Picture yourself walking along Washington Avenue toward the downtown Grand Haven Historic District. What do you see?
The path leads past Central Park, with its beautiful flowers and green space encircling a flowing water fountain. Further down the street, historic buildings such as the Neoclassic First Reformed Church and clock tower and the Grand Theater façade and lobby stand tall. Shop owners invite customers into their stores, outdoor cafes buzz with activity, and visitors head toward the waterfront pier for some ice cream.Now, imagine what Grand Haven will look in fifty years. What does the future look like?
Do skaters zigzag along an ice rink ringing around the exterior of Central Park? Is there a new farm-to-table restaurant, serving delicious, locally-sourced meals? Does the streetscape include an open-air market, new lighting fixtures, and public art?
The possibilities for downtown Grand Haven are endless. Jeremy Swiftney, Director of the Grand Haven Main Street Downtown Development Authority (DDA), wants to know which ideas the public would like to explore.
“We want more people to be able to experience downtown by staying, playing, and living,” Swiftney says. “We are looking for ways to preserve downtown’s historic feel, while still developing infrastructure and creating new things for people to explore.”
The Grand Haven Main Street Downtown Development Authority (DDA) will host its Futures Reveal & Open House on October 8 from 3:30 to 6:30 PM at Odd Side Ales. The open house features 3D digital models, platted maps, and drawings.
The open house will also reveal findings from the DDA 2020 Downtown Strategies Survey, which took place over a ten day period during Labor Day. The survey generated a 1,331 sample size of Grand Haven residents and visitors.
The DDA aims for the survey to provide direct feedback from Grand Haven stakeholders about what they would like to see happen in their community to developers. The survey did not cover proposed plans, but instead asked participants to respond to images of downtown housing, amenities and features, and attractions.
The high response rate and growing citizen engagement around the planning process excites Swiftney.
“If we’re standing still, we’re moving backwards,” Switney says. “We would like to push Grand Haven to the next level.”
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Odd Side Ales will allow ten people into the backroom per half hour to view the open house. Visitors must wear a mask inside and maintain social distancing guidelines.
Visitors can RSVP online on facebook.com and eventbrite.com. Information about the DDA can be found at https://downtowngh.com/.