Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. coordinates closely with citizens, businesses, government and organizations to continually elevate Downtown GR as the best-in-class heart of an American city. DGRI on a daily basis also manages a wide-ranging portfolio of projects and investments both big and small, from facilitating major development projects, for example, to organizing Broomball tournaments for Downtown workers.
Periodically Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. participates in cornerstone projects that deliver outsize influence on Downtown's growth and success. The collaborations featured in this section not only represent substantial involvement, investment and responsibility on the part of DGRI. These large-scale initiatives spirited fundamentally important leaps forward in the local city building movement.
In partnership with the City of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Public Schools and Grand Rapids Whitewater, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. led the GR Forward initiative to define a 10-year community plan and investment strategy for growing Downtown and transforming the Grand River into a distinct economic, ecological and social asset. The City Commission in December 2015 unanimously adopted GR Forward as an amendment to the City Master Plan.
Grand Rapids Downtown Market
Working in partnership with Grand Action, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. utilized its DDA tool to help raise the Downtown Market which opened in 2013, immediately catalyzed residential development on Downtown's southern edge and continues to emerge as the hub of West Michigan's local food movement.
Working in partnership with Grand Action, the City of Grand Rapids, Kent County, and the State of Michigan, the DDA helped raise the DeVos Place Convention Center, which opened in 2005 and established West Michigan as a strong competitor in the nation's convention and trade show industry. The DDA will fulfill debt service obligations on the Convention Center in 2023.
Van Andel Arena
Working in partnership with Grand Action, the City of Grand Rapids and the State of Michigan, the DDA helped raise Van Andel Arena, which opened in 1996, catalyzed revitalization in the Heartside neighborhood and positioned Downtown to emerge as West Michigan's center of entertainment. The DDA will fulfill debt service obligations on the Arena in 2024 and own the Arena until 2031, at which time ownership will transfer to the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority.
Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
The Amway Corporation, working in partnership with the City of Grand Rapids, in 1979 acquired and restored the historic Pantlind Hotel, which is now part of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. The collaboration also spurred the organization of the Downtown Development Authority to support continued public realm enhancements around the improved property and increasingly throughout Downtown.