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Frederick Meijer Gardens Summer 2010 Concert Series

May 25 to August 25 2010

Meijer Gardens has a fabulous, intimate amphitheater in a

spectacular outdoor setting for it’s summer concert series.

The 2010 line up has been released to the public. Tickets

are available to Members first in a Pre-Sale, and go on sale

to the general public on May 15th.  The events are usually

sold out, so buy your tickets early.

The line up this year has something for everyone – from World, Rock

to Blues and little Comedy & Country.

Meijer Gardens Entrance

Doobie Brothers May 21st, 2010

Bela Fleck, Zakir Hussain & Edgar Meyer June 10th, 2010

Kenny Loggins June 16th , 2010

Buddy Guy  w/ JJ Grey & Mofro June 17th, 2010

The Levon Helm Band June 30th, 2010

Mary Chapin Carpenter July 9th, 2010

Umphrey’s McGee July 16th, 2010

Indigo Girls July 25th, 2010

Natalie Merchant July 26th, 2010

Chris Isaak  w/ Marc Boussard July 29th, 2010

Natalie McMaster August 5th, 2010

Lyle Lovett & His Large Band August 7th, 2010

Melissa Etheridge August 9th, 2010

A Prairie Home Companion w/
Garrison Keillor “Summer Love” Tour
August 11th, 2010

George Thorogood & The Destroyers August 15th, 2010

Brandi Carlile August 25th, 2010

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The authors of the this blog write about Grand Rapids Real Estate, the Greater Grand Rapids MI area, and what it is like to live in West Michigan. Grand Rapids Michigan is a vibrant, growing metropolitan area with a diverse business community, great medical research & services, numerous universities, plus lively arts and entertainment of all kinds.

We believe: Grand Rapids is a Great Place to Live!

search for Grand Rapids homes Find Grand Rapids Home Value Grand Rapids Relocation Guide

Westbrook Realty Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

Contact Terry   616-292-7263

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Forest Hills students have posted outstanding MEAP scores

for  the 2009-2010 year.  The Forest Hills students placed at

the top of  the Kent County District and the State of Michigan

charts.

In Mathematics, Reading Science, and Social Studies the

percent of Forest Hills students continues to be higher

for every test than what was achieved overall by students

in the District & State.  Some of the results already meet

the federal requirements of No Child Left Behind mandate

of 100% proficiency by 2014.

FHPS meadowbrook elementary entrance

You can view Forest Hills Public Schools test scores here.

As state and federal governments have raised expectations

for student performance, Forest Hills students have recorded

higher levels of achievement.  The school staff, parents and

students should be be proud of the effort and accomplishment

for this year’s test scores.

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The authors of the this blog write about Grand Rapids Real Estate, the Greater Grand Rapids MI area, and what it is like to live in West Michigan. Grand Rapids Michigan is a vibrant, growing metropolitan area with a diverse business community, great medical research & services, numerous universities, plus lively arts and entertainment of all kinds.

We believe: Grand Rapids is a Great Place to Live!

search for Grand Rapids homes Find Grand Rapids Home Value Grand Rapids Relocation Guide

Westbrook Realty Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

Contact Terry   616-292-7263

OUR FLICKR PHOTOSTREAM

The Ottawa Hills neighborhood in Grand Rapids has had major construction

going on all winter.  The new Christian Elementary School is going up

on the old Ottawa Hills High School campus.  You can read about the

beginning  phases on an earlier blog. This campus will serve a large area

and is eagerly anticipated.  It is scheduled to open in the Fall of 2010.

We took a few new photos so you can see how it is shaping up.

new christian school grand rapids mi

We could hear the air hammers working away inside.

new school construction in ottawa hills gr mi

Lots of machinery and building equipment in evidence.

new school

The former playground was kept intact and their is plenty of open space.

school const lot

The view from the northwest corner of the lot, near Alexander Dr. SE.

This new facility will be located at: 1501 Fisk St SE

Old Ottawa/Iroquois Middle School
Old Ottawa/Iroquois Middle School
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The authors of the this blog write about Grand Rapids Real Estate, the Greater Grand Rapids MI area, and what it is like to live in West Michigan. Grand Rapids Michigan is a vibrant, growing metropolitan area with a diverse business community, great medical research & services, numerous universities, plus lively arts and entertainment of all kinds.

