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MORTON HOUSE

137 posts in this topic

Posted

According to this news story on channel 17, all of the tenants of the Morton House will be forced to move. Anybody have any idea what the plans are, if any, for this once long ago high-end hotel?

FOX 17 - Morton House

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Posted

That is a LOT of space and will be a lot of lost residents, too. Hopefully it doesn't sit empty for long.

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Posted

This could be very very good or very very bad. Low income housing is necessary, but Monroe Center really isn't the right place for a Federall-subsidized 100% low income facility. Hopefully the owners put some money into the place and charge market rent so that a nice mix of tenants moves in. They may even be able to get some Low Income Housing Tax Credits for the renovation if they reserve some of the units for low income. Any scenario like that would be a win for MC as Morton House becomes a housing option for a broader swath of the population.

Of course, there is a also the potential for disaster. If the current owners don't have the money to put into the building or they sell it to someone who doesn't care about it, it end up going completely dark, which would create a huge black hole right in the center of downtown.

I suspect the most likely scenario is the CWD or Locus snatch it up cheap, do some minor (first floor, please!) renovations and start renting it at a level slightly below their current properties to the south.

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Posted

Of course, there is a also the potential for disaster. If the current owners don't have the money to put into the building or they sell it to someone who doesn't care about it, it end up going completely dark, which would create a huge black hole right in the center of downtown.

For all practical purposes, it already is a giant black hole. There is no street front activity to speak of, that I'm aware of. Whether tenants are in the upper floors or not doesn't make much of a difference as far as "black hole" status. Would the Keeler Building be any less a black hole if people live on the top floors but the first floor remained as is? Not really, as far as I'm concerned... Now, if this thing has all the windows boarded up, that's another story. :)

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Posted

.

It will need to be gutted and completely remodeled. The cost would be huge. Parking would be a problem for any Tennant.

~John

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Posted (edited)

Parking could be solved by building a ramp on the surface lot/underground parking area between Division and Ionia. The Ionia/ Pearl ramp is mostly card access. The public spaces are always full. Otherwise, it's about a block away from two other ramps to the south.

I think someone will snatch it up quick, you'd be hard pressed to find a better location in the core.It's about as close to the middle of everything as we have in town. The only problems are cost and the stigma of mold and bugs. The FOX17 reports last fall were horrifying. Some might be apprehensive even after it's thoroughly cleand and remodeled.

Wasn't a club going to relocate to the ground floor about two years ago? I seem to remember permits on the door the last time I went by.

Edited by droonus2000

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Posted

isnt Zondervan looking for a new headquarters....

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Posted

That would truly be Ironic as the owner of Diversions purchased the ground floor bar space and intends on moving the bar there.

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Posted

Parking could be solved by building a ramp on the surface lot/underground parking area between Division and Ionia. The Ionia/ Pearl ramp is mostly card access. The public spaces are always full. Otherwise, it's about a block away from two other ramps to the south.

I think someone will snatch it up quick, you'd be hard pressed to find a better location in the core.It's about as close to the middle of everything as we have in town. The only problems are cost and the stigma of mold and bugs. The FOX17 reports last fall were horrifying. Some might be apprehensive even after it's thoroughly cleand and remodeled.

Wasn't a club going to relocate to the ground floor about two years ago? I seem to remember permits on the door the last time I went by.

I've heard also that the ceilings are pretty low on every floor. You'd almost have to look at turning every unit (if you went condo) into two-story loft style units.

I can't see this becoming commercial space, again due to the low floor to ceiling heights.

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Posted

I've heard also that the ceilings are pretty low on every floor. You'd almost have to look at turning every unit (if you went condo) into two-story loft style units.

I can't see this becoming commercial space, again due to the low floor to ceiling heights.

Not necessarily, The Fitzgerald managed with low floor to ceilings. This caused some difficulty in routing the duct for air conditioning as we tried to keep the finish floor to finish ceiling as high as possible. In the Fitz's case the structure was cast-in-place reinforced concrete floors with cast-in-place reinforced concrete beams & columns. The concrete beams reduced the clearance even more wherever a duct had to cross under one. For the most part we just tried to keep the major trunk lines above the ceilings in closets, bathrooms, etc.. You just have to keep in mind how you will route the duct when designing the units. And you really only need to design one floor, the other floors can be copies.

