Hotel re-visits plans for high-traffic site


The St. Louis Embassy Suites hotel. Embassy Suites Hotels, with more than 200 locations, is the nation's largest chain of upscale, all-suite hotels. Photo via

Call it déjà vu all over again.

East Beltline hotel

A hotel project that was approved by Grand Rapids planners in 2006, but was never built, is expected to make another appearance before the city’s planning commission in January.

Suburban Inns of Holland, which is owned and operated by the Beukema family, has indicated it plans to revive its original proposal to build a hotel and a restaurant in Grand Rapids, at 2321 East Beltline Ave. SE.

In May of 2006, city planners awarded Suburban Inns a zoning change for a four story, 27,450-square-foot hotel with 134 rooms on the site. In addition, planners gave the Beukemas a green light to also construct a 7,150-square-foot restaurant on the property, which would have 232 parking spaces.

The following month, planning commissioners awarded liquor licenses to the proposed hotel and restaurant. A Class B license for the hotel and a Class C license for the restaurant.

The plan back then was to make the new hotel a Hilton address. But the hotel chain decided not to follow through on the arrangement, because it felt the Suburban Inns operation would be competition for an existing Hilton in the area.

The Beukemas already own the East Beltline property. The land has a 2013 State Equalized Value of $271,200, according the Kent County property records.

Embassy Suites Grand Rapids

Should city planners approve the request, the East Beltline location would become the second hotel Suburban inns has proposed to build in Grand Rapids over the past several years.

In June, the city gave Suburban Inns a three-year extension to construct an Embassy Suites hotel on a 40,000-square-foot lot, at the southeast corner of Newberry Street NW and Monroe Avenue NW in the Monroe North Business District.

The firm first proposed putting the hotel on the former Western American Mailers property in 2007. But the nation’s financial market crashed shortly after Suburban Inns revealed its plans, and financing for hotels became scare then and stayed that way through much of the following recession.

The Embassy Suites hotel will feature 270 rooms, conference space, covered parking and an indoor swimming pool shaped like the state of Michigan.

The Beukemas have secured a brownfield plan for the hotel and also were awarded a tax credit from the state for the project. Construction hasn’t begun yet.

Suburban Inns owns and operates two Holiday Inn Expresses in Grandville and Holland, a Hampton Inn in Holland and the Holiday Inn of Midland.

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