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Development News

Grand Rapids' new The North Quarter looks at bike lanes, street repairs, improved shopping districts







Uptown has its four distinct business districts of Eastown, East Hills, East Fulton and Wealthy Street. Southtown has five: Boston Square, Division South, Franklin/Eastern, Madison Square and Oakdale/Eastern.

And now, northeast Grand Rapids businesses and neighborhoods in the Creston, Cheshire Village and Leonard/Monroe/Coldbrook areas have come together as The North Quarter. The initiative launched last spring to rekindle efforts for a Corridor Improvement District (CID) proposed several years ago.

The Creston Business Association, Creston Neighborhood Association, Cheshire Village Business Association and business owners in the Monroe/Coldbrook/Leonard area came together last fall and winter to map out a plan for improving the city's northeast quarter.

"Our first goal is to work on getting the CID," says Duane Culver. Culver owns the Creston area accounting firm Culver, Wood & Culver, and is president of both the Creston Business Association and The North Quarter.

"The CID will help us get funding from city property taxes and from grants in order to do capital improvements in the district, such as, streetscaping and new building facades," Culver says. "The work was begun with the outdoor art project and the community design charrette done a few years back, but we need to move and do something with the information we've gathered or all the work we've done is going to be wasted."

The group also has representatives working with the City of Grand Rapids and the Michigan Department of Transportation on a plan to repave portions of Plainfield Avenue in summer 2012, Culver says. MDOT already planned to do the paving, and The North Quarter has joined the planning to review the possibilities of adding bike lanes, better on-street parking and other design aspects to keep vehicle traffic flowing while making the street safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

Source: Duane Culver, Culver, Wood & Culver and The North Quarter
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Related Articles:
Creston business corridor re-design could spur millions in investments
Creston Public Art Project gets $15,000 boost, next step in corridor improvement initiative

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