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Old 01-13-2012, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Oakland, California
102 posts, read 154,000 times
Reputation: 17

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As a recent retiree, I am considering relocation to GR. I would appreciate information regarding the most desirable (clean, safe, quiet), yet affordable neighborhoods for apartment rentals within the city limits or very close-in suburbs, far enough away from student-dominated areas. Criteria are proximity to shopping and other frequently-necessary services, near reliable public transit. Prefer older, well-maintained buildings (no high-rises). Price range: approx. $600-900/mo. for a studio or one-bedroom apt., though am somewhat flexible. I am very progressive, physically active, follow a green, vegan and animal-friendly lifestyle. Please advise if locating such a place is feasible these days. Any additional information about living in GR is also welcome.

Ron in Oakland, CA

P.S. Wonderful American Pie music video. Very creative and well done.
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Old 01-14-2012, 02:56 PM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,735,593 times
Reputation: 641
Your price range shouldn't be much of an issue. If you want older buildings you would be wise to look in the Heratige Hill area. Heratige Hill also is pretty much in the city center and is within walking distance of downtown (if the weather is good) and is also in close proximity to East Town which has a lot of progressive/vegan types. I will say there are some students that live in Heratige Hill but it's not a student dominated area. Solid mix of singles and families.

Other choices would be East Town/Cherry Hill which I mentioned. They are progressive and walkable but students tend to rent out houses there due to affordability, and you might end up next to a party house. Fulton Heights might also work for you.

The farther out you go from downtown GR the less I think it will fit what you are looking for in terms of culture/lifestyle. Other adjacent suburbs like Kentwood, Cascade or Wyoming will fit your price range and will be pretty devoid of students, but you wont have good access to public transit and you will probably be surrounded by more conservative families.
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:08 AM
 
Location: USA
118 posts, read 251,388 times
Reputation: 114
Heritage Hill is a student dominated area with tons of old buildings converted to apartments, but it fits all your other must haves. "I am very progressive, physically active, follow a green, vegan and animal-friendly lifestyle." that lifestyle is going to be practiced mostly by students and young people (the green revolution was pretty much lost on the aging manufacturing based population of michigan) so it's a bit of a no win situation in that respect.

Every single area of the city where you'll be able to enjoy those ammenities and that lifestyle is where students live.

East Town, Cherry Hill, Heritage Hill. Those are the neighborhoods that meet all requirements except students and young people dominate those areas, and they live there for the same reasons you'd want to live there. Chances aren't high you'll meet other retiree's who share your views or lifestyle.

Your budget is fine and will net you a one bedroom utilities included in almost any building you could want to live in and any of those neighborhoods.
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Old 01-17-2012, 04:24 PM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,735,593 times
Reputation: 641
Quote:
Originally Posted by redgoast View Post
Heritage Hill is a student dominated area with tons of old buildings converted to apartments, but it fits all your other must haves. "I am very progressive, physically active, follow a green, vegan and animal-friendly lifestyle." that lifestyle is going to be practiced mostly by students and young people (the green revolution was pretty much lost on the aging manufacturing based population of michigan) so it's a bit of a no win situation in that respect.

Every single area of the city where you'll be able to enjoy those ammenities and that lifestyle is where students live.

East Town, Cherry Hill, Heritage Hill. Those are the neighborhoods that meet all requirements except students and young people dominate those areas, and they live there for the same reasons you'd want to live there. Chances aren't high you'll meet other retiree's who share your views or lifestyle.

Your budget is fine and will net you a one bedroom utilities included in almost any building you could want to live in and any of those neighborhoods.
First of all in no way is Heritage Hill student dominated and I would love to see some numbers supporting that assumption of yours. The gentleman in the opening post will not be the majority with his lifestyle, but if he sticks around neighborhoods like that he wont be out of place at all.

On a side note, just about every post you've made is negative towards MI or GR. I understand you might not like it, but your 6-12 months of living there doesn't really give you an idea of what it's truly like.
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:54 AM
 
Location: USA
118 posts, read 251,388 times
Reputation: 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandur View Post
First of all in no way is Heritage Hill student dominated and I would love to see some numbers supporting that assumption of yours. The gentleman in the opening post will not be the majority with his lifestyle, but if he sticks around neighborhoods like that he wont be out of place at all.

On a side note, just about every post you've made is negative towards MI or GR. I understand you might not like it, but your 6-12 months of living there doesn't really give you an idea of what it's truly like.
I choose to point out the negative aspects of any given area in order for people to understand the entire picture. No one will choose to highlight the economic problems, the drug abuse, the domestic violence, or the racism in a given area, but to ignore it and not make others aware of the extent of its existence is a disservice to those asking for information.

