Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority (DDA) announces skate and bike venue!

Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority (DDA) announces skate and bike venue!

The Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority (DDA) today approved funding for a skate and bike facility on city-owned land in the Monroe North neighborhood.

The ambitious 14,000 sq ft facility was designed in partnership with the City of Grand Rapids and AGA Nation, which specializes in designing and building mobile action sports facilities. The facility will feature a diverse array of structures, including banked ramps, concrete slabs and rails for grinding at 555 Monroe Ave NW.

This particular location will serve as an important construction staging area for the Grand Rapids Whitewater restoration project in the coming years – so any programming and placemaking measures on the site must be temporary in nature. This creates an opportunity for the City, DDA and others to test different activation interventions along the river to inform more permanent, future investments.

The skate and bike facility will be designed and constructed to last approximately 3 years. The facility comes in direct response to several years of community discussion and planning around the need for expanding skate and bicycle facilities, including the City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan, GR Forward and most recently the River for All initiative, which envisions a skate park under the highway adjacent to the 555 Monroe Ave property.

The project partners anticipate the facility will deliver multiple positive benefits to the Downtown neighborhood:

  • The facility will provide a safe, off-street environment for skateboarding and bike tricks and expand free recreational opportunities for young people.
  • Well-designed, neighborhood-scale public skate and bike facilities are a proven strategy to reduce damage to private property.
  • Participating in action sports such as skating and bicycling also delivers significant physical and mental benefits, as the activities combine physical exertion with precise muscle coordination and balance.

The DDA Board approved funding not to exceed $200,000 to design, build and maintain the facility. Construction will begin in spring 2020, as weather permits, and the goal is to open the facility in early summer.

The City of Grand Rapids Parks & Recreation Department also is currently organizing additional pop-up amenities to further activate the Monroe North property this summer such as a potential dog park and bouldering wall. More information will be available at a later date.