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Everything posted by Jippy

  1. The GRBJ has grown much more partisan over the last year, and the opinion pieces have grown increasingly bazaar. Most weeks now include a poorly articulated editorial concerning an initiative in the urban area of GR.
  2. Maybe where they instruct the crew how to mount the type of window they will be installing?
  3. Which parties would oppose changes to code that would require parking garages from being screened? This really seems to be a GR-thing (or a Concept thing?), as I rarely see this type of garage design in other cities. GR has decent requirements from screening parking in surface lots...but screening requirements apply to all parking types? Most growing cities (vs ones that are begging for any development) have code requirements that require a level of architectural treatment to screen garages....most stringently the requirement is an active use (meaning a parking space can not be adjacent to t
  4. I haven't really gotten the sense that we are seeing an overbuild situation in apartments in Grand Rapids, even if everything that has been proposed actually gets built. Overbuilding apartments will only lead to lower asking rents, which will allow an even greater share of the population able to afford the units. Additionally, some developers may have plans to convert their product to condos if values reach a certain price threshold. Grand Rapids has lagged in population and economic growth for decades. We may have turned the corner, where GR now attracts population and economic growth that h
  5. This garage design should be criminal. I honestly can't understand how they think this is okay. I also don't understand how the City continues to allow this to happen.
  6. Reducing on-street parking rates would have the perverse effect of driving more parking into garages, including private ones. The only ones that would then have access to on-street parking would be the first ones there. Thus, instead of the regular turn-over of vehicles the store clerks and restaurant workers would take the spaces, and thus push customers to less convenient parking locations. I would raise on-street parking rates and lower garage parking rates in effort to maximize parking usage to about 90% throughout the main parts of the day. Variable parking rates that are very clearl
  7. So let's talk about the policies. Which policy suggestion of the seven listed by DRGI do you think is too progressive for a small city like GR? Three of the 7 directly have to do with improving parking. The DASH helps support parking downtown and improving it in anyway is not forcing anyone to do anything. It makes sense to improve the efficacy of a program to the extent possible. Car- and bike-sharing are another option that is not forcing anyone to do anything. Both are very low cost as well. So I guess we are down to "Developing incentive programs to encourage willing people to choose wa
  8. I quoted you, so I am not sure how to respond to this. Please explain that one. I would love to know what we are supposedly missing. Again, if you think the following are too draconian, I don't have much to offer: Adopting a "Parking and Transportation Demand Management Ordinance" to improve urban mobility through new development. Deploying a car share service for people who have the occasional need to hop in the car and go longer distances. Deploying a bike share service for people traveling short distances around the urban core neighborhoods. Pricing valuable public parkin
  9. I had to reread the article to see if I missed something. I didn't. The article is not describing anything out of the ordinary. It would appear some members of this forum have deep-seated frustrations and biases towards investing in pedestrian and multi-modal improvements. The negativity this article engendered is a bit silly. The question some are bringing up is what percentage allocation of transportation taxes should go to automobile uses versus bike lanes, transit, and pedestrian improvements. No where in the article did it mention bike lanes. No where in the article did it menti
  10. Once upon a time, the typical Urban Planet GR patron was championing more urban development and transit. In the last year, the sentiment has suddenly shifted, or perhaps the policies of the city have shifted. Now the City is advocating for more urbane policies than the average Urban Planet GR patrons. It is now the norm that the folks commenting on the GR forum are advocating for more and cheaper parking, less transit, and more space reserved for the traveling automobile. Are we all getting old and cranky and like things just the way they are? As one who travels across the country and loo
  11. I have no issue with tax credits for brownfield remediation, demolition, and infrastructure improvements -- the original intent behind the tax credit program to get redevelopment of obsolete properties back in revenue generating status. It is the subsidization of parking that I struggle with. If anything, incentives should be focused on the wealth creating portion of a development, rather than the dormitory for vacated automobiles?
