Tell me about Grand Rapids, MI......new things are percolating.

jasonrann

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So in the past two months, I have been separated from my wife, have been in the hospital twice with heart stuff and had Covid that had me down for a week. The new job is no longer as I quickly learned the owner was a fvckhead and I'm not wasting my time on it.

My cousin and I worked together for ten years from 1993-2002 for our uncle. The first three years of that was in Grand Rapids. It was a wasteland back then, but quickly built up after a new arena went into the downtown. Cousin has since built a $300 million company that resides there.

He and I have talked about working together again for years. I am flying up there tomorrow to talk to him. I would be splitting time between Grand Rapids, another business in Chicago and working from home in Kansas City. Would appreciate input on any and all of this.

Thanks!
 

Thunderlips71

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Oct 29, 2014
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I live about 45 minutes south of Grand Rapids and it’s a nice area. My wife is a native Michigander, and she said GR was to be avoided if at all possible just as you said.

They’ve really turned things around and it’s a happening place. Still some crime and shootings in the area but nothing abnormal for a town of its size. Great healthcare, excellent airport, lots of restaurants and bars. Winters can suck, as can traffic. Real estate is quite expensive right now, but there are a lot of smaller towns nearby with more reasonable prices.

Good luck with your future and take care of yourself!
 

SolarHawk

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So in the past two months, I have been separated from my wife, have been in the hospital twice with heart stuff and had Covid that had me down for a week. The new job is no longer as I quickly learned the owner was a fvckhead and I'm not wasting my time on it.

My cousin and I worked together for ten years from 1993-2002 for our uncle. The first three years of that was in Grand Rapids. It was a wasteland back then, but quickly built up after a new arena went into the downtown. Cousin has since built a $300 million company that resides there.

He and I have talked about working together again for years. I am flying up there tomorrow to talk to him. I would be splitting time between Grand Rapids, another business in Chicago and working from home in Kansas City. Would appreciate input on any and all of this.

Thanks!
Are you trying to get back with the wife, or is that over? If getting back together is still on the table I personally would be hesitant to start a new venture so far from her. Beyond that aspect I don’t have much advice to give.
 

thewop

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Jun 27, 2002
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Without knowing anything about these businesses, it seems difficult to do all of that well.

Doesn't seem like whether or not Grand Rapids is a craphole should factor in, unless that's going to be the full time gig or you'll live there..

Whatever you do, be sure there's a chance you'll love it, and it sounds like insurance may need to factor in as well (do so accordingly).
 

StormHawk42

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Nov 3, 2009
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Wait are you and the wife separated relationship-wise or just physically? I know you have a young child together.

As for Grand Rapids, I really enjoyed my time when passing through. Kinda seemed like Des Moines in that it’s been revitalized quite a bit. And Michigan is just a cool state in general.

The family thing I would think would heavily guide this decision.
 

stillh8unlv

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Mar 30, 2007
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Grand Rapids and western Michigan in general is solid.

Brother has lived there for 30 years, I vacationed there every summer as a kid.

Stay around the Reformed church areas for nice clean neighborhoods if ya ever decide to move there.

Holland/Zeeland are commutable and they and the state have really spent some money to clean up and revitalize Lake Macatawa.

Beautiful part of the country
 

goldmom

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We went up to GR a few times when we lived in Oakland County in the early 90’s and our friends there had a gorgeous home. Nice folks - I liked Michiganders in general. We thought it was a beautiful area.
 
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jasonrann

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Are you trying to get back with the wife, or is that over? If getting back together is still on the table I personally would be hesitant to start a new venture so far from her. Beyond that aspect I don’t have much advice to give.
The wife and I are working on it. I have consulted her every step of the way. This is a potential income doubler for me. We are thinking since we have made it work so far being separated, it could work. It would be 1/4 to 1/2 time between Chicago and Grand Rapids, balance of time in KC where the focus would be time with her and the kids.
 
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jasonrann

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Wait are you and the wife separated relationship-wise or just physically? I know you have a young child together.

As for Grand Rapids, I really enjoyed my time when passing through. Kinda seemed like Des Moines in that it’s been revitalized quite a bit. And Michigan is just a cool state in general.

The family thing I would think would heavily guide this decision.
Relationship wise and physically. We haven't lived together for two months, no intimacy in just under two years. We have two young children. That said, we talk multiple times every day and spend time together several times/week.

