East Grand Rapids achieves MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities Essentials status

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Designation signals communities have identified redevelopment goals, created a master plan for the future

LANSING, Mich. – For its efforts in establishing a more streamlined development process and overall community development vision, the city of East Grand Rapids achieved the Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) Essentials designation under the new RRC 2.0 framework, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today.

Redevelopment Ready Communities is a voluntary initiative that empowers communities to shape their future as they strive to become RRC Certified by building a foundation of planning, zoning, and economic development best practices and integrating them into their everyday functions. Launched statewide in 2013, RRC promotes communities to be development ready and competitive in today’s economy by actively engaging stakeholders and proactively planning, making them more attractive for projects that create places where people want to live, work, and invest.

Based on feedback from communities and other stakeholders, MEDC evolved the RRC toolkit in February 2021 to include two different designations: “Essentials” and “Certified.” Communities can now determine which path is most appropriate for their needs based on capacity, community goals, and other local factors. Reaching the RRC Essentials designation is a formal recognition that a community has a vision for the future and the fundamental practices in place to get there.

“We applaud the city of East Grand Rapids for achieving Essentials status,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Economic Development Incentives and Services Michele Wildman. “East Grand Rapids has identified its desired direction for the future and has a plan to achieve its goals for the community. We look forward to building upon our relationship with the city and supporting its continued economic development efforts.”

To achieve the Essentials designation, East Grand Rapids worked to incorporate all the key documents and practices to provide a predictable development experience and meet local planning and zoning responsibilities under Michigan law. This includes a step-by-step guide to development procedures, a training strategy for boards and commissions that sets clear priority areas, and allowing Planning Commission approvals for permitted uses. The city’s efforts have produced high-quality documents and processes that will continue to generate value.

“The city of East Grand Rapids is proud to be a Redevelopment Ready Community,” Mayor Katie Favale said. “This designation demonstrates our economic vibrancy and competitiveness as well as our commitment to implementing best practices and ensuring our development efforts are transparent, equitable and consistent. We thank the MEDC for its support in guiding us during this process.”

“Earning Redevelopment Ready Communities Essentials certification highlights our commitment to attracting and retaining businesses and streamlining the development process,” East Grand Rapids City Manager Shea Charles said. “This certification not only benefits our local economy but also enhances the quality of life for our residents, making East Grand Rapids an excellent place to live, work and play.”

To date, the MEDC has formally recognized 67 Michigan communities in all corners of the state at the Certified level and 13 at the Essentials level. These communities have qualified as “thoroughly prepared” when it comes to planning and zoning, to remove traditional barriers and promote opportunities for prospective investors. See the entire list of Redevelopment Ready Communities here.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.