The holidays are near and as a Grand Rapids natives, many of us can look forward to snowfall, holiday cheer and cozying up in our woven-knit sweaters. Having Art prize in autumn and open-skate at the Rosa Parks Circle in the winter, residents can enjoy the beauty and growth of Downtown Grand Rapids. The Grand Rapids City Commission unanimously approved GR Forward in December of 2015, a community and investment strategy plan that would continue to transform the city into a distinct asset which will support the next generation of growth in Downtown Grand Rapids. Some of the city building goals include recreating the Grand River, developing a true downtown neighborhood home to a diverse population, building a 21st century transportation system and reinvesting in public space, culture and inclusive programming. These are the building blocks needed to strengthen identity as progressive, healthy, and vibrant.
In the steps moving forward, an agenda has been created to mark and implement change throughout the community.
The 2016 Agenda for Action:
- Plant 200 trees.
- Put food trucks in the public realm.
- Cut the ribbon on the Coldbrook Edge.
- Build a coalition to grow minority-owned businesses.
- Redesign Calder Plaza.
- Enhance 131 overpass lighting at Cherry, Pearl & Bridge streets.
- Increase allowable building heights to maximize development potential in Downtown.
- Reboot the Downtown Area Shuttle.
- Pilot winter warming pits & huts.
- Deliver 650+ new housing units towards residential critical mass in Downtown.
- Startup Downtown resident’s network.
- Evaluate options for funding restoration of the rapids in the Grand River.
- Turn up the volume on public art.
- Break ground on Lyon Square transformation.
- Launch bike-share feasibility analysis.
- Renovate Grand Rapids Public Museum School space & design program for 54 Jefferson.
The vision of GR Forward provides a road map for the future; grounded in values of the people who live, work, learn, and play in Grand Rapids. As we slowly head into the new year, we can expect great change to a welcoming, thriving city and unique city. As a local mortgage company in Grand Rapids and big proponent of the continued growth of the downtown corridor we love anything that seeks to improve the community for our employees, our clients and our friends.
**The content in this article is from and is also available in print form from the original author Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.