$70M Traverse City Project Includes Conference Center, Park Place Hotel Renovation


A $70 million project that would bring a conference center, parking garage, apartments, condominiums, and an office building to downtown Traverse City may break ground this summer pending several procedural approvals.

Jean Derenzy, deputy director of Grand Traverse County Planning and Development department, says the idea for the project began when the owners of the Park Place Hotel started talking to him about plans to develop a state-of-the-art conference center at the hotel.

“We tried to encourage them to look more broadly at the overall community aspect and the community needs,” Derenzy says. Additionally, Derenzy says Traverse City is a busy community throughout the year, and there’s a need for more parking and living space in the community.

Derenzy says the Park Place Hotel, at the corner of East State Street and Park Street in the downtown district, began upgrading hotel rooms last year to make them more energy efficient. Pending city approval, the owners of the Park Place Hotel plan to demolish the hotel’s dome to make way for a conference center that will have an amphitheater.

She says there are also plans to build a public-private parking garage on the parking lot behind the hotel. The spaces will be used for government workers during the day, and then will open up to the public after 5 p.m.

Thirty row-style apartments, similar to a brownstone, will be built in front of the parking garage. With approval from the Brownfield Authority, some of the units will be priced with Michigan State Housing Development Authority subsidies, about $650 for a one-bedroom apartment and up to $850 for a two-bedroom apartment. The rest of the apartments will be priced at market rate, or around $1,000 a month.

The last phase of the projects includes construction of a mixed-use building on Boardman Street and Eighth Street, which will include residential and commercial units, including condominiums.

The extensive development needs several approvals from the Brownfield authority, zoning board, and final agreement by the city commission before construction can begin. Construction may take up to two years to complete.