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Uptown Grand Rapids’ Eastown District To Undergo Major Road Reconstruction Enhancement In Heart of Small Business Corridor

By Dana Kroll, Uptown Marketing and Communications Specialist


Grand Rapids, Friday, June 14, 2024:

 The City of Grand Rapids will kick off phase one of a two-phase reconstruction project to significantly enhance the driver, pedestrian, and cyclist experience in the Eastown District of Uptown Grand Rapids. 


Phase one of the project is set to begin Monday, June 17, and will include various levels of reconstruction that will span the length of Robinson Road, from Lake Drive East to Plymouth Ave.


The City’s core objective will be to replace and update existing water mains and lead services. While undergoing these needed improvements to the district’s infrastructure, the road will also receive design enhancements including curb extensions to shorten pedestrian crossings, create more greenspace and rain gardens, better define the parking lane, and help slow traffic speeds. Additionally, the project will include bicycle lane installations on both sides of Robinson Road from Norwood Avenue to Plymouth Avenue.


While enthusiastic about the enhancements that this investment will ultimately provide to its neighborhood, Eastown’s business community is bracing for impact. Construction often presents significant – albeit temporary- challenges in ensuring that business continues to flourish during this period of change. The Eastown Business Association and Uptown Grand Rapids, Inc., are working together diligently to communicate to West Michigan that their favorite small and independent businesses will remain open and are eager to serve. Additionally, the organizations will be partnering with the City of Grand Rapids to help communicate the latest information regarding accessing Eastown, navigation, parking, and pertinent updates to timelines, as well as to encourage the public to continue frequenting Eastown throughout the project’s duration. 


The businesses along Robinson Road that will be directly impacted by construction include: Matchbox Diner, Redux Books, Options Business Solutions, Yours Truly Galleria, Fruition, Argos Comics and Books, Connie’s Cakes, Eastown Salon, Lady Monarch, Modish Moth, Pursuit of Happiness Co., The Cat’s Pajamas Hotel, and Woodways International Cabinetry.


Ingrid Miller, Executive Director of Uptown Grand Rapids, Inc. says: “We are committed to highlighting and supporting the businesses that will be impacted by this public improvement in hopes that the public will take the extra steps of planning to access the businesses along Robinson Road. We want people to know that Eastown is open for business and we can all shoulder the construction mess collectively.”



Uptown consists of four business districts: Eastown, East Fulton, Wealthy Street, and East Hills. The district is also home to five residential neighborhoods: Baxter, East Hills, Eastown, Fulton Heights, and Midtown.  In all climates, UGRI celebrates its mission: to bring together people, partnerships, and possibilities to sustain a strong and vibrant urban district through planning, coordinating, and communicating with and between all sectors of the Uptown community and beyond.


For more information about this and all things Uptown, please contact Ingrid Miller.