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News | November 9, 2015
4 minute read

New Mixed-Use Development Planned for Downtown Grand Rapids

A new business partnership will enhance the skyline of downtown Grand Rapids with the addition of a new mixed-use development.

More detailed plans will be unveiled in the first quarter of 2016 for the new project, which is slated for the corner of Ottawa Avenue and Lyon Street.  Orion Real Estate Solutions will partner with Midtown Properties – Pearl & Ottawa LLC and DTN Management to build a “game-changing mixed-use development” in the city’s Central Business District. 

The law firm Warner Norcross + Judd LLP intends to be the anchor tenant in the project, which is slated to open in 2019.  Concept Design has been selected as the lead architect for the project.

“Orion Real Estate Solutions has spent 14 months creating a concept that satisfies a number of objectives and delivers what we know to be a game-changing mixed-use development in Grand Rapids’ Central Business District,” said ORES President John Wheeler.  “We have an incredible opportunity with Midtown Properties and DTN Management, and our team is now focused on a detailed pre-construction schedule, finance procurement and design features that align with our anchor tenant’s strategic goals and business initiatives.

“We thank Warner, Concept Design, the City of Grand Rapids and Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. for their commitment and dedication to what will become an economic inspiration and a home to many for decades to come.”

Michael Ellis, president of Midtown Properties, noted: “I am pleased that after a complete and exhaustive search, Warner has identified the Ottawa-Lyon corner as the location it would like for its new offices.  Its decision will serve as the catalyst for an exciting multi-use development on the entire site.”

The project is expected to include:

  • Two large towers on the corner of Ottawa and Lyon, which is currently the site of an Ellis Parking lot
  • Market-rate residential apartments and condominiums
  • Corporate offices, including the new headquarters of the region’s largest law firm
  • Retail
  • Convenient and plentiful on-site parking to accommodate tenants and visitors

“This new mixed-use development will be a welcome addition to downtown Grand Rapids,” said Mayor George Heartwell.  “The development team has been thoughtful in its initial design of the project, taking care to ensure it will provide a tremendous mix of office, retail and residential with ample new parking in a facility that complements the current cityscape.

“We appreciate the continued investment in making the Central Business District an excellent place to live, work and shop.”

Work has begun on a preliminary site plan and architectural renderings for the development, which the developers intend to unveil in the first quarter of 2016 – along with more specifics about square footage and cost.  Talks have already begun to secure additional tenants, which the developers hope to begin announcing at that time.

“Since our law firm was founded more than 80 years ago, Warner has always had offices in downtown Grand Rapids,” said Managing Partner Douglas E. Wagner.  “We are extremely excited to be part of this development, which will allow us to design space that can be customized to better suit the changing needs of our clients, attorneys and staff.

“As the largest law firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, we are committed to maintaining a strong presence in the Central Business District – and this new development will allow us to do just that.”


Orion Real Estate Solutions:  ORES is a full-service real estate development firm founded by Orion Construction executives, Gary Postma and John Wheeler in 2011. The firm provides an array of development services, including financing, land procurement, design coordination and construction management. ORES partners have more than 60 years combined experience in urban core redevelopment, neighborhood revitalization and ground-up development/construction management. Notable projects include the completed $30 million Port Huron Double Tree Inn and Blue Water Convention Center, the $45 million Arena Place and the recently completed $15 million Grand Villages “Greek Village” in Allendale. Visit

Midtown Properties – Pearl & Ottawa LLC:  The Midtown Properties family of companies owns several Grand Rapids-based parking properties that are operated by Ellis Parking.  Michael Ellis is committed to supporting downtown development by providing attractive, accessible facilities that support a vibrant central business district.

DTN Management:  A Michigan corporation, DTN Management Co. is a recognized leader in the real estate industry throughout the Mid-Michigan area, locally owned and operated for more than 40 years.  Through various partnerships, DTN Management Co. owns and/or manages properties whose value exceeds $1 billion.  The portfolio consists of more than 110 individual properties, including more than 7,700 rental apartments and in excess of 600,000 square feet of commercial/office space.  For more information, visit