DGRI eyes redevelopment of Lyon Square

The Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority board on Wednesday morning unanimously authorized Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. to enter into an agreement with Bishop Land Design LLC to complete designs for redevelopment of Lyon Square.

As part of the GR Forward plan, which aims to anchor downtown around the Grand River, Lyon Square was identified as one of 28 sites that can provide access to the river, and was cited as offering the opportunity to enhance existing amenities.

Lyon Square is a riverside public park area located between DeVos Place and the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

The boardwalk, river trail and the newly opened restaurant in the Amway Grand, The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck, all were noted as attractive options for further enhancement.

The agreement calls for Bishop Land Design to further refine the conceptual design of Lyon Square at a cost of no more than $20,000. That conceptualization includes the development of a grading and landscape plan, identifying materials required to complete the river trail, site furniture, lighting, ornamental fountains and pools, and preparing the site for further enhancements.

Scott Bishop, Bishop Land Design president and principal, played a big role in the initial plans for GR Forward, and DGRI Planning Manager Tim Kelly said during his presentation before the DDA board on Wednesday that there was “arguably no one more suited to complete this project.”

When the final drawings are complete, DGRI intends to use them to continue discussions with adjacent landowners at Lyon Square as an example for how the GR Forward project looks to proceed.

“It would also move us a step closer to having construction documents complete and really be more show ready, which is an important thing to keep in mind when we talk about raising funding,” Kelly said.

The GR Forward plan will be voted on for final approval by the City Commission on Tuesday.

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