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:

Sorry for the fall weather outside. I have been assured it will feel like summer again soon.


We are gearing up for an exciting and busy week for GR Forward, so I will keep this week’s email brief.

First, our Open House space has been confirmed as 50 Louis Street NW, Suite 102 (formerly Lee & Birch). Again, many thanks to Sam Cummings and his team at CWD for helping make this happen and for providing the space at no cost. As soon as a schedule of events is available I will pass that along for everyone.

Second, as I mentioned last week, both the Downtown and River Corridor Steering Committees will be meeting on Thursday, September 18. I look forward to sharing some of the insights from each of those meetings with all of you next week.

Web Numbers

Related to our online presence, our website saw a good spike in views again. Social media is stagnating a bit, though as our fall events begin we expect to see those numbers spike too. As always, 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

6,508 (+614)

407 (+9)

101 (+0)

86 (+3)


This article from October 14, 2013 in The New Yorker on how San Francisco’s new entrepreneurial culture is changing the country is really good:

The author chronicles the new breed of entrepreneurs, who are less focused on starting the next Facebook or Twitter, but who are more likely to regard success in terms of their autonomy – that is designing the life they want. As the author says “Why be Gordon Gekko when you could make enough to have a nice place and go paleo on local greens—and then take a day or two off to cycle out to Stinson Beach? Isn’t that freedom more distinguishing than cash or a C.E.O title, which everybody in your field has access to? San Francisco’s your entrepreneurs appear less concerned about flaunting their earning than about showing that they can act imaginatively, with conspicuously noble ethics.”

The article is written as the author follows around a variety of these new entrepreneurs. In doing so, he touches on aspects of “the three business card life”, exeriences “the network of places where the new mode of American success is being borne out”, and hears a critique of the existing venture capital structure from some of the industries leaders. Perhaps most useful for our purposes, at one point he reflects, “the future of tech influence is not suburban, as it has been for half a century. It’s the city. “

Though a bit on the long side this is a really interesting snapshot into the changing landscape of entrepreneurs. Also an indicator that as a City, we may need to think differently about how we intend to attract and retain this talent.

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