The cousin has multiple businesses under his umbrella, about $400 million in sales annually while being highly profitable. At 52, this could be one to retire on.
 

cosmo90

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He and I have talked about working together again for years. I am flying up there tomorrow to talk to him. I would be splitting time between Grand Rapids, another business in Chicago and working from home in Kansas City. Would appreciate input on any and all of this.

Thanks!

Grand Rapids has become a great place to live and work. Grew up in Holland. Lived in GR for a little while after school. Know it well and still visit my many friends in the area. I'm up north in God's Country now though.

GR to IC can be driven in under 6 hours - which makes a weekend trip doable. That is what I miss most about being in West Michigan.
 
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lucas80

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Jan 30, 2008
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No real expertise on the area, but it hit Kiplinger's top places to retire a few years ago. It's just a magazine ranking, but they look at cost of living, access to housing, health care, recreational opportunities. It seems to have lots to offer.
But, is this what you need right now, and can you make your life and health work with all the jumping around?
 
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jasonrann

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From one father to another, do not move far from your children. I don't care what the money is.

It will be the biggest regret of your life when you get older.

I can about guarantee your kids don't want you to move far away either.

No real expertise on the area, but it hit Kiplinger's top places to retire a few years ago. It's just a magazine ranking, but they look at cost of living, access to housing, health care, recreational opportunities. It seems to have lots to offer.
But, is this what you need right now, and can you make your life and health work with all the jumping around?
Thanks, guys!

@HawkMachine, I would not be seeing my kids any less than I am now. Worst case, I would be half time in KC. That would be a necessary point of agreement before I would accept. That said, if the wife (no pic) and I ultimately end up divorced, all options are on the table and she knows that. The position would afford me the flexibility to see the kids every month no matter where I lived. I couldn't not see them, I know that.

@lucas80, all I have been doing is jumping around. I am currently living with one of my best friends who is a musician with a recording studio. There are lots of things going on here and while I appreciate having a place to stay, I could be in a healthier environment. He is also coming out of a long term relationship where the gal was cheating on him for 18 months. Extremely volatile. I think I can handle channeling my energy to what could very well be my final career move and ticket to retirement. I could also reconnect with friends I haven't seen in 25 years.
 

jellyfish10

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Aug 10, 2009
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I don’t have much advice but I will share this.

When I was really sick after my divorce, I moved 15 minutes away to a small town before my son had his DL. Biggest mistake I ever made. He hated who I was with, and even though we were just minutes apart, the last thing he wanted to do was stay in a small town with zero of his friends. We still saw one another but it wasn’t the same.

Granted money nor a different career weren’t in the picture, but I would never do it again regardless.
 

BioHawk

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Sep 21, 2005
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Western Michigan, including Grand Rapids, is an outstanding place to live. There is a vibrant night life on the weekends at least, although most of Western Michigan tends to shut down after 9 PM. There are craft breweries all over the place and Founders is located in Grand Rapids. Lake Michigan is better than the ocean in my opinion, although you can't really surf it so maybe not if that's your thing. But the sand on the beach is as good as anywhere. Grand Rapids is 30 minutes from the beach and Grand Haven is as nice as anywhere. Plenty of state parks and really good hiking as well, and the temperatures during the winter are actually moderated by the lakes so you rarely get the extreme cold weather you get in Wisconsin/Iowa/Illinois.

Good luck buying a home there, though. For a while new homes would sell for above asking within hours of hitting the market. I do think it has slowed a bit now so you actually get a couple of days. The biggest drawback to living there is it makes going to Iowa football games a much bigger hassle. Not a big deal if flying is an option.
 

SolarHawk

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I don’t have much advice but I will share this.

When I was really sick after my divorce, I moved 15 minutes away to a small town before my son had his DL. Biggest mistake I ever made. He hated who I was with, and even though we were just minutes apart, the last thing he wanted to do was stay in a small town with zero of his friends. We still saw one another but it wasn’t the same.

Granted money nor a different career weren’t in the picture, but I would never do it again regardless.
Doesn’t sound like this is gonna be OPs situation at all. He‘s still gonna live in whatever town his kids are, but he’s gonna split his time in Michigan for work. I don’t think he intends to fly them to Michigan with him while he’s away. I get your point, and I agree with you. When my parents separated for about a year when I was in middle school, my mom thought I would be cool to spend the weekends at her shitty apartment. Yeah, that wasn’t cool and it‘s probably why she just moved back home. I wasn’t gonna spend every weekend at my moms, while my friends were living it up as any young Kid should.
 
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Menace Sockeyes

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Grand Rapids and western Michigan in general is solid.

