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Khorasaurus1

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Khorasaurus1 last won the day on May 14 2011

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    Grand Rapids, MI

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  1. This is all predicated on those dingy buildings being redeveloped as currently proposed. I agree that every solution other than tunneling the freeway will have the major flaw of .... the freeway existing in the first place. But that's not changing.
  2. Here's the 131 discussion: There's definitely no plan to put traffic lights on 131. But right now it goes under MLK, over the tracks, under Wealthy, and over Cherry, and probably has too many exits/entrances, which makes it dangerous for drivers and creates literal walls for pedestrians. Elevating it continuously and removing some ramps would allow more connections underneath and safer driving above. The big question is which ramps to keep and how to align them. Also, removing the big Wealthy overpass would restore intersections at Wealthy/Commerce and Wealthy/Century, which is really important given the hundreds of new residents in the projects proposed near those intersections.
  3. This also creates some urgency to the redesign of 131 and bringing Wealthy down to grade.
  4. It was originally half the width it is now along Scribner. I don't remember exactly when it was expanded, though. I think the culprits for that are 131 and 196, which cut that area off from everything around it.
  5. Hard to figure out where to start, especially because the State, Feds, and Courts have no interest in spending just for "better urbanism", and the City and County are unlikely to do much, either, since their buildings are "part of the Calder sculpture." The parking lot next to 5/3 might be an opportunity to better enclose the plaza. And there might be some opportunities to pull storefronts to the curb adjacent to the private office buildings, like the RDV HQ building did.
  6. Yes, that's correct. Part of the idea that Calder Plaza was the "new downtown." Downtown came to a hard edge at Fulton (or even Louis) in those days.
  7. The center of gravity has moved down closer to where Central Station is, though. Calder Plaza is now one of the least active/vibrant parts of downtown. Plus it's served by plenty of transit as is. But the gigantic parking lot where the old GRATA station was seems like a great opportunity for medical expansion, housing, etc. And yet no one ever talks about it as a possibility.
  8. At least Ottawa got the fronts of those buildings. Ionia was ruined so badly that we don't even talk about the old GRATA bus terminal as a development opportunity...
  9. Acrisure can make the corner of Ottawa and Oakes a "prominent location" simply by building there. Studio Park, Founders, Van Andel Arena, etc are already close by, as well as hotels, other major white collar employers (Miller Johnson, Meritage, etc), and a whole bunch of housing, restaurants, entertainment, etc. They can make that area one of the economic cores of the City! Leave the riverfront for housing.
  10. Great site for solar. These leftover spaces in suburbs are perfect for that kind of land use.
  11. I'm pumped that they are even open to something like this, because I figured those parking lots would be there for decades. But it doesn't seem imminent because it doesn't seem to have the necessary legwork done to start construction in the next 1-2 years. But I could totally see a crane in the air in the middle of the decade.
  12. Fantastic that they are looking at options to develop those surface lots, but this seems really undercooked at the moment - and possibly thrown together to meet the ARPA grant deadline. They haven't met with the City to discuss planning/zoning processes, their list of potential funding sources is a mile wide and an inch deep, and the design/uses are vague and not well though out (why would you put office above residential instead of the other way around?) BUT if this is a sign that they are committed to improving their neighborhood, rebuilding the urban fabric, and providing things like housing, child care, and groceries instead of just parking lots, that's great news. They just clearly need the time to get the details figured out.
  13. Butterworth and Blodgett were two completely separate entities. They merged in the 90s and took the name "Spectrum." They actually tried to rename the hospitals "Spectrum Downtown" and "Spectrum East" but that didn't stick and the old names came back under the Spectrum umbrella.
  14. Eh, our "12 story" thing has resulted in us now having two square miles of consistently vibrant downtown. There are much larger cities that can't claim that kind of consistent urbanism over that big of an area. Certainly none of our non-college-town peers can. Our skyline now extends from Wealthy to Newberry and from Seward to Union. I wouldn't trade that for, say Tulsa's downtown, which has a several skyscrapers surrounded by low slung buildings and surface parking: I would like some more height in the skyline though. A signature tower at Monroe and Louis would be awesome. Use that visibility like 5th Avenue Place in Pittsburgh does:
  15. Honestly, "Spectrum-Beaumont" would have been a fine name. Or maybe they should just kept "Butterworth" back in the 90s.
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