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:

Happy Friday Everyone:

This was another exciting week for GR Forward.

On Tuesday we kicked off our final round of neighborhood meetings, meeting with the Neighbors of Belknap Lookout. Next week we will continue those efforts meeting with Heritage Hill on Thursday at 5:30p at the Cornerstone Church located at 48 Lafayette Street SE. Hope to see some (or all!) of you there.

In addition to the neighborhood engagement, we also meet with the Downtown Development Authority, Grand Valley State Administrators, and the City of Grand Rapids Parking Commission. As always, if you have additional ideas for organizations we can meet with, please let me know. For reference, I have included an overview of the full engagement schedule at the end of this email. If for some reason you are not able to make it to one of the meetings listed, remember you can always stop in to any one the of the public library branches or the Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. office at 29 Pearl Street NW to review the plan and provide your input. You can also do so at the Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. or GR Forward websites.

Last, Tuesday marked the opening of the GRPS Museum School at the Van Andel Public Museum. This project has been an important piece of the GR Forward process, and given the importance of public education to the future of our City it was an important milestone for everyone involved. A huge congratulations to Superintendent Weatherall Neal, John Helmholdt, and the rest of the GRPS team for bringing this amazing resource to Downtown and the whole community.

Web Numbers

The latest web and social media numbers are below. Be sure to continue to share the links below in your network so everyone can stay up to date with our GR Forward activities.


This article from City Lab on Jersey City’s approach to incentivizing new affordable housing development is really interesting.

As in many places, development of affordable housing has been lacking as the City has grown. To combat this, the City developed an affordable housing plan to identify geographic areas that most needed new housing. From there, they realigned their incentive tools to encourage the development the community needs, providing stronger incentives to build in neighborhoods that were getting less attention from the market. While somewhat intuitive, the alignment of City leadership, policies, and the development community are often challenging. So far, however, it seems to be working in Jersey City, and hopefully their playbook is something that can be replicated in other cities.

As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Otherwise, have great weekend!