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Khorasaurus1 last won the day on May 14 2011

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About Khorasaurus1

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    Grand Rapids, MI

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  1. Ionia Square will be really cool if/when the "Tall House" site gets developed. It will be a little pocket park/cut-through to the arena from Ionia. Presently, it's just kid of landscaping in a parking lot. And these designs will improve it, but it won't really reach its potential until development is constructed next to it.
  2. Who owns the parking lots east/north of the GVSU buildings? GVSU?
  3. This is intriguing, but would take a lot of factors coming together. First, relocating the police department, the federal bankruptcy courts, and the Secretary of State. That would take three different public organizations outlaying capital money for new facilities. I guess they did it when the building was converted from Mackie's World, but that could be tough to replicate. Second, the site is huge, and oddly shaped, and has frontage on Monroe Center, Fulton, Division, and Louis. So the design and tenant/use mix would be another challenge. You'd want retail on Monroe Center for sure, and at least big windows on Fulton and Division, if not retail for them as well. And with the size, do you do multiple smaller towers rising out of a base? Third, demolition and construction. It's a large and sturdy building...I suspect demolition costs would be very high. And then construction costs could be pretty high, too, especially with the high pedestrian and auto traffic nearby. Fourth, history. That was Herpolsheimer's and then City Center and then Mackie's World. People have fond memories of it and may come out of the woodwork to oppose demolition. Fifth, the market. That would be a Studio Park-sized project. We might have to go through another bust and boom cycle before it becomes feasible. All that said, a redevelopment on that site could be really, really cool. Especially if it did a good job architecturally of addressing Monument Square and also contributed better to the vibrancy of that block of Monroe Center better than the current police HQ.
  4. What about the giant parking lot at Fulton and Market? It's riverfront, too. But this is kind of like how 5/3 Ballpark was built in the suburbs because no one wanted to go downtown. And now the Whitecaps will never move downtown because the land is too expensive for a baseball stadium. We may have missed our shot at a big corporate HQ downtown.
  5. Maybe they are. I'm not trying to accuse anyone of being short sighted. I'm bringing up potential issues with this development. Maybe my tone is off. Sorry about that. And just to be clear, I'm not coming from a place of downtown homerism or militant urbanism here (even though I am a downtown homer and an urbanist...). I'm just trying to picture that many employees on that site, and how it would work.
  6. I think we agree legally. I just think there's a broader context for Spectrum to consider. That site is hard to get in and out of. And it's hard to get to at all from its southwest, which is the direction most of the region's population lives in. The people most inconvenienced will be Spectrum's employees. So it's in their best interests to improve some of the deficiencies in the transportation network that will hamper commuting to that site. But I agree there's only so much the City can pressure/force them to do.
  7. But they were required to pay for their 700 feet. Developers are required to pay for sewer/water expansions, new traffic lights, new turning lanes, etc, all the time. The standard isn't "off-site." It's "directly related to the development." So new rolling stock for the Rapid or a new freeway ramp may be too much. But upgrading Leffingwell and Bradford would not be, in my opinion. There's also a gray area where they can do things "voluntarily" in exchange for the city waiving zoning requirements, through a PUD process. Or do things voluntarily because they agree they are necessary and the City can't/won't pay for them (generally this happens with sewer and water, though, rather than roads).
  8. Yeah, and this is frustrating. The upgrades will be needed, and then taxpayers will be on the hook because Spectrum decided to relocate all of these employees to an area with only two ways in or out.
  9. I haven't noticed this or have any evidence of it, but is it possible the lights are still timed to speed traffic up and down the Ottawa/Ionia one-ways, as designed in the 60s? That would explain why Pearl is always a mess.
  10. I totally agree about Bradford...so why don't you think they will upgrade it/be willing to pay to upgrade it? And MDOT will really need to add the 96 to 196 ramp, because otherwise anyone going to WB 196 from Spectrum HQ will end up on Bradford. They basically have to open up Leffingwell to Leonard to 96 to 196 as an option. Also, bus upgrades will be necessary. The 15 should probably serve this facility and Cornerstone and terminate at Meijer Gardens. Leaving a need for a new downtown-to-Knapp's Corner route. And there is probably a need for a Beltline Express service, too. This location is in the City limits, and will require investments from City, Regional, and State entities. And Spectrum should shoulder some of that burden. Or stay downtown where the infrastructure already exists.
  11. It seems to me that some road upgrades are going to be needed to support this - Bradford is going to need to be upgraded to a full intersection with the Beltline (which the residents living east of there will probably HATE, unless they work at Spectrum), and I think this really should be the trigger for MDOT to add a EB 96 to WB 196 ramp. And frankly I think Spectrum should have to pay for those upgrades, which would alter their pro-forma quite a bit.
  12. Anyone else think we need some new traffic lights in Heartside, especially once Studio Park opens? Those four way stops are already becoming problematic, including for pedestrians. I'm thinking: Grandville/Oakes Grandville/Cherry Commerce/Oakes Commerce/Cherry Ionia/Oakes Ottawa/Oakes (once Ottawa becomes a through street) North of Fulton in the downtown area, we have traffic lights at basically every intersection. Heartside is now vibrant enough (more vibrant than "Center City" in some places) that it needs the same treatment.
  13. Presumably Bridgewater will fill up fast, too? Especially given how vibrant Stockbridge has become, and the fact that it has dedicated parking. They may need to renovate a little to get rid of the Gordon Gecko vibe in the lobby, though.
  14. The City is working on a new City-wide Master Plan, so there may be one associated with that.
  15. Detroit seems to have figured this out. They have The Belt, the new alley at the Shinola Hotel, and even a trendy cocktail lounge that fronts the alley Eminem walks down at the end of 8 Mile. The solution seems to be consolidating all of the dumpsters into one enclosed area and generating enough activity that the alley isn't a secluded place for the homeless anymore. Plus the designers of Studio Park were clearly anticipating that alley being a focal point, so just leaving dumpsters there seems like a waste.
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