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Is there a Housing Crisis?

The city of Grand Rapids needs to add nearly 9,000 housing units over the next five years to satisfy high market demand. Why such the great demand?

Our city’s downtown was considered a “drive thru” area for so many years. The suburbs grew and matured, while the urban core had significant business and entertainment expansion without the reciprocate adjacent housing. There is room to grow the city and maximize the river, culture, and art, yet, still maintain accessibility.

We knew this would catch up with us. Grand Rapidians and incoming, new residents want to live downtown, putting us, now, in catch up mode. All multi-tenant housing is at capacity in the downtown corridor which affects the rental rates significantly. The city’s call for more inventory creates density, yet also allows for more competitive pricing and a diversity of offerings.

Furthermore, density in the city doesn’t take away from integrity and spirit. I believe it really creates subsections with their own image and the need for better and dependable mass transit. The lack of parking and subsequent challenges should be a precursor to a light rail or a broader bus system. These are growing pains, but put GR in a seat at the table with cities like Denver, Seattle, Portland, D.C., and so on.

To grow successfully, it is instrumental to invite and keep city planners in development conversations. They see and have to give permission for every chess piece on the board. Future parks, river walks, and other improvements need to be a part of, and/or partner with, commercial development plans.

Honor Construction has shifted our strong office market to respond to this need for housing. We are focusing on creating a subcontractor team, with the inclusion of technology and modularizing of products.

Do you have a housing project in mind? We're all ears.


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