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About kwl

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  1. kwl

    Village of Ada - Complete Makeover

  2. kwl

    Division / Wealthy and ICCF

    Is Tapestry Square finalized and approved? Or is everything still conceptual at this point. I'm a little confused as to what is finalized vs. what is proposed. Is the co-op going in the Tapestry Square building (that has been rendered) or in the hypothetical building on the corner of Wealthy & Division.
  3. One can only wonder if they've got a building up their sleeves for the parking garage parcel? Also, cue John Wick?
  4. I'm traveling maybe 20-25 times a year for business and while I started out using Lyft/Uber (since it's cheaper than parking in the garage for a 4 day trip), I've really cut back over the past year and a half. Here is what is driving that decision: -Most business travelers are going to be flying either early in the AM or later in the evening. 90% of my flights are leaving on the 5:30-6:30AM Delta flights as I'm trying to be at my destination by mid-morning at the latest. -On the return flights, I'm typically leaving the destination in the hours between 2:00PM-5:30PM. 90% of the time (unfortunately) this puts me in GR around 9:00PM-11:30PM. West Coast flights are even worse. I've had to leave Denver 3 times this year before 6:00AM and it will put me in GR around 5:00PM (if I'm not on the United direct). -With TSA-Pre, I typically aim to be at GRR around 10-15 minutes before boarding (so roughly an hour before departure time). This cuts is close usually, but have never had issues. Once left downtown 40 minutes before departure (so start of boarding) and still made the flight about 3 minutes before boarding door close. Many people are much more conservative though and aim to be to the airport an hour before boarding (1:40 before departure). For a ~6:00AM flight, this is arriving at the airport as early as 4:00AM. -Assuming a departure from downtown, an Uber/Lyft takes about 20-25 minutes to get to GRR. That would mean hailing service as early as 3:30AM sometimes. I've never had success with getting a ride this early. Keep in mind that would mean a car would be outside your door step and in GR, I've had cars come from as far as Grandville before. Which, in and of itself would add another 20-30 minutes of waiting meaning that you'd need to hail at 3:00AM. -The same goes for flights arriving later in the night. At 11:30PM arrival times, I've hailed Ubers only to be assigned a driver that is downtown. This, of course, takes 20-30 minutes for them to arrive and at that time of night I am not really interested in burning more time. This means I'll usually try to hail the second the wheels hit the runway. All things aside, it's just not very reliable for people on similar schedules (which I would imagine would be a large number of people traveling for work). Hopefully this means the garage will remain quite full (it's very hard to find parking as is) for some time to come.
  5. kwl

    People talking about Grand Rapids

    Look at the favorable tailwinds in Florida though. No state income tax, demand for wealthy Americans to retire in warmer climates, steady supply of unskilled labor provided by immigration/migration, relatively recessionary proof service industries, etc. I'm also guessing we'll see a collapse in Miami property values much sooner before sea level rise actually threatens properties. From what I understand, bridges in Miami are built very low and are already hampering yacht access into some of the inland waterways. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . Also, insurance companies have to be getting a little antsy at insuring 30 year loans...
  6. I'm a little confused. Has building A effectively been cancelled? This was the Franklin Partners building?
  7. kwl

    Proposed 400 room Hotel at Devos Place

    Interestingly, Hyatt has a very limited presence in Michigan (for being an Illinois brand). Hyatt Place is the only brand in Michigan (we do not have a Regency, House, Hyatt, etc. in the state). I do agree with you though. It seems Hyatt Place, AC, and Home2 will satisfy the younger, hipper millennial hotel options. The article doesn't mention much about a Spa, so I would gander that probably rules out higher end brands such as Intercontinental, Conrad, etc. Although intended room number probably eliminates a large number of brands such as W, Aloft, etc. One out of left field guess would be an EDITION. It's more of a luxe property, but Marriott has hinted that they'd like to get a portfolio of about 100 of them. JW Marriott Grand Rapids was the first JW in the midwest, which may make the organization comfortable to take a gamble. I would argue that if AHC & George Aquino are heavily involved that they'll want to make a splash.
  8. kwl

