Downtown Grand Rapids Streetcars?
One can only hope. Very interesting news for downtown Grand Rapids. The Federal Government has approved a ~$500,000 earmark from the 2008 Federal Transportation Appropriations Bill.
If this does come to pass, it could generate a very good return on investment for the city similar to how the Renaissance Zone (Tax Free Living) generated such an influx of business and investment into Grand Rapids.
There are a couple of streetcar success stories to compare this with as well. A 2.5 mile track in Little Rock, Arkansas, cost $16.9M to to build and encouraged $200M in investment. A similar case in Portland, Oregon where a 4.8 mile track cost $55.2M and leveraged over $1 Billion in investment to the city.
According to RapidGrowthMedia, the money could fund an enviornmental impact study (a prerequisite for fed funding) and a study of future alignment extensions for future development.
I’ll tell you what. I think this would be a fantastic project for the downtown Grand Rapids condo scene and we can only hope the decision makers think so too.
I would greatly enjoy using the streetcar when showing downtown condos and it would add to the excitment of an already fun city!
Update: Here is an article at mLive by Ken Kolker of the GR Press that gives more information, costs etc.