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METROPOLITAN CENTER:Fulton/Division SW Corner Site

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Posted

WOW!! I am shaking because of the HUGE opportunity that has fallen in the lap of those here at UrbanPlanet-Grand Rapids. First off, let me say that I am completely convinced that this forum and its membership are the ONLY one's in the Grand Rapids Metropolitan area that actually have the vision to take this region - and most importantly the super-regional downtown at its center - to the level of truly world-class cities. That is why I am sharing this with all of you (AND PLEASE KNOW THAT ALL OF YOU HAVE BEEN A GODSEND TO ME IN THAT YOU ALL SHARE AND BOLSTER MY PASSION FOR THE EVOLUTION OF OUR BELOVED CITY AND METRO AREA <i.e. - the Grand Rapids/Muskegon/Holland Metro Triplex>).

HERE WE GO: This morning the President of Michigan Black Expo, Inc. (MBEI) had a conversation with one of the staff of the Planning Department for the City of Grand Rapids. The President was expressing how he was disenchanted by the relative lack of vision (and height) in all of the proposals that were submitted for the SW corner of Metropolitan Center (i.e. - Metro Center designates the intersection of Division 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 asked said staffer what would be the only way for a much more world-class proposal to circumvent the propriety of respecting the protocal of "not allowing any more proposals to be submitted after the March 5, 2005 deadline". The staffer, after giving the President the scripted "politically-correct" answer about following procedural protocals, added in a hushed tone that if a sufficiently world-class proposal were submitted by the end of May, 2005, that the City Commission could be courted to reject the less-than-world-class proposals already submitted in favor of accepting the world-class alternative - SAID: PROVE A BETTER CASE OR BE QUIET.

With that conversation concluded, the President followed up with several well-connected members of the GR business community he had been in conversations with just days before about this same issue. With their commitments for involvement secured, the President immediately created an Ad Hoc Steering Committee of MBEI for interested members of the UrbanPlanet-Grand Rapids forums to come together around the mixed-use proposal created by MBEI called "Metropolitan Center" (see UrbanPlanet-Grand Rapids forum that is taking a poll about the current Fulton/Division proposals) so that they can see it, tweek it and prepare it for a presentation in late April/early May to DONALD TRUMP himself (as an intellectual gift from MBEI and UrbanPlanet-Grand Rapids).

With the access that MBEI has to Trump through one of our aforementioned associates connected through the Trump Tower Chicago project, it is our intent to 1) make Trump aware of the economic environment and strengths of Metro GR (i.e. prepare a broad overview of what is being planned for the immediate future and what has been built in the past decade) and 2) make Trump aware of the opportunities for him to come in to downtown GR with his world-class mindset and engage the next level of downtown GR's development (and even inspire some competition between himself and the DeVoses <wink>).

For all of those here at UrbanPlanet-Grand Rapids that have some courage, vision and belief that with our collective will WE CAN CREATE THE WORLD-CLASS GR WE YEARN FOR, then please contact MBEI at [email protected] and submit your name and contact information so that we may convene a planning charrette for this opportunity in the next 14 days at a site to be announced in downtown Grand Rapids. THE PLANETS ARE ALLIGNING IN OUR FAVOR it would seem. Let's see how high toward them we can go . . . .

Metrogrkid

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Posted

hmmm I wish we knew an architect... I wonder if Stephen Fry would be interested in joining this project.

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Posted

that is very, very impressive.

I'm hoping donald likes bookstores!

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Posted

As an aside, Metrokid, do you know of any investment that Magic Johnson has in Michigan? Given that he is from the State, he might be willing to invest in GR. Maybe he can open up a Majic Johnson theater somewhere in the core to help revitalize the cores entertainment options.

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Posted

As an aside, Metrokid, do you know of any investment that Magic Johnson has in Michigan? Given that he is from the State, he might be willing to invest in GR. Maybe he can open up a Majic Johnson theater somewhere in the core to help revitalize the cores entertainment options.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Fred:

Your read the Metropolitan Center thread. As correct as you are, go on and register over at "[email protected]" so your input can be merged into the final Metro Center concept. You may well be the component of all of this to connect us with Johnson (as stand-offish as he is notwithstanding).

