GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Thanks to your tax dollars, one of the most well-known streets on Grand Rapids’ West Side’s has undergone a major facelift.
City leaders, community members and business owners came together Tuesday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the newly redone Leonard Street NW between Alpine and Turner avenues.
The project to resurface the road, upgrade sidewalks, and install trees and rain gardens cost about $2 million — about $1.6 million of which came from the Vital Street Capital Fund that Grand Rapids residents passed in 2014 and the rest of which came from a federal grant.
Business owners along Leonard, which has undergone a revitalization in recent years, were happy about the improvements.
“We’re really excited about the changes that have taken place,” said Kyle Van Strien, the co-founder of Long Road Distillers. “Leonard Street, we’ve always joked, has looked like a runway — concrete asphalt up and down, buildings really close to the street. We think this construction definitely adds to the walkability, the pedestrian-friendly nature of the neighborhood. The trees definitely soften the appeal of the neighborhood.”
There is still some construction ongoing in the area of Turner and US-131.