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deja vu

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  1. I love this concept program, and I hate the location. In my opinion, the intersection of N. Westnedge Ave. & W. North St. is far too noisy, commercial, and traffic-laden to be a desirable spot for stand-alone dwellings, no matter what the size. This area should be reserved for denser, mixed-use development, maybe 2-3 floors of sound-attenuated apartments, with ground-level commercial. Hopefully the stakeholders know what they are doing. It's better than vacant parcels anyway. The three homes and small business office building would be built in the first phase, on the southeast corner. The goal is that three more would eventually be built in a subsequent phase on the opposite (northwest) corner. Source: Second Wave Media
  2. I found some photos of the recent "topping out" - posted on Rockford's LinkedIn page. Also, this brief flyover video of progress through late July. Rockford's LinkedIn caption reads: "10 months of construction. 56,000 work-hours invested. 60% project completion. One final piece of steel." Source: LinkedIn | Rockford Construction
  3. I haven't checked the City of Kalamazoo Active Site Plan Review website in a while. There are 10 site applications currently open. Of those 10, two are fairly interesting, and they are both senior-housing developments. The first project is called Rose Street Senior Living. It would be located at the corner of W Cedar St and S Rose St, just a bit south of the recently completed 400 Rose mixed-use development. The owner / developer is PGJ, Development, LLC. I can’t find much on them, except they seem to also own / manage River Bluff Townhomes in Mt. Pleasant, MI. The site / civil engineer is Driesenga & Associates (Kalamazoo) and the A&E firm is Hooker DeJong (Grand rapids). If approved, it could be a 5-story, 64-unit development, including first-floor enclosed parking (~83,000 SF total). I think this would be a great development for the location, effectively bringing the density of S. Rose St. further south and replacing a surface lot with some good density. It would be an almost total build-out of the site, in-terms of lot coverage and allowable height 57’ high proposed / 65’ max. allowed). There are plans showing an interior, second-story courtyard / light well that helps adherence with the 80% max. allowable lot coverage. Source: City of Kalamazoo Site Plan Review The second project is an expansion at the Heritage Community (located at the corner of Portage St. and Phillips St.). The exact project address would be 500 Golden Drive. It looks like two of their existing buildings would be demolished for a new, four-story, independent living facility with 60 residential units and interior parking (~134,000 SF total). The signage in one of the renderings reads "Revel Creek" which might be a hint at the specific name of the development. Byce & Associates is the local A&E firm, along with Perkins Eastman out of Chicago. Source: City of Kalamazoo Site Plan Review
  4. Here are a few Kalamazoo development things; in order from small to big. 1. (Small) - "Urban Alliance" Purchases its Building Urban Alliance has purchased the former Stockbridge Avenue United Methodist Church building that has been serving as its home base since 2015. This is a well-established community / resident support program with deep roots in the city and deeper roots in the Edison neighborhood. It plans to continue to operate out of the building and further improve it as a neighborhood community / resource center. Location: 1009 East Stockbridge Avenue. It's actually a pretty decent-size site - nearly 1.4 acres according to GIS data. Seems there could be potential for some community-oriented development or affordable housing, down the road. Base Image Source: Google Maps 2. (Medium) - Treystar / Haymarket Plaza Development I feel like this was already announced, or maybe it's just because I was personally aware of plans for this redevelopment. This is kinda "Treystar-Central" so it makes sense that they would want to develop the void space created by their assemblage of properties in the Haymarket area. I like the idea of projection-mapping onto the side of the Haymarket Building. But at the end of the day, this development is really little more than some lighting, decorative concrete, landscaped planter beds, and maybe a few site furnishings (kinda like Bates Alley, on the opposite side of Michigan Ave. except at least there there are multiple businesses and restaurants / bars with outdoor decks / patios). At least they're trying...something. And if it is underwhelming at first, at least the groundwork has been laid for something better to come, futures from now... Some Renderings: Source: Patronicity / Treystar 3. (Medium) - 615 Holdings / 10th Street Enterprises I mentioned a few posts ago about the demolition of a derelict auto shop near Stadium and West Main (very close to