City commission purchases Kent County Road Commission site

The $7.45 million purchase of 1500 Scribner Ave. NW is $300,000 less than the original purchase price. Courtesy Grand Rapids City Commission

The Grand Rapids City Commission unanimously approved an amendment to an option agreement with the Kent County Road Commission for the sale of the current home of the Kent County Road Commission.

The $7.45 million purchase of 1500 Scribner Ave. NW is $300,000 less than the original purchase price. It recognizes the environmental conditions associated with the city’s desired use of the property. The road commission also will remove existing underground storage tanks currently used by the road commission prior to closing.

The northern third of the property could be purchased after Jan. 3, 2022. The city and road commission are expected to close on the entire property by Sept. 30, 2023.

The city plans to relocate its public works operations to the Scribner site and vacate its 201 Market Ave SW. facilities for future redevelopment of the riverfront property as part of the 31-acre Market Corridor redevelopment project.

“This is another important, incremental step in the potential redevelopment along this portion of the Grand River and the Market Avenue Corridor,” City Manager Mark Washington said.

The city’s approval follows an action earlier this year by the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority to option a portion of the city’s 201 Market site for the potential location of a 12,000-seat amphitheater.

Relocation of the eastside trunk sewer — a long-standing barrier to the future redevelopment of the Market Avenue corridor — currently is underway and expected to wrap up by spring 2022.

The city commission took another important step Tuesday when it awarded the Phase II contract for the trunk sewer relocation project at a savings of $2 million.

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