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:
I hope you are all enjoying this lovely Friday. I know everyone is itching to get the 3-day weekend started so I will be brief.
As I mentioned in a previous email, the first week of June will mark the public launch of the Plan. We will be unveiling our project website, and will have a presence at both Movies in the Park on June 6 ( Raiders of the Lost Ark), and during Festival of the Arts on June 7. We will have a booth at each event to distribute information on the Plan, and will also be circulating in the crowds to gather feedback from event goers using tools like a speech bubble (see attached photo). We are seeking members of the Steering Committee and anyone else that is interested to volunteer at these events. If you have availability and would like to participate, even if it is just for a portion of the events, please let me know.
This article on the growing trend of corporations relocating to downtowns is a good read: http://qz.com/211970/forget-big-suburban-campuses-innovative-corporations-are-moving-downtown/
It outlines how a number of companies have begun to forego large suburban office parks because they want to be close to the talented workforce that favors walkable, bike-able, and transit friendly places. The same is true for start-ups, who are increasingly looking to use collaborative space in urban settings to launch their business. The collaborative spaces are attractive for their access to general business services like legal advice, business mentoring, and venture capital. In many cities, they also become the basis for “innovation districts” where workers can interact with other entrepreneurs. Below are links to some of the shared spaces cited in the article:
- 1871 in Chicago: http://www.1871.com/
- Cambridge Innovation Center: http://cic.us/
- Techcity in London: http://www.techcityuk.com/
- 22@ in Barcelona: http://www.22barcelona.com/index.php?lang=en
- Benjamin’s Desk in Philadelphia: http://www.benjaminsdesk.com/
If have questions on anything please let me know. Otherwise, have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!