$10 million development to open in southeast GR

Posted at 10:19 PM, Oct 28, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-29 00:06:39-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- After nearly a year of construction, a new $10 million development is near completion at the corner Hall and Madison.

Southtown Square consists of two dozen apartments and 6,000 square feet of retail space.

Linc Community Revitalization, a local non-profit is spearheading the project.

Future tenants are excited, but so are other businesses in the Madison Square neighborhood on Grand Rapid's southeast side.

The future housing tenants are moving in on Friday, but the retail space won't be completed for at least a month.

"We know that children that have healthier homes and more stable housing do better in school. They're parents are more likely to stay at their jobs and just makes family life so much better when you have your housing needs met," said Jeremy Deroo with LINC.

Deroo said that the new development is just the latest investment in the Madison Square neighborhood.

"This is a great addition to a neighborhood that's really been in a point of transition for years. The neighborhood has had over $30 million invested in the last four years or so," said Deroo.

Jung Park has owned OJ's Enterprises across the street for more than 25 years. Park said that it's a neighborhood that is riddled with crime.

"Once in a while we hear these gun shots, shootings, things like that. A couple months ago we heard the gun shot outside in the parking lot and police came all over the place," said Park.

Park said that over the years he's seen many businesses come and go, but he kept on holding onto hope the area would turn around.
"There was an old building that was there. When that building was down, we were kind of hoping something new would be coming in," said Park. "That means more opportunity for the people including here and people coming in here."

With the final touches being made, Deroo hopes with more foot traffic in the area,  more businesses opening in the area will follow.

"This building is kind of the next stage. A big building on the main street that visually identifies the great things that are happening here in the neighborhood," said Deroo.

As for the retail space, Spectrum Health will be opening up a community clinic, and a downtown clothing store is relocating to the southeast side.