We believe: Grand Rapids is a Great Place to Live!

search for Grand Rapids homes Find Grand Rapids Home Value Grand Rapids Relocation Guide

Westbrook Realty Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

Contact Terry   616-292-7263

Grand Rapids Michigan is a diverse metropolitan area comprised of

many local cities and communities that surround the city of

Grand Rapids.  The Grand Rapids metro area is the second largest

“city” in Michigan with a population around 1 million.

West Michigan is a beautiful 4 season area of Michigan that has lots

of hardwood forests, rolling hills, Lake Michigan shoreline, hundreds

of  lakes and rivers, and a thriving, diverse work environment with

educated workers.  We have 25 colleges and universities in our

area, including the new Michigan State Medical School on the

“Medical Mile” in downtown Grand Rapids with a student population

of around 32,000+ students.

GR big map w tack

Getting To Know Grand Rapids:

Since pictures speak louder than words, we have links to photos

& videos of some of our local communities:

Ada Michigan is a small community southeast of Grand Rapids with

an excellent school system and lots of suburban homes.

Caledonia Michigan is a small suburban community that has farms

and a rural setting.

East Grand Rapids is a city bordering on Grand Rapids that has

lovely older homes, an excellent school system, and excellent city services,

including community events, and over 100 miles of plowed city

sidewalks in the winter.

Kentwood Michigan is a suburban community southeast of Grand

Rapids with businesses, such as Steelcase, one of the nation’s largest

office furniture manufacturers and lots of suburban housing subdivisions,

both new and established, plus rental communities for housing options.

Lowell Michigan is a small community east of Grand Rapids with a

vibrant business community, excellent school system, and a mixture of

older homes and newer subdivisions, all centered around the Flat River.

Rockford Michigan is a small community north of Grand Rapids

on the Rogue River.  It is home to the global shoe manufacturer, Wolverine

Worldwide [Merrell, Patagonia, Harley Davidson brands], but has a small

town feeling with unique boutiques, shops, and wonderful restaurants.

Many newer homes, established subdivisions and older homes populate

the Rockford area.

Quality of Life in Grand Rapids:

Grand Rapids Michigan Rated 5th Most Affordable Housing in US

Aug 21, 2009 – CNN Money has rated the top cities in affordable housing.

Top Schools in West Michigan – 6-15-2009 – Six West Michigan public

Schools were rated in the top 1500 schools in the nation by Newsweek.

Spectrum Hospital Ranks in Nation’s Top 100

Restaurants in the Grand Rapids Area:

Good Eats – Marie Catrib’s in the East Hills Neighborhood of Grand Rapids offers

unusual fare in a friendly atmosphere.

The Thornapple Daily Grill in Ada, Michigan – March 9, 2008 –Nestled in

heart of downtown Ada near the Thornapple River, this Gilmore

Restaurant is a favorite with local patrons for lunch or dinner.

More than Tacos at Taquitos Mexican Grill – Aug 1, 20009 – Located in

the old Herkimer Hotel, no dark and dingy digs here.

First Choice for Chinese in Forest Hills = First Wok – Dec 4, 2009 – Located in

the heart of Cascade, this Chinese Restaurant is one of our favorites.

The Grille Restaurant at Watermark Country Club – March 9, 2008 –

Serving fresh local foods when possible, this restaurant is always

busy.  Whether you stop in for a business lunch or have a quick

meal after you play nine holes, you can’t go wrong here.

The Monterey Grille in Caledonia – March 9,2009 – A great local place

for breakfast or an after work get-together at the sports bar.

Recreation in Grand Rapids:

Art Prize – Sept 24, 2009 – Planned to be an annual event in Grand Rapids,

Art Prize took the city by storm this year with over $250K in prizes,

artists from all over the world bringing their art creations to GR.

Grand Rapids Griffins Hockey – May 11, 2009 – A Night at a Griffins

Play-off Game

White Caps Baseball Signals Spring – March 15, 2009 – Opening day

for the local AA Team is much anticipated in Grand Rapids.

Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture ParkThe Sculptures;

The Conservatory ; The Children’s Garden ; Butterfly Exhibit

Meijer Gardens Summer Concert Series 2010 – April 26, 2010 –

16 concerts held at the Outdoor Amphitheater.

Grand Haven – Aug 24, 2009  – Coast Guard City is a great destination for

tourists and Michigan day trippers, like ourselves.

Golf in West Michigan –

Roselle Park – Nov 6, 2009 – Natural Habitat Refuge on the Grand River

with an observation tower, viewing deck, canoe/kayak launch, miles of

walking trails.

