History

Annual Report 2021 NOBL is a neighborhood association bounded by Michigan, College, Leonard and the Grand River. We conducted strategic planning this year and restated our mission. Learn more at www.belknaplookout.org. Mission: To empower residents of the Belknap neighborhood to identify their interests, support their own well-being, and to facilitate community health and prosperity. Vision: A neighbor driven organization, committed to making a deep impact on the major institutions around us and collectively improving our built environment and our neighbors’ quality of life. Values: Justice Community Quality of Life Accountable Some really exciting things we’ve been involved in have come to fruition: - Neighbors no longer have to care of trash cans at bus stops; the City is testing a new solution! - The mixed income apartments we requested behind GVSU's Finkelstein Hall broke ground.

- DDA contracted the Smith Group to design the Hill and River Network. - We bought the garden at 762 North. NEIGHBORHOOD ACTIVITIES: COVID kept us meeting online this year. We cared for our parks several times this year. We held Dumpster Day in the spring but gave away activity kits for a National Night Out at home. We took time to recruit the committees who will work on key issues in 2022. CONSTRUCTION IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Our Development Committee and/or Board of Directors took positions on the following: 600 Fairview, 719 Prospect, demolition of 7 GVSU homes. They saw 752 &770 Lafayette and 706 Bond and made a Development Scorecard for 2022+. OUR FINANCES: Assets: General Operating Funds: $15,226; Special Project Funds: $39,966; Receivables: $2,259; Fixed Assets: $118,474. Liabilities: Accrued Taxes & Deposit: $2,830. Net Assets, or Equity: $173,594. 2021 Board Members: Dan Miller (Chair), Ellie Walborn-Henry (Vice Chair), Amy Gautraud (Treasurer), Kara Harrison Gates, Sheri Munsell, Loren Sturrus.

View the original file for the 2021 Annual Report

2020 Annual Report
2019 Annual Report
2018 Annual Report
2017 Annual Report

Here are some highlights from earlier in our history:

2010s

2016
Splash pad at Mary Waters Park

  • The Development Committee impacted construction planned for Newberry Place, 613 & 617 Fairview, 1001 Monroe (including NEZ), and 600 Coit as well as allowing alcohol at the new City Built Brewing on Monroe.
  • We saw previous planning efforts come to fruition in the City of Grand Rapids Parks Department renovation of Mary Waters Park (pictured, right).
  • We completed our own renovation of the upstairs at 700 Clancy and welcomed our first tenant, launching our affordable housing program.
  • We also secured an in-kind grant for computers for the community to use!

2015

  • Creston PlazaWe acquired the vacant lot at 704 Clancy next to our office building.
  • We welcomed our new GRPD Community Officer, JP Guerrero.
  • Grand Rapids’ Housing Commission opened the rebuilt Creston Plaza.
  • We impacted the GR Forward plan as well as the Olds Manor NEZ.

2014

  • The City of Grand Rapids finally established the first Residential Permit Parking Zone in Belknap Lookout due to high demand from residents.
  • We impacted the design of the Clancy Lofts and the Coit Gateway.
  • We renovated our new office at 700 Clancy (see our Facebook profile pic).

2013Brownstones at Fairview and Trowbridge

  • We impacted the design of the Fairview Brownstones (pictured, right).
  • We supported Thierica’s expansion.

2012

  • We impacted the Michigan Street Corridor Plan.

2011

  • We acquired 700 Clancy.
  • We helped change City of Grand Rapids policy to universal housing inspections.
  • This was just one of several years during which the Belknap Beautification Committee Roundabout at Fairview and Trowbridgeran their Children’s Garden program on the Coit School grounds.

2010

  • We were able to place a traffic calming circle on Fairview (pictured, right).
2000s

2009

  • We participated in an “ideal neighborhood 2030” project with MSU.
  • We ran a “walking school bus” and “Walking Wednesdays”.
  • We completed our ASP, which was adopted by the City as part of the Master Plan.

2007

  • We impacted the design of the Artesian Group’s office on Livingston.
  • We repainted the Charles Belknap mural along I-196 (pictured, right).The Charles Belknap mural on 196
  • We participated in the Michigan Street Hill Plan.
  • The Belknap Beautification Committee was founded.

2006

2005

Newberry Cohousing

  • We impacted the design of the Newberry Place co-housing (pictured, right).
Pre-History and Founding to 1990s

1997

  • A brand new board was elected in support of building Belknap Commons.

