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Everything posted by 54equalsunity

  1. In my experience as a student I was down to stay anywhere the rent was somewhat affordable and the accommodations were liveable. Looking at their floorplans the prices seem alright to me for the convenience that the location offers. As long as there's a May-May or August-August lease option, it seems like this might be an okay location for students. Gaudiness be damned (though you'd never catch me living in that monstrosity). Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
  2. This parcel is on the route for one of my evening walks. There is a house there that would need to be knocked down. It's all boarded up and looks terrible. It's been empty for a while, I would guess. There are Metric Structures signs in the yard. Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
  3. To quote my favorite TV show... Jim: What is that, chestnut? Michael: No, I think that is either pine or nordic cherry. Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
  4. "The overall vision is to develop Metro Health Village into a true downtown core, Granger said." I'm sorry, but the massive amounts of parking surrounding every building that exists thus far will keep this from ever truly being a "true downtown core." This is another suburban mockery of an actual urban environment. The unique part is that they're piggy-backing on the massive money-making ability of the healthcare industry, which I do not see as sustainable. On the upside, I guess this development does beat the absolute pedestrian deadzones around the Medical Mile and Saint Mary's.
  5. Reading all of these comments, I can't help but think, "Hasn't *someone*, *anyone* done this before? Could there already be a right way to do this?" What if we did them Portland Loo style? No running water, no mirrors, openings at the top and bottom, a graffiti-proof coating, and made of steel? https://www.citylab.com/design/2012/01/why-portlands-public-toilets-succeeded-where-others-failed/1020/ Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
  6. And then this... "We have no plans on relocating to Detroit." https://www.mlive.com/sports/grand-rapids/2019/05/grand-rapids-drive-we-have-no-plans-on-relocating-to-detroit.html Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
  7. As uncus showed, Medicaid is very much involved with covering prescription costs. For those who have "traditional" Medicaid (the poorest of the poor, the disabled, immigrants, etc.) prescription costs are covered completely. For persons with a Healthy Michigan plan (the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act for which Medicaid contracts with insurance carriers like Blue Cross and Priority Health to administer plan benefits) prescription costs are either covered completely or subject to small co-pays that are not more than a few dollars per script. Now, as to whether the percentage of Medicaid recipients would influence Walgreens decision to put in a downtown location: I don't think so, even if we consider whether Walgreens would prefer commercially insured or Medicaid patients. Consulting the reference here: https://www.mlive.com/expo/erry-2018/04/08f422a3824447/see_number_of_medicaid_recipie.html?appSession=8M6267IZVT76F7W0TZV285R778F016I3SUZWW6DS6VKKE00EB2YH510R8F1M0G0FJE518V71188L4PVTAL5011YUTZ7CMZ7ZM6177JJ37FX2UF4CKM843040VC6SW736&appSession=42SP1UNZX35F0K4768JO8H9IW7TKR74484G1I31C64ABEWFHL4548D2B00608U0U595770CHZQXBZ663161GLJ1O17Q0GEMS30CDG17PRRZF68PT4929POA4I6B2X3CB we can see that while Kent County does rank #4 in the state, only 17% of the population is receiving traditional or expanded Medicaid. I can say also say from personal experience that while I do see a lot of Medicaid patients at my pharmacy on Alpine, I see a lot more commercially-insured patients. So, even if Walgreens were refraining from downtown because it turns out that Medicaid pays next to nothing to the pharmacy for filling the script (which is not necessarily true), there are plenty of commercially-insured patients out there whose business they might attract. I think the real reason that we haven't seen a Walgreens/CVS downtown (as I have pointed out in the Michigan St thread, for further reading) is because the traffic simply isn't there to support a store. Pharmacies in urban locations like downtown GR are put in because there is sufficient foot traffic to keep the store running (and I say foot traffic because it'd be hard to find a good downtown location for a drive thru setup). Any patients that might be using a downtown pharmacy are already funneled to the Wege pharmacy behind Saint Mary's or the Meijer pharmacy in Butterworth. I would love to see a Walgreens/CVS downtown, but until the market demands it I don't think we'll get one. Who knows. I could be wrong. =) Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
  8. It's a beautiful day to watch the crane do its thing. (taken from the 7th floor of 25 Michigan) Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
  9. I am mistaken. I have a friend who works at that Walgreens doing MTM, and he has informed me that one CAN fill a script in a typical retail fashion...but the store does not like to advertise that as a service. They prefer to focus on mail order, specialty, and MTM. But hey, if you're in the area and want to walk up there to fill a script, it can be done!