Perhaps you live in heritage hill, I do, and if you do too I wonder how it is you go about your daily life not seeing kids with art portfolios walking down the street because they attend kendell. I wonder how you miss all the people lining up at the bus stop with backpacks, or all the students migrating down to GRCC via Lyon every morning and evening. How you visit Cherry deli and not notice all the 18-30 year old's sitting at the tables and waiting for their order. All the medical students heading to the medical college on Michigan, or the nursing students and doctors heading to the residencies in the hospitals on medical mile. Have you ever gone into Martha's on a friday night and seen all the people buying cases of beer, or walked up and down Lyon or Fulton at 1a.m. when the bars let out in the late summer?

Do you not see all the apartment for rent and "Rent GR" signs outside of so many houses during the summer months when students are back home and not renting apartments in the neighborhood?

Should I mention the crackheads and long lines at Circle K ? Or would that soil a perfect city and paint too negative of a picture... Apparently a year in Grand Rapids doesn't make me qualified to comment on the crackheads that walk in and out of Circle K all day, or comment on the Crime on South Division, the Drug Deals gone bad on Burton, The massacre, police chase, and hostage situation that started on Plainfield and engulfed the city the day before Betty Ford died, or any of the violence, unemployment and problems you hear about every single day on the news.

Listen, these people are not often from here and are looking for detailed information about certain areas so they can make an informed decision which effects their actual lives. So for me to sit back and choose to only share positive information wouldn't be doing much good to these people.

Get off your high horse, you're not doing anyone any favors attacking me for sharing information, and all you're doing is telling people Grand Rapids is cool but you better live here for a long time before you share your opinion on it or observations about it, because otherwise you're not qualified. How open and welcoming does that sort of attitude really make this city look?

Last edited by redgoast; 01-18-2012 at 12:12 PM..
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:04 PM
 
1,426 posts, read 2,654,817 times
Reputation: 832
Last I read he has been living in/near Chicago for a while.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:17 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,735,593 times
Reputation: 641
Quote:
Originally Posted by redgoast View Post
I choose to point out the negative aspects of any given area in order for people to understand the entire picture. No one will choose to highlight the economic problems, the drug abuse, the domestic violence, or the racism in a given area, but to ignore it and not make others aware of the extent of its existence is a disservice to those asking for information.

Perhaps you live in heritage hill, I do, and if you do too I wonder how it is you go about your daily life not seeing kids with art portfolios walking down the street because they attend kendell. I wonder how you miss all the people lining up at the bus stop with backpacks, or all the students migrating down to GRCC via Lyon every morning and evening. How you visit Cherry deli and not notice all the 18-30 year old's sitting at the tables and waiting for their order. All the medical students heading to the medical college on Michigan, or the nursing students and doctors heading to the residencies in the hospitals on medical mile. Have you ever gone into Martha's on a friday night and seen all the people buying cases of beer, or walked up and down Lyon or Fulton at 1a.m. when the bars let out in the late summer?

Do you not see all the apartment for rent and "Rent GR" signs outside of so many houses during the summer months when students are back home and not renting apartments in the neighborhood?

Should I mention the crackheads and long lines at Circle K ? Or would that soil a perfect city and paint too negative of a picture... Apparently a year in Grand Rapids doesn't make me qualified to comment on the crackheads that walk in and out of Circle K all day, or comment on the Crime on South Division, the Drug Deals gone bad on Burton, The massacre, police chase, and hostage situation that started on Plainfield and engulfed the city the day before Betty Ford died, or any of the violence, unemployment and problems you hear about every single day on the news.

Listen, these people are not often from here and are looking for detailed information about certain areas so they can make an informed decision which effects their actual lives. So for me to sit back and choose to only share positive information wouldn't be doing much good to these people.

Get off your high horse, you're not doing anyone any favors attacking me for sharing information, and all you're doing is telling people Grand Rapids is cool but you better live here for a long time before you share your opinion on it or observations about it, because otherwise you're not qualified. How open and welcoming does that sort of attitude really make this city look?

I'm not even going to read all that because I have better things to do than argue with an internet troll. I lived in Heratige Hill for 3 years and I know what the area is like. Sue me.

Grand Rapids has crime like any other city. It is a cool place. You don't need to live here for any certain amount of time to have an opinion, but the less time you've lived there the less likely your opinion is to be accurate. You hate Grand Rapids and that's fine, but it's a good place.

I was born and raised in Chicago and no, I don't live in Grand Rapids anymore.

Find something in life to be happy about please.
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:03 PM
 
Location: USA
118 posts, read 251,388 times
Reputation: 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandur View Post
I'm not even going to read all that because I have better things to do than argue with an internet troll. I lived in Heratige Hill for 3 years and I know what the area is like. Sue me.

