Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Planning Manager Tim Kelly emails a weekly GR Forward update to the project Steering Committee. Here's this week's communication:

Good Afternoon All:


We are finishing up another very productive week for the Downtown Plan. Our consultant team arrived on Tuesday, and collectively we continued work on a number of items. Among the highlights of the week were the following:

  • Second Steering Committee meeting held on Thursday at DGRI (see attached photo);
  • Continued interviews with Downtown stakeholders (over 30+ completed to date);
  • Conducted tours with the consultant team in Downtown neighborhoods and businesses;
  • Completed land use, vacancy, parking, and building conditions surveys (see attached maps) .

Obviously much work remains, but we are excited to have things underway. Our next steps include launching the Plan website as well as having a community wide launch the week of June 2nd. See the attached schedule for a broad overview of things to come over the next year, and look for more details on the public launch coming your way shortly.


This week, I am including some more information from the Pew Research Center. They are publishing some really interesting information related to demographics. This article and video discuss some of changes happening to the modern American family. Not only are fewer people getting married, but when they do, it is later in life, and they typically have fewer children. Furthermore, in 2010 15% of all new marriages in the US are between spouses of a different race or ethnicity. That is up from 7% in 1980. All of these elements have an effect and influence our community’s growth. It is up to us as city builders to identify and plan for those effects in advance.

As always, if you have any questions on anything Downtown Plan related please let me know. Otherwise, have a great weekend.