The Near West Side district is located across the Grand River from Center City.
The area is known for its working-class attitude, rich European traditions and, above all, resilience. The construction of the US 131 highway and Interstate 196 in the 1960's destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses in the area. It also scarred the heart and soul of a community.
But today the Near West Side district is emerging as a much stronger and vibrant place than it was before the bulldozers. With Grand Valley State University expanding in the area; a thriving museum district; a growing selection of pubs, restaurants, and locally run shops; as well as aggressive investment in unique urban housing ventures; the Near West Side now stands on the leading edge of Grand Rapids' evolution into a thriving 21st century city.