Looking for information on GVSU’s ownership of 5 blocks in the neighborhood? We’ve got a separate page for that!

2018+ – Check our Organization Page for Annual Reports.

Photo credit: MLive.com


  • We said goodbye to longtime director Kristi DeKraker (or rather, “see you later” –  she’s still serving on the Development Committee in addition to starting her new job as the Sand Lake Village Clerk).
  • We secured a City of Grand Rapids Neighborhood Matching Fund grant to turn 704 Clancy into a community space.
  • We finally moved the Charles Belknap statue to Coit and Hastings (pictured, right). Thanks to DTN for donating the funds for moving the statue, Angel Gonzalez’s tireless efforts in making the move possible, and our original Linear Park donors: the Dyer Ives Foundation, Spectrum Health and Thierica.
  • See our 2017 Annual Report for more photos and information.


  • 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!


  • Creston Plaza

    We 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.


  • 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 (pictured on organization page).


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


  • We impacted the Michigan Street Corridor Plan.


  • 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 ran their Children’s Garden program on the Coit School grounds.


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


  • 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.


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



  • We impacted the design of the Newberry Place co-housing (pictured, right).


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


  • 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).


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


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


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

Pre-NOBLTo learn more about Charles Belknap, for whom our neighborhood is named, click here. These documents were compiled by Bruce B. Butgereit in 2016  in preparation for moving the statue of Charles Belknap to the new greenspace at Coit and Hastings. Bruce is a local historian and the Executive Director of History Remembered, Inc., a 501(c)3 that advocates for historic preservation and restoration through educational outreach. Since 2000, History Remembered, Inc. has restored over a dozen Civil War memorials including the Kent County Civil War monument and Charles Belknap. Through a multi-organization partnership, the Charles Calkins Law Office was restored in 2010 as was the Lincoln bust on that site.  Bruce has served as a stakeholder and consultant on several projects with the City of Grand Rapids.