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organsnyder last won the day on June 1 2012

organsnyder had the most liked content!

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About organsnyder

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  • Birthday 03/30/1984

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    Grand Rapids: Garfield Park

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  1. organsnyder

    Village of Ada - Complete Makeover

    A Ken's could do really well there. I wonder if they're looking at a new location since they closed their 28th St store a while back...
  2. Maybe it's a nod to historical prisonesque GRPS designs?
  3. organsnyder

    Hinman project - new 13 story hotel at 10 Ionia

    I won't miss getting dripped on by the ivy irrigation system, though.
  4. organsnyder

    Predictions for the coming year

    Never gonna happen. GR's income tax will make it a nonstarter for many residents of those suburbs. And weren't those cities formed specifically to stem the tide of annexations? I know that Kentwood was formed from the remnants of Paris Township, which Grand Rapids had been annexing over the decades (when my house by Garfield Park was built in 1916, the land had only been part of GR for a few years).
  5. organsnyder

    The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    That's been my experience as well. The Planning department was great to work with throughout the entire SLU process. They definitely see themselves as enablers more than gatekeepers (though I'm sure they adopt the gatekeeper role when needed).
  6. organsnyder

    Rowe Hotel- Olds Manor

    Never count on amenities that you don't control (either directly or implicitly, through a condo association or government agency).
  7. organsnyder

    Predictions for the coming year

    My IKEA prediction was intended to be fairly detached from reality (I was reacting to my too-safe predictions from the previous year). Though I do think we would have the sales traffic to sustain one.
  8. organsnyder

    The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    The only place I find the 20 foot height mentioned is here: If I'm reading this right, this would have no impact on our project: we moved our garage from the grandfathered setback of 2.2' to the required 5' to avoid a host of restrictions on building materials, attic venting, etc. This part is interesting: We went with 864 sqft (over the 850 sqft maximum) because it allowed us to go with multiples of 12 for the dimensions. Getting to 850 would basically involve us lopping a foot off of the back and creating additional scrap lumber. Since it was an SLU, the PC could waive that restriction (and they didn't bat an eye at it—probably because it doesn't change the look of the building from the street one iota and our lot is so large). But now, it looks like they wouldn't be able to do that. That language strikes me as very antagonistic by the city commission: why did they feel the need to curtail the PC's freedom in that manner? This does sound like more of the same story as we've seen throughout the Housing Now process: the PC is much more pro-reform than the City Commission is, likely because of how noisy some of the more connected neighborhood associations are being (and they have more sway with elected officials than appointed ones).
  9. organsnyder

    The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    Yes, 864 sqft is quite large—we wanted additional space besides car storage. Our lot is very large by city standards—3/4-acre—so we still have plenty of yard left.
  10. organsnyder

    The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    $100k would be a stretch. In today's market, you're probably at $130k minimum. Ours is quite a bit higher (though it's a large structure—864 sqft each floor).
  11. organsnyder

    Predictions for the coming year

    Pretty much nailed it (not hard to do when the predictions are that boring). Going with some more outlandish predictions (alongside some more mundane ones) for 2019: Downtown office space market continues to stagnate due to stinginess from area employers. Art Prize project is really cool and produces a lot of buzz, but does not drive much tourist traffic. AmplifyGR announces two to three high-profile projects. IKEA announces plans to build a store at Rivertown, anchoring a major de-mall renovation. Gentrification continues (mostly unnoticed) on the SE side. Low-income residents are pushed further south toward Kentwood. Van Eerden Foodservice announces plans to relocate from their S Division Ave location. A mixed-income housing development is announced for the parcel. 201 Market project actually exceeds our expectations. City announces plans to construct two new parking ramps downtown. Zipcar finally comes to GR. Waymo selects GR as first northern city to begin testing. Burton Heights continues to see investment that is mostly ignored by this forum and other urbanist sites. National economy enters a significant recession beginning in Q3, finally reigning in housing price growth; prices do not decline, however.
  12. organsnyder

    The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    Our ADU project was approved at the same Planning Commission hearing as @whitemice's project. Before us on the agenda was a project by D.A. Blodgett to build a 55,000 sqft structure and 172-space parking lot. Our ADU projects required the same paperwork (with a ton of detail irrelevant to our projects) and the same fee (now over $2k) as the D.A. Blodgett project. The actual hearing was extremely smooth. My neighborhood association (Garfield Park) is very strong, but they have had a decidedly YIMBY stance to the zoning reforms—unlike many of the NAs in more trendy neighborhoods. I understand the desire to have provide an opportunity for neighbors to express concerns about projects nearby—living in a historic neighborhood (though not officially designated as such), I share the desire to protect the "neighborhood fabric". But the SLU process is simply the wrong tool for projects such as ADUs. We are fortunate to have the means to make it over this high barrier to entry; it's no wonder there have been so few ADU projects, even though the ordinance has been on the books for quite some time. BTW, I think there could be a market—if zoning reforms are passed and the right investors step up—for a company to build ADUs with a similar model that solar companies offer: The company builds a new two-story garage+ADU at no cost to the homeowner, with an agreement (attached to the deed) that the company would be able to rent out the ADU for a certain length of time (10 years? 20?) to recoup their investment and make a profit. The property owner would get a free upgraded garage and improved property value (since income/use of the ADU would revert to them at some point in the future). The community would get increased housing density with no demolition or modification to existing houses, as well as the replacement of old dilapidated garages (some neighborhoods are full of garages that are close to falling down).
  13. organsnyder

    Holland Home - Fulton St.

    +1 My church has been hosting families through IHN for almost two decades. Never heard of there being any kind of incident.
  14. organsnyder

    Burton Heights

    South Division Corridor in the news again—this time from GRBJ:
  15. organsnyder

    Heritage Hill / Cherry Hill / Wealthy Street Updates

    I have friends who lived there up until ~12 months ago. They were very pleased with the owners. Hope the new owners maintain the same level of service.