Arena South

Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority
Arena South Visioning Plan
Grand Rapids, Michigan

The Arena South Visioning Plan (Plan) created a vision for the eventual development of five vacant properties owned by the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority (DDA). The Plan maximized opportunities for improving connectivity, expanding walkability, and effecting great economic development in Downtown Grand Rapids. Through community engagement and goal identification, the community and DDA priorities were defined to further shape the future of Downtown.

Among the unique characteristics of the Plan, perhaps the most notable was the thorough and innovative community engagement process, which won the Best Practice Award from the Michigan Association of Planning and well as a Merit Award from the International Downtown Association:

  • Logo design competition with Kendall College of Design students
  • Formation of a project Steering Committee
  • Participation at the Salon Urbanist Meet Up
  • Meetings with adjacent residents, property owners, and business owners
  • “Walk and Talk” with community members to experience the area as a pedestrians
  • “Building Blocks” activity to engage youth and families
  • “Brew & Do” to provide the community a chance to create their ideal Arena South (and have a beer!)
  • Participation at the Rapid Growth Speaker Series

The consulting team consisted of Williams & Works, VIRIDIS Design Group, Cornerstone Architects, and Aligned Planning.

Award Winning Project!

Michigan Association of Planning 2014 Best Practice Award for Community Engagement