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michaelskis

Why is East Grand Rapids different from Grand Rapids?

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If you get a chance, take a drive down Lake Street from Fulton to the Belt Line on a Saturday Morning, and you will know when you

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IMHO, it's all about the schools. I lived in GR proper until I had kids. Wanting the best opportunities for my kids, I found my best option was to move. I am not religious, so Christian schools were not an option.

I think there are a lot of people in the suburbs, like myself, who would love to live in the core, but sacrifice the vibrance that you get from a city for the education of their children. It sucks, but it is true.

Joe

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It's a trend, people get their cute starter homes in Alger Heights and elsewhere in the city. A few years go by, they're making more money, their kids become school age, they move to EGR, Cascade, Byron, etc. People don't trust the GRPS for a quality education.

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Someone here a while ago did a comparison of homes in the Ottawa Hills neighborhood, which is right next to East Grand Rapids with virtually identical housing stock, similar neighborhood upkeep and homeownership rates, and the big difference in market values. I agree that the "schools" difference between the two is one big deciding factor.

The school situation is a self-fulfilling prophecy. People say the schools are bad, so a lot of middle class families that would help make the schools better decide to educate their kids elsewhere. I would even go out on a limb and say that the teachers and staff at Forest Hills and EGR are no better than teachers at GRPS. I think the differences are intensive parent participation, a more orderly learning environment (kids are there to learn), and access to more resources.

But I have a funny feeling michaelskis that you knew people were going to say that. :)

And with what Joe said, not everyone wants to have their kids attend and/or can't afford Christian or Catholic school. What if a family is Jewish, or Muslim (which there are many moving to the metro area)? Are there options for those families in the city?

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Don't forget that people in EGR pay higher taxes as well. This has the effect of providing a barrier to entry for some and also bolsters the city's coffers and therefore municipal services receive more investment and the general upkeep of the city improves. It creates to a certain degree an elitism (maybe that's the wrong word) which has the effect of building up civic pride and therefore residents are more willing to invest time, energy and money into the upkeep of their property.

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If you get a chance, take a drive down Lake Street from Fulton to the Belt Line on a Saturday Morning, and you will know when you

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I do believe that there is a different attitude between renters and owner occupied. If you own something you take more pride in it. I don't know too many renters who mow lawns and rake leaves let alone add to things, I personally only know one and not all landlords keep up on that stuff.

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People in GR dont have bright green manicured lawns, clean streets, consistent street tress, and most importantly, families out for a walk, often with the family dog? Are you sure you live in GR?

Because we all know that nothing wrecks a historic home more than having renters inside. They spend all day dumping trash on the sidewalk and dumping the contents of our bedpans on the street.

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Don't forget that people in EGR pay higher taxes as well. This has the effect of providing a barrier to entry for some and also bolsters the city's coffers and therefore municipal services receive more investment and the general upkeep of the city improves. It creates to a certain degree an elitism (maybe that's the wrong word) which has the effect of building up civic pride and therefore residents are more willing to invest time, energy and money into the upkeep of their property.

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You're kidding yourself if you say you don't notice a difference when leaving GR and entering EGR. It's like they issue running shorts and a cute dog when you buy a house in East and mandate daily strolls.

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And another thing, the schools are good because people perceive them as being good schools, so they will pay more to live there and pay the higher taxes which gives the school the resources to improve the educational experience and allows for more city services.

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To the point of renters, I don't think they are trolls. I was one for 10 years before buying my house. However, I will tell you I am MUCH more motivated to go and put new mulch down, fertilize, water, mow, clean up the outside of my house now that I'm making the payment on it and it's mine. There are also plenty of landlords who don't keep up their properties. I know some who do a great job and some that do a 1/2 arsed job.

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Motivated?

#1 You are not allowed to make changes to an apartment. In many cases you are not allowed to paint the walls. Why on Earth would you go out and put down mulch or water the grass? Part of your rent is so the landlord does it. No different than a condo owner. What is a apartment renter, that is assuming that they even live in a building with a yard or that they dont live on the first floor. supposed to do? Go out and buy a lawnmower and some trees? We pay these people for upkeep. It's not like we dont give a darn if there is trash around just because we dont have a mortgage on the place.

People in homes aren't just keeping up their places because they have been infused with the mystical power of making mortgage payments. A good deal of it is the fact that they are ultimately responsible for the care and upkeep of their yards/homes. Just as a landlord gets cited for violations if they dont keep up on their jobs, so will home owners.