Brother has lived there for 30 years, I vacationed there every summer as a kid.

Stay around the Reformed church areas for nice clean neighborhoods if ya ever decide to move there.

Holland/Zeeland are commutable and they and the state have really spent some money to clean up and revitalize Lake Macatawa.

Beautiful part of the country
Ew. Zeeland is a HELL no. I grew up just north of there. They are always in the news for some batshit crazy ordinance or school policy because of the Reformed Church. Plus, it’s a boring, no character area. Now downtown Holland is cool, mainly because Hope College is right there. Holland, the suburbs of Muskegon, of GR, and the trendy but funky/urban revitalized Eastown in GR are all great.
 
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jasonrann

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Ew. Zeeland is a HELL no. I grew up just north of there. They are always in the news for some batshit crazy ordinance or school policy because of the Reformed Church. Plus, it’s a boring, no character area. Now downtown Holland is cool, mainly because Hope College is right there. Holland, the suburbs of Muskegon, of GR, and the trendy but funky/urban revitalized Eastown in GR are all great.
I was happy to hear that my favorite spot in Eastown is still there. I saw No Doubt there in the 90s when their first big album came out. Time flies!
 
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jasonrann

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Western Michigan, including Grand Rapids, is an outstanding place to live. There is a vibrant night life on the weekends at least, although most of Western Michigan tends to shut down after 9 PM. There are craft breweries all over the place and Founders is located in Grand Rapids. Lake Michigan is better than the ocean in my opinion, although you can't really surf it so maybe not if that's your thing. But the sand on the beach is as good as anywhere. Grand Rapids is 30 minutes from the beach and Grand Haven is as nice as anywhere. Plenty of state parks and really good hiking as well, and the temperatures during the winter are actually moderated by the lakes so you rarely get the extreme cold weather you get in Wisconsin/Iowa/Illinois.

Good luck buying a home there, though. For a while new homes would sell for above asking within hours of hitting the market. I do think it has slowed a bit now so you actually get a couple of days. The biggest drawback to living there is it makes going to Iowa football games a much bigger hassle. Not a big deal if flying is an option.
My ex-wife (no pic) worked in Grand Haven when we lived in GR from '93 to '96. Will definitely be spending tons of time there if this all works out.
 
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jasonrann

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Well y'all, I have the bulk of the interviews/meetings today. If we can figure it out, I am doing it. Everything my cousin touches turns to gold. I need to get on that train. I am sitting here having a coffee after riding in one of his 15 Ferraris last night, the weather is beautiful this morning and I have peace.
 
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stillh8unlv

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Well y'all, I have the bulk of the interviews/meetings today. If we can figure it out, I am doing it. Everything my cousin touches turns to gold. I need to get on that train. I am sitting here having a coffee after riding in one of his 15 Ferraris last night, the weather is beautiful this morning and I have peace.
15 Ferraris? How small is his dick?
 

ironside1

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Jul 28, 2008
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Well y'all, I have the bulk of the interviews/meetings today. If we can figure it out, I am doing it. Everything my cousin touches turns to gold. I need to get on that train. I am sitting here having a coffee after riding in one of his 15 Ferraris last night, the weather is beautiful this morning and I have peace.
Good luck!!
 

3 and Out on D

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As a long time Southeast Michigander, my impression of Grand Rapids is that over the years it has grown younger in the age of it's population and less religious. 50 years ago, it seemed that there was a church on every corner.
 

stillh8unlv

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I am afraid it is much darker than that.
7e65a8d9-20ee-408b-8cc8-f7545d295e4c_text.gif
 

Moral

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Well, y'all, I just spent two glorious days in Grand Rapids. I had great meetings with my cousin and his leadership team and it appears an offer is coming today. We will see what happens. I haven't been this energized in quite awhile. Thanks to all for the input!

CSB






















That’s awesome.
 
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stillh8unlv

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Might I also add that the west side of the state is a thousand times better than the east side of the state.

And Ann Arbor is a whore
 
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jasonrann

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Might I also add that the west side of the state is a thousand times better than the east side of the state.

And Ann Arbor is a whore
100% correct. I had to connect through Detroit on the flight back to KC. I felt dirty.
 

jasonrann

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Offer coming today, y'all. Please give your thoughts and prayers for many cash monies, hookers and blow.
 
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stillh8unlv

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100% correct. I had to connect through Detroit on the flight back to KC. I felt dirty.
Brother lives in GR, says the disdain is palpable for the east side of the state.

All the tax money from the West goes into the vacuum that is the east
 
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