New Projects/Top Ratings for our City
by Paul Austin
Grand Rapids continues to be recognized nationally and globally, as well as having some exciting projects on the horizon.
For starters, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park received the top position on Luxury Columnist's list for best sculpture park in the world. Number 1 in the world! "Spread over 158 acres in Grand Rapids Township, Michigan, this botanical garden and sculpture park features over 200 works. The permanent collection boasts one of the most extensive collections of outdoor sculpture in the world."
Next, Grand Rapids continues to be the top American city for millennial home buyers. "According to a recent study .. 56.8% of millennials in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming metropolitan area own their homes, the highest rate among 53 large metros in the U.S. and well above the national average."
Moving past these notable accolades, three exciting projects for Grand Rapids were announced last fall.
First of all, pharmaceutical manufacturer Perrigo now will have their North American corporate headquarters in our city's Medical Mile. "CEO Murray Kessler said the new headquarters creates 'energy' and will help attract skilled workers who are 'more interested living in a vibrant location.' It also presents opportunities to collaborate with academic, research and clinical experts in the Medical Mile."
Of course a place called Grand Rapids should have a river, and an impressive one at that. This restoration project for a two mile stretch by the Grand River was announced by Grand Rapids Downtown Inc and includes improvements at the Fish Ladder, reopening several river walks, creating access to Wealthy Street, and updates for Ah Nab Awen Park.
Finally, how about a new 14,000-seat outdoor amphitheatre, an updated convention center, and the creation of a United Soccer League professional team for Grand Rapids? "The discussion about these proposals is occurring amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused the cancellation of large events, crippled the tourism industry and impacted local economies. But Grand Action 2.0, an economic development organization that relaunched in the spring, is trying to take advantage of this time."
It is exciting to be in a city with leaders having a vision beyond the current pandemic. These projects would increase business and visitor travel and make Grand Rapids an even more desirable place to live.