I've never been inside the Morton house but the floor to floor appears to be similar to the Fitz. I don't know what kind of structure it uses. How thick the floors are? Interior bearing walls? But I think it's doable. The big issue as has been said is going to be parking.

Does Kendall need a dorm? Students don't need cars right?

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Posted

Not necessarily, The Fitzgerald managed with low floor to ceilings. This caused some difficulty in routing the duct for air conditioning as we tried to keep the finish floor to finish ceiling as high as possible. In the Fitz's case the structure was cast-in-place reinforced concrete floors with cast-in-place reinforced concrete beams & columns. The concrete beams reduced the clearance even more wherever a duct had to cross under one. For the most part we just tried to keep the major trunk lines above the ceilings in closets, bathrooms, etc.. You just have to keep in mind how you will route the duct when designing the units. And you really only need to design one floor, the other floors can be copies.

I've never been inside the Morton house but the floor to floor appears to be similar to the Fitz. I don't know what kind of structure it uses. How thick the floors are? Interior bearing walls? But I think it's doable. The big issue as has been said is going to be parking.

Does Kendall need a dorm? Students don't need cars right?

I've "heard" they may not even be 8', but I have not been in it either. That was from a local developer who was looking at it a couple of years ago.

I've been in a couple of the Fitz units, and I'd swear they were 9' ceilings or higher. No?

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Posted

Not necessarily, The Fitzgerald managed with low floor to ceilings. This caused some difficulty in routing the duct for air conditioning as we tried to keep the finish floor to finish ceiling as high as possible. In the Fitz's case the structure was cast-in-place reinforced concrete floors with cast-in-place reinforced concrete beams & columns. The concrete beams reduced the clearance even more wherever a duct had to cross under one. For the most part we just tried to keep the major trunk lines above the ceilings in closets, bathrooms, etc.. You just have to keep in mind how you will route the duct when designing the units. And you really only need to design one floor, the other floors can be copies.

I've never been inside the Morton house but the floor to floor appears to be similar to the Fitz. I don't know what kind of structure it uses. How thick the floors are? Interior bearing walls? But I think it's doable. The big issue as has been said is going to be parking.

Does Kendall need a dorm? Students don't need cars right?

A dorm for Kendall is a great idea!

~John

.

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Posted

For all practical purposes, it already is a giant black hole. There is no street front activity to speak of, that I'm aware of. Whether tenants are in the upper floors or not doesn't make much of a difference as far as "black hole" status. Would the Keeler Building be any less a black hole if people live on the top floors but the first floor remained as is? Not really, as far as I'm concerned... Now, if this thing has all the windows boarded up, that's another story. :)

I disagree. A building with tenants (residential or commercial) = people who interact with the rest of the city. A building without tenants, even well maintained, and even with first floor tenants, isn't much better than any empty lot for adding vitality to the city.

For an example, watch what happens when the Broderick Tower renovations in Detroit are completed. That building has generally had first floor tenants with the rest vacant for about 30 years, and doesn't look particularly blighted (at least from a distance), but there's going to be a huge difference is the number of people out and about in the Grand Circus area once the apartment dwellers move in.

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Posted

Is equating something to the Fitzgerald a good thing? Has that building finally sold all of its units? I saw that Kendall's size has tripled since its association with Ferris 10 years ago. I agree that student apartments would be great and would be a market willing to put up with lower ceilings.

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Posted

I disagree. A building with tenants (residential or commercial) = people who interact with the rest of the city.

Oh they interact alright. Buddy, can you spare a dime?

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Posted (edited)

The only problems are cost and the stigma of mold and bugs. The FOX17 reports last fall were horrifying. Some might be apprehensive even after it's thoroughly cleand and remodeled.

Don't be so sure...

Crystal Hotel

This was perhaps the most notorious gay bathhouse north of San Francisco for many, many years. Casting aside any simplistic generalizations of the lifestyle, there was some honest to goodness, world-class hedonistic behavior going on there for a good long time. Issues of Mycology and Entomology were the least of this properties problems:

From the Seedy History Files: [EDIT: Fairly NSFW]

However from all accounts, the property appear to be one of the hottest places to stay in the city.

