City commssioners to learn more about Calder Plaza redesign

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - It's a major step in creating a new look for a Grand Rapids landmark -- Calder Plaza.

Those spearheading the redesign project will present plans to city commissioners Tuesday, July 25. Calder Plaza, with that iconic red sculpture, La Grande Vitesse, has become the face of Grand Rapids over the past four decades.

The plaza is home to a few festivals a year, but some say it could offer so much more.

Late last year, members of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. unveiled a proposal to redesign the five acre site. Plans for a new Calder Plaza include shade trees, outdoor furniture, community meeting and event space, pavilions, an urban playground, food truck parking -- among other things.

The goal is to transform the mostly concrete Calder into a greener and more welcoming space. However, project leaders say they don't want to lose the flexibility Calder Plaza offers. That means, they want to maintain the ability to use the space to host large events, much like at Ah-Nab-Awen park and Rosa Parks Circle.

Plans for the redesign have been in the works for more than a year, however project leaders have yet to release the proposed cost of the Calder face-lift or funding sources that will be used. Those details are expected to be released sometime in the spring.

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