GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Head to downtown Grand Rapids and there's plenty of hustle and bustle. But ask anyone raised here and you'll hear how different Grand Rapids used to be.
Steve Stoddard says, "It was kind of a dreary place, I think it helped putting the road back through the middle of town again."
Azhar Ismail, a Grand Rapids Resident says, "This was like a dump, for what it is right now, it has really improved."
So what are the top five ways Grand Rapids has changed? First, with more with events like ArtPrize.
Cathy Nichols, a Grand Rapids resident says, "I think more people come downtown for events and the different festivals we have, it brings a lot of diversity, we're moving forward in that direction."
The former director of the Downtown Development Authority says number two on the list is rehabbing the old vacant buildings. In the mid 1990s there were 70 vacant buildings downtown almost all of them are now full.
Jay Fowler, the former director of the Downtown Development Authority says, "All but a handful of those have been rehabed and are fully occupied with offices, condos and apartments."
Third on the list: The Van Andel Arenam which caused development to explode.
Fowler says, "From that project I think there was lots of spin off development on Fulton Street, it changed the character of that whole neighborhood."
Fourth on the list: More housing. There are 2,000 new housing units and more than 3,000 new residents. It's adding more buzz and shopping downtown.
And fifth: Medical mile which has brought jobs and new residents from all over the country.