[Sale Pending] Centrally Located Historic Tudor $179,900

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This wonderful Tudor-style Craftsman at 656 Lake Drive SE marks the entrance of Historic Fitch Place and Windsor Terrace, abutting Heritage Hill. This well-built grand three-story home features site-cut white oak flooring and trim throughout. The main living area has been opened up a bit to create a nice flow from kitchen to dining room to living room for entertaining guests. The luxurious double-sized second floor bedroom used to be two rooms. The third bedroom nestled into the third floor surrounded by a bonus workshop is also quite large and comfortable. Two off-street parking spots and a small garage are a rarity and a special advantage. The current owners will find the tight-knit neighborhood feel and the famed annual Halloween street party tough to leave behind.

 

GR Forward Together

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This new video features some familiar faces and places in Grand Rapids, produced by Artpeers, backed by the band Vox Vidorra.

“The new ‘GR Forward Together’ video is to remind us that it takes all of us to make Grand Rapids an equal and inclusive city…We live in a vibrant community; we need to make sure we focus on the positive aspects of our lifestyle. Is this the happy ending? Of course not. This is just the beginning of a larger, exciting and community-driven project that will benefit residents, businesses, and the youth on a long-term impact which will also need continuous improvement. The GR Forward Together video is to remind us that it takes all of us to make Grand Rapids an equal and inclusive city. Who wants to be part of it? You should!” – the Rapidian

Click here for full article here on The Rapidian.org

Will Downtown Grand Rapids get a Streetcar after all?

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“The Rapid public-transit system is paying HDR Inc. $293,895 to refine the 2008 study, updating what an electric streetcar line would cost and how the money could come together. An advisory committee started meeting last month.

“‘We’re going to build on that (2008 study),’ said John Logie, a former Grand Rapids mayor who is chairman of the committee. ‘We think the timing is right. The economy is coming back.'”

streetcar

 

LINK TO FULL GR PRESS ARTICLE

Grand Rapids Home Values Up 16 Percent After Healthy Spring Market

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With the Spring Market well underway in Grand Rapids, its time to look back and see if the ecomonists favorable yet conservative predictions from 2012 have come true.  After the big and constant decline over the past few years, I’m happy to say that Real Estate is trending upward, probably faster than we were expecting.

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Comparing January-April 2012-2013, the numbers are looking great. Here are a few facts that point to a recovering market:

Heritage Hill & surrounding historic district, Grand Rapids:
In 2012, 42 homes in the surveyed downtown area were sold from the beginning of the year through April, as compared to 43 homes sold during that same period in 2013. The average sale price was $189,000 in 2012, and $215,000 in 2013. That is a healthy increase of around 14% from last year to this year.

Other neighborhoods of note:

Grand Rapids Downtown Historic District: up 14%
Grand Rapids Northeast: up 11%
Walker: up 15%
Northwest Neighborhoods: up 17-27%
Northeast Side: up 5-38%
East Grand Rapids: up 20%
Southeast Areas: up 2-23%
Wyoming: up 15-23%
Grandville: up 9%
Kentwood Neighborhoods: up 9-13
West Side: up 8%
Grand Rapids Township: up 26%
Cascade: up 25%

Overall, the Greater Grand Rapids area has had a similar number of listings and sales in Spring 2013 as compared to Spring 2012, but the average sale price this year is $132,688 as compared to least year’s Spring average of $114, 626. That’s an almost 16% increase across the Greater Grand Rapids area.

Right now, consumer confidence is up and foreclosure listings are down. Over the next 2-3 years, the banks will be selling the rest of their Shadow Inventory, which are the foreclosures that remain from the dark period we just experienced. Still, there are far fewer foreclosure listings now than there have been in recent years, and the confidence of home sellers continues to grow along with sale prices.

With inventory this low and lots of buyers out there, the market seems to favor the seller. Still, there are some foreclosure listings in the mix, which jostle the recent memory of a heavily-weighted buyers market. Right now, it is a great time to engage in this Real Estate market, whether you plan buy or to sell. Buyers are faced with historically low interest rates coupled with low prices. Sellers are experiencing the most success since prior to 2008. These are good times.

All statistics courtesy of Grand Rapids Association of Realtors

Tiny Apartment Shows the Value of a Good Fit

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Seattle Times – 8/21/10 – Full Article

photo: BENJAMIN BENSCHNEIDER / THE SEATTLE TIMES

excerpt:

“Sauer’s tiny Seattle home is remarkable. But it shouldn’t be.

