EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated with comments from Walker Mayor Gary Carey.
WALKER — Visser Brothers Inc. is seeking to turn the DeltaPlex Arena & Conference Center into an industrial warehouse site, according to documents filed with the City of Walker.
The Grand Rapids-based entrepreneur, doing business as DEG Development Co. LLC, bought the 6,000-person venue from Walker on Dec. 23 for $5.5 million. The venue operated for 25 years as a conference and concert hall, as well as a sports arena that hosted the Grand Rapids Gold.
The DeltaPlex is set to officially close on July 31, DeltaPlex President Joel Langlois previously announced.
The Town of Walker Planning Commission will review preliminary plans and an application on Wednesday to rezone the property from a Community Commercial Designation (C-2) to a Planned Industrial Development Unit (IPUD).
The proposed development at 2500 Turner Ave. NW and associated rezoning would be better suited to the area, especially amid a widespread shortage of available industrial land, city workers noted in a planning memo. IPUD rezoning applications must also be approved by the Walker City Commission.
“Quite frankly, when I look at Walker right now, what’s really been good for our community has been industrial and manufacturing jobs,” Walker Mayor Gary Carey said. MiBiz. “It’s really kept us in good financial shape during the pandemic.”
Carey said the city would remain sensitive to area neighbors regardless of future uses of the property, adding that warehouses and offices could potentially produce less noise than the site.
The preliminary site plan review and rezoning application seeks to combine smaller parcels at 2574 Hillside Drive NW and 2621 West River Drive with the Turner Avenue property, according to plans filed with the city.
The proposal would redevelop the site in two phases, starting with converting the DeltaPlex building into three rental suites, each proposed as an office or warehouse. The parking lot would be reconfigured to provide space for truck and trailer parking, loading docks, as well as the addition of sidewalks, outdoor storage and landscaping.
The second phase would include the construction of a 165,000 square foot building adjacent to the DeltaPlex building with similar truck docking areas, according to planning documents.
Grand Rapids Gold officials recently announced that the team will now play its home games for the upcoming G-League basketball season at the Van Andel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids.
A Visser Brothers official could not immediately be reached for comment.
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