Grand Rapids has crime like any other city. It is a cool place. You don't need to live here for any certain amount of time to have an opinion, but the less time you've lived there the less likely your opinion is to be accurate. You hate Grand Rapids and that's fine, but it's a good place.

I was born and raised in Chicago and no, I don't live in Grand Rapids anymore.

Find something in life to be happy about please.


Just because I don't view the city I live in with the rose colored glasses of nostalgia like you seem to hardly makes me a troll, nor does choosing to share some of the less endearing facts make my observations less accurate or makes me an unhappy person.

To say you will not even read what I have to say, and then proceed to insult me and make baseless accusations about me as a person really speaks volumes about your character.

Your information about Grand Rapids is outdated at best and I implore anyone reading to disregard Jandur's advice regarding a city he/she no longer lives in.
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Old 01-29-2012, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Suburbs of Grand Rapids
76 posts, read 122,687 times
Reputation: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by redgoast View Post
I choose to point out the negative aspects of any given area in order for people to understand the entire picture. No one will choose to highlight the economic problems, the drug abuse, the domestic violence, or the racism in a given area, but to ignore it and not make others aware of the extent of its existence is a disservice to those asking for information.

Perhaps you live in heritage hill, I do, and if you do too I wonder how it is you go about your daily life not seeing kids with art portfolios walking down the street because they attend kendell. I wonder how you miss all the people lining up at the bus stop with backpacks, or all the students migrating down to GRCC via Lyon every morning and evening. How you visit Cherry deli and not notice all the 18-30 year old's sitting at the tables and waiting for their order. All the medical students heading to the medical college on Michigan, or the nursing students and doctors heading to the residencies in the hospitals on medical mile. Have you ever gone into Martha's on a friday night and seen all the people buying cases of beer, or walked up and down Lyon or Fulton at 1a.m. when the bars let out in the late summer?

Do you not see all the apartment for rent and "Rent GR" signs outside of so many houses during the summer months when students are back home and not renting apartments in the neighborhood?

Should I mention the crackheads and long lines at Circle K ? Or would that soil a perfect city and paint too negative of a picture... Apparently a year in Grand Rapids doesn't make me qualified to comment on the crackheads that walk in and out of Circle K all day, or comment on the Crime on South Division, the Drug Deals gone bad on Burton, The massacre, police chase, and hostage situation that started on Plainfield and engulfed the city the day before Betty Ford died, or any of the violence, unemployment and problems you hear about every single day on the news.

Listen, these people are not often from here and are looking for detailed information about certain areas so they can make an informed decision which effects their actual lives. So for me to sit back and choose to only share positive information wouldn't be doing much good to these people.

Get off your high horse, you're not doing anyone any favors attacking me for sharing information, and all you're doing is telling people Grand Rapids is cool but you better live here for a long time before you share your opinion on it or observations about it, because otherwise you're not qualified. How open and welcoming does that sort of attitude really make this city look?

Well, I have lived in and around G.R. since 1964, and for someone who has been here less than 3 years, ya got it pretty well right on the money.

It is a sad shame that the downturn economy has effected this once good city the way it has. But that was to be expected when they started trying to turn downtown into a mini-Detroit.

As for large cities, we really are not that big, but it seems we have more than our share of the low lifes, the crack heads, and the totally nuts people.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:51 AM
 
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
845 posts, read 3,018,179 times
Reputation: 236
I find that it helps to see actual stats before really making judgements.

Two people or three that happen to live in a really great/horrible neighborhood always assume the entire city is great/horrible and that becomes their message on these boards.

For that reason, the crime stats right here on city-data.com can be very helpful:

Grand Rapids, MI
- Crime index is 445.4, significantly higher than the US average of 319
- Crime index was lower in 2010 than at any point in the last decade (i.e. things have improved substantially city-wide in terms of crime).
- Murders in GR are 4.7 per 100,000 people
- Auto thefts are 194.4 per 100,000 people

Detroit, MI
- Crime index is 887.7, nearly triple the national average and almost double grand rapids.
- Crime has fallen over 10 years so that the crime index is the best it's been in a decade here as well.
- Murders in Detroit are 34.5 per 100,000 people or about 7 times as bad as GR.
- Auto thefts are 1,400 per person or about 5 times worse than GR.

To compare G.R. to Detroit is not even remotely apples-to-apples.

That does not minimize certain experiences in certain places, but from a city-wide statistical perspective there is no comparison.

That is not to bash Detroit either. I love the city, visit often and strongly believe it's in all of our collective best interest to find solutions to the problems cities face.

But that does not take away from the fact that GR and Detroit have dramatically different crime rates, and thus dramatically different "safety rates" (if you flip those numbers around).
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