Kalamazoo College and the Amtrak train tracks). Well, we at least have a name and a rendering of some sort for this project. It's actually a little more interesting and a little bigger than I was picturing for that site. According to this GRBJ article, there will be two mixed-use buildings consisting of commercial space, 18 residential units, and 40 parking spaces. The project will receive a $750,000, performance-based grant from the MEDC / Michigan Community Revitalization Program. The site is also getting brownfield credits. I think this is a win-win-win for all those involved. Hopefully those are some strong, acoustically-insulated walls and glazing though, because that Amtrak horn is loud! And a lot more info / project background here: Interestingly, one of the partners in the development team used to be the lawyer for the brothers that owned the one-time auto shop. Rendering (not much site context yet - presumably there are two of these?) 4. (Large) - Graphic Packaging International Expansion I was driving along the wasteland of what is North Pitcher Street Monday (after dropping off our voting ballots) and I noticed this project is MUCH further along than I had thought. They are going like gangbusters on this thing. It seems like every contractor in the region and his brother are on-site. I figure there were at least 100 vehicles in the contractor lot, maybe 150. While an industrial development in every sense, the scale of this investment, not to mention the promise of jobs it means in this region, is immense. This is a ~$600 million development to construct a new "coated recycle board" mill. It is all being built on the site of the former Checker Motor Corp. factory. The mill will house a new coated recycled board (CRB) machine with an anticipated output capacity of ~500,000 tons of coated recycle board annually. That's a lot of cardboard. It was way too busy and monitored to get out and attempt photos, so I offer some drive-by shots only for now. At least half-a-dozen cranes of some sort too.
  5. Demolition work in advance of the new Women & Children's shelter at the Kalamazoo Gospel Michigan has begun. It was delayed (like so many things) by COVID-19. It's a bit odd to celebrate a new homeless shelter project, but it is sadly infrastructure that the city needs while it works to solve disproportionate homelessness problems. Source: MLive | Joel Bissel Separately, here is a still shot from the construction camera today for the WMU Aviation Education College Addition in Battle Creek - Source: OxBlue
  6. Here's another recent bit of coverage about the Kalamazoo oil spill and its aftermath. Interestingly (sadly?) the river is now struggling with another potential environmental disaster at the Morrow Lake Dam... Whenever I think about how under-utilized and under-appreciated the natural features of this area are, I have to remember that there is a tough history and legacy of pollution that people are still fighting to fix. In addition to the above problems, all of the decades of contamination from the heavy industry (especially paper manufacturing) along the river and its many tributaries still has lasting effects today.
  7. I don't get down to Portage as often as I used to, but was driving around Sunday and noticed a few things. Portage North Natatorium Construction is well-along on this new pool structure. This project is very similar to the recently completed pool at Portage Central. The main difference is that this one is a separate, detached structure. It's interesting to me that in the past few years, the Kzoo / Portage area has gained three new top-notch natatoriums (this one, Portage Central's, and K-College's). I think swimming & diving must be increasing in popularity. Portage North Middle School Right next door to this is (and sharing a vast parking lot) the recently completed Portage North Middle School. It's actually a pretty "urban" design for a decidedly "suburban" area. I say that mainly because of the density and the stacked program, which makes me picture this in a much denser setting. Same story as above, this is almost a copy of the new middle school wrapping up at Portage Central, just with different finishes and site layouts. I particulary like this moment of stacked program & massing at a side entry to the commons - City of Portage Fire Station No. 2 Lastly, I noticed that the replacement City Fire Station No. 2 is quite far along. It's a pretty different aesthetic from the adjacent, current 1970-'s-era structure. It seems to reference some of the common tropes of earlier fire stations, including the tower. All of the overhead doors / bays for the new building are located off of the street-side elevation, so other than the tower, this looks more like any of the other office suites in the area. I think the plan is that the old station will be demolished once the new one is up and running. There's much more going on in Portage I'm sure, and maybe I'll catch some more of it eventually.
