GRAND RAPIDS — It was one of the very few times that members of the Downtown Development Authority approved their share of funding for a project without a bid being let or an exact cost of the work being known.
But the panel recently agreed to spend $332,000 to reconstruct a portion of Pearl Street, work that is tied to the new 24-story hotel that Alticor Inc. will put up at the corner of Pearl and Campau Avenue.
“We’re just pre-approving,” said DDA Chairperson Kayem Dunn, who added that the city would go through the normal bid process soon to find a contractor for the project.
The work will rebuild Pearl from Campau to the Grand River and includes new curbs, gutters and catch basins, a new watermain, sanitary and storm sewers, new street lighting, telecom ducts and traffic signals.
City engineer Rick DeVries told board members that the work needs to get done this summer and is set to start early next month and take roughly two months to complete. Key for the project, he said, was to get a sewer installed in the alley near the Forslund Building.
“It needs to happen now,” said DeVries.
The city has estimated that the entire project will cost about $735,000. In addition to the DDA, the city water fund system will contribute $208,000 to the work and the city sewer fund will add another $26,000 to it. Alticor, through HP3 LLC, will spend $169,000 on the project.
The DDA could have this matter on its agenda again next month if the winning bid exceeds the city’s cost estimate of the project. Funds for the DDA’s share is in its budget. Final approval for the project will have to come from city commissioners.