Construction date set for Studio Park
February 27, 2018
(As seen on WZZM TV 13) The ambitious Studio Park development is on track to begin construction, following the recent sale of the two lots on which it will be built. The current plan features some changes, notably an increase in the number of residential units in phase one and an increase in the square footage of Class A office space the project hopes to bring to market.
Jeffrey Olsen, partner with Olsen Loeks Development, said the northbound and southbound business routes on U.S. 131 between Cherry and Oakes streets closed early in February when the transaction was made.
“We also have some right of way work, which is the Ottawa Avenue extension and the utility improvements,” he added.
The utility improvements include installing a new traffic signal at the Ionia Avenue-Cherry Street intersection.
Olsen Loeks Development is a partnership between Olson and J.D. Loeks, who owns Jackson Entertainment LLC. Jackson purchased the two parking lots, Areas 4 and 5, early in February.
Jackson Entertainment is an offshoot of Celebration Cinema.
Crews will begin testing the deep foundations of the worksite in the next two to four weeks, and Olsen anticipated a groundbreaking in either April or May. The time frame will be contingent on weather. Olsen added there will be around 100 parking spots remaining for public use during construction, and the city will lease 300 spaces from Jackson Entertainment when the new parking ramp is complete.
Since gaining approval from the Downtown Development Authority in August 2017, the plans for the project have been altered. The plan is broken into two phases, and phase one now details 106 residential units, over 18,000 square feet of retail space, a parking ramp with 946 spaces, a public piazza and a nine-screen Studio C! movie theater covering about 45,000 square feet.
According to a memo from the DDA, the plans approved in August previously detailed 98 residential units, 32,000 square feet of retail and a ramp with 750-900 parking spaces.
“What we did with the city was done on a conceptual level,” Olsen explained, “and when we got to design, we were able to accommodate a few more (residential) units.”
The plans also include a 155-room Canopy by Hilton hotel adjacent to the piazza. The partnership with Hilton was unveiled early in January. Studio Park partner Lodgco Hospitality is tied to the project.
“It’s been a long process, and we’re excited to start moving dirt,” said Mike Postle, vice president of development and project management for Lodgco.
Lodgco contracted Pioneer Construction and Chicago-based Valerio Dewalt Train Associates Inc. for architecture. The hotel investment totals over $40 million.