1980s

  • Neighbors enjoyed harvests from a neighborhood farm.
  • We held flower sales at Lafayette and Michigan.
  • We began holding National Night Out (see safety page for more details).Coit Creative Arts Academy

1982

  • We arranged for the painting of the Charles Belknap mural along I-196.

1980

  • We celebrated the 100th birthday of Coit School (pictured, right).

1979

  • Frank Lynn led early organizing thru ACORN, stayed as our first director.

Pre-NOBL – Our neighborhood is named for Charles Belknap. Learn more about him here. This history was provided by Bruce B. Butgereit in 2016. His worked helped us move the statue of Charles Belknap to Coit and Hastings. Bruce is a local historian and the Executive Director of History Remembered, Inc. This nonprofit advocates for historic preservation and restoration through educational outreach. Since 2000, they have restored over a dozen Civil War memorials. For example, they restored the Kent County Civil War monument and Charles Belknap. Through a multi-organization partnership, the Charles Calkins Law Office was restored in 2010. So was the Lincoln bust on that site.  Bruce has served as a stakeholder and consultant on several projects with the City of Grand Rapids.

Plus, learn more about the GVSU Campus that is slowly being built in our neighborhood.

GVSU Campus

Grand Valley State University owns five blocks within the residential portion of the neighborhood. Four of those blocks will be developed into a health professions campus in the decades to come. Built to date:

  • Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall at 500 Lafayette opened in May 2018.
  • 333 Michigan (the Center for Interprofessional Health) and
  • 335 Michigan (a parking ramp shared with Spectrum Health)

Most of the following documents from their engagement process with the neighborhood were originally hosted at the “GVSU NOBL Planning” site:

GVSU students have been involved at Coit Creative Arts Academy as reading mentors:

City of Grand Rapids Second Ward Commissioner Joe Jones spoke about NOBL’s involvement in the GVSU Master Planning process at the dedication of Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall:

Want to stay on top of current events? Sign up for our email list. Catch up with our e-news archive below:

2022 E-News

August 2022 – First Edition
July 2022 – First and Second Editions
June 2022 – First and Second Editions
May 2022 – First and Second Editions
April 2022 –First and Second Editions
(No March Emails)
February 2022 – First and Second Editions
January 2022 – First and Second Editions

2021 E-News

December 2021 – First and Second Editions
November 2021 – First and Second Editions
October 2021 – First and Second Editions
September 2021 – First and Second Editions
August 2021 – First, Second and Concert Reminder Editions
July 2021 – First and Concert Alert Edition
June 2021 – First and Second Editions
May 2021 – First and Second Editions
April 2021 – First Edition
March 2021 – Extra Topics Special Edition, First and Second Editions
February 2021 – First and Second Editions, Top 4 Special Edition
January 2021 – First and Second Editions

2020 E-News

December 2020 – First Edition
November 2020 – First Edition and Written Annual Meeting
October 2020 – First and Second Editions
September 2020 – First and Second Editions
August 2020 – First and Second Editions
July 2020 – First and Second Editions
June 2020 – First and Second Editions
May 2020 – FirstSecond, and Third Editions
April 2020 – First, Second, and Third Editions
March 2020 – First and Second Editions
February 2020 – First and Second Editions
January 2020 – First and Second Editions

2019 E-News

December 2019 – First and Second Editions plus full size construction image
November 2019 – First Edition plus Correction
October 2019 – First and Second Editions
September 2019 – First and Second Editions plus Correction
August 2019 – First and Second Editions
July 2019
June 2019 – First Edition
May 2019 – First and Second Editions
April 2019 – First and Second Editions
March 2019 – First and Second Editions plus Correction
February 2019 – First and Second Editions
January 2019 – First and Second Editions

2018 E-News

December 2018 – First and Second Editions
November 2018 – First and Second Editions
October 2018 – First and Second Editions
September 2018 – First and Second Editions
August 2018 – First and Second Editions
July 2018 – First and Second Editions
June 2018 – First and Second Editions
May 2018 – First and Second Editions – plus Michigan Road Construction update
April 2018 – First and Second Editions – plus Facebook version of Michigan Road Construction update
March 2018 – First and Second Editions – plus Facebook version of Michigan Road Construction announcement
February 2018 – First and Extra Editions
January 2018

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