GRNow Weekly Preview October 1-7, 2012 E-mail
October gets underway with Pulaski Days, the final week of ArtPrize, Rascall Flatts, Ingrid Michaelson, the opening of more haunted attractions like Nights of Fear, the Fall Parade of Homes and much more.


GRNow Weekly Preview September 24-30, 2012 E-mail
Another gigantic week of events includes the continuation of ArtPrize, along with Oktoberfest, Style Battle, the Wurst Festival Ever, the Grand Rapids Urban Adventure Race, the opening of The Haunt and much more.


John Waters’ Homage To Trash E-mail
by Bruce Madden

Was I the only audience member who felt that John Waters standing on the Civic Theater stage with a large orange stool by his side reeked with symbolic irony? I know I wasn’t the only one who laughed out loud for the next hour and a half.

Waters, the first speaker in the Grand Rapids Artprize Speaker Series unloaded a frenetic, acidic and thoroughly comedic onslaught of the bizarre by anyone’s standards during his 90 minute creative schtick before a capacity crowd of West Michiganders.

GRNow Weekly Preview September 17-23, 2012 E-mail
It's time for ArtPrize! Beginning Wednesday see the work of over 1,500 artist at more than 160 venues in and around downtown Grand Rapids. The ridiculously busy week also includes the GR Symphony's Opening Night Spectacular, Glow in the Dark swing dancing, Holland's Live Mannequin Night, roller derby, GVSU football and the circus at Van Andel Arena.

GRNow Weekly Preview September 10-16, 2012 E-mail
It's another jam-packed week of events with the first wave of ArtPrize events, the Eastown Street Fair, a 9/11 Remembrance, KISS and Motley Crue at the Allegan County Fair, Up on the Roof, Pachanga Latina!, the West Side Pizza Shoot-Out and much more.


*ArtPrize preview: Norm the Dragon & a few downtown pics
*ArtPrize preview: Frederik Meijer Gardens
*ArtPrize preview: 'A Second Chance at Life' (the T-Rex)
*ArtPrize photos: 50 Monroe/Huntington building
*Announced: WWE Smackdown at Van Andel Arena Nov 20
WMCAT's Make It Take It returns Sep 18
*Now Open:RitaGirl's Mobile Bakery
*Sneak Preview: Perrin Brewing Company
*Sneak Preview: The Mitten Brewing Company

Real-time Newest Events & Noteworthy Events
GRNow Photos on Flickr & Facebook
See Grand Rapids' history on Pinterest
Past Popular Links


Development Company Proposes Three New Buildings for Downtown GR E-mail
Rendering for 205 S. Division/26 Cherry SW Midland, Michigan-based real estate development firm Brookstone Capital, LLC is proposing to build three new six-story mixed-income apartment buildings in the Heartside Neighborhood. One complex would be constructed on the empty lot at 240 Ionia Ave SW (next to Purple East), while the other two would be built on adjacent lots at 205 South Division and 26 Cherry St SW.

The project would add 131 new housing units, 80% of which would rent restricted while the other 20% would be market rate. The modern design will feature a colored metallic facing along with plenty of glass.

To help make the project happen, Brookstone Capital, LLC is taking advantage of a new PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) resolution adopted earlier this year by the City of Grand Rapids that would allow the developer to participate in the MSHDA Low Income Housing Tax Credits program. The Downtown Development Authority approved the PILOT program today and groundbreaking could begin as quickly as September 17.

The estimated total cost of the project is $36 million.

Viceroy Closed to Make Room for Expanded Stella's Lounge E-mail
by staff

The Viceroy on Commerce Ave SW has been closed to make room for an expansion of Stella's Lounge next door. The converted space will become a dance party area featuring a different local DJ, Thursdays through Saturdays.

"It'll be pretty unique in Grand Rapids - an edgy, adult place to dance rather than a pickup joint/night club. Think Reptile House but a little less grungy," said BarFly Ventures partner Mark Sellers, owners and operators of Stella's and Viceroy.

The Viceroy doors were officially shut on September 8, and work has already begun on the conversion. In fact, Sellers hopes to have the construction completed in two days, in time for a September 13 opening. "This is probably the shortest, fastest construction project we've ever be involved in. Less than a week from start to finish," he said. " The customers probably won't notice there's any construction going on at all."

The decision for the switch simply came down to popularity. "Stella's is a lot more popular, and seems to resonate with customers more. The Viceroy never really caught on except for a small niche audience. It was mostly an overflow room for when Stella's got too crowded. Many of the customers weren't really there for The Viceroy," Sellers said.

The new club area will be open from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursdays-Saturdays with DJs like Todd Ernst, Colin Clive, and DJ Kermit spinning retro dance tunes from the 70's, 80's and 90's.

Kendall Building May Finally Have New Life E-mail
by staff

*Confirmed on September 10, 2012*...616 Development has purchased the Kendall Building and will turn it into apartments, offices and ground floor retail space.

Here's the official press release:

616 Development today announced a $4 million plan to restore the five-story, 122-year-old Kendall Building, bringing new life to a long-vacant downtown location.

616LoftsattheKendallrendering The 616 Lofts at the Kendall project will restore a landmark building at one of the city’s busiest intersections with 12 market-rate apartments, offices and ground-floor retail space. A rooftop deck will also be added for residents of the Kendall and other 616 Lofts buildings to use.

“This is a project we have dreamed about for years as we walked and drove by this amazing, but neglected building,” said Derek Coppess, founder of 616 Development. “This building gives you the best access to everything downtown has to offer, and it’s literally across the street from public parking ramps and public transit. In short, it has everything we look for in a 616 Lofts building.”

The Kendall building has been mostly vacant and boarded up for more than two decades, despite its location overlooking the intersection of Fulton Street and Division Avenue. A company controlled by 616 Development closed on the purchase of the building last week.

“Having a proven developer announce this project as we prepare for improvements to the adjacent Veteran’s Park, Monument Park and Monroe Center streetscape will result in a remarkable change at this historic center of Grand Rapids,” said Kristopher Larson, executive director of the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority. “Redevelopment of the Kendall building along with other improvements in the area will help reconnect Monroe Center with the eastern end of downtown.”

Apartments at 616 Lofts at the Kendall are expected to start at about $800 for a studio unit. There will be three two-bedroom units, six one-bedroom units and three studio units inside the top three levels of the building.

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