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May groundbreaking likely for Muskegon convention center

The effort to build a $17 million convention center on 4th Street in Muskegon is moving towards groundbreaking and construction.

MUSKEGON, Mich. — The effort to build a convention center on 4th Street in the city of Muskegon should have a groundbreaking in about three months.

"Probably the middle of May," said Bob Lukens, Director of Visit Muskegon.

The project is currently in the design and development phase. Full construction documents are still needed before on-site work can begin.

Then the project will go out to bid, and a construction firm will be selected to build the $17 million project.

The city will vacate 4th Street between Western Avenue and Shoreline Drive so the convention center can attach to the Delta by Marriott Hotel and L.C. Walker Arena.

"We are already soliciting associations and organizations in the Lansing area and around the state to look at the types of meetings and conventions that they have, and determining if we will be able to bring them into our space," said Lukens.

The convention center is expected boost efforts to make the community more of a year-round destination and boost tourism business as the weather transitions from warm to cold each year.

It will be funded with county accommodations taxes and assessments collected from hotels located within the City of Muskegon.

Lukens believes the convention center could open in the fourth quarter of 2020 or early in 2021.

Community leaders began talking about a convention center in the 1980s. Since then two studies have show there is demand for the convention and a larger meeting space in the port city. 

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