PDX Busines Journal

Blogtown

Never underestimate the power of a good idea, a good development team and a good contractor.

Edited by Kib

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Posted

Don't be so sure...

Crystal Hotel

This was perhaps the most notorious gay bathhouse north of San Francisco for many, many years. Casting aside any simplistic generalizations of the lifestyle, there was some honest to goodness, world-class hedonistic behavior going on there for a good long time. Issues of Mycology and Entomology were the least of this properties problems:

From the Seedy History Files: [EDIT: Fairly NSFW]

However from all accounts, the property appear to be one of the hottest places to stay in the city.

PDX Busines Journal

Blogtown

Never underestimate the power of a good idea, a good development team and a good contractor.

Great point Kib. I was eating across the street from that McMenamin's just about a month ago. Its in a great part of downtown PDX, I think the Morton House is in just a great spot if not better in downtown GR. I agree, a good idea can make the Morton House a success. Maybe even a simple sidewalk redo - its pretty eh in that area.

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Posted

Is the eponymous party store included in the package? (please please please...)

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Posted

I was eating across the street from that McMenamin's just about a month ago.

Hard to go wrong with a meal at Jake's, huh?

What I though was brilliant about this project was the tie-in with the concert hall. Granted, their both under the same corporate umbrella, but that's one thing I guess I don't see a lot around here are tie-in's and synergies baked in the cake of doing a project. Everyone's acting as a freelancer, if there's any complimentary development, it seems to occur by happenstance.

Case in point, while there's been parallel development up where all the hospitals are, I'm really surprised restaurants, lodging and all the other things that go along with having hundreds of workers and thousands of visitors gravitate to a particular district not being brought into the fold early on and integral to the whole. Seems odd.

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Posted

I've "heard" they may not even be 8', but I have not been in it either. That was from a local developer who was looking at it a couple of years ago.

I've been in a couple of the Fitz units, and I'd swear they were 9' ceilings or higher. No?

Those heights look about right. I counted either 39 or 40 bricks per floor. Assuming standard bricks (3 bricks per 8 inches), the floor to floor heights would be only 8'-10", meaning probably a maximum ceiling height of 8'-0". Even if Morton House uses less common 3 inch tall bricks, the floor to floor height can still be no more than 10'-0" high with roughly 9'-0" ceiling heights. It's not impossible to renovate buildings like this by any means, but they are harder to market, and may require more floor area to be sacrificed for mechanical systems (since they can't run through the ceiling).

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Posted

I suspect the most likely scenario is the CWD or Locus snatch it up cheap, do some minor (first floor, please!) renovations and start renting it at a level slightly below their current properties to the south.

I heard a rumor yesterday it might be the City Flats owners.

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Posted

I heard a rumor yesterday it might be the City Flats owners.

My wife heard the same thing second hand today. Me repeating it I guess makes this third hand.

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Posted (edited)

Case in point, while there's been parallel development up where all the hospitals are, I'm really surprised restaurants, lodging and all the other things that go along with having hundreds of workers and thousands of visitors gravitate to a particular district not being brought into the fold early on and integral to the whole. Seems odd.

There's nowhere to put any of that. You've got an untouchable historic district immediately to the south, and a giant hospital that snatched up every last remaining available piece of land. They bought out the Red Geranium just to have it when they didn't even have a use for it. The whole mess was designed to be a giant, self-contained facility. And so it is.

Edited by x99

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Posted

There's nowhere to put any of that. You've got an untouchable historic district immediately to the south, and a giant hospital that snatched up every last remaining available piece of land. They bought out the Red Geranium just to have it when they didn't even have a use for it. The whole mess was designed to be a giant, self-contained facility. And so it is.

There needs to be a demand for restaurants and lodging for those things to be built. There's plenty of lodging in town, check the occupancy rates. Hospital staff don't go out for lunch like businessmen. The hospitals food service do a pretty good job for those that that opt not to brown bag. As someone who spent quite a bit of time at both Blodgett & Butterworth with a seriously ill elderly parent, the last thing on my mine was going out to eat. My needs were taken care of very well by the hospital food service. They have quiet areas where you can eat at the cafeteria, or if you want you can take it to the room etc.

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