Overview of Grand Rapids
If you haven't been out to Western Michigan before, this city will likely serve up a pleasant surprise. Grand Rapids proffers big city benefits, but without the urban stress. It's much like the nearby lakeshore beaches-all refreshment, no stinging salt. To experience this city's exuberant Midwest welcome, just rent a Grand Rapids apartment and pull up a chair. You should sit comfortably. After all, this town is known internationally as "Furniture City."
Living in Grand Rapids
The first Europeans to settle in this part of the state were fur traders and missionaries. In 1831, Louis Campau bought the land that's now downtown Grand Rapids from the federal government for just $90. He named his 72-acre tract after the whitewater that roiled the river. The city incorporated in 1850 and grew into a center for furniture manufacturing. It's been recognized around the world as a leader in that field since 1876. Grand Rapids remains in the fine furniture production vanguard today, particularly where office chairs are concerned.
Getting to know Grand Rapids is easy. City Center downtown is where you'll find community areas such as a popular pedestrian mall. Heritage Hill, uptown, was the first residential neighborhood in the city. There are homes there in over sixty different architectural styles. In Southtown, Madison Square has transformed blight to beauty with brick clad condos and a new library. For a swing past locally owned shops, head to West Fulton on the West Side.
Work & Study in Grand Rapids
Five of the world's top office furniture firms operate out of the Grand Rapids area, including American Seating, Steelcase, and Herman Miller. Those companies are only one piece of the economic puzzle however. This West Michigan city also makes a big mark in health care, information technology, automotive production, aviation, and manufacturing. Spectrum Health is the city's largest employer, followed by Meijer.
Those seeking a tertiary education in Grand Rapids have a few choices. Grand Rapids Community College has a downtown campus in the city. Grand Valley State University, Ferris State University, and Kendall College of Art and Design all have locations in Grand Rapids as well. Western Michigan University operates a graduate program from two facilities here.
Cost of Living in Grand Rapids
This city offers residents a cost of living below the national norm. Renting the average two-bedroom Grand Rapids apartment will cost you just $817 a month. The vacancy rate here is a reasonable 7.5 percent, which means housing shouldn't be too difficult to track down either.
Grand Rapids Attractions & Entertainment
Enjoying yourself in Grand Rapids isn't a difficult proposition. There are a number of interesting museums, including the Gerald R. Ford Museum, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, and Van Andel Museum Center. The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park will take you at least half a day to cover, with nature trails, exhibits, and the largest tropical conservatory in the state. There are a number of theaters in town, along with a symphony, an opera, and a ballet company. For minor league sports, you can watch the Whitecaps, the Griffins, or the Flight play baseball, hockey, or basketball respectively.
Grand Rapids Special Events
Grand Rapids is big on ethnic festivals, particularly during the summer months. Some of the highlights of the community calendar include the Festival of the Arts, the Fulton Street Artisan's Market, and Blues on the Mall. Celebration on the Grand organizes live music and fireworks for the weekend following Labor Day.
To find your perfect Grand Rapids apartment, take a spin through the listings here on Rent.com®. Helping you find your next home is our pleasure.