Dick DeVos Seeks to Recapture Urban Development Magic of Grand Action
Business leaders and influential government officials must continue to “place their foot on the gas pedal” to reinvigorate the economic climate of Grand Rapids and West Michigan after what amounts to two years of relative “dormancy” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s the opinion of Dick DeVos. He recently reformulated his Grand Action development group. This collection of Grand Rapids movers and shakers originally came together in the 1990s to take up an extremely ambitious slate of projects that subsequently revamped the city skyline here in Michigan’s second-largest city.
The remarkable successes of Grand Action, under the leadership of Dick DeVos, included the construction of the Van Andel Arena, DeVos Place, Meijer Theater, the MSU Secchia Center and the Grand Rapids Downtown Market.
Dick DeVos said that it’s time for the Grand Action team to come back and get aggressive about planning the post-pandemic future of Grand Rapids. It must get projects in the pipeline that will continue to make this city the jewel of the Upper Midwest.
The primary objectives of Grand Action have been to identify building and urban revitalization projects for the downtown district. It also seeks to marshal public opinion and garner support for these kinds of projects. Another aspect of the Grand Action mission is to cobble together funding strategies. That means securing both private sector investments and backing from government entities.
Dick DeVos said new suggestions put forth by Grand Action include a 7,000-seat soccer stadium, an outdoor amphitheater, a river destination center and an expansion of DeVos Place. The latter would involve adding a hotel among other amenities.
DeVos said the next step for Grand Action is to “take a look” and say, “okay, here is a specific initiative that’s right for our community.” He said they want to formulate the kind of projects that everyone can “put their collective shoulders into.”