Grand Rapids Golf – With over 900 courses in West Michigan, it could

take a few months to play them all.  A few local golf course articles &

photos.

Real Estate Information for Buyers & Sellers:

Which Mortgage Do I Choose? – Key questions to ask yourself and

lenders before you finalize your mortgage.

Buying Foreclosed Homes is NOT FUN! – May 6, 2008 –

A few buying tips on foreclosed properties. Be Aware. Be Prepared.

Use a Seasoned Buyer’s Agent.

Are you Looking for your Grand Rapids Dream Home? – May 13, 2008 –Lots

of internet searches for the perfect home are being done right now.

Sellers Beware! Avoid 11 Mistakes That Could Cost You Hundreds, even
Thousands of Dollars!

The difference between a profitable, seamless

transaction and a break even, miserable experience is often a fine line.

Top Ten Questions You Should Ask Before You List Your Home – Crucial

areas of expertise your Realtor should possess.

Homes in Greater Grand Rapids Area:

Grand Rapids Michigan Homes  Search

Ada Michigan  Homes Search

East Grand Rapids Michigan Homes  Search

Caledonia Michigan Homes Search

Cascade Michigan Homes  Search

Kentwood Michigan Homes  Search

Lowell Michigan Homes  Search

Rockford Michigan Homes  Search

Wyoming Michigan – Search for Homes

Search Luxury Grand Rapids Homes

Grand Rapids – Condos for Sale

Kentwood Condos for Sale

Waterfront Homes for Sale

The U.S. News and World Report has published their annual survey of  the

best public high schools across the country.

These top open enrollment schools were placed into gold, silver,

bronze, and honorable mention categories.

Six public schools in Kent County were mentioned. Two Grand Rapids

inner city schools and  4 Grand Rapids suburban schools were named

in Best High Schools Kent County 2009.

City Middle/ High School, East Grand Rapids High School, Forest Hills

Central High School, Lee High School, Lowell High School, and Ottawa

Montessori School all received Silver or Bronze awards.

FHCentral entrance

Schools are an important consideration when buying and

selling a home.  Public schools in the Grand Rapids area

are some of the best in the country.

Grand Rapids Ada MI Real Estate ~ Five Star Realty

copyright 2009 All rights reserved

Photo of Forest Hills Central High School by Bonnie Westbrook

We have a vacant home listed. It is a nice house, clean, neat, 4 bedroom

 two story home that I showed last Saturday.  It was a changed house

when I showed it again on Monday.  We had record setting low

temperatures here over last weekend and the batteries failed in the

 thermostat. 

                         NO HEAT! 

 

                        Frozen pipes.

 

 

 

Needless to say, I rushed to the store, bought batteries, and got the

furnace going again.  I also turned off the water to try and eliminate

as much damage as possible.  When the house warmed up, sure enough,

a water pipe broke between the kitchen ceiling and the upstairs bathroom,

 according to the plumber. 

 So, the morale of the story is: If you have a vacant home,

change the batteries in that thermostat—don’t take chances!

This home had a 2 year old furnace and thermostat, so I

didn’t have a thought that the batteries in the thermostat

could fail.  Remember this tip is you are planning on an extended

vacation or going south for a month or longer. Replace

those batteries before you go.  It doesn’t take long in below zero

 weather for your home to incur substantial damage.

 

Grand Rapids Ada Real Estate ~ Five Star Real Estate

Copyright 2009 All rights reserved

Cascade Neighborhood Absorption Report

Caravelle Village is an established subdivision built in the late 1960’s

and 1970’s just south of Burton Street, east of Kraft Avenue and west

of Cascade Road in Cascade Township.  These Grand Rapids Homes

have the traditional mix of two stories, tri-levels and ranches.  A desirable

place to live with median priced homes, Forest Hills Schools, and close to

28th shopping and restaurants. Originally built by a variety of builders, the

homes here are quality construction in a safe neighborhood and close to

the historic village of Cascade and 28th Street shopping.

town hall gardens cascade mi

           Caravelle Village Residential Real Estate

                       January 2009 Market Report


                   4 For Sale, 7 SOLD, 4 Expired

 

Caravelle Village Active Listings: 4

Caravelle Village Average Active Price – $ 188,675

Caravelle Village Average Active Price/Sq Ft – $ 131.17

Caravelle Village Average Days on the Market – 141

 

Caravelle Village SOLD Listings: 7

Caravelle Village Average Sold Price – $ 183,071

Caravelle Village Average Sold price/SqFt – $ 128.21

Caravelle Village Average Sold Days on the Market – 62

 

Caravelle Village Expired Listings: 4

Caravelle Village Average Expired Price – $191,125

Caravelle Village Average Expired Price/SqFt – $124.08

Caravelle Village Average Expired Days on the market – 124

 

At the current rate of sales, we have a 6.4 month supply of homes in

Caravelle Village, if no new homes come on the market.