  12. Well snap, now I am confused. Help me out here. "There's a tipping point where a hot neighborhood becomes someplace where no one wants to go because it's too much of a pain in the ass." -- as Yogi Bearra said "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded." My question was not as blind and pro economic development than it was apparently interpreted. I am simply asking, have any of you seen a place that is seeing an influx of market-rate real estate development and a scarcity of parking, and the neighborhood is actually on the decline? This was not a loaded question. When I think of the
  13. I'm curious, has anyone ever been to a neighborhood either in GR or otherwise that you attribute their decline too few parking spaces? I can't think of any of the top of my head. Any place that I have ever been too that had a jammed parking situation also struck me as vibrant and a success. Most dead neighborhoods commercial areas that I can recall have too many parking spaces, too many buildings torn down for the provision of parking. I don't mind letting the market bear how many parking spaces are needed. Having parking shortages causes creative solutions, whether it be people choosing
  14. Even if the entrance doesn't directly face Monroe and is windowless, they can do a much better job of making the facade interesting and pedestrian-friendly. Built like this, it would totally kill the pedestrian experience and essentially turn Monroe from an "A" street (primary, pedestrian friendly street) to a "C" street (support/service street). Looks like it doesn't even have enough room for a sidewalk! I would allow them to not have a main entrance or windows if they so choose, but make them shift the building (to put back the mandatory sidewalk/streetscape requirements) and add some a
  15. The reason I ask is that for most folks, a financial boost is worth the consideration. At a past employer, we were offered $45/mo to not use the parking garage. Saves the company on paying for the parking space and I got a few extra bucks (my coffee money) to ride in with a friend that lived close by.
  16. Poorly written on my part. Yes, I meant employers paying their employees to not pay as an effort to reduce their need for paying $25k per new parking space.
  17. When given sufficient options and adequate financial incentive, mode shifting will occur. Question: if you worked on the Hill but continued to live where you do today, what would be the minimum payment you would need to receive in order not not to drive separately to work?
  18. The Weston side of the parking garage is the only part that I have issue with. It needs some more articulation, or variation so it is more than a red brick wall with a couple of ventilation windows punched through.
  19. In Grand Rapids, each kilowatt of solar pv capacity produces an average 1245 kilowatt-hours annually (compared to 1700 kwh in Phoenix or 900 kwh in Berlin, Germany). The solar panels for each kilowatt of capacity takes about 75-100 sq ft of space depending on efficiency and layout. By 2022, energy storage will likely have similar rate of return as solar pv today, so much of the variability issues will be worked out (although Michigan already has one of the largest energy storage facilities in the U.S. in Ludington). If solar is coupled with effective utility demand-side programs then vari
  20. Also, the mlive article still suggests that parcels will be reserved for private development -- thus the smaller building will have a much smaller footprint -- leaving room for something else.
  21. Agreed. The townhouses seem a bit isolated and surrounded by parking. Not sure I would want to live in those. Alternatively if this is the first of two phases, I would build the southern half first and added the "temporary" parking lot (is that what is on the first floor of the parking garage to the south?) where these are currently proposed,
  22. Love the calculation methodology. My only thought is that the $1.95 a pint is a bit too high for what Founder's nets back. For a $10 6-pack I would guess that most is taxes and retail/distributor profit. Thus they probably pull back less than a buck a bottle/pint. I would imagine that a keg nets back even less per "pint equivalent". Their bar is probably the only high margin return back to Founders. The best point of comparison is the sale of Goose Island to In-Bev for $40 million. Not sure where they were on the barrels per year scale compared to Founders today, but that might be a bet
  23. I'm sorry, but I really am having a hard time with the cognitive dissonance occurring on this topic. Downtown apartments have a waiting list a mile long. Rental vacancy rates are so low that landlords are basically repainting the unit and shoving in the next tenant. Other than the blip of 2005-2007, there are now more proposed projects than any point in my life. Office vacancy rates are trending in the right direction and developers are hungry to redevelop surface parking lots that have been just that since an architectural gem was demolished back in 1964. Meanwhile, back on the Urban Plan
  24. Frankly, I don't mind if people continue to hold their false perceptions of the difficulty of downtown parking. If they think downtown parking is too much to bother, then great! More seat at the bar for those that like true urbanism. If the seat is empty now, it won't be for much longer. I have never found difficulty parking downtown, regardless of the time of day. Or the day of the week. Clearly more people are desiring to move downtown, so its not like policy makers are making decisions that are pushing folks out. And companies don't locate downtown to reduce their costs. They do it for
  25. I'm all for making sure public investments are efficient and achieving a public good, but I get a bit annoyed with the continued attempts to veil opposition as a reasoning exercise that uses very little reason. A long list of qualifiers and slanted language (e.g. "pillaging") immediately turns off anyone that one is trying to convince, and really just comes off as a shallow attempt to gloat of one's intelligence. A well rounded argument would take into account the MPG calculations as was done, but also include the other stated goals of the project: land use, economic development, parking
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