New business entity Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. combines talent, resources of 4 economic dev. groups

After a thorough search for the perfect place to set up shop, new business entity Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. (DGRI) plans to move into the ground floor of the Federal Square Building, 29 Pearl St. NW, in July 2013. The 4,300-square-foot space last housed Three Crowns Bistro, an eatery that closed eight years ago.

Key to the choice of space were accessibility, visibility, cost, and a community meeting space. As a bonus, the move will breathe new life into an underutilized building in the city's core.

The goal of the DGRI is to combine the staffs, resources, and energies of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), Downtown Alliance (DA), Office of Special Events (OSE), and Downtown Improvement Authority (DID) into one cohesive and effective organization. These agencies are currently in different locations and operate under different state and local authorities. Under the umbrella of DGRI, each agency will retain its board and authority, and the new agency's board will include representatives from each. DDA Director Kris Larson will serve as DGRI's CEO.

The new business structure hopes to create a more entrepreneurial culture and approach to downtown development, marketing, and management. The central city setting is ideal, and the new space offers enough room for a meeting space for up to 50 people. The location offers employees and visitors parking in an Ellis Parking surface lot just west of the building and in a city-owned parking ramp across Pearl Street.

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.'s mission is to create a welcoming environment by providing a safe, friendly, clean, and attractive downtown. The organization is in the business of improving and sustaining a sense of place, fostering a prosperous Downtown through direct and support investments, and developing tools to encourage economic vitality and improve urban life.

Source: DDA Website
Writer: Victoria Mullen, Do Good Editor

Images: Courtesy of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.
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