Economic Development Manager

Job Title
Economic Development Manager
Grand Rapids,  MI
Other Location

The mission of Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. is to accelerate Downtown GR’s transition to a best-in-class American city. While a small, yet mighty organization, our growing team works hard with a wide array of community partners to build an increasingly vibrant downtown with great recreational experiences, a high quality of life for people from all walks of life and a strong inclusive economy. You may be familiar with some of our work:

  • The Van Andel Arena, Downtown Market and DeVos Place Convention Center – We helped build the facilities and accelerate the revitalization of Downtown.
  • Movies on Monroe? Yep. That’s us. We organized 40+ events in 2017 and MOM is the premier outdoor film series in west Michigan.
  • GR Forward – DGRI and partners led the development of this community plan and investment strategy to transform the Grand River into a distinct asset and guide the next generation of growth in Downtown Grand Rapids. Now we’re busy making the vision a reality with the Grand River rapid restoration and Calder Plaza revitalization projects on the horizon.

With all of these exciting achievements and even more impactful projects on the horizon, DGRI is in search of an Economic Development Manager to manage and facilitate the growth and vitality of the Downtown Grand Rapids economy. Reporting to the CEO, the Economic Development Manager will build relationships and strategic alliances in our vibrant downtown while growing our economic development tools and approaches to support new initiatives.

Our ideal candidate will:

  • Deeply understand the GR Forward plan to guide the next generation of growth in Downtown Grand Rapids.
  • Spearhead the renewal of the Downtown Improvement District economic development tool.
  • Update and manage the Downtown incentive tools to ensure DGRI resources are achieving community goals.
  • Collaborate with community partners and stakeholders to develop and advance Downtown retail and office tenant retention, recruitment and expansion strategies.
  • Work with the Chief Outcomes Officer, the DGRI communications team and key partners to develop printed and digital assets promoting Downtown’s economic profile.
  • Organize regular stakeholder gatherings to nurture a collaborative atmosphere for Downtown’s commercial/economic health.
  • Audit existing databases and systems for managing Downtown property and stakeholder information.
  • Develop and drive a model for tracking and/or generating primary Downtown economic development and real estate data. We’re looking for someone who can prioritize a working knowledge of both the buildings in Downtown as well as the people who occupy them.
  • Coordinate with DGRI demographic researcher(s) to advance market research activities including collection of market data, evaluating and building upon key databases and responding to research questions that support the overall economic development effort. 
  • Provide strategic insight, analysis and background to support and advance DGRI’s annual plan for action.

Our ideal candidate will have these credentials:

  • Bachelor's degree in Economics, Public Policy, Research Analysis, Business Administration, or related field.
  • Minimum Five (5) years of experience of increasing responsibility  in at least one of the following areas:
    • Economic / Community Development
    • Research/ Analysis/ Database Management
  • Strong experience managing Business Improvement Districts.
  • Professional demeanor coupled with excellent interpersonal skills to perform positive interaction with public, private and non-profit partners.
  • Demonstrated passion for city development and downtown revitalization.
  • Exemplary relationship-building skills to foster trust and collaborate with community members, public agencies and private organizations to catalyze development and investment in Downtown Grand Rapids.
  • Must be highly attentive to detail, work with a strong emphasis on accuracy and quick turn-around, and must be flexible and adaptable.

Here’s what we’re offering the right candidate:

  • An opportunity to develop things that matter in our city! You’ll have exposure to exciting events, projects and developments and help to re-define our skyline.
  • A fun and flexible culture. Our diverse team works hard and has a good time doing it.
  • Competitive hourly wage
  • Medical & dental Insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Short & long term disability insurance
  • 401(k) retirement plan with company match
  • Gym membership discounts and other wellness initiatives
  • Paid Time Off
  • Opportunities to grow and develop your career

To read more about the work we’re doing visit us at  Please, no calls or emails.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Option 2: Create a New Profile