East Grand Rapids

East Grand Rapids

East Grand Rapids is a heavenly small town in west central Michigan four miles east, naturally, of its famous sister, Grand Rapids. East Grand Rapids is, in fact, the smallest town in size in the Grand Rapids Metro Area, just 3.5 square miles, but it’s one of the most captivating and one of the most desirable to call home.  

A city with a famed past as nineteenth century resort, East Grand Rapids is located just adjacent to serene and beautiful Reeds Lake at the east end of Wealthy Street. It’s a garden city with 3 wonderful parks, Remington, Manhattan and Collins, as well as a highly regarded school system consisting of seven schools.  

East Grand Rapids is renowned for its traditional elegant homes and quality residential living on wide tree-lined streets. Enjoy sensational shopping and dining in Gaslight Village, a wonderfully restored late nineteenth century style main street area plus a well-developed walking trail along Reeds Lake stretching several miles north. 

It’s just a fifteen minute drive to dynamic downtown Grand Rapids where a spectacular array of cultural and entertainment activities beckon including the Grand Rapids Symphony, Opera Grand Rapids, St. Cecilia Music Society and Grand Rapids Ballet. Theater lovers can choose from the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, Actor's Theater, Circle Theater, Heritage Theatre Group and Broadway Theater Guild offering every type of show from comedy to drama to musical.  

Learn about local history at the Van Andel Museum Center, view breathtaking paintings at the Grand Rapids Art Museum or the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts and a visit to the John Ball Park Zoo or the Children’s Museum will thrill the kids. A real treat is lounging in an Eames chair in the lobby of the vintage 1913 Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, while admiring the largest gold leaf ceiling in the world overhead.  

East Grand Rapids is breathtakingly beautiful year round with a four seasons climate where flowers bloom in spring and leaves spectacularly change colors in the fall. You can play golf, canoe a river or hike a trail, in a nearby setting of natural splendor and Anglers will thrill to the finest fishing around on the Grand River. Lake Michigan is only 30 minutes away, offering waves and deep waters for boating, swimming and skiing plus charming seaside villages featuring quaint shops, restaurants and historic attractions.

Quality medical care is available at four major medical centers, including Spectrum Hospital located right in East Grand Rapids plus a broad economic base consisting of manufacturing, service and retail sectors powers the expanding greater Grand Rapids economy. Greater Grand Rapids is an excellent place to start a business and continues its tradition as a noted center for furniture manufacturing with famed makers of office furnishings such as Steelcase, Haworth and Herman Miller calling the area home. Fortune magazine named Grand Rapids the "tenth best city for business in the US" with access to a thriving region of more than a million people. 

Come home to a fairytale lifestyle in the small town of your dreams. East Grand Rapids is where happily-ever-after living begins. 

LOCATION 

East Grand Rapids is located just 4 miles east, naturally, of Grand Rapids, in scenic west central Michigan’s Kent County. Just adjacent to serene and beautiful Reeds Lake at the east end of Wealthy Street, East Grand Rapids is just south of the I-96 and east of US-131 A classic small town set amidst gently rolling, wooded hills and clear running streams, East Grand Rapids feels far away yet offers easy access to sensational business, cultural and education opportunities. 

Lake Michigan is 35 miles west, Detroit is 150 miles east and Chicago is 185 miles south. Quaint surrounding towns include Kentwood, Wyoming and Forest Hills. The state capital at Lansing is 68 miles east and Ft. Wayne Indiana is 135 miles south.  

East Grand Rapids, at 3.5 square miles, is the smallest town in the Grand Rapids Greater Metro Area, a region that encompasses approximately 45 square miles with a population of more than a million people. The Grand River, a major Michigan waterway, runs through the heart of Grand Rapids, the county seat of Kent County, which totals 856 square miles. 

TRANSPORTATION/AIRPORTS 

East Grand Rapids, as part of the second largest metropolitan area in Michigan, sits at the heart of a modern transportation infrastructure that includes well-maintained highways, roads and bridges making it easy to get wherever you need to go. East Grand Rapids features convenient freeways access to the I-96, one of the state’s major transportation arteries, running east towards Lansing and west towards Lake Michigan, then south to Chicago. Nearby US-131 provides access south towards Indiana and north to the upper reaches of the Michigan peninsula. 

Gerald R. Ford International Airport, located in Grand Rapids and just a ten-minute drive down the I-96, is the primary air transportation facility serving the entire West Michigan region. The airport is located at the intersection of 44th Street and Patterson Avenue SE and offers nonstop service to major domestic destinations, with continuing service available to points around the world. It is the state's 2nd largest airport with over 170 daily flights providing service to more than 5,000 passengers. Airports serving private aircraft include Riverview Airport in Jenson, Paul C. Miller Airport in Sparta and Somerville Airport in Somerville, each about 10 miles away.  

