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This profile was last updated on 2/22/15  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

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Board Member


  • Master's Degree , Public Administration
    North Carolina State University
111 Total References
Web References
Kris Larson of Downtown ..., 22 Feb 2015 [cached]
Kris Larson of Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. said there are 15 major projects in the works, everything from new residential buildings to businesses and hotels.
"I think 2015 is going to be just a fabulous year for us in our downtown both on the retail, restaurant, tenant side and just all of the cranes going up in the sky," Larson said. "It's going to be a big year."
It comes at a good time as Larson said downtown living is in high demand with a need of about 5,000 extra units downtown.
"Bridge Street five years from now is going to have a very different look and feel than we know it today," Larson said. "The Bridge Street of the future will be more like Main Street for the west side."
The Arena South area continues to be a focus, with many wondering if a movie theater may actually move in to that area in downtown at some point.
"We are working very hard to bring a vision of a movie theater downtown, it's a tricky project and a tricky land disposition," Larson said.
Medical Mile is no exception when it comes to a transformation in the works.
Demolition on the old Grand Rapids Press Building is expected to start as early as March, with the new Michigan State University medical research building taking its place and opening in 2017.
Larson said the one project everyone will notice is what's on tap for the Grand River.
It's a project in the early stages, so early they don't have renderings to share with the public just yet.
Larson said they want to restore the river, creating a place for more activity in and around the Grand River. The idea is to create more green spaces and a better recreational space lining the Grand River.
A trail is in the works that would allow people to bike, run and walk from Riverside Park to downtown. It would connect to the White Pine Trail system allowing people to travel as far as North Dakota from the Grand River.
"It's about really creating an ambiance and a culture that is river-centric," Larson said.
Downtown Grand Rapids, 21 Nov 2014 [cached]
Kristopher Larson, President and CEO -
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.
Development News, 11 July 2013 [cached]
DDA Director Kris Larson will serve as DGRI's 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.
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