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Old 03-29-2009, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Utopia
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With poor Detroit down the tubes, is Grand Rapids Michigan's new boom city? Or is it the Ann Arbor area?
And how is the new boom city doing? Getting new businesses in there?
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TootsieWootsie View Post
With poor Detroit down the tubes, is Grand Rapids Michigan's new boom city? Or is it the Ann Arbor area?
And how is the new boom city doing? Getting new businesses in there?
I think you can best describe Grand Rapids as hanging in there. It has certainly not be immune to the economic downturn but has faired better than other areas of the state. It has done a pretty good job diversifying its economic base and reinvesting in itself. Best you have a job lined up before coming.

As for Ann Arbor ... while I don't live there, a recent article (which escapes me at the moment) profiled it and other cities having a prominent college presence as doing pretty well one caveat - because they're so reliant on these instutuions there's greater economic uncertainty with future budget cutbacks and substantial declines in endowments.
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Old 03-29-2009, 05:00 PM
 
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I don't think there are any BOOM cities in Michigan at this time. However Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo are two among the larger cities in the state that are hanging in there.
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Old 03-29-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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I agree. There is no such thing as a boom city in MI. GR has a better chance of survival, but what people don't realize is that you don't have to be part of the big 3 to be in the auto industry. There are so many suppliers in the west side of the state. The GR area also is heavy in construction based businesses, which aren't really doing so well either. Bottom line- it will be years before there is a boom in Michigan.
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Old 03-29-2009, 07:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supermom0204 View Post
I agree. There is no such thing as a boom city in MI. GR has a better chance of survival, but what people don't realize is that you don't have to be part of the big 3 to be in the auto industry. There are so many suppliers in the west side of the state. The GR area also is heavy in construction based businesses, which aren't really doing so well either. Bottom line- it will be years before there is a boom in Michigan.
There are no "boom" cities in a sense, but I would agree that GR has done better than many of Michigan's cities. Michigan has gone through alot and maybe it is due for a boom. There are other industries that could take that place. The green industry is a thought. Wind turbines, other things.
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
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I would agree with everyone that there aren't really any "boom" cities in Michigan. There are even very few in the Great Lakes area (even Chicago metro is losing population).

The metro area of Grand Rapids squeaked out continued population gain last year, while most of the other metro areas lost people. Ann Arbor will always have a strong niche for growth in several areas (tech sector, R&D, biotech, medical), and UofM isn't going anywhere and will continue to grow, but even Ann Arbor is losing people and job growth is negative and abysmal (despite having a lower unemployment rate than much of Michigan).

Downtown Grand Rapids could definitely be called "booming", as there's about $1 Billion in construction going on right now in basically all corners of downtown and the near downtown areas. A friend of mine in town last week said that it looked like a whole new city was being built on Michigan Street, as you can see in this picture a co-worker of mine took recently:




Here's what that area looked like just a few years ago (the brown building is demolished now):

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Old 03-30-2009, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Old west side, Ann Arbor, MI
689 posts, read 2,074,644 times
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Talking Different Cities...Different kind of "success"

Quote:
Originally Posted by TootsieWootsie View Post
With poor Detroit down the tubes, is Grand Rapids Michigan's new boom city? Or is it the Ann Arbor area?
And how is the new boom city doing? Getting new businesses in there?
The difference between the two cities is actually quite big...while GR has a larger population, the unemployment rate is much higher. Further, the demographic composition of the two cities is far different. It is difficult to compare these two cities as "apples to apples". GR has a large medical presence, as A2 has a huge population of PhD and grad students working the biomedical sciences industries and academia.

Cranes erecting structures does not necessarily equate to "progression", again I must say that comparing A2 and GR is hard to do. Ann Arbor is and always has been a sanctuary for exec's , grad students, academic professionals, and prominent medical community members. While the work force is primarily professional, GR has much more of a blue collar presence. I look again to the unemployment rate, which Ann Arbor has been able to stay well below 8% even through this economic downturn. People who move to A2 usually have a specific reason: Grad School, teaching job, UM Position, or work at one of the professional buildings downtown.

As far as being a "boom town", its almost impossible for one to state that any city with a unemployment rate over 10% could be considered favorable, regardless of how many cranes fill the sky. When I think of boom towns, I think of Fargo, ND where workers are being recruited across the country, or Wheaton, IL or Naperville, IL where housing is still in demand. As far as what town "will" be the next boom town in Michigan I would have to say Ann Arbor specifically due to the large amount of unemployed talent (ie: grad students, PhD's) who can revitalize the local economy. This also is occurring in Raleigh, NC where many unemployed grads are starting new entrepreneurial endeavors. In short, Michigan cities have a long way to go when being measured against leading cities across the US.
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:33 PM
 
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I think Ann Arbors growth is partly due to the sprawl expansion (exurbs) of Metropolitan Detroit. Livingston County is part of Metro Ann Arbor, but it is really the westward expansion of suburban Detroit. The Ann Arbor area has the Nucleus for 21 century growth, which is strong research Universities, Highly educated population and a proximity to Major international Airport with direct flights to destination at home and abroad. Grand Rapids, although my sentimental favorite lacks the Major research, educated populous and Major Airport. That said, it has a growing medical research area and it does have close recreational amenities that Ann Arbor does not. If a person were looking to relocate to the State, for the long term, Grand Rapids or A2 would be your best choices. Grand Rapids was a “boom” town in that for at least a decade or more it had a population growth rate above the national average. That is probably not true any longer.
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Old west side, Ann Arbor, MI
689 posts, read 2,074,644 times
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I was surprised to see this video on fox news of GM Dealership employees fighting after news of its closure. People are on edge everywhere...I honestly don't think "boom" anything will be in Michigan for the near future sadly.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,511498,00.html

Last edited by MittenDweller82; 03-30-2009 at 04:06 PM.. Reason: link
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:14 PM
 
1,426 posts, read 2,654,817 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MittenDweller82 View Post
The difference between the two cities is actually quite big...while GR has a larger population, the unemployment rate is much higher.
The reason - the number of government jobs in Ann Arbor is a full 40% of the civilian work force, in Grand Rapids it's less than 9%. If you love working for a bureaucracy, A2 is the place. Sounds a little dull. Not exactly a diversified labor force.
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