Dick DeVos Meets With Grand Action to Discuss Post-COVID Development

Influential business leaders in Grand Rapids say that ambitious plans for a new soccer stadium, an outdoor amphitheater and expansion of the DeVos Place convention center can get back on track once the COVID-19 pandemic finally gets behind us.


Grand Action, the community development group co-founded by Dick DeVos, met recently to study the feasibility of the projects in light of current economic conditions and lingering uncertainties about what a post-COVID Michigan is going to look like.


Dick DeVos has spearheaded discussions of these major urban development projects since a study was completed in 2016. Grand Action opted to get more information and hired Minneapolis-based consultants, Convention, Sport & Leisure International, to dig deeper and flesh out a clearer picture.


DeVos said the outlook takes a decade-long approach. An outdoor amphitheater would be located on Grand Rapids city property at 201 Market Ave. SW. A soccer stadium would be the home for a minor league soccer team along with other events. A facility that could seat 7,000 has been proposed. As for DeVos Place, expansion plans call for the addition of a hotel.


Dick DeVos suggested in media interviews that the economic recovery of Grand Rapids will be dependent upon collaborations between the private and public sectors. Much depends on a general willingness to initiate novel development initiatives that will drive growth, attract investment and create jobs.


DeVos said western Michigan needs to be prepared to “hit the ground running” when COVID-19 is finally and safely in the rearview mirror.


Grand Action originally proposed $420 million in projects. About $130 million of that money came by way of private philanthropy, much of that from Dick and Betsy DeVos themselves.


Dick DeVos is best known for his role as former CEO and president of the Amway corporation and his more recent Windquest Group.