By: Deborah Johnson Wood
Encouraged by Uptown's recent victory as Grand Rapids' first Corridor Improvement District
(CID), supporters of Madison Square's bid for CID designation say the
district could be next in line. Grand Rapids City Commissioners
recently passed a resolution accepting the proposal for the CID and on
May 12 will hold a public hearing.
In the past five years, Madison Square has received a $100,000 Cool Cities
grant, seen new buildings constructed and existing buildings renovated,
watched promised redevelopments fizzle and has struggled to attract and
keep new neighborhood businesses.
Now the business district at the
intersection of Madison and Hall is on the cusp of establishing the
means to infuse the business district with the largest influx of
funding in its history.
"The community is looking for a vibrant
commercial district to support revitalizing the neighborhood and the
CID is one way to get there," says Kimberly Van Dyk, executive director
of Neighborhood Ventures.
"It's the chicken and the egg thing. We need to grow the demand, and
we'll grow it if we can get the CID and transit improvements."
Neighborhood Ventures, LISC, Lighthouse Communities
and other organizations are catalysts in the development of the CID
proposal and in drumming up support from business owners, property
owners and the surrounding Southtown community.
Months of planning, a door-to-door
survey, a walking tour of the area and community input resulted in a
wish list of improvements that includes attracting a bank, a pharmacy
and a sit-down restaurant; streetscape upgrades to beautify the area;
and buses that run every 15 minutes instead of the current 30-minute
"One thing that's really amazing," Van
Dyk says, "is that the community sent over 200 letters of support (for
the CID) to the city commission, plus email and phone calls."
Source: Kimberly Van Dyk, Neighborhood Ventures
Madison Square takes next step toward Corridor Improvement District
Madison Square is awarded $100,000 and ‘Cool Cities’ designation
Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at email@example.com.