“I wanted to compress my home to squirt me back out to the community,” he says, taking inspiration from dwellings in Scandinavia and Japan, places where space is dear. “That was one of the philosophical reasons. I want to be able to shop daily, not store a lot and eat really well.”

Homeowners are building smaller in general. It’s economical and ecological. But few do it in 11-feet-3-inches wide, by 16-feet-2-inches deep, by 10-feet-4-inches tall (Sauer is very accurate) with two beds, a full kitchen with a dishwasher, bathroom with a shower, a soaking tub set into the floor just inside the front door. On three living levels. There’s also closet space, a dining table and storage for two bikes. All of it contemporary and in cool blue, with accents of black, red and white…”

Community Groups Address Housing Concerns at GR City Commission Briefing

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Link to full RAPIDIAN ARTICLE

A coalition of 24 community organizations will be presenting a position paper to the Grand Rapids City Commission at 10:30am tomorrow (7/27/2010) calling for cooperation to address growing housing concerns as a result of the recent changes in the real estate market.

The position paper calls for three primary issues to be addressed.

* Ensuring a minimum standard of quality among all rental units by adding single family rental units to the City’s rental inspection and certification program.

* Redesigning the City’s vacant property inspections program to mitigate the negative effects that the foreclosure crisis has had on property values, crime, and neighborhood stability.

* Creating a comprehensive, accessible, and accurate database of parcel information.

Go Grand Rapids! CNN Article

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Link
Full Article.

Excerpt:
(Fortune) — It is not the kind of view you expect these days in downtrodden Michigan. From this rooftop plaza on the 17th floor of Bridgewater Place, evidence of urban renewal spreads in every direction. Directly to the south is the modern campus of Grand Valley State University, home to 11,000 students. Across the Grand River lies the sprawl of the redeveloped entertainment district, with its new arena and convention center, steps away from downtown business and government office buildings. Atop a hill to the east is the city’s crown jewel: a $1 billion (and growing) medical complex that includes a cancer research center, specialized treatment facilities, and a medical school.

This is Grand Rapids, a small city (pop. 200,000) in western Michigan with a redevelopment plan that has lessons for other cities looking to engineer new growth after the decline of old-economy industries. That this plan has taken hold in, of all places, the Rustbelt of Michigan makes it all the more remarkable. Two decades ago the city could have been headed the way of Flint, Pontiac, and, yes, Detroit. But instead its fortunes have steadily improved, thanks to a remarkable combination of business leadership, public-private cooperation, and the deep pockets of local philanthropists.

Grand Rapids is much smaller than that city on Michigan’s eastern coast, Detroit (pop. 800,000). Its populace is a bit more diverse, its suburban leaders were willing to work with city government, and its issues were much less complex. But at a moment when corporate, philanthropic, and political leaders in Detroit are just beginning the process of working together to help revive the city (see “Downsizing Detroit” on time.com), the Grand Rapids reinvention is worth examining. For years Detroiters were promised that one master project after another would solve their woes. None did. But in Grand Rapids, business leaders painstakingly set goals, aligned with government officials, generated support, and empowered key players. “Every community has a culture, and you have to pick out what works in your own town,” says Birgit Klohs, the energetic head of Right Place, a local economic development group. “You have to figure out who the leaders are, get them onto a team, create the vision, and get everybody headed in the same direction.”

more at bit.ly/gogr

Details unveiled for 27 million dollar Grand Rapids Urban Market in Heartside Neighborhood

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Full Article Link

By Chris Knape | The Grand Rapids Press

March 24, 2010, 8:00AM

GRAND RAPIDS — A dilapidated produce distribution center at the southern end of downtown could become a hub of commerce for local farmers, food makers and artisans as part of a $27 million urban market concept unveiled Wednesday.

Grand Action, the private group that led efforts to build the Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place, said it would forge ahead with plans to develop an urban market offering space for vendors to create and sell a variety of foods and other goods.

The market also is envisioned as an educational facility with a greenhouse, demonstration kitchen and meeting rooms that will help people better understand local food systems while teaching about healthier eating.

The preferred location is the 3.5-acre former Sonneveldt Produce Co. complex, 435 Ionia Ave. SW. The site is visible from U.S. 131, south of Wealthy Street.