When it comes to concert and performance venues in Michigan, Detroit and Grand Rapids have great options. The Detroit area has the DTE Energy Music Theatre Amphitheatre, The Fillmore, The Fox Theatre, Little Caesars Arena and a plethora of smaller venues. Grand Rapids has the Van Andel Arena, one of the best performance venues in Michigan. They also have 20 Monroe Live and Frederik Meijer Gardens, along with some smaller venues. The group that owns the Van Andel Arena has plans to build a 14,000 seat amphitheater in downtown Grand Rapids. An agreement has been approved, and the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention Arena/Authority will purchase a piece of a 17 acre property that runs along the Grand River. It’s part two of a process of acquiring land owned by the city of Grand Rapids at 201 Market Street S.W., the agreement must be approved by the Grand Rapids City Commission.

MLive reports: Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, a CAA board member, said the approved option agreement is an “exciting step forward” in the dream of building an amphitheater. The city and the CAA already reached a cost-sharing agreement for $18.6 million in pre-development infrastructure work that must be completed prior to any construction in and around the proposed amphitheater site, which includes a mix of public and private properties along Market Avenue SW between Fulton and Wealthy streets to prep the site for development by relocating a sewer line.

Estimates from the Convention/Arena Authority require at least 11.6 acres of the land, at an estimated cost of 24.3 million, the site is valued at $48.12 per square foot. The entire property is not required to be purchased, as further development could use the remaining space. Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss says this is an “exciting step forward” in the dream of building an amphitheater.

The CAA must close on the property by the end of December. Music and live performance shows will return once we have a handle on this pandemic. For those of us who enjoy live performances, you can’t have too many options to see a show. As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life.

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