  10. I snapped a few shots today on mine and my fiancé's walk to feed treats to the various cats living in Heritage Hill. The panorama didn't stitch together all that well, but you get the picture. Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
  11. "Walkability, access to transit, sense of community, affordability… It sounds like manufactured homes could answer the prayers of many an urbanist." Yeah! Trailer parks can be good, too! https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2018/6/19/trailer-park-affordable-housing-manufactured Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
  12. Both Wege and Meijer-Spectrum can be classified as outpatient/retail/community pharmacies. Meijer-Spectrum looks like it has a decent OTC selection. The Wege pharmacy has a very barebones selection. While you could take a script to either, the difference is that Meijer-Spectrum is less accessible due to a lack of parking. Wege has on-street parking and a ramp behind the building, as it is adjacent to the hospital and home to multiple other Mercy Health services. For the mostly auto-dependent population of GR, this difference in accessibility makes a huge impact on choice. Why would anyone try to find parking near Butterworth when they can simply get their script at one of the many parking and drive-thru equipped pharmacies around the metro area? I think that before we see a pharmacy that is truly downtown we'll need a grocery store, or at least a Walgreens/CVS/Rite Aid, as people tend to travel to go see a doctor anyway at a location supported by their preference or insurance plan. Ideally, I think of somewhere like South State St. between E. Washington and N. University in Ann Arbor. There is an urban-format CVS that has done so well (apparently) that Walgreens put in an urban-format store right down the street! That area of the city gets a ton of foot traffic from students, though, so I don't know for GR who will be what in the chicken-or-egg scenario of foot traffic drawing business or a business drawing foot traffic.
  13. That location is a specialty pharmacy and an MTM (Medication Therapy Management) center, meaning that they handle very expensive medications and do a lot of medication reviews over the phone. I do not believe that they operate as a typical retail establishment.
  14. Actually, the pharmacy that gets most of the business for downtown is the Wege Pharmacy at Mercy (like 800-1000 scripts/day, which is considered high volume in the pharmacy world). The Meijer inside Butterworth does a lot of discharge scripts. Not much outpatient stuff, to my knowledge.
  15. I work for Meijer pharmacy. Like most of the chain retail pharmacies (and especially with Meijer, as pharmacy isn't a huge moneymaker for them at about 10% of their total business) they won't invest in downtown unless they can guarantee themselves a large amount of business. Currently, the drive thru and ability to park are a huge part of that business. With declining reimbursements from third parties and the stranglehold PBMs, wholesalers, and manufacturers have on drug pricing the only way to be profitable is to have volume, volume, volume. That's also why we won't see a small independent set up shop, either. They're drowning in competition with the big boys for reimbursement contracts. I think our best bet is a small pharmacy set up under Mercy or Cherry Health using federal grant money to run in an underserved neighborhood. Even then, it'll probably be somewhere like Black Hills or Roosevelt Park.
  16. You're right, Detroit is a bad example. I was just casting about for a large metro area to try and make my point. When it comes to GR, I was also thinking more about the metro area than the city itself. I know the entire area, including GR proper, is growing, but as evidenced by the real estate market it's a lot cheaper to live in the metro and drive (hence spurring suburban development) than it is to try and accommodate oneself in the city (YMMV, of course). You are right to point out that GR will become more dense and tall as time passes just because there is no choice. However, there is a lot of a room on the fringes and as long as there remains room a substantial portion of the population will continue to sprawl outward instead of concentrating all that potential density into the city itself, thus driving up height at a slower rate than would be expected otherwise. By no means do I think GR will continue to remain a city defined by low-rises. I think the point I am trying to get at by rambling along here is that I think that in the case of GR it's difficult to judge the city's success based on its height due to the suburban growth pattern that is so easy to build out around the edges. Of course, all of thisis just pure speculation based on the little bits and pieces I read and observe about the area. I'm probably wrong. Just enjoying the discussion.
  17. Not necessarily. Look at Metro Detroit. Sure, Detroit has some tall buildings, but many were built just prior to the Great Depression. The advent of the automobile meant (and still means) that people can spread waaaay out and maintain a uniformly low-rise building style. I think more people --> higher density --> taller buildings will arise out of economic and environmental need. The surge in urbanism helps, too.
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