How to find parking during Studio Park construction

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A second parking lot behind Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids will close next week to accommodate a major construction project.

The $140 million Studio Park development will break ground this spring. It will sit on what’s currently two parking lots along Oakes Street SW west of Ionia Avenue. The first of those lots closed last month. The second will close Monday.

>>Online: Studio Park construction details

That’s making parking tight, especially for monthly pass users who work downtown. And with some streets blocked off, getting around has been a hassle, too. Cale Rohdy, who works downtown, said he lost his parking space, detours are a headache and parking for some is farther away.

“They totally need to add more parking around here,” Rohdy said.

Though the city is losing roughly 600 spots in the short term while construction is underway, there will be about 900 spots in the area after the project is done. Of those, 300 will be leased by the city.

“There’s a lot of parking on street and off street just in the adjacent (areas). You may have to give yourself more time to drive to one of those other facilities,” Mobile GR & Parking Manager Josh Naramore said.

Overall, he said, there are roughly 20,000 parking spaces in the downtown area that are publicly and privately owned. The city manages about 8,000 of them.

The area within about a third of a mile of Van Andel Arena has about 9,000 parking spaces both on- and off-street. And there’s a techy way to find those spots with the city’s GR Park App.

“Which shows you in real time how much parking is available in any of the city’s public facilities and how much it costs,” Naramore explained. “And if you need, it’ll help give you directions via your smartphone.”

Additionally, The Rapid’s Silver Line is free between Wealthy Street and Central Station and so is the DASH, which connects the West Side to the Downtown Market.

Naramore noted the Silver Line runs on the weekends and the city is working toward adding weekend service for the Dash in the summer or fall to help with the transition as part of this development.

When finished, Studio Park will include a nine-screen movie theater, restaurants, hotel, office space, apartments and retail, as well as a public plaza.

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