CK1

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About CK1

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    Whistle-Stop
  1. CK1

    GVSU Downtown Development

    Is that a nice, tall, impenetrable cement wall blocking off the riverfront from the rest of the property?
  2. CK1

    Redevelopment along 28th Street

    Unfortunately that is a very common misconception that I myself held for many years. Once I needed to furnish a house, however, I compared furniture prices at Talsma (local) with Art Van, and TV / stereo prices at Best Buy / Circuit City with Teermans (local place in downtown Holland). While the sticker price was almost always lower at the national places, but at the end of the day I never paid a penny more when I made all my purchases at the local places. Reason being is that most local places sticker-price by the manufacturers' suggested retail prices, whereas national stores develop their own pricing models (typically lower than MSRP). However, when I brought in an advertised price to the local shops, they always matched the price. The best part of it is that whenever I have a problem with anything I have purchased (doesn't matter where you buy it...electronics / appliances inevitably seem to go on the fritz), the local shops have bent over backwards to make the situation right for me. That all being said, if a matching price or general price negotiation is not done with the local shop, you are right, you'll likely be paying a higher sticker price.
  3. CK1

    Redevelopment along 28th Street

    I agree...these days most (not all, but definitely most) chain stores require customers to be at least somewhat savvy in having a good idea of what they want prior to entering the door. If not, the customer is likely to buy something that is in the best interest of the store, not the customer (unneeded upgrades, sizes, accessories, specifications, etc.) Fortunately, Main Street America is not completely dead, so for those that want to actually get great customer service before, during, and after making a purchase, there are still plenty of great independent retailers around town that provide just that (and fortunately many are still located in the urban areas that they have called home for 50+ years). That being said, while I personally hate to comparison shop outside of browsing retailers' websites for the best price (I disdain going into 4 or 5 stores looking to save $50), almost all of the independent retailers in the area WILL price-match any local competitor's advertized price, and still won't skimp on the customer service after matching the price. Best of both worlds. Next time any of us are in the market for electronics, appliances, furniture, etc., I challenge us (definitely including myself in this one) to make one stop at a local store before heading to Alpine, 28th, or Grandville and give them a chance to meet (or beat) the price at the chain stores. I'm willing to bet that greater than 9 out of 10 times, you'll be saving yourself from making the second stop.
  4. CK1

    East Beltline Developments

    Honestly, either one...
  5. CK1

    East Beltline Developments

    How many storefronts was this development originally hoping to have? The news is worse and worse every day on the retail front (today it was Circuit City giving a final bow), and I don't know if I could name a dozen, let alone a hundred, retail shops that would open up a new shop at a time like this. This is supposed to be a "higher end" retail destination, so clustering a bunch of haircut shops, nail places, and cell phone stores in here won't cut it.
  6. CK1

    East Beltline Developments

    I'm still surprised that this project is trying to move forward. Every prediction that I am hearing has the number of retail stores nationwide contracting 10% - 20%. There is simply too much retail (and too much of the same thing) out there for the market that exists today. I wouldn't venture the correlation that stores closing in Woodland will lead to a new store at Knapp. A store closing these days means that the company is pulling up the stakes for a while until the market / economy improves.
  7. CK1

    Gallery on Fulton

    I'm not taking anything away from Gallery - it's going to look great on that corner - but it is too bad that those old buildings were torn town for a parking structure...
  8. CK1

    GVSU Downtown Development

    Wasn't a BIG factor be that MSU is teaming up with Spectrum Hospital, St. Mary's and Van Andel Institute? While I'm sure that Lansing has a decent hospital, it can't be anything close to what we have here in GR. Mr. Seccia being a local resident probably didn't hurt GR's cause, either...
  9. CK1

    New Home For Opera Grand Rapids

    A lot of constructive criticism in this one. Nice work. Feel free to show up on Medical Mile with a dozer to tear down a few of those buildings as well - they're already up or on their way up, so no need to delay your gratification. Aside from that nonsense: I really hope that this project moves forward soon. That corner has been a blackeye in this area for long enough, and it'll be great to welcome this building and those that use it to the Fulton Heights neighborhood!
  10. CK1

    Redevelopment along 28th Street

    Anyone think that Meijer may have dropped the fight for the Kalamazoo / 28th street store location because it knew that this property was coming up for sale? Wyoming would welcome them with open arms, whereas GR seems to have already rolled up and put away the welcoming mat. If I owned a business, it'd be a no-brainer to go where I'm welcome and wanted.
  11. CK1

    East Beltline Developments

    At one time (I'm sure that I have some posts from a year or two ago to support this) I was all about a Whole Foods or a Trader Joe's coming into the area, but now I don't think I'd want to see one. It's a novelty at best IMHO. Go through a new D&W (what will hopefully eventually go up at Michigan and Fuller) or Meijer at Cascade, and you will find (albeit in between 10,000 other products) very similar products at about the same price. Meijer Organics are about as good as I have found quality-wise, especially given their price point. I used to shop at Whole Foods every week when I lived in Ann Arbor, so I'd like to think I have appropriate basis to say this as well. Instead of always clamoring for another out-of-town competitor to come into GR, it would be REALLY refreshing to instead lobby Meijer or Spartan to try a new concept that would be along the lines of a Trader Joes, such as a 20,000 store that is predominantly Meijer brand food. I'm not trying to pick on you, GR2010 (there's a half-dozen other recent threads begging for a TJ's or WF's), this just happened to be the most recent posting mentioning it is all
  12. CK1

    East Beltline Developments

    To be honest, I'm surprised that this project is still moving forward. I can't imagine the GR area absorbing that much retail / restaurants right now without having a wave of closings throughout the metro area (especially in the 28th street corridor). Also, who would consider financing a project of this magnitude? Common sense seems to say the dots just don't connect right now.
  13. CK1

    People talking about Grand Rapids

    CNN.com has the pillowfight as one of their highlight videos on their main page...have to be quite a few hits on that one!
  14. CK1

    GVSU Downtown Development

    Just a thought, and absolutely no basis for it other than a whimsical light-bulb moment, but being that I would love to see GVSU multiply its presense downtown exponentially, and chance at all that all of the land acquisition downtown by the the area's big-money people (specifically the Fulton Street property) is being gathered together to put together a huge "legacy" contribution / expansion for GVSU? Yes, a good majority of the schools' buildings downtown grace the names of our generous philanthrapists, but that area could support a whole new campus. The land is likely for future investment purposes, but I'd love to see GVSU be to downtown Grand Rapids what UofM is to Ann Arbor, MSU is to East Lansing, etc., and it would think it could only happen with a base of property this size...
  15. CK1

    Rowe Hotel- Olds Manor

    I guess no one likes "bad" press...