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Marketplace Makeover Coming to Grand Rapids this Summer!

MARKETPLACE PRODUCEGet ready, downtown Grand Rapids … city life is about to get a whole lot fresher!

Picture this scene, if you will: You come home from work to your funky urban flat only to realize you don’t have any of the salad ingredients you need to make dinner. No worries – just stroll on over a block or two to the newly opened Grand Rapids Downtown Market, where farmer’s market vendors will be displaying fresh farm stand produce while a row of indoor marketplace vendors offer everything from artisan oils and vinegars to coffee and freshly popped kettle corn. Or maybe you need a bit of unwind time after a long day’s work – simply head on down for a stint at the spa that’s just below your condo unit. Don’t forget to indulge in a favorite cafe beverage while you’re out so you can enjoy some people watching!

If you think you must be in Paris or Rome think again – you’re in the heart of Downtown Grand Rapids! And this scenario will be just another everyday perk for GR’s city residents as soon as this summer, when two major housing and retail development projects converge on the Heartside neighborhood with the aim of creating and sustaining a vibrantly diverse and upbeat atmosphere in an area of the city that has been overlooked for far too long.

The first project, Tapestry Square, developed by Jonathon Bradford of the urban revitalization organization Inner City Christian Federation (ICCF), will be comprised of a 4-block mixed housing and retail space at the corner of Wealthy St and Division Ave S, with 32 residential units situated atop a ground level strip of popular retail shops, including Biggby Coffee, Subway and a salon/spa. Around the corner and just a few blocks over, the Downtown Market on Ionia Ave near the US-131 overpass will combine a 138,000 square foot indoor market hall of up to 24 artisan retailers plus an outdoor farmer’s market with space for up to 80 vendors to offer up produce and other farm-fresh goods on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The market could open as soon as this May.

These residential-retail and “open market” concepts–popular in Europe for centuries–are perfectly suited to Grand Rapids, where the downtown condo and apartment rental market has seen an explosion of growth in recent years, thanks to new building projects like this one along with the nationally recognized Medical Mile and community events such as ArtPrize and LaughFest, which bring people flocking to the downtown area in droves. And with talks in the works now by Loeks Theatres Inc. and a major supermarket chain to establish a presence in the downtown area as well, residents may soon be able to fulfill their everyday necessities as well as enjoy a full scope of entertainment options, all on foot.

It’s just another example of how Grand Rapids downtown living is taking off like never before. But hey, we already knew that, right? After all, as our own downtown condo expert Ashley Dietch pointed out, out of the 1,000 condominium units that have been built in downtown Grand Rapids, only 40 – 50 are still available for sale. People continue to snap up opportunities to buy Grand Rapids downtown real estate left and right because of our unique vibe – big city perks with a friendly, small-town charm. And although relatively small compared to other major cities, our downtown has always been rich with culture, diversity, endless dining and entertainment options … and now a farmer’s market, to boot!

Sure, there’s nothing like a summertime trek to a roadside farm stand for sweet corn and berries, but when it comes down to it, city dwellers will always prefer to strut the town versus taking a winding drive through the countryside … and with the exciting new developments coming to downtown Grand Rapids, it turns out they just may never have to again!

For more information about selling or buying a condo, please contact the Steve Volkers Group at (616) 284-1528.