9. Studio Park Ramp-1


Location: 120 Ottawa Ave., Grand Rapids
Contractor: Kent Companies
Supplier: High Grade Materials
Engineer: Carl Walker, a Division of WGI
Owner: Studio C

The Studio Park Ramp provides parking for the apartments, condos, offices, and movie theatre within the Studio Park development. The building design consists of three major phases: the north flat plate, the south garage beam, and the east connector building. The dual cast-in-place structural system provides engineered capability to expand the building up to 16 more stories above the current top floor of the parking structure.  To allow for this, shear forces for the future 16 stories were incorporated into the current structure design, which complicated the build of the north third of the structure.  When the owner is ready to add future mixed-use levels to the structure, the top of the columns can be cut to expose couplers that will allow the columns to be built up. Additional post-tensioned decks can be tied into the columns.

Site logistics were extremely challenging for this project. In addition to the parking ramp, there were concurrent projects for neighboring buildings B & C and the Canopy Hilton Hotel. Multiple projects on one downtown job site required planning, collaboration, and communication, particularly regarding the use of three different cranes used during the project’s build.

The Kent Companies team spent over 6 months pre-planning this project and performed real-time value engineering as the plans were developed. The Studio Park Ramp’s elevated decks were installed throughout winter months, which required plans for snow and ice removal, as well as contingency plans for weather delays. Daily snow removal was performed with snow tarps and shovels, and completed decks were enclosed and heated beneath the active deck. On average, the Kent Companies team turned over one elevated structural deck every twenty-five days. To accomplish this, Kent Companies maintained an average of 30 to 40 concrete professionals on site, with peak manpower days well above 40.

The size and accessibility of the Studio Park Ramp are a tremendous benefit to the Studio Park development and the downtown arena area. The parking ramp accommodates more vehicles than the former surface lot, and the engineered capability within the hybrid flat plate and post-tension beam system will enable this development to continue to grow as a mixed-use property.