Urban centers like Grand Rapids can thrive on the vibrant culture that comes with the development of entertainment, sports, and convention destinations. There have been examples of how not to do it such as when the City of Detroit put its NFL stadium and NBA franchise arenas far from the urban core. The idea of locating these highly visible and high traffic destinations in the downtown business district yields tremendous benefits.
Dick DeVos insisted on bringing development to downtown Grand Rapid. He planted a seed that grew into an oak. He spurred the formation of a group of business leaders called Grand Action. This inspired group became the movers that led to the construction of Van Andel Arena. Later, the Grand Action group helped with the development of the DeVos Place Convention Center, the DeVos Performance Hall, and the Grand Rapids City Market. Dick DeVos’ vision now stands as part of the remarkable Grand Rapids skyline.
Dick DeVos saw that opportunity in Grand Rapids, and he made sure that the new additions to its sports and hospitality capacity were placed in the heart of the City. Grand Rapids is Dick DeVos’ hometown, and he has used his knowledge, connections, and experience to help the City make the best possible decision to locate the new sports and hospitality venue in downtown.
The City’s skyline and the menu of business and entertainment options grow with each substantial addition. Like Detroit, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, Grand Rapids has a more vibrant downtown because it has combined a great destination with expansion; it was in large part due to Mr. DeVos’ foresight.
The DeVos marriage is a bond between two people and a bond with a shared vision for public good. They have placed themselves in the public eye and the center of conservative Republican politics in Michigan and across the US. They do not shy away from exerting their strong beliefs in principles of individual opportunity in education, labor, and business.
They also have not shied away from using their economic power for the public good. Dick DeVos promoted critical care and medical research focus in Grand Rapids through Children’s hospital expansion in the Spectrum complex, and the Michigan State University’s Medical School Grand Rapids Campus.
The list of their achievements is impressive. They include contributions to the establishment and growth of charter schools that offer families a choice for their children’s education. They have involved their strong will and powerful ideas into urban development in Grand Rapids and many vital areas across Michigan.
It is never easy to change public attitudes, and government policies often follow popular choices. The DeVos determination to share their acquired wisdom and to make improvements in which they believe has persisted despite disagreement. In some ways, their determination seems stronger when facing the challenge of promoting change. Learn more: https://www.crunchbase.com/person/dick-devos