DeVos-backed entity set to demolish former Charley’s Crab … – Crain’s Grand Rapids Business

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The DeVos family office is preparing to demolish the former Charley’s Crab restaurant, a key riverfront property just north of the planned Acrisure Amphitheater that could tie into broader development plans.

An entity tied to RDV Corp. filed a permit on Nov. 22 to demolish the condemned vacant building located at 63 Market Ave. SW, adjacent to US-131 and a surface parking lot along the Grand River. 

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“We continue to be excited by the community’s visioning work for sites along the riverfront, including the potential for 63 Market SW,” RDV spokesperson Nick Wasmiller said in a statement to Crain’s Grand Rapids Business. “We are exploring opportunities for development and will share additional details as they become available.”

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Houston-based Landry’s Inc. operated the former 300-seat Charley’s Crab seafood restaurant that first opened at the site in 1982 and served as a staple of the downtown Grand Rapids dining scene for more than three decades. The restaurant closed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and never reopened. 

According to a permit filed with the city, Grand Rapids-based Pitsch Companies will demolish the one-story building with a hydraulic excavator in a project estimated to cost $70,000. 

The former restaurant sits just north of US-131, in an area along the Grand River. Credit: Courtesy of the city of Grand Rapids

The Charley’s Crab demolition also coincides with recent infrastructure upgrades to make the area more development-ready.

Doing business as 63 Market Avenue Holdings LLC, RDV Corp. was one of two private entities — along with Amway Hotel Corp., which owns adjacent land currently used for surface parking — that contributed funding to a project to relocate a trunk sewer line on the property, one of the key infrastructure investments that paved the way for future development along that stretch of Market Avenue. 

The $18.6 million infrastructure project relocated a 11.5-foot by 13-foot sewer that had prevented previous developers from carrying out projects at 201 Market Ave. SW, the site where Grand Action 2.0 is developing the $184 million Acrisure Amphitheater.

Amphitheater rendering
One recent rendering of the Acrisure Amphitheater includes a vision for high-rise buildlings at the former Charley’s Crab property. Credit: Progressive AE Inc.

The Charley’s Crab property falls into the 31-acre stretch that Grand Action 2.0 and the city of Grand Rapids are eyeing for mixed-use developments surrounding the amphitheater. About 11 acres of this private- and city-owned area are slated for the amphitheater, while the goal is to add density with housing and other commercial uses, as well as green space, to the rest of the riverfront around 201 Market Ave. A recent rendering released by Grand Action 2.0 includes drawings with high-rise buildings on the Charley’s Crab property.

Grand Action 2.0’s main focus is to lead the development and fundraising effort for the amphitheater, but the organization’s executive director, Kara Wood, previously said it is working with the city and nearby property owners to submit a transformational brownfield plan that could encompass the broader 31-acre riverfront development.

More from Crain’s Grand Rapids Business:

Meijer, tech firm head to arbitration in dispute over self-checkout software

Tape manufacturer completes $40M expansion near Grand Rapids

Gordon Food Service store expansion helps Ohio city eliminate food desert

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