Construction, Real Estate, and Sustainability

Downtown property owners form 2030 District

December 17, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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Utility plans $15M training center downtown
A number of buildings make up GVSU’s Pew campus in downtown Grand Rapids, including the Richard M. DeVos Center. Photo via

Grand Rapids continues to set itself up as a leader in urban sustainability.

This week, owners and operators of more than 60 downtown buildings established Grand Rapids 2030 District, joining 11 other cities focused on reducing energy use, water use and transportation emissions.

The Grand Rapids buildings represent nearly 10 million square feet of real estate.

“Cities play an important role in addressing the root causes of climate change, and here in Grand Rapids we’re doing that in partnership with our private sector partners” Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell said. “To help reach our goal of becoming a more resilient community, we’ve taken up District 2030 Challenge, which culminated today with the signing of our charter.”

Grand Rapids was originally named an Emerging 2030 District in April by the nonprofit think tank Architecture 2030. The 2030 Districts are public-private partnerships that aim for a reduction in energy use, water use and transportation emissions.

The other cities are Albuquerque, N.M., Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle, Stamford, Conn. and Toronto.

"Grand Rapids’ move to establish a 2030 District makes a strong case for urban sustainability, and we welcome them into the 2030 Districts Network,” Architecture 2030 Director of Development and Operations Vincent Martinez said. “Now at a dozen established 2030 Districts around North America, the network is poised to build on the best practices of its collective members and partners."

With the establishment of the district, Grand Rapids seeks the following goals:

  • A 50-percent reduction in energy and water use compared to a 2003 national benchmark across existing buildings by 2030, as well as emissions from transportation
  • For new building, immediate 50-percent reduction compared to 2003 national benchmark of use, with a goal of net-zero by 2030

“This grassroots effort between public, private and community partners is perfectly positioned to encourage innovation, further education and develop creative strategies that will span across every sector of the built environment,” said Cheri Holman, director, U.S. Green Building Council West Michigan Chapter. “Building on the established leadership in Grand Rapids, the district has adopted transparent, measurable and obtainable goals that will be achieved by working collaboratively to break down barriers and develop pathways that ensure a sustainable, resilient and healthy community to live, work and play.”

Grand Rapids 2030 District Leadership Council

Chair, Drew Coppess, 616 Development
Vice-chair, Eddie Tadlock, SMG Group
Treasurer, Keith Winn, Catalyst Partners
Director, Cheri Holman, U.S. Green Building Council West Michigan Chapter
Dr. Haris Alibasic, City of Grand Rapids
David Bell, Progressive AE
Nate Carver, Consumers Energy
Sarah Chartier, Spectrum health
Jim Monterusso, Veolia Energy
Dan Scripps, Institute for Energy Innovation 

Grand Rapids 2030 founding members

Property owners and operators

616 Development
Amway Hospitality Corporation
Catalyst Partners
City of Grand Rapids
Christman Company
Grand Rapids Art Museum
Grand Rapids Downtown Market
Grand Rapids Public Schools
Grand Valley State University
General Services Administration
Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University
Mercy Health Saint Mary’s
Rockford Construction
Spectrum Health
State of Michigan
Stella's Lounge
The Waldron
Van Andel Institute
Veolia Energy Grand Rapids

Community partners

Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc.
Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association
Habitat for Humanity of Kent County
Institute for Energy Innovation
U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan
West Michigan Environmental Action Council
West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum

Service provider partners

CBS Solar
Coffman Electrical Equipment
Consumers Energy
DTE Energy
Energy Alliance Group
Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber
Integrated Architecture
Lean & Green Michigan
Midwest Energy Group
Natura Architectural Consulting
Progressive AE

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