walker

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walker last won the day on May 9 2012

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  1. A few pics and thoughts about my walk down Wealthy today: First; 746 Wealthy, the building that was reduced to a facade only, they are framing now behind the facade and there is a COMING SOON sign out front. Looks like it's going to be a hipster chiropractor Next: A notice taped to the door at 733 Wealthy, the Lofts on Wealthy LLC. A water shut off notice, they haven't been paying their water bill. Likely just some kind of clerical oversight; And last, nothing new going on at D&G party store and Mom's Grill but every time I walk by here it reminds me of the rules to live by written by an author who I was really impressed with when I was young; Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom's. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own. - Nelson Algren
  2. Looks like Bob Sullivan is not to blame after all. He sold it at a loss to a member of the very large Patel family back in 2013. Here's the story: Riverfront Hotel Re-opening EDIT: in case you don't know it already - here's some background on why so many hotels are owned by people named Patel: Patel Hotel Cartel
  3. This isn’t about the Wealthy Street neighborhood specifically but I think this podcast today from Michigan Radio about housing in GR ties in nicely with my post above and Dave Allen’s reply. Unlike my casual observations, the Michigan Radio people actually did some research: michigan radio - pushed out in grand rapids What I found new and most interesting was all the outside investors buying up local housing (houses, not new apartment buildings.) That’s something that I think has mostly escaped our attention here on urbanplanet. What I didn’t agree with in the podcast was the suggestion that minorities were being pushed out because of racial prejudice but then maybe I’m naive. In my opinion, it’s overwhelmingly about money, not race.
  4. I know I'm likely just talking to myself here. Louis Aguilar of the Detroit News weighed in today on the latest about the old Free Press Building. Bedrock says the renovation will cost 69.6 million. That's about five million less than the ball park figure that was mentioned in the Free Press article back in January. Still seems like a lot of money. They know more about Detroit real estate than me but I don't know how that will work. Sure there's fourteen stories but those tower stories aren't that big and you are not going to fit many apartments on each of those floors. DETROIT NEWS STORY ON FREE PRESS BUILDING The story makes it seem like there are fourteen stories in the tower above the six lower floors. That's not true, there are only eight, and the top floor I believe is all mechanicals so it's not really lease-able. What is not mentioned in the article is that the building has a large basement and a subbasement which I assume they will use for parking. Here's is a full frontal shot of the building from Wikipedia: 321 Lafayette
  5. As a frequent patron of the Red Brick Pizza restaurant on the corner I’ve casually noted the condition and demographics of the three neighboring streets and particularly of Donald Place over the past few years. While it is very heartening to see the improvements that have happened to the housing stock including the building of several new “old” looking houses, the demographics have definitely shifted. Don’t like to mention race but since I never thought to survey people about their economic situation on my way into the restaurant, I’ll use race as a proxy here. A few years ago the people on the street were mostly black and from their general appearance not exceptionally prosperous. Now it’s mostly young nicely dressed white people I see in the neighborhood. My observations are in no way scientific, so I could be missing something here, but I think these improvements have definitely been pushing many of the old neighborhood residents away. I usually consider the anti-gentrification rhetoric that people with an agenda like Jeff Smith spout to be overblown nonsense but here at least as I have casually observed it, is a real example of poor people being pushed out. Obviously there is a lot more housing stock along the Wealthy corridor now than just a few years ago, and maybe the people that once lived on Donald Place have moved on to better new low cost housing not far away and they are really happy, or maybe some of them have made a killing selling their old poorly maintained houses to developers, I don’t know. I like all the new stuff as well as anyone here (as long as it’s not a faux castle) but I kind of wonder about the other side of this too. As I write this I see Dave has made a nice post about the new construction. Obviously the new construction isn’t displacing anyone, but I wonder if he knows if there have been any kind of studies, casual or official, about movements of people in the neighborhoods. Where do they go?
  6. I saw the steel mills the first time from a greyhound bus on an eighth grade field trip to Chicago. This was back when they still had open hearth furnaces with flames shooting out the top. It’s a very powerful memory; never saw anything like it before. When I think of Chicago now I still think of those mills as much as I think about the skyline or the museums or any other memory, and I always look forward to seeing them again when I drive by. I can’t imagine someone feeling the same after seeing the faux castle the first time unless maybe there’s going to be flames shooting out of the turrets. Chicago Mills in the background
  7. The correct answer is five: five developers respond
  8. So months after the rumors here, here's the Mlive story" Georgina's to Phil's Stuff on Wealthy It would be nice if the Etoy's remodeling next store was moving along a little faster. The article doesn't mention the second place for takeout on Cherry.
  9. Drove past 746 Wealthy, the building with only a facade, today. Looks like they are working fast. A new basement has been excavated and a new foundation has been poured. It will be interesting to see how they attach a new building to the facade without it falling apart.
  10. Why White Castle Doesn't Expand Much
  11. If we must have castles then I wish we'd have one of these, maybe more than one:
  12. I noticed today that NAI Wisinski just put up a new for sale sign on the old D & G / Mom's Golden Grill store fronts. Listing date is 03/15/2017. It's the usual package deal: $695,000 for the four bays on the north side of the street and the house and vacant lot on the south side. Here's a link to the listing: Wealthy Investment Opportunity EDIT: No matter what I try, CARWN isn't letting me link to the specific listing, but you can use the link I posted then scroll down to the 616-619-626 entry and click on it for the detail.
  13. So I went back today and took a shot of the motel. The things that they stuck on the walls that look vaguely like turrets are even less impressive than they looked when I briefly saw them while driving by in traffic yesterday: Not that it improves things but there is a third turret appendage out of the photo in the back.
  14. Drove by about an hour ago and there are new turrets on the old motel being remodeled in front of the castle on 28th street. Kind of tacky looking but that's of course just my opinion.
  15. I was sadly thinking the same thing until EastownLeo posted this: You can never have enough breweries (at least not yet.) Maybe just restore a few art deco features and the marquee.