News & Insights

Case Study: Arena Place, Grand Rapids, Michigan


"Transforming Work and Urban Living in Grand Rapids with High-Speed Gigabit Fiber Internet and Advanced Security Solutions."


Constructed in 2016 by Orion Construction in partnership with DTN Management, Arena Place is an 11-story multi-use high-rise with retail, professional offices, and 100 luxury apartments in the beating heart of Grand Rapids, Michigan. “To create a work-of-art, one must start with a blank canvas. Architects, builders, artists, and designers were brought together with this mindset, establishing a property that emulates these ideals.”


Delivering fiber to Arena Place was the flagship development and the catalyst to STELLAR Broadband building a metropolitan fiber ring to advance service to West Michigan. Providing fiber as a new entrant to the city came with a learning curve to develop good working relationships with the city and utility companies. With planning and engineering starting in 2013, this came at a time when developments were growing and construction in the city was accelerating.


With 14 years of building fiber networks to apartments, both multifamily and student housing, in East Lansing, STELLAR brought a new and fresh perspective to delivering exceptional Internet to a market that is being serviced with legacy copper infrastructure with limited growth potential and declining reliability. Bringing 1Gbps service to someone’s home was something new and exciting and received it with open arms. This truly delivered Internet in line with the luxury amenities of Arena Place. Capping off the Internet experience, high-speed, secure, and managed Wi-Fi comes standard within the apartment as well as all the common areas. There is no need to buy, install, and configure wireless routers on the residents’ part. Engineering, implementing, and managing the network of networks within the building also provides a robust solution for segmenting and delivering services to the commercial spaces for professional offices in the high-rise and retail stores on the street level. The network is further engineered for building management systems to integrate security systems for video surveillance, secure keyless building entry, secure apartment access, connectivity to fire and life-safety systems, and voice services for commercial use. This all provides a high level of security and comfort for residents, office workers, and property management. Overlaying all these systems is a support and management portal as a conduit for users and management to communicate with STELLAR to access support, issue and monitor service tickets, manage accounts for subscription and billing, and a marketplace for buying a variety of technology products.


From the beginning of architectural design concepts through to the permit of occupancy, STELLAR played an integral role. When owners, architects, engineers, construction managers, and STELLAR work hand in glove, the final product results in a perfect fit. The interplay and influence of integrating technology design during the building design process allows for more efficiency and delivery with fewer change orders during construction.


Acting in the role of implementer and the contracted service provider, STELLAR formed a long-term working partnership with the owners that provides mutual financial benefits. Owners and STELLAR share the investment in the construction and mutually enjoy sharing the ongoing revenues. By owning the network systems, STELLAR is incented to assure that equipment is operating at optimal levels at all times and inclined to refresh and upgrade systems to stay in step with current technologies. Residents and owners both win. From design to construction to operations, STELLAR Broadband serviced all parties with “one back to pat.” Rather than having to work with several parties, trades, and service providers, there is a single responsible, accountable company making sure all elements are working in unison with just one company to call. Nothing falls through the cracks with no finger-pointing.


Staying in touch and listening to the voice of the customer is foundational to STELLAR’s growth and improvement. To maintain 4.7-star ratings with over 900 reviews is a testament to that commitment.

Overall resident feedback is summed by Graci Harkema, a resident at Arena Place, when she said, “At STELLAR, I've received the best customer service I have ever had... where everyone truly goes above and beyond for you to ensure that all your needs are met. I've never had that before. At STELLAR, they truly see you as a human and as a person who is reliant on their service.”

And, per Larry Cradit, the VP for DTN Management Company, who oversees Arena Place, “We keep our residents happy and occupancy rates up by paying attention to the quality of life and taking extraordinary care of our residents. It is absolutely critical.”


The greatest lesson learned with the implementation of Arena Place, is that STELLAR paid close attention to all the hard lessons learned across the 12 years that led up to this project.



The transformation of Arena Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan, through the implementation of high-speed gigabit fiber internet and advanced security solutions by STELLAR Broadband, represents a remarkable success story in urban development and technological innovation. This case study has highlighted the key aspects of this project, including the challenges faced, the solutions provided, the implementation process, and the tangible benefits realized. One of the primary challenges faced in delivering fiber to Arena Place was the need to establish strong working relationships with the city and utility companies, particularly in a period of rapid development and construction.

However, STELLAR Broadband's expertise and commitment to bringing cutting-edge technology to the city paved the way for a robust solution. The solution itself involved not only delivering 1Gbps internet service to residents but also providing secure and managed Wi-Fi throughout the apartments and common areas. Furthermore, the network infrastructure was extended to cater to the needs of commercial spaces within the high-rise and street-level retail stores. This comprehensive approach ensured a high level of security and convenience for all stakeholders.

The implementation process was seamless, with STELLAR Broadband collaborating closely with architects, engineers, construction managers, and property owners from the earliest stages of design. This integration of technology into the building design process resulted in greater efficiency, fewer change orders during construction, and a final product that perfectly aligned with the project's vision.

The results and benefits of this endeavor are evident in the long-term partnership between STELLAR and the property owners. By sharing the investment and revenue streams, both parties are incentivized to maintain and upgrade the network, ensuring optimal performance and customer satisfaction. The convenience of having a single, accountable company overseeing all elements of the system has also contributed to the project's success. The testimonials from residents and property management attest to the exceptional customer service and quality of life improvements made possible by STELLAR's innovative solutions. This commitment to the well-being of residents, owners, and property managers has been a driving force behind the project's success.

In conclusion, the Arena Place case study demonstrates that thoughtful integration of technology, a commitment to quality, and a customer-centric approach can result in a transformational urban development project. STELLAR Broadband's dedication to delivering exceptional internet and security solutions has not only met but exceeded the expectations of all stakeholders, setting a high standard for future projects in Grand Rapids and beyond. This case study serves as a testament to the importance of innovation, collaboration, and a focus on the needs of the community in the realm of urban development.