The River City, In the Palm of Your Hand Read Guide >
With average winter low temps hovering around 20 degrees Fahrenheit, living in Grand Rapids pretty much requires a car. With snow tires. GR does offer reliable (and cheap) public transportation around downtown and between suburbs via The Rapid and Dash systems, but honestly, do you really want to be hanging around in the snow in January waiting for the damn bus?
Are you the artsy, hipster type? A soccer mom? Looking for a LEED-certified dwelling? Need to be a stones throw from fresh perogies? While nearly all of Grand Rapids' neighborhoods hold a wide demographic mix, lifestyle considerations may prove to be a deal-breaker or maker for some house- hunters. While Grand Rapids is widely considered to be an 'up and coming' American community, it's not exactly a world capitol, so competition for vacant units is usually a non-issue. Investigate GR's diverse neighborhoods, and take it from there.
NOTE: Full-time students, those with criminal backgrounds or peeps with a history of evictions may often find their choices limited. Incidentally, Grand Rapids city regulations restrict occupancy to a maximum of 4 unrelated people per house or apartment, so cult leaders and bigamists should put down roots somewhere else.
Grand Rapids is basically divided into four sections, NE, NW, SE and SW:
Southeast: This area has Grand Rapid's highest density of 20-30 somethings – as opposed to East Grand Rapids, which has the highest density of rich suburbanites.
Northeast: Includes the areas of Rockford and Kent county, and holds a plethora of hiking, biking and golfing opportunities for all you outdoorsy types..
Southwest: Composed of the suburbs of Wyoming, Grandville and Byron Center, this area is known fo– Hey! Look at that giant mall!
Northwest: It's slim pickins’ for nightlife out here, but if you're looking for produce stands, this is your spot.
Eastown, so hot right now . . . Eastown. GR's most happening 'hood offers everything a progressive-minded bon vivant needs to get through his/her day: art galleries, bookstores, a legendary breakfast spot, dive bars, coffee and hot yoga. Located just 5 minutes east of downtown Grand Rapids, snaggable rentals include townhomes, mid-rise apartments and second floor apartments. $$-$$$
Founded in 1848 (hence the name) Heritage Hills' rental inventory consists primarily of old, stately manors carved into apartments, and single-family homes. By the way, the whole freakin' neighborhood is on the National Register of Historic Places. $$$
The Lookout is culturally and economically diverse and so is the selection of rentals. The farther east you go, the nicer it gets. The majority of the residents here fall into the “Early-to-mid-twenties” demographic, so for those of you just entering the work force out of college, this spot is one to keep an eye on. $$
This neighborhood is smack in the center of town, and somewhat of an ongoing project. A recently opened farmers market and nightlife district and the assortment of LEED-certified apartment buildings are a draw for those upwardly mobile types. $$$-$$$$
Grand Rapids is, quite simply, an extremely friendly place to live, if you didn’t notice from the lip dub. Not only does it offer a vibrant downtown, cool neighborhood shopping districts, and progressive (green!) development plans, but a welcoming population that is both economically and culturally diverse. If it didn't dump 70-80 inches of snow there on a yearly basis, we’re pretty sure everyone would be clawing at its gates. So here’s a final insider tip for you, go out and buy a jacket, you don’t want to miss the boat on this one. Hurry and find your rental – before global warming ruins your chances!
Sitting only 30 miles from Lake Michigan and resting on the banks of the Grand River is the wonderful town of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Serving as the largest city on the Westside of the state and playing host to close to 200,000 citizens, Grand Rapids is waiting to carve out a place just for you!
The roots of this fine city reach back as far as 1700 A.D. with the settling of Ottawa Indians villages along the Grand River. This Indian Nation resided in the area solo until the migration of Europeans in the 19th century. These Euro dwellers were expert fur traders and devoted missionaries. The Indians and old world natives peaceably coexisted and set up a lucrative bartering system between the two.
Madeline La Framboise and her husband, Joseph, took the fur trade to the next level by establishing the first Indian/European commercial trading post in the West Michigan. After her husband died, Madeline relied on her business savvy and negotiated a deal the merge her fur operations with the American Fur Company around turn of the 1806. This Indian and French businesswoman one of the chief contributors to the girl-power movement!
As time proceeded, the Grand Rapids area became a continual spot for innovation. America's first hydroelectric generator was developed with the city limits in 1880. The city was a strong pioneer of the automotive industry being home to the Austin Automotive Company from 1901 to 1921. It was the first American city to add fluoride to public drinking water. The foresight of Grand Rapids has saved several America's from tooth decay. Got to love that!
Grand Rapids was once counted as the Furniture Capital of America. Once lovingly referred to as "Furniture City", Grand Rapids served as a major lumbering center and stylish furniture-manufacturing town in the U. S. In 1876, Grand Rapids debuted on the international scene as world trailblazer for fine furniture. Even though the city received its beginnings in the furniture world featuring the finer designs of the trade, Grand Rapids currently claims world-leader status for office furniture.
Not only does Grand Rapids carry a rich American history, it also has apartment communities to meet the expectations of its residents. Grand Rapids apartment homes are scattered among the four quadrants of the city; Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest. Finding the right Grand Rapids apartment will be a pleasured task. During your hunt you will be able to tour the city in a fashion you have yet to experience.
There are no dull moments for a Grand Rapids apartment occupant. Grand Rapids is considered a tourist attraction and is equipped with buckets of activity to fill the days and evenings of its beloved guests. From historic sites to endless museum venues, Grand Rapids apartment dwellers will love to get out into the city to party or relax. From the majestic Frederik Meijer Gardens to the IMAX Theatre at Celebration Village, Grand Rapids has pleasure to offer all its inhabitants.