Skip to content

The Devil is in the Details 2/23/2021: Economic Outlook, GRPD Strategic Plan and further gentrification along Market Avenue SW

February 22, 2021

This is our fifth installment of this posting, which takes a critical look at Grand Rapids politics and policies, based primarily on the public record, such as committee agendas and minutes.

There are 3 issues we want to focus on in this installment of The Devil is in the Details, one that will be presented during the Tuesday morning meeting of the Committee of the Whole, a second issue that will be discussed during special 2pm City meeting, and the third issue will be voted on during the Tuesday evening City Commission meeting.

During the Committee of the Whole meeting, based on pages 6 – 7 from the Agenda Packet, the City of Grand Rapids will have a briefing on an “Economic Outlook and Recovery Update. This briefing will involve the Upjohn Institute, The Right Place Inc and City staffers. This means that a Think Tank that embraces the fundamental premises of Capitalism – Upjohn Institute; a pro-business entity and part of the Grand Rapids Power Structure (look at who sits on their Board of Directors) – the Right Place Inc; and City staff will be speaking during the briefing. This means that no one or no entity that represents working class people, people experiencing poverty or those who have a critical analysis of Capitalism, will be presenting at this briefing to provide an “Economic Outlook.” Not exactly a diversity of opinions and disciplines.

The second issue of concern will be discussed during the special meeting at 2pm on Tuesday, where the GRPD will provide an update on their Strategic Plan, “including the transition of parking enforcement to the Mobile GR Department and the evidence-based violence reduction RFP” – based on page 4 of the Agenda Packet.  GRPD Police Chief Payne will present and disclose the Request for Proposals for violence reduction, which should be very instructive.

Lastly, during the Tuesday evening City Commission meeting there will be a resolution to adopt a proposal from “Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Exemption Certificate Application for the project at 470 Market Avenue SW.”  3F Properties, LLC will create 167 market rate apartments – re: expensive – at 470 Market Avenue SW, which is an old warehouse building. A short description of the project can be found on pages 162 – 163 of the Agenda Packet. 

3F Properties is a Chicago-based developer, which begs the question why isn’t this project going to a local entity? More importantly, this project will coincide with the other major development project on Market Avenue, which is to say the DeVos-controlled Amphitheater project at 201 Market Avenue SW. Both the 210 Market Avenue SW project and the 470 Market Avenue SW project will radically alter the dynamics of that part of the city, making it a more economically affluent area. Five or ten years down the road, if I was a betting person, I would guess that a great deal of this area will be transformed into another upscale hub, which would further threaten nearby poor/working class neighborhoods along Grandville Avenue and in the Black Hills neighborhood along Godfrey Avenue SW. 

%d bloggers like this: