Steve Heacock to step down from CAA

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Steve Heacock Courtesy Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority

Steve Heacock, board chair for the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority (CAA), announced he will resign from the board this summer.

Heacock, who already planned to make his current term on the CAA board his last, in a statement said he was encouraged by the county to consider stepping down sooner.

“As I understand it, they want the new member involved in the many current CAA issues that will define the future of the CAA, including COVID-related finances and the amphitheater,” he said. “They also would like someone on the CAA board who is more closely associated with the current commission.”

To that end, Heacock said he will resign from the CAA board effective June 30, the end of the current fiscal year.

“Needless to say, the CAA has been a big part of my identity for many years,” he said. “The friendships formed with each of you and many others through CAA service has enriched my life beyond measure. Thank you.”

Heacock originally identified the amphitheater project worth consideration around 2007, according to a previous Business Journal report. At the time, Heacock said Kent County tended to lack tourists during the summer, so the CAA was exploring ideas to better attract tourists during those months.

Most recently, the city commission approved an option agreement with CAA for the sale of a portion of the city property at 201 Market Ave. SW, which is now in the running to be the new home for the amphitheater.

The CAA is proceeding with its final due diligence, along with amphitheater project partners. The option agreement with the city anticipated the CAA will exercise the option by June 30 — the time of Heacock’s departure — but provides for an extension of that due diligence period upon agreement of the parties. If the CAA proceeds to exercise its option, the option agreement anticipates the CAA will close on the property by Dec. 31 unless otherwise extended by agreement of the parties.

Heacock has served as CAA board chair for approximately 18 years and was instrumental in its early formation. He also is a former executive committee member and volunteer counsel for Grand Action and former chair of the Kent County board of commissioners. In these and other roles, Heacock was a leader in the creation of Millennium Park, Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place.

Heacock currently serves as president of Grand Rapids Whitewater, a position he’s held since January 2019.

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