Please note that as of the May 7, 2005 MBEI Board of Directors Meeting, the Metro Center Steering Committee was directed by the Board to defer contacting Mr. Donald Trump and other world-class developers until the Committee has been reconstituted as the Committee for the Planning of a World-Class Downtown. It is their concern that the connection to Trump and the others not be used until the new Committee completes its next development concept - one that will not be so far down the process timeline of the City like the current Fulton/Division project is.
Below please find all of the final METROPOLITAN CENTER materials that were presented to Mayor George Heartwell on May 13, 2005 including the FINAL REPORT text, the Press Release text and the Concept Renderings:
A DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT CONCEPT
AND INTELLECTUAL GIFT
FOR THE CITY OF GRAND RAPIDS
Presented this 13th Day of May, 2005
to the Honorable George K. Heartwell - Mayor, City of Grand Rapids MI
Document prepared by:
MBEI Data Command
for MBEI Metropolitan Center Steering Committee
The President of Michigan Black Expo, Inc. (MBEI) and members of the UrbanPlanet-Grand Rapids internet forum were expressing recently how they were disenchanted by the relative lack of vision (and height) in all of the proposals that were submitted for the SW corner of the region’s Metropolitan Center (i.e. Metro Center designates the intersection of Division Avenue and Fulton Street which exists as coordinates 0,0,0,0 in the metro area's NW, NE, SW, SE cartesian street grid and address system, METRO GR GROUND ZERO). The President immediately created an Ad Hoc Steering Committee of MBEI for interested members of the UrbanPlanet Grand Rapids forum to join and come together around a mixed use proposal created by MBEI Intellectual Capital called "Metropolitan Center”. Within this committee the members were empowered to review the concept, tweek it and prepare it for a presentation in late April/mid May to Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell and world-class national developers in efforts to both show what a large cross-section of diverse Grand Rapids citizens want for their city as well as to put forth best-case scenario development alternatives as sparks to engage a world-class future for downtown Grand Rapids.
It is the intent of all involved in this project that the enclosed Metropolitan Center concept be presented now as an intellectual gift from MBEI and UrbanPlanet Grand Rapids to Mayor George Heartwell, the Grand Rapids Planning Department and the Grand Rapids City Commission. It is our further hope that this concept will be shared with the organization that is ultimately chosen to develop the Southwest corner of the Division Avenue and Fulton Street intersection in an effort to convince them to include some of the grand-scale components conceived within the Metro Center concept so as to better acknowledge the pivotal and central location of the site and to ensure that this location is appropriately super-regional in its drawing power (i.e. - drawing from the one hour drive radius around the site that includes all of Metro Grand Rapids’ Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa and Allegan counties as well as Greater Lansing, Kalamazoo and Battle Creek <a trade area of over 2 million people>).
In concordance, it is also our intent to grow beyond the scope of the Metro Center concept and become a new collaboration between MBEI and UrbanPlanet-Grand Rapids forum members and other interested parties to become “The Committee for the Planning of a World Class Downtown”. This evolution of the MBEI Metro Center Steering Committee will identify other sites in downtown Grand Rapids that are ripe for super-regional development, create well-thoughout development concepts for them and ultimately conjoin them with efforts to 1) make world-class national developers aware of the economic environment and strengths of Metro Grand Rapids (i.e. collaborate with Grand Rapids City Staff to prepare and forward a broad overview of what is being planned on downtown-, city- and overall metro-scales for the immediate future and what has been built in the past decade) and 2) to make these developers aware of the concepts created by this new committee and align them with the appropriate parties to actually develop these concepts and engage the next level of downtown Grand Rapids’ development.
HISTORIC CIRCUMSTANCES ARE ALLIGNING IN THE FAVOR OF DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS it would seem. Let's see how high toward them we can go . . . .
METROPOLITAN CENTER CONCEPT DESCRIPTION
This most current iteration of the concept, dubbed Metropolitan Center (to reflect its status as the hub of the metropolitan area and its location at coordinates 0,0,0,0 of the metro area’s NW, NE, SW, SE cartesian street grid), is a 33-story mixed-use public/private development that was originally conceptualized by the Intellectual Capital component of Michigan Black Expo, Inc. (MBEI), revised by the MBEI Metropolitan Center Steering Committee and presented currently as a conceptual gift for the inspiration of a more world-class icon structure for downtown Grand Rapids at the former City Centre parking ramp site. This dynamic structure would 1) address downtown Grand Rapids’ need and wish to expand its inventory of additional residential units, 2) address a portion of the new DeVos Place’s need for 1,000 new downtown hotel rooms, 3) address the recently available opportunity to capitalize on GR’s new status as an “under-upscaled” destination retail market, 4) maximize the opportunity to be a major impetus to additional major development being accelerated along South Division Avenue (this proposal’s spark for providing a constant throng of diverse people to support the center’s mix of traditional and upscale retail) and 5) address downtown’s need for a modest inventory of high-profile eastbank Class-A office space in the near future.
