Grand Rapids

A rendering of the famous "LOVE" sculpture is showing some love to Grand Rapids.

The western Michigan city plans to welcome a reproduction of the Robert Indiana sculpture Wednesday morning on Louis Campau Promenade in its downtown district. It will be unveiled by members of the Frey family representing the Frey Foundation.

The Grand Rapids-based philanthropy bought the sculpture and has invested in other public art in the city.

According to a recent study by Wallet Hub, the city of Grand Rapids ranked 206 out of 500 when it comes to ethnic diversity. 

“So just looking at Grand Rapids, about 72% of the city was born in the state of Michigan," Wallet Hub researcher Jill Gonzalez said. "That’s higher than usual. Usually we see that number from 50-60% of that in-state of residents’ birthplace. When we’re looking at those born in a foreign nation it’s a little bit higher than the state average at about 10%.”

Patrick Center / 546

The National Weather Service says portions of downtown Grand Rapids, Comstock Park and North Park are under the gun as flood waters continue to rise across West Michigan.

It was five years ago when the region experienced what was defined as a 100 year flood. WGVU headed down to the Grand River where forecasters expect this week’s flooding to be nearly as severe as it was in 2013.

Rivers and streams across West Michigan are rising. The snowmelt and three to four inches of rain over a 48 hour period triggered flood warnings across the WGVU listening area.

Courtesy office of Mayor Bliss

During her 3rd State of the City Address last week Grand Rapids mayor Rosalynn Bliss turned her attention to public safety. In the aftermath of what she called “critical incidents involving youth” and the profiling minority motorists, the mayor is seeking solutions for improving relations between the Grand Rapids Police Department and the diverse communities it serves.

"We must be a community of trust, safety, fairness, respect and security for all.”

Grand Rapids is the best city in the country to live a balanced lifestyle. That’s according to a study just released by MagnifyMoney.com, a personal finance website.

gvsu.edu

Grand Rapids Medical Mile will receive some parking relief come the year 2021. What is currently a pair of surface parking lots owned by Grand Valley State University and Spectrum Health System will be transformed into a six-level parking decking with room for more than 1,200 parking spaces.

The parking deck at 333 Michigan Street is a part of GVSU’s $70 million construction next to Grand Valley's Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences. The new building will house health professions and nursing programs.

Axis Company

Axis Company builds robotic automation and assembly equipment. As the economy grows and demand for its products increases leadership had a decision to make; expand in Grand Rapids or look outside the state for a new, second location.

The temptation was to move closer to one of its major out-of-state customers. Instead, Axis will stay in Kent County. It plans to invest $4 million at a location to be determined and over the next three years, add 50 high-tech jobs.

gvsu.edu

John Canepa, one of Grand Rapids business leaders and philanthropists who help lead the charge reshaping the city skyline and rejuvenating the downtown business district has died. WGVU pays tribute.

Van Andel Arena, DeVos Place, The Meijer Majestic Theater, MSU Medical School and Grand Rapids Downtown Market are considered quality of life game changers advancing the city. They are projects spearheaded by Grand Action Committee co-chairs Dick DeVos, David Frey and John Canepa.

Third Coast Development

A four-story, mixed-use affordable housing project is in the works for downtown Grand Rapids. Dirt is being moved near Grand Rapids Medical Mile. Along Michigan Street a number of homes have been demolished making room for Midtown CityZen; a four-story, 44-residential unit project offering affordable housing.

The 40,000 square foot development will also include space for a restaurant on its ground floor.

Mariano Avila

As 2017 wraps up, we asked four questions of four West Michigan leaders working with our most vulnerable communities.

[Mariano Avila] Hugo Claudin works at the Red Project helping folks living with HIV. He is also the curator of Mexicains Sans Frontieres—a gallery on South Division that brings jazz and Avant guard shows to Grand Rapids. He’s trim, middle-aged, wears black on most days and is a transplant from Mexico City. First I ask what changed in 2017.

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