Success Story | Arena Place


Arena Place | 45 & 55 Ottawa Avenue NW



Once a lead tenant for 55 Ottawa Avenue NW was identified, Colliers International | West Michigan advisor, Mark Ansara began the process of categorizing a retail tenant mix that would accommodate the needs of this corridor. Prior to the new development beginning, this area of Ottawa Avenue was not characteristically identified as a sought-after retail corridor. This made it difficult to balance the tenant mix with the need of appealing amenities for the variety of users. Mark used this opportunity to find quality tenants that would fill each space, relying on the lead tenants, Miller Johnson and Wheelhouse, and the residential units. With these factors considered, the tenants would need to compliment the corridor as well. The unknown timeline on the project raised minor concern for tenant placement, but the determination to fill the available spaces was what kept Mark confident throughout the process.  


The lead tenant had previously been identified for Arena Place, so finding those complimentary tenants would take a dynamic strategy. This was going to require specific tenants for the combination of users to make it as functional as possible and attract not only the users of the building, but users from the surrounding businesses. With the understanding of the market, Mark got together with marketing and research to see where there was opportunity and need. First and foremost, Mark needed to determine the ideal tenant mix, these tenants to be considered were a coffee shop and a bank. Once those were determined, the next step was to find complimentary tenants to the identified mix and the pre-placed restaurant, Wheelhouse.


Orion Construction and Colliers International had determined the lead office tenant prior to construction, along with the restaurant. Interest grew quickly with the incredible proximity to Van Andel Arena, surrounding restaurants and office space. Mark represented the lessor of the space throughout the process and worked with a number of the lessee’s in the transaction. By understanding the need for specific amenities all while expanding the corridor, Mark used his abilities to ensure the potential occupants of the space that this would be a valuable site.


Prior to the development completion, Mark identified all the retail tenants that would be occupying each space. This was 8,172 SF of space that was signed and complete before the space was built out. These tenants include Adventure Credit Union, The Center for Physical Rehabilitation, and Biggby Coffee. Soon after, the office mix was completed and filled, along with the residential portion. Placing these tenants prior to completion of construction was an ideal opportunity for Arena Place.