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KCLBADave

Two similar cities, two different paths

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Grand Rapids was once in the same boat as Pontiac

Check out this article...it is rather thought provoking.

Here is a money quote:

GRAND RAPIDS - Even to the casual visitor, the streets of downtown Grand Rapids have something Pontiac's do not: pedestrian activity and a sense of vitality.

In a state scarred by abandoned, dilapidated inner cities, the story of Grand Rapids' turnaround stands out. Even with its revitalization moving through a second decade that's decidedly less generous economically than the first, the west Michigan city boasts cranes in the sky, fast-rising real estate and its emergence as a regional economic powerhouse in a state sorely in need of more.

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IPB formated the link wrong, but even when I go to it manualy, it redirects me to microsoft.com.

Yah I got that too. Copy and paste this link ;)

www.theoaklandpress.com/stories/103005/loc_2005103001.shtml

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You're right LMich. I kept looking for how the two cities came from the same place (as alluded in the article header), but it just seemed like an opportunity to beat up on Pontiac.

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You're right LMich. I kept looking for how the two cities came from the same place (as alluded in the article header), but it just seemed like an opportunity to beat up on Pontiac.

I've been thinking about this east / west thing lately, and I think it is extremely difficult to draw very many useful comparisons between metro Detroit and metro GR. I mean, metro Detroit is on a completely different level than GR. It is so much bigger, more populous, more sprawling, more everything (except cool, of course :D ) I think a better way to gauge GR's successes and shortcomings is to compare it to similar sized cities: Madison, maybe Toledo, etc. Just a thought. :whistling: Interesting article though. ;)

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The article was REALLY reaching to compare the two. IMO, their situations and histories are so different that the comparison is dubious, at best.

I also agree that the article does not in any way do what it sets out to in its title. Someone else in this post stated that it is unfair to compare the two cities. I also agree.

What I found interesting was an outsider's view of Grand Rapids and our downtown revitalization, and the overall view of our city.

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I agree that it is interesting to get an outsider's take on the state of the city. Sounded pretty good. Especially for those people living in Oakland County who may have never thought of (or been to) Grand Rapids before, except maybe they have been to West Michigan to go fishing/camping/boating/etc.

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I hate when I find factually inaccurate things said in articles because it throws into question the credibility of the entire article. Unless I am the one wrong here, and I assume the astute people of this forum will correct me, Grand Rapids proper has not had unimpeded growth over the last 40 years. The City declined some decades, not by much, and then increased. It has oscillated between the high 180

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No, you're right HolidayInnExpress. I'm not sure where Logie got that info, but here are the facts:

Year Population Growth

1960 197,193 NA

1970 197,649 .23%

1980 181,843 -8.00%

1990 189.126 4.01%

2000 197,800 4.59%

From 1960 - 2000 .3% Growth

http://66.102.7.104/search?q=cache:TUQZbzD...60+-+2000&hl=en

Better than most in Michigan - yes; unimpeded - no

I liked Logie, but didn't he also say that the Michigan Trust Building was the highest skyscraper in Michigan when it was built (which it wasn't) :P He was always the salesman.

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On the "outsider perspective" thought:

I just had a week long visit from my brother-in-law and sister who flew in from Washington State. They had not been out here for about 4 years. Both of them spent some time out here for college and hated it.

Anyway, the first day I took them on a walking tour of my neighborhood. We grabbed some coffee, visited some hang-out places, hit a couple parks with the dog, hit Martha's for some good wine, etc. The next night we went out for some Indian food at Bombay and walked around East town for a bit and then did the downtown thing. Then we left GR for a wedding and came back on Monday. Both of them couldn't wait to get back to GR so they could go check out some of their new favorite spots. They were really blown away by how great GR had become and said repeatedly how lucky we were to live here.

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On the "outsider perspective" thought:

I just had a week long visit from my brother-in-law and sister who flew in from Washington State. They had not been out here for about 4 years. Both of them spent some time out here for college and hated it.

Anyway, the first day I took them on a walking tour of my neighborhood. We grabbed some coffee, visited some hang-out places, hit a couple parks with the dog, hit Martha's for some good wine, etc. The next night we went out for some Indian food at Bombay and walked around East town for a bit and then did the downtown thing. Then we left GR for a wedding and came back on Monday. Both of them couldn't wait to get back to GR so they could go check out some of their new favorite spots. They were really blown away by how great GR had become and said repeatedly how lucky we were to live here.

That's great that they liked it better this time around. Although downtown has gone through quite a transition, I think the more startling difference can be seen in the small neighborhood centers, like East Fulton, Cherry Hill and Uptown, Wealthy Street, Baxter, Heartside, West Leonard and Bridge Street, Easttown, and a bunch of others. I think GR has some great neighborhood groups. In fact, there is a feature in October's GR Magazine talking about just that topic. I can't remember if it was Woz or John Koeze who wrote it??

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