The proposed hotel at Mid Towne Village would feature 149 rooms and be finished in 2015. Courtesy DDA
A local lodging operator that first proposed a $28 million hotel for the North Monroe Business District in 2007, and then upgraded the project just a few months ago, has asked for an extension.
The Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority gave Suburban Inns of Rockford, owned by father-and-son team Peter and Brian Beukema, three more years to build an Embassy Suites hotel on the southeast corner of Monroe Avenue and Newberry Street NW.
The Beukemas also have asked the Michigan Strategic Fund for the additional time because the state awarded the project a 10 percent Michigan Business Tax credit in 2008. In March, the developers told the Monroe North Business Association they were 98 percent certain the project would go forward and they intended to begin construction this summer and finish during the fall of next year.
Kara Wood, executive director of the brownfield authority and city economic development director, said the MSF looks to a local brownfield authority for direction on whether to grant an extension and is more likely to award one if an authority supports doing so.
Wood also said the developers have indicated to her they still plan to start the project in the near future and are going through the approval process with the city. She added that the Beukemas have told her the project remains the same: a nine-story hotel with parking, conference space, an indoor pool shaped like the state of Michigan, a restaurant, and luxury suites instead of rooms to attract longer-staying guests such as corporate travelers and vacationers.
“They are ready to start the project, but they would like more time. There is no downside; they just want to get the (tax) credit,” said Wood. She added that the city extended the nearly tax-free Renaissance Zone for the project a few years ago and that extension is still in play.
“We have a franchise license for an Embassy Suites,” said Brian Beukema in March.
“The all-suites property allows more room and comfort on longer stays and more space in each suite for families and leisure travel,” said Peter Beukema.
Their first attempt to build the hotel was derailed by the near-complete collapse of the nation’s financial market in 2008, and the Beukemas have been seeking financing for their project ever since.
Suburban Inns operates two hotels in Holland and one each in Midland and Grandville.
At the same time, the brownfield authority provided support for another hotel proposed for the city by approving its work plan, development contract and reimbursement agreement.
Third Coast Development Partners, owned by Dave Levitt and Brad Rosely, wants to put up a 94,000-square-foot hotel and a 30,000-square-foot office building on its Mid Towne Village development, which is just north of Michigan Street NE along the Medical Mile.
This $31 million project will mark the development’s second phase, will fill the village and will bring its total investment to $68 million. The hotel will have a parking ramp, while the office structure will have below-ground parking. Both parking facilities qualify as reimbursable activities under state law because both are part of a new development and aren’t surface lots. Third Coast has nearly $7.5 million in those activities that will be reimbursed through tax-increment financing once the work is done.
“The neighborhood association is in favor of the project,” said Wood.
The hotel is expected to offer 149 rooms. Construction is set to begin this year and be finished about halfway through 2015. Work on the office building will start in 2015 and be completed in 2016.