The Interurban Transit Partnership (ITP) operates regular bus routes, parking lot shuttles and dial-a-ride service. Commonly referred to as “The Rapid”, the ITP was the 2004 recipient of the Outstanding Transit System Award given by the American Public Transportation Association recognizing excellence in system reliability, security and customer service. The ITP connects East Grand Rapids by bus and shuttle with the surrounding cities of Grand Rapids, Grandville, Kentwood, Walker, Wyoming and the townships of Byron and Gaines. Ride for a fare of only $1.30 per ride with discounts for seniors and students on routes that cover a service area comprising 452 square miles. 

Regional travel is made easy because there are two Greyhound bus stations in Grand Rapids as well as an Amtrak station where the Pere Marquette train begins its daily service between Grand Rapids and Chicago. 

BRIEF HISTORY 

East Grand Rapids was originally settled in 1832 by Ezra and Lew Reed but remained a rural outpost until the latter part of the nineteenth century when it became the toast of the Midwest. Affluent residents of Chicago discovered Ramona Park on Reeds Lake turning it into both a famous and infamous resort community known far and wide. 

Famous for its beautiful beach and infamous for its nine saloons, nine houses of ill-repute and many gambling halls, East Grand Rapids incorporated as a village in 1891 and drew flocks of city dwellers to its recreational facilities and colorful attractions. The pristine beaches of the lake were dotted with ornate pavilions, roller coasters, hotels, big docks for excursion boats and bicycle rental houses. 

Most famous of all was Rose’s Bathhouse, where James Rose, a German immigrant, taught swimming in the “German Method” by rigging students to a heavy fishing pole and line and dragging them through the water as he walked up and down a dock. Rose’s remains today as the site of a fine dining restaurant with a lovely outdoor patio on the lake, the only vestige still existing of East Grand Rapids glorious heyday as a resort of note. 

East Grand Rapids incorporated as a city with big dreams in 1926, but the Crash of 1929 and Depression that followed took its toll on the summer resorts and by the 1940’s the buildings and amusements had melted away. The town reinvented itself as a desirable residential small town, preserving and protecting its classic charm and spacious turn of the century homes on lovely tree-lined streets. 

Now, at the dawn of the 21st century, East Grand Rapids has become one of the most coveted addresses in Michigan’s second largest metropolitan area. Gaslight Village, the city’s downtown has been restored and become a shopping and dining destination, attracting residents and visitors alike. Reeds Lake has returned to its natural state with miles of hiking trails along its shoreline and Ramona Park remains a place for family picnics just like it was more than a century ago. 

The best of the past remains present in the traditions of resort living still alive in the East Grand Rapids of today. 

ABOUT EDUCATION 

The acclaimed East Grand Rapids School District includes one high school, one middle school and three elementary schools for a population of approximately 3,000 students. The elementary schools have received multiple State of Michigan Golden Apple Awards for excellence in student achievement and the high school has more National Merit scholars than any other public school of its size in Michigan. Athletically gifted as well, East Grand Rapids High has collected 117 athletic state championships to date, which is a Lower Peninsula record. Other services offered by the district include early childcare and preschool facilities, more than a dozen AP classes, a pilot program for non-standard languages, and a full range of classes covering computers, business, the arts, and other special interests.

Grand Rapids is home to twelve colleges and universities including Aquinas College, Calvin College and Cornerstone University, all private, christian schools, each with a campus on the east side of Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids Community College maintains an extensive campus downtown with facilities in other parts of the city and surrounding region as well.

Grand Valley State University, features a main campus in Allendale with just over 15,000 students while continuing to develop its presence in Grand Rapids with an expanding downtown campus on the west bank of the river. Ferris State University has a campus in downtown Grand Rapids that includes both the Kendall College of Art and Design and the Applied Technology Center while Davenport University, a statewide educational institution, has one of its main campuses downtown too.

Western Michigan University, about an hour away in Kalamazoo, is one of the top public universities in the state and one of the top 100 in the nation. There are 255 different degree programs including 165 bachelor’s degree, 62 master’s degree and 25 doctoral programs. WMU has a student body of approximately 30,000 students with satellite campuses scattered throughout the region offering both day and evening classes.

 

 

 

Share This Page

Contact Information

Photo of Bob & Lisa Novosad Real Estate
Bob & Lisa Novosad
The Novosad Team, LLC, Keller Williams Realty
630 Kenmoor SE, Suite 101
Grand Rapids MI 49546
(616) 575-0140
616-437-0209
Fax: 866-801-1086