JD Loeks, President of Loeks Theatres, Inc., officially announced a proposal to develop a mixed use project in downtown Grand Rapids on Monday. The plan includes a new megaplex theatre in downtown Grand Rapids.
The company actually began in downtown Grand Rapids in 1944. It started with The Powers Theatre on Pearl Street that was converted into a movie house called Foto News. It was later known as The Midtown Theatre.
After many years of planning, Loeks intends to return downtown with a new 9-screen theatre called Studio C!. The name itself pays homage to the significant accomplishments of the previous two generations and will continue the legacy of innovation by offering a theatre for the next generation of movie-goers.
Today, Loeks talked about his intent to seek the approval of the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority this Friday, to enter into an agreement to develop the mixed use project. The public meeting is 8 a.m. on Friday, April 15 at the DDA offices.
The plan for the publicly owned property is located south of Van Andel Arena (area lots 4 and) and will be built in two phases. The $100-million first phase, which is expected to break ground in early 2017, is a partnership with Grand Rapids-based 616 Development. It will feature the movie theatre, 38,000 square foot of retail, approximately 187 residential units, a large public piazza and a 900-space parking ramp which will expand the parking supply in the immediate area by approximately 300 spaces.
The details of the second phase will be announced at a later time and will include finishing the residential portion of the plan.
616 Development currently operates several properties in Grand Rapids’ downtown and outlying urban neighborhoods.