Jump to content


Supporting Member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


walker last won the day on May 9 2012

walker had the most liked content!

Recent Profile Visitors

14658 profile views

walker's Achievements


Burg (5/14)



  1. A project to convert the old Michigan Bell call center on Michael in Wyoming into low cost senior housing has been kicking around a while. It's for 150 units. I don't recall anyone posting anything about it so I will. Here's a WOODTV story from earlier this week about the groundbreaking: WOODTV: Senior Living Facility Breaks Ground in Wyoming Here's an Mlive story from last month but it's behind a pay wall, it's got a nice picture of a pile of dirt in the parking lot: https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2023/11/turning-empty-michigan-offices-into-housing-is-trickier-than-it-seems.html And here's a good article from Crain's that explains the project in more detail but it's from last year: CRAINS: Former Wyoming Office Space Eyed for Affordable Housing Project
  2. Nothing I'm advocating but it's not like there isn't several precedents for awkward conversions along West Fulton. You could even argue that it's stuff like this that gives West Fulton its character. It's probably what the neighborhood people are so vocal on wanting to preserve. I took a little drive down Google View and collected a few examples to cut and paste: This is right across National from the proposed apartment conversion: Obviously this huge façade was attached to the front of this old house. I might be wrong but I think you used to be able to take accordion lessons here. This is down next to the old Dairy Queen building: This looks like it is a residence now but it sure looks like it once might have been a small shop of some sorts. It's down next to Nawara Brothers: Other than the sign there isn't much to this conversion. It's across Fulton from McDonalds. This used to be an insurance agency despite what the sign says now. Mostly I'm including it because I like the sign: This was a residence that had a barber shop added out front. This is an old photo from the Google Archives. If you drive by it today, it's converted back to just a residence:
  3. I think this is it: https://grandrapids.buildingeye.com/planning
  4. I didn't investigate to see if it is the only one but taking a look at the historical aerials views it looks like it is the same building with plenty of additions and remodels through the years. Plug in 3300 Jefferson SE Grand Rapids MI and select aerials: Historical Aerial Views
  5. Just a follow-up on the discussion last month on John Ball Zoo parking plans. Today I received an invitation via an email to " Join JBZ's Tele-Town Hall" on Wednesday, November 15 at 6 PM where they will discuss the new master plan including importantly what they are proposing for parking. But you don't need a special invitation to dial into this meeting. I found this zoo website of the master plan and if you slide down a bit, it gives the information on how to attend the meeting online. I don't know if this is interactive or it is just them presenting: JBZ masterplan and instructions for attending online meeting
  6. Maybe some of you might find this interesting. The Historical Society is hosting a presentation on the history of GRR, both the current airport and the predecessor, on November 9. Usually I'd just post a link to their website but they don't seem to be keeping it up this year, so I've just cut and pasted the following from their newsletter for this month. These lectures are free and you don't have to be a member. The presenter, Roy Hawkins, is an airport planning engineer and a long time employee at GRR. Here's his LinkedIn page: LINKEDIN: Roy Hawkins And this is pasted from the newsletter: History of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport “Preparing the Ground” Thursday, November 9, 2023, at 7:00 p.m., Grand Rapids Public Library, Main Branch Presented by: Roy Hawkins This presentation will consider those who had the vision to bring aviation to the Grand Rapids/West Michigan area. We will discover the history of the many names the airport has held over the years. We will review the major airport historical milestones, air service, and planning efforts necessary for airfield development. We will also look at the different aircraft types, their changes over the years along with their impacts on airport design. From turf strips to thin flexible pavements and then to thick rigid pavements we have today. We will review the airport’s previous location and the airport’s “new” location and what prompted the location within Cascade Township. Planning efforts are continuous at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Staff is always and has always sought to make our airport one of the best. That we are! From insurance vending machines in our lobbies to the conveniences we see today. What happened to postage machines and telephones in the terminal? Did you know that once the airport had two fountains? Did you know the airport was always a place people came to pass their time? Did you know we have one of the oldest Air Traffic Control Towers in the country? What happened to the trees and why? Why is the fence there? What the airport staff looks like, who are they and what do they do? What are the rules the Federal Aviation Administration has for airports? In short, nothing happens at this airport by accident. The glamor and wonder of aviation? It’s impact on the general populous. Airplanes and restaurants. What the people love. Airports are exciting places. They are places of sadness and places of much happiness. These we will discuss. There I so much to tell. “How do those huge planes get off the ground? I’m still amazed!” And finally, what does the future hold for the Gerald R. Ford International Airport?
