Greenville, Michigan

April 22, 2024

Greenville, Michigan

A Year-Round Community in Bloom


Leveraging its unique charm and strategic initiatives to foster community spirit, attract businesses, and drive remarkable growth across all seasons.

Located thirty-five miles northeast of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Greenville positions itself uniquely on the map, embodying the quintessence of a “big, small town.” Surrounded by rural expanses, this city distinguishes itself as a hub of commercial vitality and recreational bounty amidst the tranquility of the countryside. Greenville’s charm and strategic importance lie in its geographical location and approach to nurturing a community that serves as a commercial and recreational haven for its growing populace and the surrounding rural area.

George Bosanic, City Manager of Greenville, elucidates the essence of this vibrant community. “Greenville is a big small town in a rural area, a very standalone city,” he begins, setting the stage for understanding Greenville’s unique position in Michigan’s landscape. The city’s proximity to Grand Rapids, the state’s second-largest city, plays a crucial role in its identity, yet Greenville thrives independently, attracting residents and visitors alike with its offerings.

The natural beauty of Greenville, punctuated by three lakes and a river, enriches the city’s landscape and offers abundant recreational opportunities. Bosanic emphasizes this aspect: “As you can imagine, that affords us ample opportunity for recreational purposes.” These water bodies not only enhance the city’s aesthetic appeal but also serve as a magnet for those seeking leisure and outdoor activities, further cementing Greenville’s reputation as a destination for both economic and recreational endeavors.

Infrastructure Innovations

Greenville is on an ambitious journey to redefine its infrastructure landscape, driven by a keen focus on sustainability and efficiency. At the heart of this transformative endeavor lies a series of projects that underscore the city’s commitment to progressive environmental stewardship and highlight its innovative approach to civic development.

Bosanic shares insights into a groundbreaking $33 million initiative to revamp Greenville’s wastewater treatment capabilities. “We are in the second phase of a four-phase project…using a new technology that is much more efficient and footprint friendly,” he states, underlining the project’s significance as a pioneer in Michigan. This innovative technology promises enhanced efficiency and a reduced spatial footprint, setting a new benchmark for wastewater treatment operations.

The wastewater treatment project is not the city’s only leap toward infrastructural modernization. Bosanic also illuminates upgrades to Greenville’s water system, emphasizing its unique reliance on a well field that necessitates minimal treatment. “Our water is so good that we don’t have to treat it. We pump it into the system,” he remarks, highlighting the exceptional quality of Greenville’s water supply that requires only chlorination, a step taken more out of statutory compliance than necessity.

As the wastewater treatment expansion progresses, Bosanic anticipates its completion by the end of 2025, envisioning a significant enhancement in the city’s capacity to serve its residents. “At the end of 2025, we will have completed that project. And that will enable us to double our capacity for our city essentially,” he notes, reflecting on Greenville’s growth and the crucial role of this project in accommodating future expansion.


Cultivating Community and Growth

In the wake of the global pandemic, Greenville took innovative steps to foster community engagement and support local businesses, creating a vibrant social district. This initiative, born out of necessity during COVID-19 restrictions, has since evolved into a permanent feature of the city’s downtown area, contributing to Greenville’s dynamic social and economic fabric.

Assistant City Manager Heather Feazel discusses Greenville’s social district’s inception and enduring impact. “During Covid, we developed the social district… It essentially allows people to stillget out and have a drink and be able to walk around,” she explains. The initiative, initially a response to pandemic-related restrictions, has continued to thrive, bolstering local businesses and enhancing the downtown social scene. Feazel underscores the district’s success, “Even though Covid is pretty much past us… we have left our social district in place,” acknowledging the lasting benefits to businesses and residents.

Turning to housing, Bosanic provides an update on Greenville’s development trajectory, which aligns with the city’s strategy for growth. “We are experiencing a lot of… new property into the city, served it with infrastructure, making it appealing to developers,” he states. This appeal has led to a surge in housing projects, from apartment units to single-family homes, with plans for further expansion. “We have added hundreds of units… and we are in the process of approving, actually hundreds more,” Bosanic reveals, projecting a population increase of 20 to 25% in the near future.

Greenville: A Destination for Recreation and Community

Greenville, Michigan, regals both residents and newcomers, drawn by its rich diversity of natural beauty, recreational amenities, and a unique sense of place. Bosanic illuminates what makes Greenville an attractive destination.

“We’re blessed with certain physical amenities…such as the three lakes and the river in the city,” he notes, highlighting the natural assets that provide a backdrop for the city’s lifestyle. The Fred Meijer Flat River Trail, a purpose-built pedestrian path that encircles the town, is a testament to Greenville’s dedication to accessible outdoor recreation. This trail connects various city parks and neighborhoods and is also part of a more extensive network, linking Greenville to other communities through the Fred Meijer trails.