 

MARKET SYNOPSIS: Not much new activity for Caravelle Village since

November of last year.  The average listed price has remained constant,

but buyers are reluctant.

This is a popular area for home buyers, but your home must be in top

notch condition and priced to sell in today’s market.

 

Caravelle Village Market Report August 2008

Forest Hills Schools Market Report Sept 2008

Caravelle Village Market Report Oct 2008

Ada Cascade Market Report Nov 2008

 

Grand Rapids -Ada Real Estate – Five Star Real Estate 

Copyright 2008  All rights reserved

photo of Cascade Town Hall Gardens by Bonnie Westbrook

It started before our family had dispersed yesterday.

It came down all night.

This is what we woke up to this morning. 

The first big snow is always an event.

There will be snowmen, snowball fights, snow forts, lots of winter fun.

The first snow is still novel.  Wish you could all be here to enjoy it with us.

Since that would be unlikely, we thought you might like a photo tour.

If you will notice the nicely shoveled driveway, it would be appreciated.

First Snow pictures 2008 006

First Snowfront 2008

First Snow pictures 2008 008

Back garden in Snow

First Snow close up pictures 2008

 

Grand Rapids Ada Real Estate ~ Five Star Real Estate

Copyright 2008 All rights reserved

Photos by Bonnie Westbrook

We attended the latest Grand Valley State University Alumni Breakfast

Series this week in Grand Rapids Michigan.  The featured speaker was

Blake Krueger, the CEO of Wolverine Worldwide, Inc. speaking on Global

Leadership through Innovation. 

If you aren’t familiar with Wolverine Worldwide, they are a local company

based here in Rockford, Michigan. They had annual sales of $1.2 billion

last year as an international marketer of footwear, apparel, and

accessories.  They make Hush Puppies, Merrell, Patagonia, Sebago,

Harley Davidson and Cat footwear.  The talk was very informative and

relevant to today’s global market place.  Wolverine Worldwide decided

to go global back in 1958, so they were way ahead of the curve when

most companies decided to market their products beyond the shores

of the USA. 

Which could be why they are a very successful company today.

 

Here is a short video of the last part of Mr. Krueger’s talk, about

innovation in the global marketplace.

 

Grand Rapids Ada Real Estate ~ Five Star Real Estate

Copyright 2008 All rights reserved

Video by Bonnie Westbrook

UPDATE:  The Stone Falls of Ada Apartment complex has went up fast.

Our last post was  in June.  The units are up and some are occupied. Not

all units are completed yet. In the short video here, you can see the

approach to Stone Falls of Ada on Spaulding Ave and just how big this

complex is.  There was a little excitement a few weeks ago when an empty

unit caught fire, the damage can be seen on our video tour.

I am leaving my original post, so you can the how fast the project has

went up.

Stone Falls of Ada Apartments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Original Post about Stone Falls of Ada:

A new 210 unit luxury apartment complex is taking shape in Ada, Michigan.

The new complex, named Stone Falls of Ada, is scheduled to be completed

in spring 2009. The Dayton Ohio based group that is constructing the

development, the Miller-Valentine Group,and their partners, Boston based 

Cross Harbor Capital Partners LLC reports that the complex will have one,

two, and three bedroom apartments ranging in size from 856 square

feet to 1460 square feet. The location of the project is on the east side

of  Spaulding Avenue just south of Fulton Street.  

stone falls of ada mi

As you can see, construction is well under way.  The buildings in the far

background are the Townhouses and condominiums of Clements Mill.  This

part of the Clements Mill project was sold to be completed as apartment

dwellings.  This is a fairly new feature in Ada Township.

Prior to this development 98 per cent of the homes in Ada Township were

single family residences.  There are a lot of apartments in the Grand Rapids

area but very few in Ada. It will be interesting to see if Ada is attractive to

renters.

Grand Rapids Ada Real Estate ~ Westbrook Realty

Copyright 2008 All rights reserved.

photo by Bonnie Westbrook

Grand Rapids Photos

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