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This is what Gentrification Looks like in Grand Rapids

September 8, 2016

It has begun. The decimation of the first block of homes, right now, today, in the process of gentrifying the Belknap neighborhood by Grand Valley State University and other private developers that are taking advantage of the re-development of the area.

This posting is not designed to provided detailed analysis of the GVSU-led gentrification of the Belknap neighborhood, rather we want to present a series of pictures, accompanied by brief commentary on the harsh realities of what gentrification looks like in this community.

GVSU owns virtually all of the land shown here in this map, which was included in the Memorandum of Understanding. 


Working class families used to live in these houses that are now being bulldozed in the name of progress.


Families have been displaced, uprooted from friends, their children’s school, memories…..


Even if any concession were made, do we have any idea what it must be like to be forced from where you live?


This is just the beginning, just the first block to be leveled. These houses, which do not need to be destroyed, are now fenced off and waiting to be torn down.


These machines are owned by companies making a profit from the decimation of this neighborhood and it’s memories.



But wait, there is new housing being built just around the corner………oh, we’re sorry, it’s not for those working class families who were told to leave.



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