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Urban Planet - Grand Rapids going on 10+ years


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I have zero idea how I first found UP, but I remember back when my wife and I would hang out at the old Discussions coffee shop in 2005, with my clunky Dell laptop, using that new wonder called Wi-Fi, I would read the posts on this forum, too afraid to sign up for an account. Then one day I was like "what the heck" and I went for it (GR_Urbanist was like the least goofy name I could come up with).


I still dig through old discussions just to see the progression of not only the city and buildings, but the people too! So many great posters, insider scoops, epic fights, insane speculation, and the infamous "mystery project"!


UPGR is an invaluable history of Grand Rapids in the early 21 century and an awesome resource, not to mention incredibly entertaining!

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I remember one meetup where several of us walked Monroe Center and photo documented all of the vacant and blighted retail spots, and then presented to the (now defunct) Downtown Alliance. I think that's the sole reason why Monroe Center retail is 90% full now. :) 

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I remember seeing an ad for a project called "Icon on Bond" in 2005 and searched for it online and found UP.  I was so excited to see discussion on what was the beginnings of a lot of GR development.  Fun to look back at the projects that never happened and then the many of them that are just part of our landscape now.  Here's to the next ten years!

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