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Grand Rapids Makes Forbes’ List Of 15 Cities’ Emerging Downtowns

flickr, HarrisisMI

Grand Rapids is getting some more love from the folks at Forbes Magazine. They’ve already named us one of the ten happiest cities to work in, and the number one city to raise a family in, and now they’ve bestowed us with the honor of being names one of the top 15 cities with emerging downtowns!

Those of us who live here know that Grand Rapids is a place full of awesomeness and growth, but it’s nice to have it pointed out by national news mediums like Forbes. What makes downtown so great according to Forbes? Well, they cite the new Downtown Market, Van Andel Arena, the Grand Rapids Museum, DeVos Place, the Medical Mile, and the fact that we’ve managed to convert a lot of abandoned warehouse space into commercial and residential space. Among all of the rest of the awesomeness, of course.

Here’s what they had to say:

Since the mid-1990s, the small Michigan city has drummed up billions in public-private funding. Investments have yielded the Van Andel Arena, the new $60 million home of the Grand Rapids Museum, a $220 million convention center, and $1 billion in new hospitals and new headquarters for Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine. Rockford Construction has converted more than a dozen abandoned warehouses and office buildings into 400,000 square feet of updated residential, retail and office space. This summer will welcome the $30 million Downtown Market, a year-round culinary marketplace, spanning 130,000 square feet and the city plans to build a rapid transit bus line that will more easily cart people from the suburbs to Grand Rapids’ downtown.

They didn’t even get around to mentioning all of the great events that take place downtown including ArtPrize, Festival of The Arts, and the 4th of July Family Fireworks & Fun! You barely scratched the surface, Forbes, but we appreciate the shout out.


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