REGIS To Make The Rounds

June 12, 2002
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GRAND RAPIDS — Now that REGIS has reached virtual reality, the Grand Valley Metro Council intends to introduce its new Regional Geographic Information System to the business community.

Real estate attorneys will be among the first to meet REGIS in order to learn the system’s capabilities and how it can be accessed. The lawyers, however, won’t be the only ones interested. Engineers, architects, real estate agents, developers and builders are also likely to have a keen desire to discover what REGIS can do for them.

“We’re setting up a meeting with the Real Estate Property Division of the Grand Rapids Bar Association. We need to have a conversation with them that’s two-way, which is how they would like to interface with the system and how we can help them interface with it,” said Phil Lund, director of the REGIS Agency, a Metro Council affiliate.

“We certainly want to do that and certainly plan on doing that,” he added.

Besides getting together with the professions involved in commercial and residential real estate, Lund said he would also meet with schools, such as Grand Valley State University, and nonprofit organizations like The Right Place Program.

“There are a lot of nonprofits and profits, I think, that want access to this information, and strategically that only helps this community if we can get that out,” he said.

The REGIS Agency unveiled the integrated computerized system a few weeks ago for the 20 Metro Council members that funded the program, which took nearly a dozen years to go from conception to a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The network extends throughout Kent County and into portions of Ottawa County. The system can capture, store, edit, analyze and display geographic data for nearly 900 square miles of West Michigan. And there will be a charge to use REGIS — a fee that hasn’t been set, yet.

“Now that the data is in there, there are a lot of other entities that want access,” said Lund. “People are going to be using this data to increase their efficiencies and it really adds value for their company. So, it’s not going to be free for those types of profit centers. Quite frankly, we wouldn’t mind offsetting some of the development costs that we’ve got in it.”

For more information on REGIS, go to www.gvmc-regis.org.

The REGIS Agency is governed by a board comprised of 19 Metro Council members. The agency has a staff of 10 led by Lund, who plans to have several meetings with the business community over the next few months.

“We are going to have an event where we’ll invite Realtors, architectural engineering firms and anybody who has a business interest in this, and that is going to probably occur in February. That will be more of a roll-out meeting; this is what our plans are specifically and this is what it can do,” said Lund.

“But I want to have initial conversations with leaders and business people prior to that,” he added. “So I can get a better understanding of what they want.” 

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