Community Arena Sparks Urban Revival
Grand Rapids was among the first to catalyze its downtown development through the design of a sports and entertainment district. The arena intentionally opened with very little entertainment retail inside to promote the "easy" first wave of bar, club and restaurant growth adjacent to the venue. The massive public lobby was designed as an urban living room, using its transparent facade to connect the vibrancy of activities inside with the civic heritage of the city. Several decades of private investment have led to Grand Rapids' 24/7 entertainment-centric downtown.