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Here's what you've missed in Neighborhoods of GR

Over the past year, Rapid Growth has just scratched the surface of the many unique places and spaces in Grand Rapids. From Alger Heights to Fulton Heights, from Creston to Midtown, here's what you may have missed in the Neighborhoods of GR series.

Over the past year, Rapid Growth has just scratched the surface of the many unique places and spaces in Grand Rapids. From Alger Heights to Fulton Heights, from Creston to Midtown, here's what you may have missed in the Neighborhoods of GR series.

What the North Quarter CID's plan means for Cheshire Village

Thanks to the North Quarter Corridor Improvement District (CID), residents along Plainfield on the North East side can expect new development in the area. Approved in 2012, the North Quarter CID’s Development Plan seeks to foster a sense of place in this area using infrastructure and beautification projects meant to boost tax revenue and encourage investment from entrepreneurs.

The North Quarter corridor, which mostly runs along Plainfield north out of downtown and ending short of 3 Mile, is planned to become another destination neighborhood while retaining its unique character. Like other CIDs in Grand Rapids, the North Quarter designated a board to manage a tax and investment plan to encourage focused multi-use development. Already, residents of both the Creston and Cheshire business districts contained within are seeing the change. If all goes according to plan, the North Quarter as a whole is slated to become a greener community where residents and business are better able to welcome and accommodate walkers, bikers, and drivers alike.

Thanks to cooperation from the Creston Neighborhood Association, who oversees the two business districts, and a renewed confidence among entrepreneurs looking to invest in the area, the North Quarter CID’s plan has seen quick results.
 

My heart's in Midtown: A Neighborhoods of GR essay

And yes, I know: everyone’s worried about the big G word in Midtown. I am too. The slew of large apartment complexes that have gone up (or are going up) on Michigan corridor have brought a lot of density to the area, and will bring more.

Still: Midtown has far from lost its character, andwhile housing costs have gone up as middle class incomes continue to be stifled, Midtown still represents one of the most affordable housing opportunities for young families and professionals near downtown.

With the continued hard work of organizations like the Midtown Neighborhood Association, and with continued vocalization from residents at city commission meetings, I think Midtown has a good shot at remaining a beautiful, affordable place for families to live, for a long time.

Maybe long enough for my daughter to buy her own starter house in Midtown someday—but not too soon.

The quiet buzz of Fulton Heights

It might be mostly residential, but don't call it sleepy. The neighborhood of Fulton Heights, tucked neatly on the edges of Eastown, Midtown, and Michigan Oaks, has a charm that is quietly buzzing beneath the surface. And just because it's focused more on helping neighbors shovel their sidewalks than it is about business and housing development doesn't mean these community members aren't passionate about their places and spaces.

Fulton Heights, like many other neighborhoods in GR, is changing. What used to be a majority white, older population is now slowly becoming home to younger, more diverse residents and families as the city (and the world, for that matter) as a whole prefers urban dwelling to suburban living. And with the Fulton Street Farmers Market, Schnitz Deli, and Hillcrest Garden at their fingertips, Fulton Heights residents have plenty to celebrate.

So what do so many Fulton Heights residents love about the neighborhood? "It's extremely convenient," says Sam Warber, President of the Fulton Heights Neighborhood Association. Warber, a history professor at Grand Valley State University who moved to the neighborhood in 2009, says, "Both my husband and I just fell in love with Fulton Heights right away." Just a few minutes from downtown, the East Beltline, and the highway, not to mention the local businesses and the Farmers Market, the area certainly has an urban vibe.
 
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