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NAR’s Best Cities for Millennial Homebuyers… GR #2!

July 21, 2015
CNN Money

Grand Rapids Ranks 2nd Best Cities for Millennial Homebuyers according to the National Association of Realtors. Rankings were based on employment data, median home prices, home price growth and affordability, as well as the percentage of Millennials living in the metro area and their share of all age groups moving to the area. Median home prices data is for the first quarter of 2014, while job growth figures are for the 12 months through May 2014.

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State-backed crowdfunding initative hits 97% success rate in first year

July 21, 2015
MiBiz

As many remain skeptical of crowdfunding’s ability to bolster growth among private-sector entrepreneurs, economic developers have found the fundraising model holds promise for public placemaking efforts statewide.

In the first year of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s “Public Spaces, Community Places” initiative, a partnership with crowdfunding platform Patronicity and the Michigan Municipal League, 33 out of 34 projects from around the state have met their fundraising goals, according to the program’s website.

As of July 8, five more projects were still accepting donations and two of those had hit their goals before deadline. 

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New report says Michigan short on walkable communities

July 21, 2015
WKAR Current State

The WalkUP Wake-up Call: Michigan MetrosA new report indicates that Michigan trails other states in making communities more walkable. The classic suburban house with a white picket fence and a big yard was once the image of the American dream. After World War II, the interstate highway system made suburban sprawl possible by linking jobs in the urban core to residential developments farther out. But in recent years, the trend has reversed. More and more people are more interested in moving to urban, pedestrian friendly communities.

A recent report from the MSU Land Policy Institute and George Washington University suggests Michigan is lagging behind the rest of the country when it comes to meeting the demand for "walkable" communities. Current State speaks with Mary Beth Graebert, LPI Associate Director, about what it is that makes a community walkable.

Listen to interview.

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Grand Rapids (MI), Works to Expand Medical Mile into Livable Neighborhood

July 13, 2015
Crains Michigan Business

Grand Rapids (MI) is working to expand Medical Mile into a healthy, livable space, drawing from the economic development blueprint developed with a $459,224 HUD Community Challenge grant.  Fifty thousand people work and study in the healthcare field and related industries every day. The Michigan Street Corridor Plan, recently approved by the Grand Rapids City Commission, lays the foundation for expansion of the Medical Mile into a “vibrant community” that is transit friendly and includes a mix of retail shops, services, offices, restaurants, entertainment, and residential development. Along with making the corridor a more efficient and comfortable environment for people traveling in and out of the area, the Michigan Street Corridor Plan proposes ways to help people live on Michigan street, where the demand for rental housing is far greater than supply and thus unaffordable for many who want to work there.  Read more about this project in Crain’s Michigan Business here

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Reimage Partners Adopt Complete Streets Plan for Washtenaw Avenue

July 13, 2015
Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development

On June 8, the Reimagine Washtenaw (MI) partners adopted a new “Complete Streets” policy for Washtenaw Avenue, which gives a green light to area plans aimed at improving land use and transportation along the Washtenaw Avenue corridor.  Reimagine Washtenaw, supported by a HUD Sustainable Communities Community Challenge grant, will help implement improvements across jurisdictional boundaries that include new walkable, mixed-use development, strong neighborhoods, and congestion alleviation through improved transit and transportation alternatives.

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