    Predictions for the coming year

    I don't think we'll ever get an IKEA. They've really made progress with e-commerce and most products you can now have shipped to your house/office. Also, I'd see somewhere like Okemos getting one before we do...only to satisfy the MSU college demand.
  9. kwl

    Predictions for the coming year

    Agree with everything except these two statements. I have a hunch that GRFC and 5/3rd ballpark end in marriage to some capacity including significant investment in expansion of the facilities. Second, while I wish for a Whole Foods dearly, I feel like Amazon will block expansion of retail facilities and we'll instead see something like Amazon now offering us access to same-day/next-day deliver of WF and it's serviced out of Lansing or Chicago. I'm not saying it's good or bad, but can't help to feel we're in a post-craft beer phase. Tourism related to craft beer will be on the decline.
  10. kwl

    Predictions for the coming year

    I'm sure I'll love it too, but can't help to feel that ArtPrize has lost is voice. Obviously we're not competitive with Art Basel or SXSW. My biggest gripe is that there was a failure to add anything truly transformative over the years. Art, was for the most part, 90% the same. We needed more music, film, performance, etc. that could offer something truly unique on a year-to-year basis.
  11. kwl

    Predictions for the coming year

    Final Bonus 2019 pessimistic prediction: Grand Rapids will temporarily struggle with identity in a post-Art Prize & post-Craft Beer environment. I predict three primary events that will drive this: -Founders will announce a significant brewery expansion in a major coastal city which will depress Grand Rapid's reputation as a craft beer destination. -Studio C will compete with the theater at UICA and ultimately force Kendall to make some difficult decisions with remaining at The Gallery. Ultimately, I think they move indie films back into 41 Sheldon and exhibitions are absorbed into the existing campus. -Project 1 will be ambitious, but fail to capture the momentum that ArtPrize had. It will bring great art to town, but will alienate a significant amount of attendees/patrons that enjoyed the kitschy crap that popped up every year.
  12. kwl

    Predictions for the coming year

    My 10 layman's predictions for the coming year. Split between optimism and pessimism. 1) Studio C will finally force downtown retail to turn a corner. This will lead to something new and exiting in at least one of the major downtown vacancies (38 Commerce, 20 Fulton, Morton, etc.). 2) We won't see movement on the DeVos Convention Center Hotel. I think CAA will stall to see what occupancy is like after a bevy of hotels come online (Curio, AC Hotel, Hyatt Place, Residence Inn, Embassy Suites, etc.) 3) We'll finally see movement at 201 Market, but it will differ in scope from the original proposal. 4) Gordon's or Bridge Street Market will be forced to reinvent themselves as neither really fills a true downtown grocery need. 5) We'll see a flurry of development in Monroe North area with manufacturing moving out and residential/retail/restaurants coming in. This will stretch from 196 up to the Creston district. 6) A major, historical downtown restaurant will shutter or reinvent itself (Leo's, Gardella's, Sanchez, Bistro, Charley's Crab, etc.). 7) Downtown USPS will finally move to coincide with Amazon warehouse opening and the weird bi-partisan tailwinds at play. DeVos will obviously be involved in some capacity. 8) Fragmentation of downtown parking payments will not improve. Motu will continue to frustrate. 9) We'll see major corporate QSR players begin to invest in downtown. Think Chipotle, Five Guys, etc. 10) Finally, this may be optimistic to some and pessimistic to others, we'll see the entrance of a scooter rental company (Bird or Lime).
  13. kwl

    Proposed 400 room Hotel at Devos Place

    RevPAR = Revenue per Available Room. How does this correlate with "statistically significant negative impact on the local economy" More hotels (regardless if public or private owned) would increase supply and competition which would expect to add downward pressure on prices. When did these mundane MLive style arguments make their way onto UP?
  14. kwl

    The State of Downtown Grand Rapids Retail

    Anyone have any info on how retail spaces in 20 Fulton, Morton, and 38 Commerce can lay dormant for years without anyone biting the bullet?
  15. kwl

    DeVos Family Headquarters (Old 5/3 building)

    RDV Corp is the DeVos family office. So they employ everyone from managing the family's investments, household staff, boat captains, etc.