In the near term, economic development recommendations aim to strengthen and grow downtown retail, with an emphasis on local independent businesses. Creating an environment that fosters innovation and creativity, and captures Grand Rapid’s downtown colleges and active millennial population, is a key objective of the Framework Specific recommendations include:
· Support local independent retail and create district incubators along downtown’s key retail corridors.
· Conduct a retail merchandising plan to determine where retail concepts are most likely to succeed.
· Enhance public safety along south Division Street to improve the area’s commercial viability.
Community Ventures & Innovation
· Partner with Grand Rapid’s philanthropic organizations to create a Community Venture Fund
that provides equity and loans for innovative and creative downtown businesses.
Downtown Housing & Mixed-Use Development
· Incent mixed-use projects and support new amenities that make downtown a more desirable place to
live, work, visit and recreate.