Neighborhood Transforms Due To Development

Posted at 12:47 PM, Nov 15, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-15 14:55:03-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– More and more neighborhoods throughout Grand Rapids are transforming into vibrant communities. The latest is taking place in the Madison Square neighborhood, on the city’s southeast side, near Hall Street and Union.

While their unique architecture is eye-catching, it’s what developers say will happen within the community as a result.

Jabri Williams and his grandmother, Valerie, are looking for a new place to live. After moving to Grand Rapids from Muskegon Heights more than 10 years ago, Valerie says she’s already seen quite a change.

“There’s a new building almost every time you look up,” says Valerie.

For Jabri, who gets ready to start college in January, the new Southtown Square development is a great place for a new beginning.

“I started my first job, big job last night right at Heartside,” says Jabri. “I’m liking [Grand Rapids] more already.”

“There’s really not enough quality housing in GR at affordable rates,” says Jeremy DeRoo, Co-Executive Director of LINC Community Revitalization Inc.

LINC says they are creating modern-looking townhouses to diversify the traditionally historic area.

“Projects like this are not just about housing, that’s part of the puzzle, it’s the bigger picture; the way it compliments efforts in the schools and strengthens the neighborhoods,” says DeRoo.

For example, as Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) becomes a school of choice district, LINC wants to make sure it’s doing enough work in the neighborhoods. They claim where one lives determines where one will go in life.

Two to four bedroom units will go between $525 and $750 a month. The project is still growing. Over 40 more units and retail space will go up as well. In the end, the project will include 60 apartments and townhouses with 13,000 square feet of retail space.

Residents can start moving in around December.