GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Corewell Health plan to demolish buildings and build parking lots near its new administrative headquarters has been put on hold. The Grand Rapids Planning Commission voted to table the proposal late Thursday afternoon.
Only one planning commissioner voted against the motion to table. The commissioners who voted to put the plan on hold say Corewell needs to better engage the community on how the lots will be used in the future.
Some also called for more details on future accessibility plans for alternative transportation. Corewell was proposing demolishing building and creating surface parking lots. The lots would be at 648 Bond and 637 and 647 Ottawa avenues in Grand Rapids near a new Corewell parking garage.
A green space was also proposed at the former Eastern Kille Distillery at 700 Ottawa Avenue, and a former welding business behind the property, 711 Ionia Avenue. The proposal would have opened up the possibility of a surface parking lot on that green space site in the future.
Corewell said the plan would get rid of old buildings that are not being used. The healthcare system said the lots would not add parking to the area but replace spaces for other planned developments. The company said it intends to build housing for its residents and fellows program but is awaiting for funding to be finalized before bringing that before the commission.
Some residents say there are better uses for the land than parking lots.
“We want vibrant and walkable and connected and liveable and do you think that surface level parking lots provide that? Because I don’t,” said one Grand Rapids resident.
“I just want to let you know that you’ve been heard and I have taken copious notes and I do appreciate it but … I just want to emphasize that we’ve tried to create flexibility in the plan and it is our overall intent not to over build. We also created walkability,” said Alan Kranzo with Corewell Health.
It’s unclear when the proposal will come in front of the planning commission again.