Health system plans to move up to 500 workers downtown


25 Ottawa is a Class A office building in downtown Grand Rapids' Arena District. Photo via

A health system is planning to move up to 500 employees into downtown to consolidate part of its local workforce.

Consolidating staff

Spectrum Health has requested a Parking Incentive Plan, or discounted parking fees, from the city of Grand Rapids Parking Commission to accommodate moving the workers into the Twenty 5 Ottawa building in the Arena District, at 25 Ottawa Ave. SW.

The Grand Rapids-based health system is in the process of consolidating employees who work at 60th Street and East Beltline, Leonard Street and East Beltline and new hires into Twenty 5 Ottawa, according to a memo filed with the Parking Commission.

Parking incentive

Pamela Ritsema, managing director of enterprise services for the Parking Services Department, says in the memo that Spectrum has also requested use of the parking cash-out program, whereby the employer offers a cash parking allowance to employees, who then pay the city for parking.

The city recommends that Spectrum Health receive a number of discounted spaces for its employees: 75 cards for Government Center; 36 cards for Pearl Ionia; 120 cards for Ottawa Fulton; and 75 cards for the Louis Campau ramp.

“Spectrum’s parking cash out, combined with Spectrum’s transit benefit for any Spectrum employee riding The Rapid are policies the city wishes to encourage,” Ritsema says. “This is the first business unit that Spectrum is cashing out of parking.”

The request will be discussed during the regular Parking Commission meeting this Thursday.

The Parking Incentive Plan was originally adopted in 1995 by the City Commission, and in 2010, the Parking Commission re-opened the closed plan to roughly 175 cards at Government Center, 200 cards at Ottawa Fulton, 150 cards at Pearl Ionia and 100 cards at Weston Commerce.

Currently, there are 35 cards used through the program at Ottawa Fulton.

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