Area Specific Plan focuses on 5 business districts on Southeast Side

Published on April 09, 2018

Alger_Heights_BD_WEB.jpg

Community invited to provide input in planning effort for Southtown business districts 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A planning effort is under way for five business districts on the city’s Southeast Side, and the community is invited to participate.

The first community workshops for the Southtown Area Specific Plan will be held this week. The three sessions will provide community members opportunities to provide input on what they want to see in the business districts, which include Alger Heights, Boston Square, Franklin and Eastern, Madison Square and Seymour Square. The workshops also will feature presentations about the project. The same information will be presented at each session.

The workshop schedule is:

Wednesday, April 11 
2 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. – Drop-in opportunities for community members to provide input 
6:30 to 8 p.m. – Presentation about the project 
Location: LINC Up, 1167 Madison Ave. SE

Thursday, April 12
9 to 11:30 a.m. and noon to 5 p.m. – Drop-in opportunities for community members to provide input 
12:30 to 2 p.m. – Presentation about the project 
6 to 8 p.m. – Drop-in opportunities for community members to provide input 
6:30 to 8 p.m. – Presentation about the project 
Location: Seymour Christian Reformed Church, 840 Alger St. SE

Friday, April 13
8:30 to noon – Drop-in opportunities for community members to provide input 
9 to 10:30 a.m. – Presentation about the project
Location: Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, 514 Eastern Ave. SE

Spanish interpreters will be at each workshop. Lunch will be provided at the Wednesday session, dinner will be provided at the Wednesday and Thursday sessions and breakfast will be provided at the Friday session. Children are welcome at all three workshops.

Members of the Southtown Corridor Improvement District, or CID, Board and Southtown Area Specific Plan steering committee members are leading the planning effort with assistance from consultants and City staff. The project leaders include local business owners, residents and other stakeholders. The City created the Southtown CID in 2016 to improve the health and success of the business and commercial areas. 

Bill DeJong, who serves on the Southtown CID Board and is chairman of the steering committee, said public participation in the planning effort is important.

“Hearing from community members on what they want their business districts to be will help our plan be a success,” DeJong said. “The goal is to benefit the entire Southtown community by strengthening these commercial areas.” 

Third Ward Commissioner Senita Lenear, who also serves on the Southtown CID Board and steering committee, agreed.

“It is an exciting time for Southtown,” Lenear said. “The plan will seek to grow and stabilize the businesses, especially those that are minority- and locally owned. Together with the community, we want to create a plan to improve the business districts and retain their unique qualities.” 

The steering committee plans to host a second workshop in June to further refine the goals of the Area Specific Plan.

For more information about the Southtown Area Specific Plan project, visit grandrapidsmi.gov/southtownplan or call 311 or 616.456.3000.