-Metrogrkid

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Posted

hmmm I wish we knew an architect... I wonder if Stephen Fry would be interested in joining this project.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Snoog:

WE DO!! He is a little unassuming Irish guy named TOM DOWLING. He is a member of MBEI's Board of Directors General Assembly as well as the Principal of Design Pinnacle-AIA Architects of downtown Grand Rapids. He is the only local architect capable of highrise designs that don't look like run-of-the-mill GR buildings (like Bridgewater Place). He is capable of Lohan Caprile-esque (referring to the team designing the new Marriott tower) or greater type architecture.

-Metrogrkid

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Posted

I am so inspired...this is like Christmas! :D Godspeed to the MBEI in planning their proposal!

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Posted

I emailed this information to the University of Michigan School of Architecture and Urban Planning to gather support.

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Posted

Snoog:

WE DO!!  He is a little unassuming Irish guy named TOM DOWLING.  He is a member of MBEI's Board of Directors General Assembly as well as the Principal of Design Pinnacle-AIA Architects of downtown Grand Rapids.  He is the only local architect capable of highrise designs that don't look like run-of-the-mill GR buildings (like Bridgewater Place).  He is capable of Lohan Caprile-esque (referring to the team designing the new Marriott tower) or greater type architecture.

-Metrogrkid

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

heh I didnt thin stephen fry's design looked too GR-ish :P (He designed the Lyon @ Ottawa Tower BTW) otherwise good to hear you have one :D

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Posted

I am so inspired...this is like Christmas!    :D    Godspeed to the MBEI in planning their proposal!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I am rooting for the MBEI as well

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Posted

Guys, thank you for all the support but it will mean NOTHING if you ALL don't get involved with the planning charrette MBEI is proposing to take the Metro Center concept to the next level and have a chance of getting it before Donald Trump. Time is ticking . . . . let's do this. Please register for the charrette at "[email protected]". Thanks.

-Metrogrkid

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Posted

Metrogrkid,

This is fantastic. I'm in. Some co-workers are interested as well and I really think we can lend a hand in the marketing / public relations end of things. Very exciting!

Joe

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Posted

Out with the old. In with the new! This has potential for great ideas to flourish while creating an emerging cityscape, one that's well overdue.

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Posted

Could someone explain the Donald Trump connection for me? He doesn't have the best of associations in my mind, primarily being linked with _big_ business and casinos.

Could there be provision in such a plan to ensure there's space for locally owned businesses?

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Posted

:D The growing positive response to the notion of creating a much more dramatic and world-class option for the SW corner of Metropolitan Center is inspiring. I AM COMPLETELY FLOORED AND INSPIRED BY THE PROGRESSIVENESS, FORWARD-THINKING AND SENSE OF BEING URBANELY AWAKE THAT IS BEING RADIATED BY: snoogit; daniel nudnik; GRCentro; grurbanguy; joedowntown; jonnyipps & Freddy C. YOU ALL GET IT!! WOO HOO!! :D:silly::thumbsup:

I look forward to working with you all - THE GENERATION NEXT OF DOWNTOWN GR STEWARDSHIP!

As we say at MBEI, " . . . . onward we go . . . . "

-metrogrkid

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Posted

Hmmmm...and what shall we ever put here? ;)

P1010072.jpg

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Posted

Hmmmm...and what shall we ever put here?  ;)

P1010072.jpg

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Looks ripe for cows, and a petting zoo, lol

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Posted

and someone who might be interested in doing something big and a large impact on GR is Fred Meijer. Hes on his deathbed proactically and his grip on the company is loosening. What a way to insure your company stays in the family then spend your fortune on a building! Plus having the meijer name involved in a retail prject like this would (and should) be would be a boon to the city.

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Posted

I'd say Meijer is very interested in getting is name downtown. He is over-shadowed by DeVos and VanAndel as a philanthropist, but he does put through some big projects like the Meijer Gardens, and most recently, Spectrum's Meijer Heart Center.

