rapids will benefit from the Gateway development," Wheeler said. "This is an exciting project for us.

“This area is rich in Grand Rapids history. Some of the homes had fallen into disrepair, but we didn’t want those isolated pockets to deter folks from wanting to live in Belknap."

Wheeler added that Orion "understands the importance of preserving the culture, character and integrity of a neighborhood" and knows the benefit of adding new "offerings" to a neighborhood like Belknap.

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