  7. The Vander Jagt mansion makes the news again: FOX17: Grand Rapids home now center of contention after owners host several events on property this story contains a pet peeve of mine. It is the tendency of local media to promiscuously use the word "historic" to describe any old building whether it has any historic value or not. Other than its size makes it stick out in this neighborhood, there is nothing unusual or historic about it I know of. If it were instead in an older section of East Grand Rapids, it would just be another large house.
  8. Free article in the Detroit News today about the announcement of the expansion. No paywall so far: Detroit News: grand-rapids-public-museum-to-revamp-its-riverfront-area
  9. Mlive has an article today about Jon Rooks two massive projects in Muskegon: MLIVE: why-tackling-2-massive-redevelopment-projects-in-muskegon-makes-perfect-sense-to-jon-rooks
  10. If you were ever around Muskegon before the paper mill closed down in 2009 you will remember that it gave off a very strong unpleasant odor that pervaded the neighborhood. It's likely what discouraged much of any residential development along the lake front in that area previously.
  11. No, not at all (except my housing comment - that was a little tongue in cheek but likely true .) The New York Times opinion article is serious and fact-checked and my other comments are serious. And what I said about Elon Musk is as far as I know true: NDTV: musk-father-of-11-wants-smart-people-to-have-children-reveals-biography WIKIPEDIA: SpaceX Mars program
  12. The population graph above comes from an opinion piece in the New York Times the other day (links below.) I truncated the flatline that was on the left that goes back a thousand years. What it shows is that for a long time the earth's human population didn't change a lot then it started to increase during the beginning of the industrial age and then it really spiked mostly during my lifetime. It is always dangerous to project current trends into the future but using current trends in fertility rates this projects that there will be a crash in population in relatively a short time as great as the recent spike. Because this only considers fertility rates and does not consider other factors such a resource depletion, climate change with its resulting mass famines and political instability, I suspect we will begin to see this happening before 2085. When I say we I don't necessarily mean me of course since I'm an old man. So why did I think to post this on the Grand Rapids urbanplanet forum? Once and a while there is a passing mention here about climate change or the benefits of urban density versus suburban sprawl and so on. But for the most part here on urbanplanet we cheer on big is better. i.e. population growth, bigger busier airport, etc. And that's understandable, no one wants to live in a declining rust-belt city. I'm probably as inclined as anyone to that kind of thinking. I wonder if anyone else has pondered though about this dichotomy between our short term local point of view and the only slightly longer term world situation. Link for subscribers: NYT: human population global growth-decline (for subscribers only) Same article - temporary link for subscriber's guests: NYT: human population global growth-decline (shared) A couple of final thoughts: 1) A collapse in population will solve the lack of housing problem. 2) Elon Musk is working on solving both the population decline and climate change. First, he has been fathering children through artificial insemination believing that is what smart rich people should do to help counter the fertility decrease and what he sees as the increasing stupidity of the children of the non-smart. I think he's up to eleven children now. And second, he wants to colonize other planets for when the earth becomes uninhabitable.
  13. Story today on WOODTV about the non-profit Family Promise buying two existing mobile home parks. I don't really understand this story. Like many TV news stories, it is short on details. You may remember that Family Promise was the lead non-profit that ran the old Holland Home over in Wilcox Park as an emergency shelter for homeless families a couple of years go. They talk of rehabbing existing mobile homes which is good but where I'm confused is that unless these homes are currently empty or abandoned, that would not increase the stock of affordable housing units and I would assume they don't intend to evict the current residents in order to house the homeless . Although not mentioned in the story, in many places hedge funds have been buying up old mobile home parks like these and then have been jacking up the lot rents to intolerable levels because the existing residents can't easily move away without either abandoning or moving their not so mobile home. So having a respectable non-profit such as Family Promise as an owner would at least be an improvement over a predatory hedge fund. WOODTV: Grand Rapids nonprofit buys mobile-home parks to help with affordable housing
  14. 3818 South Division. Haven't been there yet. Looks like they've got Jollof rice for you facebook: MotherLand Food (w Jollof rice)
  15. MLIVE: WODA COOPER - 167m mixed income housing development replaces mortuary
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.