GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The west side of Grand Rapids is growing. As new apartments and restaurants open around the area, a community theater group wants to build a new home there.
"We're looking to revitalize the northwest side with this community theater," says Terri Host, owner of Host Productions.
The company is spending $750,000 to create a new theater and event rental space in the area.
"In that theater, we're going to have over 400 seats," says Host.
And most of those people won't stick around just for the show. They'll enjoy the other activities the westside has to offer.
"Now they'll come down hours before and have dinner, enjoy some time walking around," says Jeremiah Gracia, the Grand Rapids economic development director.
The city has spent several years investing money into the westside's infrastructure.
"It was important for us to have good streetscape and good sidewalks," says Gracia.
Now he says that's driven development, encouraging businesses to revitalize the area.
"We need to invest in our own properties basically because everybody else is doing the same," says Gracia. "A little bit of that has happened and it's to the benefit of everyone."
And it's what Host wants to do with her theater. The company projects it to generate $600,000 in revenue its first year and $800,000 the next.
Host has a special connection to the westside, having met her husband there, and is excited to help see it thrive.
"We will compliment each other," she says. "It's all right there, in walking distance actually."
The new theater is still in development, but for now Host Productions is set to put on its first performance since 2019. The show will be at the Frauenthal Center in Muskegon July 23 and 24.
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