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 Morning Everyone:

Hope you all enjoyed the abbreviated week.


As I know the unofficial end to summer has seen many of our calendars fill up quite dramatically, I have a few brief updates for you this week,.

First, at next Wednesday’s DDA Board meeting there will be an agenda item seeking approval of an Agreement between the DDA and CWD Real Estate for the use of 50 Louis Street NW, Suite 102 (formerly Lee & Birch) as our Open House space. A huge thank you to Sam Cummings and his team at CWD for helping make this happen, and for providing the space at no cost. We think this is an outstanding place to showcase GR Forward, and its location and visibility will help draw in many that may not have been aware of our efforts previously. Look for more details on the Open House schedule and programming shortly.

Second, the agendas for the Downtown and River Corridor Steering Committee meetings on September 18 are starting to take shape. As previously mentioned the agendas will include further discussion of the findings from the data gathering, as well as analysis of what the findings mean. The meetings will also include a discussion of the programming at the Open House.

Last, if you did not see it already, this is a great article from MLive on the GRPS Museum School: The article does a great job of capturing the significance of the work happening for the Museum School, and it is great to see these efforts continued to be recognized.

Web Numbers

Related to our online presence, we are still seeing increases in traffic on the website and most of our social media outlets. We expect to see those numbers increase dramatically as our fall events begin. Be sure to share the links below with anyone that might be interested so we can continue to promote GR Forward.

Facebook -

Twitter -

Instagram -

Website Views

Facebook Likes

Instagram Followers

Twitter Followers

5,894 (+316)

398 (+8)

101 (+2)

83 (+0)


This article highlighting 10 “game-changing” urban projects in the United States is a great overview of some of the exciting things happening across the country:

I particularly enjoyed the video about the New York City Tri-State Area’s Fourth Regional Plan. Despite the incredible growth and change that has occurred in that region, economic development has brought about its own challenges, including growing income inequality. In order to thrive, neighborhoods must be places where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. As the video states, this only comes about through thoughtful long-term planning, which was responsible for many of the past decade’s achievements.

I find it encouraging to see the successes brought about by comprehensive and progressive projects in other cities, and hope some of these examples will help inspire the GR Forward effort.

As always, if you have any questions please let me know. Otherwise, have a great weekend.