5 Reason to LOVE Downtown Living

Thank you for the recommendation GRNow! Here’s a great write-up with 5 Reasons to LOVE Downtown Living! The original article can be found here: http://www.grnow.com/5-reasons-love-downtown-living/

1. Walkable Neighborhoods

As the demand for urban living continues to increase, business owners are starting to cater to their residence growing needs. Many retail & speciality shops are opening within the local neighborhoods to accommodate city living and lifestyle needs. Each downtown neighborhood highlights a unique business district offering places like yoga studios, book stores, clothing boutiques, home decor shops, salons, butchers, bakeries & cafes. Whatever area downtown you decide to call home you will be in walking (or biking) distance to many popular and locally owned hot spots!

One of our favorite picks for walkable neighborhoods is Uptown, located just east of downtown, with four distinct business districts: East Fulton, East Hills, Eastown & Wealthy St. Known as one of GR’s hippest areas offering a fun mix of shops, restaurants and bars. A few of our must visit shops in Uptown include Art of the TableBooks & Mortar & Clothing Matters. Feeling thirsty?! Check out our go-to breweries in this area: Elk Brewing & Brewery Vivant.


2. The GR Food Culture

Downtown Grand Rapids has a unique and growing food culture that plays a huge role in the evolution of our city and its local flavor. Our growing appetite for fresh and local dinning options has opened the doors to many new and exciting ventures in the culinary scene. Over the last 12 months we have seen around two dozen restaurants/bars, microbreweries and distilleries open downtown, with many more projects in the pipeline for 2017. You will never have to worry about a boring culinary scene while living downtown! Like the speciality shops found in the variety of business districts peppered around downtown, you will also find a handful of speciality foodie options to fit every taste and every budget.

Check out some of our foodie favorites: For a great cup of coffee & delicious pastry, Lyon St Cafe, purchase locally sourced meats from Louise Earl Butcher, or try the best (seriously, THE best) made from scratch soup at Uncle Cheetah’s.

3. All The Feels

Living downtown and being closely connected to your community fosters healthy relationships and meaningful connections.  These are key factors that play a big role to a persons level of happiness.  Many of the business districts are built upon locally owned & operated businesses, where the owner also lives in the neighborhood.  When you spend your time and money locally you are supporting your fellow neighbor & small business owner, keeping money and jobs here in Grand Rapids. Doesn’t that thought alone make you smile?!  🙂

4. Easy Access to Green Space

Get all the thrills of city living while keeping a connection to mother nature. With just over 1,200 acres in 71 city-owned park sites you can easily find green space downtown.  Enjoy an array of trails all around the city or the riverwalk running along the Grand River connecting you to additional parks and trails on both sides of the river. Just a short distance north of downtown you will find the largest area of green space within in the city of Grand Rapids, located in the North Quarter and its three up-and-coming neighborhoods: North Monroe, Creston, & Cheshier Village. This stretch of Monroe & Plainfield Avenue is desirable for its close proximity to the center of downtown, its beautiful riverside views, and the anticipated developments in 2017.


5. Dog Friendly GR = Two Paws Up!

With a boom in downtown development, and an increase in urban living options, we are seeing a shift in the standard of amenities with more attention to residence with pets. My favorite pet friendly downtown living option are buildings that offer affordable pet fees, indoor pet relief areas & grooming stations. I recently visited The Rowe, located on the corner of Michigan and Monroe Ave, (one of the newest development projects downtown) and was excited to see they included pet friendly options with the recent redevelopment of the building.

Living downtown with a dog has become much more hassle free with the opening of businesses like Fido & Stitch, who offers a wide variety of pet supplies, pet food and grooming services and A Pleasant Dog for all of your dog training needs. For the busy downtown dweller looking for a little help with daytime potty breaks, we recommend dog waking services from Urban Tails or Nature of the Dog… and yes they come to you!

If you’re like me, and your dog is your number one sidekick, you will also appreciate the many dog waste stations around town for your pet’s unexpected pit stop on your way to the local watering hole for a delicious beverage on a dog friendly patio. Our favorite park with the pup in tow – Hillcrest Dog Park, located at 1415 Lyon St NE. A great places to let your fur baby burn off some energy and run like the wind!

And last but not least, taking your pup in for wellness visits is easy without leaving downtown! Visit a local veterinary clinic – Eastown Veterinary Clinic or Wealthy Street Animal Hospital.

Next time you hear the words “urban living” in Grand Rapids think of deep rooted culture and a diverse community filled with amazing people, places, and businesses… all the reasons to love downtown living!

Tara is a licensed Realtor who is passionate about GR living.  You can find her bouncing all over town attending community events, dining or shopping local. If you are looking to buy or sell a home in GR, or are relocating to our area, she is happy to help! Contact Tara at DwellGR@gmail.com or visit Dwellgr.com.