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Posted

I'd say Meijer is very interested in getting is name downtown.  He is over-shadowed by DeVos and VanAndel as a philanthropist, but he does put through some big projects like the Meijer Gardens, and most recently, Spectrum's Meijer Heart Center.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This is likely his last hurrah before he kicks the bucket. Heck the guy is doomed to a wheel chair now.

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Posted

Another thing I wish Fred Meijer would do is extend his sculptures to downtown. Meijer Gardens has to be one of Grand Rapids best assets. We are very lucky to have a man like this. I hope Fred Meijer is not on his deathbed, his generosity is great and he is one of the good guys.

Joe

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Posted

Another thing I wish Fred Meijer would do is extend his sculptures to downtown. Meijer Gardens has to be one of Grand Rapids best assets. We are very lucky to have a man like this. I hope Fred Meijer is not on his deathbed, his generosity is great and he is one of the good guys.

Joe

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

it is, but being a former employee of his, I know hes not running the company much anymore. Infact its pretty much his kids who run it now. And lately theres been a lot of "consulting" going on

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Posted

OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT EMAIL FOR

INAUGURAL MBEI METROPOLITAN CENTER STEERING COMMITTEE

& PLANNING CHARRETTE MEETING

TRANSMITTED TO REGISTERED COMMITTEE PARTICIPANTS

DURING NOON HOUR OF April 4, 2005

CHECK YOUR EMAIL BOX IF YOU ARE A REGISTERED COMMITTEE PARTICIPANT

SEE YOU ALL ON APRIL 16!!

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Posted

Hello all!

First, this is completely awesome! I am on board for whatever help that I can provide towards the improvement of this project. Secondly I have some questions.

First, like a previous poster said, is there a real connection with D. Trump? I am having trouble guaging if the names floated about are more hypotheticals or are serious contenders to launch this prime piece of real estate into something much more grand. In my daydreaming I have often thought of trying to lure Trump to GR to really catapult the city to greater things. For the size and economic power of GR its downtown just doenst have that same feel. Using a celebrity name to build a 25 story tower would bring GR to a new level.

Secondly, are there any ideas for this project amongst the forumers? As in height, retail, entertainment? From the previous proposals I really like the fact a bookstore and jazz club would be included. Both markets which are pretty much underserved in GR.

Lastly, thanks for reading my random thoughts and whatnot, and I hope to help in any way possible.

Rock on GR!

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Posted

jdkacz,

You'll have to ask MetroGRKid about the Trump connection (I highly recommend you send your email address to him and attend).

A couple of things I would love to see out of a development:

1. I think RSC & Associates nailed it on the head with the Jazz Club/Bookstore

2. I like the idea of a poolhall. Even better, I would like to see a Dave and Busters / Gameworks / Jillians (which had looked at the downtown market a couple of years ago). This would definitely add to the entertainment district. Also, these places are very family oriented during the day and turn into great bars at night. Perfect for all-day traffic.

3. Starbucks. There is always room for Starbucks ;)

4. Mixed Use. Office, Condos AND Apartments.

5. Retail on the groundfloor is a must.

6. Award winning design. On this corner, the look should be a signature design. Something modern and unlike anything else we have in Grand Rapids.

7. Lighting. I would like to see a building in Grand Rapids light itself up at night. Many buildings do this and it would add a real focal point to the center of the core.

Just a few ideas...

Joe

Hello all!

First, this is completely awesome! I am on board for whatever help that I can provide towards the improvement of this project. Secondly I have some questions.

First, like a previous poster said, is there a real connection with D. Trump? I am having trouble guaging if the names floated about are more hypotheticals or are serious contenders to launch this prime piece of real estate into something much more grand. In my daydreaming I have often thought of trying to lure Trump to GR to really catapult the city to greater things. For the size and economic power of GR its downtown just doenst have that same feel. Using a celebrity name to build a 25 story tower would bring GR to a new level.

Secondly, are there any ideas for this project amongst the forumers? As in height, retail, entertainment? From the previous proposals I really like the fact a bookstore and jazz club would be included. Both markets which are pretty much underserved in GR.

Lastly, thanks for reading my random thoughts and whatnot, and I hope to help in any way possible.

Rock on GR!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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