How Smart Government is Revitalizing Downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan

Van Andel ArenaWhether you’re driving or walking through downtown Grand Rapids, Mi…you can’t help but feel it. 

It ‘s the New Energy which is palpable in heart of the city.  You can witness the resurgence of life in the numerous buildings which have been built or re-furbished in recent years. 

The new energy can be observed in a tangible way through an activity which had  diminished and has now returned…the burgeoning expression of “street life”.  Witness people walking to various places of business and recreation or streaming from a show at one of the many venues for entertainment.  Grand Rapids is experiencing a rebirth…a renaissance of sorts.

The creation of the Renaissance Tax Free Zone in Grand Rapids, Michigan for eligible businesses and residential homes has been one of the smartest moves the city has made in recent years to boost investment in the downtown Grand Rapids area.

Within the last three years, over 300 Million dollars has flowed down river to what was once an ailing and increasingly deserted section of the community.  The creation of Renaissance Zones is a tactic which is being copied in cities across the nation.

Originally established in 1997, the Renaissance Zone program exempts eligible participants from the following taxes until benefits begin to expire in 2009 within the Original zone:

Grand Rapids City income tax

Michigan income tax

 Michigan SBT tax exemptions

Property tax exemptions (except for public school bonded debt mileages)

In 2009, residents will begin to pay 25% of their tax burden, in 2010 they will pay 50% and in 2011 the amount will increase to 75% and be 100% thereafter.

The Act was amended and expanded to include certain properties in the following areas.  The areas incorporated within the expansion will have benefits extended until 2015 so that property owners will not pay full taxes until 2018!

One of the elements which makes this innovative program a powerful economic stimulus is that it is available to rental properties  and condominium developments as well.  This has been a great incentive to developers of mutli-unit properties in the downtown Grand Rapids area.

It’s  easy to figure out how you can take advantage of these substantial savings.  To determine if a property you are interested in is in the tax free Renaissance Zone,  go to the Grand Rapids City Website and click on the Property Tax info page and review the property parcel information.  You can also review the eligibility requirements.

As a result of this bold move by the city, many exceptional properties are being developed and are attracting homeowners across the spectrum to enjoy the great variety of attractions that are within easy walking distance. 

Here’s a list of some of the Condominium developments in downtown Grand Rapids, Mi which qualify for benefits under the Renaissance program.

1.  Union Square Condos ~ 600 Broadway, Grand Rapids MI  49503

2.  Icon on Bond ~ 538 Bond Avenue, Grand Rapids MI  49503

Prices start at $185,000+

3.  Monroe Terrace ~ 600 Monroe, Grand Rapids MI  49503

4.  City View Condos ~ 60 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids MI  49503

located in the Select Building.  Prices start at approximately $224,000+

5.  Front Row Condos ~ 51 Monroe Center, Grand Rapids MI  49503

Prices start from approximately $285,000+

*City View Condos & Front Row Condos qualify for the expanded Renaissance Zone provision until 2018.

If you’d like more information about properties currently listed For Sale in downtown Grand Rapids, Mi…please contact us.  You may also View this property listed by Audu Real Estate in the River House….377 Bridge St. NW  Unit #105. 

4 thoughts on “How Smart Government is Revitalizing Downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan

  1. Randall, thank you for visiting my blog. While I cannot give specific counsel to your situation as I am unware of the all the details, I would suggest that you contact the city assessors office to initiate an inquiry.

  2. I am a property owner. I have a four unit apartment building located in one of the renaissance zones. Unaware of the tax benefits, I have been paying all taxes on my property etc. How can I get back the monies that I have paid to date?

  3. Hi Eric, Thanks for your visit. I visited the city of New Orleans about 7 years ago. I really enjoyed it. This would be a good idea for a city like New Orleans. I understand that a number of communities are using revitalization plans similar to this.

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