Waterfront Arts and Convention Center

Prior Circumstances

A vibrant, lakefront Midwest city lacked a performing arts facility and convention center. Its community arts organizations relied on schools, churches, and a local college for venue space, which compromised their community impact, performance and rehearsal schedules and attendance. Much of the lakefront property, which was used by heavy industrial businesses, was not connected to the city’s downtown shopping/living district and was not accessible to residents and visitors.


An amenity-rich mixed-use cultural and entertainment district was created alongside an existing downtown and picturesque lake. It integrates a new multi-venue performing arts center with a four-star hotel, convention center, amphitheater, marina, and other amenities. Parking is provided with surface lots and a multi-level parking structure. This 17-acre mixed-use development provides several benefits to the city.

  • Reinforces the city’s reputation as a destination by providing a national 180-room hotel that includes restaurants, indoor pool, fitness center and meeting spaces.
  • Draws visitors and tourists to the area with a 103,000-sf convention center. This facility includes a gallery, exhibit halls and meeting rooms for hosting local and regional conventions of all sizes. It is directly connected to the hotel, which allows guests to sleep, eat and meet at one location.
  • Enhances cultural opportunities with a multi-venue performing arts center for local arts organizations and Broadway-style professional touring shows.
  • Promotes outdoor entertainment with a lakeside amphitheater. It is used as an extension of the performing arts center.
  • Links adjacent properties with a waterfront esplanade and public plaza.
  • Creates a direct waterfront access for boaters to visit and stay with a full-service marina.
  • Brings visitors to the area via a cruise ship deep water docking port.
  • Provides a special lakefront area for residents and visitors to enjoy the beautiful views and for walking, biking, running, boating and more.
Services Provided
  • Building and Site Design
  • Property Analysis
  • Project Development
  • Strategic Planning
  • Team Management