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This profile was last updated on 5/14/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Mr. Kristopher Larson

Wrong Kristopher Larson?

President and Chief Executive Off...

Phone: (616) ***-****  HQ Phone
Email: k***@***.org
Downtown Grand Rapids Inc
29 Pearl NW Suite 1
Grand Rapids , Michigan 49503
United States

Company Description: Downtown Grand Rapids is an exciting place. It's a place that includes a thriving office environment, vibrant nightlife, many cultural institutions, and a growing...   more

Employment History


  • Master's Degree , Public Administration
    North Carolina State University
112 Total References
Web References
Downtown Grand Rapids, 21 Nov 2014 [cached]
Kristopher Larson, President and CEO -
People | Grand Rapids West News, 24 Jan 2013 [cached]
Kristopher Larson, the relatively new executive director of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), comes to Grand Rapids from Long Beach, CA where he acted as VP of the Downtown Long Beach Association. Before that, Larson lived in Raleigh, NC. So, it's suffice to say, we're zeroing in on Larson's first Michigan winter.
Larson says he was born and raised in Raleigh and was there for a "very fun part" of the city's transformation. "When I was a kid," he says, "[Raleigh] had a population similar to Grand Rapids -- about 180,000.
Kristopher Larson, Downtown Long Beach Association, Friday Jan. 6th 2012  - Speakers - LBCREC, 6 Jan 2012 [cached]
Kristopher Larson, Downtown Long Beach Association, Friday Jan. 6th 2012
Kristopher Larson
Vice President, Downtown Long Beach Association (DLBA)
Kristopher Larson will be discussing: The new proposed Downtown Plan. The Downtown plan will effect landlords, tenants and has an impact on any broker or agent working in the Downtown Long Beach market. Mr. Larson will also be discussing the a more efficent process for zoning and a more sensible approach to the zoning issues. This will be a very informative speaker and we encourage you to attend this breakfast.
Kristopher Larson's Bio:
An award-winning planner by trade but an economist at heart, Kristopher Larson has spent the last eight years of his career helping good cities develop plans to become great. Career stops as an urban designer and an economic developer enable him to speak with an enlightened enthusiasm about how the confluence marketplace dynamics, architecture, and the public realm translate into defining, place-making experiences.
Larson currently serves as the Vice President of the Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA), a quasi-governmental organization and Downtown Business Improvement District for the sixth-largest city in California. In that stead, Larson sets the course for the economic development activities for Downtown Long Beach, which includes a comprehensive set of business recruitment and retention programs. Through Retail Visioning, Larson spearheaded a form of grassroots, collaborative economic development rarely attempted in economic development planning. Retail Visioning was later recognized as a Merit Award Winner in 2010 by the International Downtown Association for its achievement in Planning.
He has held positions on both the non-profit and public sides of municipal management, with career stops on both coasts of the United States. Prior to joining the DLBA in 2009, Larson served as the Senior Planner at the Raleigh Urban Design Center (UDC) and led the development of the 20-year plan for Downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. In that stead, Larson also worked to develop a set of market-based metrics and benchmarks to guide incremental based policy development. His work in defining the nexus between planning, policymaking, and market-based economics is often heralded by planning enthusiasts and critics alike.
Prior to joining the UDC, Larson served as the Deputy Director of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance. In that role, he helped gain the commitment of the City of Raleigh to invest nearly $300 M in public infrastructure in the Downtown. Within five years, that public investment yielded over $2 Billion in private investment. Due in part to these efforts, Raleigh was recently named the #1 city in the nation for business and careers.
His proven ability to position organizations and communities for success is derived from a combination of strategic positioning, an eye for detail, and facilitating inter-organizational collaborations that yield powerful results. An insatiable learner, Kristopher is constantly seeking to expand his knowledge of cities through active participation with the International Downtown Association, the Urban Land Institute, and the International Council of Shopping Centers. In 2010, he earned the certified planner credential, AICP, from the American Planning Association. He also holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration from North Carolina State University, and perhaps most importantly, is a diehard Wolfpack football and basketball fan.
Kristopher Larson, Downtown Long Beach Association, Friday Jan. 6th 2012 - Speakers - LBCREC
dBusinessNews :: Daily Business News Delivered to Your Desktop, 18 July 2004 [cached]
"The new vendor provides similar services in a variety of Downtowns, and we are confident that they bring the best practices in the industry to this effort," said Kris Larson, Manager of Operations for Downtown Raleigh Alliance.
The graph also states that 11,203 ..., 13 June 2014 [cached]
The graph also states that 11,203 people now live in the downtown area, although Kris Larson, executive director of the DDA, believes that number includes nearby neighborhoods, and he pegs the actual current number of those living in the downtown to be about 5,750.
"In three years, we'd be lucky to introduce an additional I'd say 500 at the low end, 1,000 at the high end, because you're solely constrained by supply," he said.
But regardless of which downtown neighborhoods get counted and which don't, both Schulz and Larson agreed that their numbers still consistently show the same trend: Grand Rapids is growing.
About 77 percent of America's millennials prefer to live in an urban environment, Larson said, adding that any city with economic development ambition is trying to find ways to attract millenials to choose to live in their downtowns.
"The reality of the fact is that Grand Rapids is not competing with Fort Wayne and Lansing... This is a mistake that some people make when they're comparing themselves; they're comparing themselves with comparable cities," he said.
That lack of mixed diversity, both culturally and financially, could become an economic problem, Larson believes.
"You don't just want a lot of six-figure-income earners living in downtown," Larson said.
Larson has been busy tackling this problem partly by trying to find available land downtown for conversion. He's especially fond of parking lots, many of which are underused for the amount of space they take up, he said.
But Larson also has encountered what he believes is a second major obstacle keeping people from moving downtown: the education system. The two largest demographics of people living in downtown - millennials and baby boomers - are both groups who, generally speaking, are not currently raising children at home, he said, and many of the families that do have children want to move their kids out of the downtown and into the suburban school systems.
"Education is that one variable where we don't excel in here in downtown. It's one we need to make improvements on," he said.
"I think we're going to continue to see things like single people get married, have kids and choose to stay in downtown, which is why we are very much proponents of improving the access to quality education downtown. That has been a dynamic that when I moved here two years ago, I kept hearing, and, frankly, (it's) frustrating to hear."
In the end, bold developers building and renovating downtown residential will be what brings the population downtown, and a population downtown will be what brings the retail, Larson said. He's hopeful that when the downtown population hits 10,000, a grocery store will get built somewhere, though he's convinced a pharmacy will get built sooner.
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