Metropolitan Center, with an architectural style to compliment the surrounding traditional Heartside architecture and to emulate and be a counterweight to Monroe Center’s McKay Tower, would contain 1) a seven-level underground parking ramp (from seven levels below ground to one level below ground at South Division), 2) “The Rapid Metro Center Station” - a mass-transit super stop and access node for ITP transit routes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 14 & 15 (integrated into underground parking structure), 3) “The Atrium Collection at Metropolitan Center” (25-50 shops on Levels 1-3, a food-court and entertainment center with a 5-10 screen movie theatre on Level 4, professional office space on Levels 5-9, a full-service Spa on Level 8 and the Level 9 “Skylobby” at the top of the Atrium housing the lobbies for a 100-room Boutique Hotel and housing complex as well as the indoor/outdoor pool deck for the complex, 4) the Boutique Hotel itself and its conjoined destination restaurant on levels 10-19 and 5) the Apartments and Condominiums on Levels 20-33 with a Residential Private Club & Terrace on Level 23.
· Building would be a destination directly accessible by the majority of ITP transit routes.
· Creates a more dramatic focal point for the literal center of the Metro Area/West Michigan.
· Provides South Downtown/Heartside area with retail/entertainment focal point and stabilizing hotel, housing, office and entertainment uses.
· Encourages shopping and entertainment use in the re-emerging Hearside area since transit arrivals and departures would be integrated into the parking structure below the shopping/entertainment atrium (similar to Eaton Centre in Toronto ON, Canada) and the center would have a captive audience of hotel guests, office workers and residents.
· Encourages further development in the Heartside and Hillside Districts and re-establishes the South Division corridor as a desireable and emerging business, retail, residential and entertainment address.
MBEI Metropolitan Center Steering Committee Constituency:
Redesign & Conceptualization Charrette
Rudolph R. Treece III
Josh Vanden Broek
Steering Committee of the Whole
Paul A. Brouwers -Haworth, Inc., Systems Engineer
Eric Carter -K.E.Y.S. Media Group, President; K.E.Y.S. Corp., Vice President;
Joe Force -Global Futures & Forex, Ltd.
Tim Gort -Global Futures & Forex, Ltd.
Brian Helder -Blodgett Construction
Jon Ippel -University of Michigan, Masters of Urban Planning Candidate
David Karle -University of Michigan
Adam Loveless -Smiths Aerospace
Robert B. McCarty -The Image Shoppe
John Roche -University of Michigan, Architecture Undergraduate
Michael Rodriguez -Grand Rapids Christian High School
Emily Schemper -University of Michigan, Masters of Urban Planning Candidate
Rudolph R. Treece III -Michigan Black Expo, Inc., President
Josh Vanden Broek -Calvin Christian High School
PRESS RELEASE TEXT
AdHoc Steering Committee presents Vision
for ‘Metropolitan Center’ to the City of Grand Rapids
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (May 13, 2005)—A newly formed adhoc group of Michigan Back Expo. Inc., called the Metropolitan Center Steering Committee, presented an intellectual gift to the city of Grand Rapids to encourage developers to consider building a more world-class structure at the former City Centre parking ramp site at the corner of Division Avenue and Fulton Street.
The intellectual gift comprises a concept known as Metropolitan Center, a 33-story, mixed-use, public/private development – which was originally conceptualized by MBEI Intellectual Capital, and then revised by the adhoc Metro Center steering committee.
Members of the committee were brought together through an Internet site called Urban Planet (www.urbanplanet.org), an international chat forum dedicated to people interested in urban planning and city development.
“The steering committee was organized after I realized that there were like-minded individuals of many diverse cultures that wanted to push the boundaries of conventional thinking,” said Rudolph Treece, president, MBEI and head of the steering committee.
The group united under the common thought that all of the proposals submitted for the SW corner of the region’s Metropolitan Center lacked world-class vision (and height). The term Metropolitan Center designates the intersection of Division and Fulton Street existing at coordinates 0,0,0,0 in the metro area’s NW, NE, SW, SE Cartesian street grid and address system – Metro G.R. Ground Zero.
“In order to be a world-class city, the people of Grand Rapids need to start thinking bigger in order to truly become the world-class city that many of us believe it can be.” said Treece.
The information compiled by the group was submitted to Mayor George Heartwell on May 13, 2005 and includes the
Metropolitan Center concept/description, the advantages of such a structure and architectural renderings (see attached
This intellectual gift is the first in a series of projects that will be released by the steering committee – to be renamed “Committee for the Planning of a World-class Downtown” – involving high-design, innovative use of space as well as
introducing developers inside and outside of Grand Rapids to the current assets and development potentials existing in the city.
METROPOLITAN CENTER RENDERINGS:
Edited by metrogrkid, 16 May 2005 - 07:09 PM.