Heartside’s $22M Cathedral Square on track for July completion

By: Deborah Johnson Wood

A massive effort to integrate more fully the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids into the downtown community is ramping up for a July completion. Cathedral Square, which encompasses 11 acres north and east of the corner of Division and Wealthy, will bring together offices, services and ministries that are currently scattered across the city.

The Square, consisting of the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, Catholic Central High School, Saint Andrew School, a Diocesan Pastoral Center, and landscaped green space, is the vision of Bishop Walter A. Hurley.

The Diocesan Center, under construction along Division Avenue, was once two buildings known as the Jobbers Warehouse. Crews removed the exterior of the buildings and created a new building around the existing core. Saint Mary’s Pharmacy will occupy the main floor. The second level will house the Catholic Information Center, currently at 246 Ionia NW, and a conference center. The third and fourth floors are diocesan offices.

“Along Sheldon Street, the whole block no longer has vehicle traffic, and that’s going to be a landscaped plaza the size of a city block,” says Pete Michell, project manager for Rockford Construction.

The LEED-certified project includes a retention tank to recycle storm water into irrigation, a green roof, a reflective roof and floor to ceiling windows.

“The city’s a wonderfully vibrant and wide community and we want to be at the table to have a voice when things happen in the city,” says Bishop Hurley. “Cathedral Square is meant to be a sign of our presence in the community and a gathering space for our people.”

Last year, services at the Cathedral attracted some 10,000 people who had never been to the Cathedral before.

Integrated Architecture created the design for Cathedral Square.

Source: Bishop Walter A. Hurley, Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids; Jason Wheeler, Pete Michell, Rockford Construction (courtesy rendering)

Photograph by Brian Kelly

Deborah Johnson Wood is the development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at [email protected].