Introducing a pedestrian traffic circle where these trails converge represents an innovative approach to urban planning and recreational design. “We’re building one for pedestrian traffic because all three of those trails converge at one point,” Bosanic shares, detailing plans for a feature that honors the legacy of Fred Meijer, whose familial roots and entrepreneurial spirit are deeply entwined with Greenville’s history.

The narrative of Hendrik Meijer’s transformation from barber to grocer, eventually founding a retail empire, is a poignant part of Greenville’s heritage. “Hendrik Meijer was a barber, and he switched to being a grocer. And then, it manifested from there,” Bosanic recounts. This legacy is further enriched by Fred Meijer’s contributions to the family business and the community’s recreational landscape through his passion for pedestrian trails. These amenities highlight the city’s ongoing efforts to create engaging and inclusive spaces for leisure and community interaction, cementing Greenville’s reputation as a desirable place to live and visit.

Collaborative Efforts Enhancing Greenville’s Growth

In Greenville, the synergy between local government, business chambers, economic development entities, and corporate partners is pivotal in catalyzing community development and economic expansion. This collaborative ethos amplifies Greenville’s appeal as a business-friendly community and underscores the city’s commitment to nurturing a supportive ecosystem for existing and prospective businesses.

Bosanic acknowledges the instrumental relationships that fuel Greenville’s continued prosperity. “We have an excellent relationship with the Greenville Chamber of Commerce,” he begins, emphasizing the close ties with local business leaders. The collaboration extends beyond city limits to include the Right Place Inc., a Grand Rapids-based economic development organization, illustrating Greenville’s strategic approach to regional partnership.

Moreover, Bosanic highlights the crucial role of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in supporting significant projects within the city. “Especially with the bigger projects, we collaborate,” he states, citing the Morrison expansion as a prime example of what can be achieved when multiple organizations unite towards a common goal. According to Bosanic, these partnerships are fundamental to Greenville’s ability to attract and retain businesses, driving both local and regional economic agendas forward.


Accelerating Development Through Strategic Initiatives

Greenville stands on the cusp of transformative growth, propelled by strategic development initiatives to enhance its infrastructure, leverage technology, and revitalize critical areas within the city. The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) ‘s concerted efforts and the city’s pursuit of Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) certification underscore Greenville’s proactive approach to fostering an environment ripe for economic development and community engagement.

Feazel outlines the DDA’s recent accomplishments and plans, emphasizing the completion of significant projects to improve the downtown experience. “We started working on technology enhancements downtown… installing fiber network through the downtown area,” she states, highlighting the city’s commitment to modernizing its infrastructure. This technological upgrade facilitates the installation of security cameras, a speaker system for events, and public Wi-Fi, enhancing safety, communication, and connectivity.

Moreover, the renovation of nine parking lots and the acquisition of additional lots for parking expansion reflects Greenville’s strategic efforts to accommodate current and future demands. “We have completely renovated all of them… and at the same time, we then bought two more lots that we are going to turn into parking,” Feazel shares, illustrating the DDA’s comprehensive approach to downtown revitalization.

Feazel also talks about the city’s pursuit of RRC certification, a rigorous process that positions Greenville to capitalize on enhanced support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). “To be RRC certified, you must go through an assessment and meet all the best practices… We’ve been doing this for seven years trying to get certified,” she explains. This certification attests to Greenville’s adherence to high standards in community and economic development and unlocks additional resources for priority redevelopment sites.

Greenville: A Community for All Seasons

In Greenville, Michigan, the changing seasons bring a tapestry of experiences, underscoring the city’s vibrant community life and appeal as a destination that transcends the typical urban-rural divide. Mayor Scoby’s insights into the city’s seasonal dynamism and the collective efforts to foster a sense of belonging among its residents reveal a community during transformative growth.

“We’re definitely a summer town, but we’re also a winter town,” he asserts, pointing out the city’s dual identity that attracts visitors and retains residents across all seasons. In the summer months, events like the “Party on Lafayette,” a festivity marked by pizza contests, hot rods, and a variety of vendors, bring the community together in celebration of Greenville’s local culture and spirit.

The mayor reflects on the growing community cohesion and pride, “In the last two years, we’ve seen a lot more of the community come together.” This sentiment is more than just about seasonal activities; it’s a testament to Greenville’s evolving identity as a “small, big town” where the appeal of extensive city amenities meets the charm of small-town living. The shift in consumer behavior, with more residents choosing to shop locally rather than travel to nearby Grand Rapids, exemplifies the success of Greenville’s efforts to enhance its commercial and recreational offerings.

As Greenville continues to evolve, the blend of seasonal festivities, enhanced local amenities, strategic economic development, and a booming housing market paints a picture of a city on the rise. This combination of factors draws more people to Greenville, enriches its community fabric, and positions it as a vibrant place to live, work, and play throughout the year.


Greenville, Michigan

What: A vibrant and growing community known for its unique mix of seasonal attractions, strategic economic development, and community-focused initiatives.

Where: Michigan



Greenville Cabinet –

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