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The only places where there is a noticable an imeadiate change in cities are the borders near east town and then on Breton because of the change in streetscape. Other than that the average person would not really notice where the broder is without signs.

I really like the fact they are so different and you know what city you are in otherwise if you cant tell they mind as well be the same city.

There is nodoubt that it has to do with schools and hightaxes and the EGR "tradition" that keeps it that way. I imagine that Ottawas hills neighborhood has a lot of elder couples, singles and not many kids even being right next to Iroquios school

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If you get a chance, take a drive down Lake Street from Fulton to the Belt Line on a Saturday Morning, and you will know when you

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IPlant flowers at my rental property? Not likely. Mow the lawn once or twice a week at all my rental homes? Yeah right. And these are not bad landlords I'm talking about, it's just the nature of rental property management. No one takes care of something more than if it were his/her own, period.

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I can't believe it took this long in the thread for someone to bring up yesterday's events. FYI, at any time a disgruntled EGR student could warrant a visit from the swat team. Clearly no school is safe from this type of event these days.

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A large number of GR residents have to rent. They're college students and young professionals who demand mobility, and their income doesn't always permit them to buy. Without available rental properties in GR, they would live in other renter-friendly communities, such as Alpine, Kentwood, and Grandville. Allowing renters to live in Heritage Hill, Eastown, East Hills, etc. leads to more population density--more people living in the city. More people living in the city leads to more money being spent in the city. Also, the government collects more tax revenue on rental properties through non-homesteaded property taxes. This further helps our community out. While it's easy to point to how rental properties "uglify" Grand Rapids, they are really a very important part to our city. Also, despite the lack of pretty lawns and flower beds, landlords are held to standards on how their properties appear. I've been given violations for having brush piles in my backyard, because it was visible from the street. Furthermore, if you take the renters out, who is going to occupy these 6 bedroom/3 bathroom houses? Families sure as heck aren't going to move in until the public school system can prove to be above par. I think that it's something that we just have to deal with, as more good comes from the rental supply than bad. On a positive note, I have noticed an increase in owner occupancy of multifamily houses, which will lead to "prettier" rental units.

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I have become weary with this school issue. I have become irritated, disenchanted and hopeless about it. The GRPS schools were crap when I moved here and after 15 years and a $30 million dollar bond - that I pay for in my taxes, they are still crap. Useless to me. As GRDad says, are the teachers different? Is the curriculum different? Who the hell knows. But I can tell you this, EGR does not have metal detectors installed in their schools, they have high graduation rates, they have a safe learning environment (ie-no SWAT teams coming to lock-downs). It is obvious to me that this is not going to change, despite all of the rhetoric and smoke that gets blown up our asses about it.

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Anyone know of any good GRPS schools or are we lumping them into one image?

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Why is East Grand Rapids different from Grand Rapids? Because it is alot easier to raise a family in EGR. I live in Heritage Hill with kids and it is not easy to live here. I could not rely on GRPS to successfully educate my children in a safe environment so I had to go outside the district. I cannot comfortably use the neighborhood parks because besides being unkept, there can be unsupervised rowdy kids and on occasion a homeless person napping under the playground equipment, so I drive to EGR. I cannot allow my kids to play in the front yard or ride their bikes around the block without supervision. Sometimes I question what this neighborhood can offer my family because quite often it feels very isolated living in Heritage Hill. I haven't given up yet on GR though I do sometimes wonder what my life would be like living in East.

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...this idea that EGR is some sort of earthly paradise while GR is a hole is way overblown. EGR is EGR because they "leech" off of all the cities around them that provide the jobs they commute to and the Big Box stores that they shop in. We get dirty so EGR can be the shining city by the lake, Free of all the filth.

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The striking contrast I think is mainly due to having the wealthiest suburb in the area right next to the city. However, the one thing I always thought EGR was lacking was park space. Other than the area around Reeds Lake, there is really only one other park in EGR near the East Beltline (Manhatten Rec Area), which doesn't really feel like an urban park. I guess Wilcox Park is fairly close to parts of EGR. Maybe there are others I'm missing?

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City High School just won a state championship in Quiz Bowl by beating Houghton High School (a top-notch school in the UP).

http://tinyurl.com/yqede8

According to Schoolmatters.com, Ken-o-Sha park school is one of the top "performing" elementary schools in the state.

http://tinyurl.com/yv2cxu

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The only places where there is a noticable an imeadiate change in cities are the borders near east town and then on Breton because of the change in streetscape. Other than that the average person would not really notice where the broder is without signs.

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