Partners share plan for $40M urban development


The planning process for the Plaza Roosevelt development has included sessions with the community. Photo via

The group of partners planning a $40-million neighborhood development in Grand Rapids have revealed their plan for the site.

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss joined neighbors and the eight partner organizations behind Plaza Roosevelt to unveil the project’s preliminary site plan yesterday. The plan is designed to enhance health, housing, education and economic opportunities for the Roosevelt Park neighborhood.

The plan includes a new Grand Rapids Public Schools high school, a 5,000-square foot expansion of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Clinica Santa Maria, expanded arts and cultural programming through Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities, new pre-school classrooms and communal gathering spaces.

The project will also involve about 45 affordable rental units and about 19 affordable single and multi-family homes.

“I applaud the creativity and collaboration in the Plaza Roosevelt plans,” Bliss said. “Led by neighbors, this development has secured not only support from the City of Grand Rapids, but also from organizations invested in the success of the Roosevelt Park neighborhood.”

Site clearing will begin on Sept. 1. The nonprofit disaster relief program Team Rubicon will begin initial work on the site.

Most projects at the site should break ground next summer.

Funding will be provided partly by a voter-approved bond and by organizations involved in the project.

A variety of partners are developing Plaza Roosevelt: neighbors; Habitat for Humanity of Kent County; Ferris State University; Dwelling Place; Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities; Grand Rapids Public Schools; Hispanic Center; Mercy Health Saint Mary’s; and the Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association.

Plaza Roosevelt

The Plaza Roosevelt project began in 2013 when Habitat for Humanity of Kent County acquired more than 5 acres of land along Grandville Avenue between Graham and North.

Habitat for Humanity sought input from residents, community leaders, arts organizations, health care providers, educational institutions and housing providers to develop a site plan that reflects the community’s goals.

Through a series of design meetings and community conversations, Plaza Roosevelt partners have developed the site plan over the past eight months.

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