GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Residents voiced concerns Monday night about a building project that could reduce parking in the city's East Hills neighborhood.
The parking lot between Brewery Vivant and Grove could become a condominium and retail building. The project was approved years ago, along with several other businesses.
Jason Spaulding, the owner of Brewery Vivant says residents could help foot traffic, "There are people that will come to my businesses and others, it kind of raises the whole neighborhood up and it's nice to have some retail opportunities as well."
But East Hills residents are concerned about a few issues: first, how the project will reduce an already limited amount of parking spaces. Plus the project pitch changed. Initially it was pitched as office and retail use, but will now become a retail space and condos, including the project leader's personal condo.
"It dawned on me that it would be a great place for residential condos, in fact I plan on moving there," said David Green, the project's developer.
Still project leaders say having the condos will actually take up less parking spaces than the offices they originally pitched. "The demand is less for residents than office space, plus the retail site is a little smaller, and we're retailing more office spaces on site," said Green.
Spaulding says the bottom line is, despite the project, the neighborhood needs more parking. "It would be great if a parking lot magically appears, and it might be nice to work with the city and say, 'We have a certain level of business and now we need a city lot.'"
It's an issue the neighborhood association is currently working on.