  8. Two updates out of Battle Creek With the help of a grant from Battle Creek Unlimited, a new taco joint is planning to move into the empty downtown building at 56 E Michigan Ave. Sounds like there will also be some second floor residential units as part of the work. I'm not crazy about the aesthetics of this... Source: 95.3 WBCK Source: Google Maps And another (much bigger) deal also involving BCU (and Industrial Partners USA) was just announced. I'm sorry this is not more architecturally compelling, but it is still a significant investment – Source: Battle Creek Enquirer | Courtesy BCU
  9. I'm going to try and refresh this thread. If I can follow up on a comment from over 13 years ago! (because that is approximately how long for this wish to come to fruition). At the corner of Rose and Michigan, we'll re-kick it off with a completed photo of The Exchange. This project that was ~9 years in the making wrapped up construction earlier this year. Whether you like it or not, at 15 stories, it is the tallest building built in Kalamazoo since Skyrise Luxury Apartments in 1982. So in 40 years, maybe we'll get another 15-story project Source: Byce & Associates | Instagram And at the former Lot 9, Catalyst Development's 180 E. Water St. is well-underway - Source: my own photo
  10. It's hard to believe that is has been ten years since one of the worst inland oil spill disasters in this country's history. Kalamazoo River Oil Spill On July 26, 2020, about one million gallons of crude oil from the oil sands of Alberta, Canada spilled out of Enbridge's Line 6B into Talmadge Creek, near Marshall, MI. This creek is a tributary of the Kalamazoo River, and the subsequent damage contaminated 35 miles of the river and its surrounding watershed. The significance of this oil spill is not lost on Michiganders, and indeed, residents of the entire Great Lakes Region, as the debate rages on about what to do about another notorious Enbridge pipeline, Line 5, that runs beneath the straights of Mackinac. You can find lots of articles and history on the spill without too much trouble. I am sharing just one such article here, from the perspective of the local Native American tribe that was possibly the most impacted (seems to be usually be the case) - the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi.
  11. Here are some Kalamazoo updates for Saturday, July 25, 2020 - Bronson Labs First, a recent article about the newly-opened, 55,000 SF / 3-story Bronson Labs facility, located at 400 John St. in downtown Kalamazoo. The article touches on some pretty impressive stats - Modular / Flexible Design Dedicated Education Space 300+ Staff 3.2 Million Orders / Year The timing of this full-service facility could not be better, at least from the sense that it now allows for same-day turnaround of many COVID-19 tests in the region. Here's a neat aerial view of the same project, recently shared by the Architect, TowerPinkster, on their Instagram page - Stryker Instruments LEED Silver Certification Speaking of Tower, they just announced on Instagram that the massive new Stryker Instruments facility in Portage (completed earlier this year) just achieved LEED Silver certification. TowerPinskter partnered with HOK on this project - There are some good interior photos from a few months ago that can also be found on several separate TowerPinkster Instagram posts, and shared below - Source: Instagram | Towerpinkster Source: Instagram | Towerpinkster Source: Instagram | Towerpinkster Source: Instagram | Towerpinkster Source: Instagram | Towerpinkster Source: Instagram | TowerPinkster The Creamery Just a small bit of news on The Creamery - the mixed-use project in Edison designed by Byce & Associates. The new planned completion is January 2021, after some COVID construction delays. The Exchange Some new, professional photographs are out for another recently-completed project designed by Byce - The Exchange. Sourced from Instagram, with credit to Jason Keen + Co. Photography & Fran Dwight Photography - Charles & Lynn Zhang Animal Care & Resource Center Progress continues on the new home of the Kalamazoo Humane Society. These are screenshots from a video walk through posted in June on Instagram - Source: Instagram | Byce & Associates West Main Mixed-Use Project I don't have a lot of info on this project and I don't know what to call it yet, but the demolition went fast and is already complete, after months (years?) of planning to replace this derelict auto service shop on West Main, near Stadium Drive. I bet the neighbors are glad to see this eyesore finally gone. Boatyard Brewing Demolition (432 E Paterson) Personally, this was a favorite hang out of mine. I was sad when it closed last year, and sad once again when I drove by the complex last week to see it bulldozed into the ground. I never understood why this place was disliked by so many locals, who complained about the environment, the food, the beer, the location, etc. I personally liked the crowd and the fact that it was set aside from all of the saturation of breweries downtown. The food and beer wasn't the best, but it was good, and the live music was always great and low-key. It was a cool complex, and it also housed some artist studios for a time, I believe. Anyway, I am not completely sure what is going in its place. A lot of folks assume that the massive Graphic Packaging International faculties will expand its operations here from across the street, but I don't think so. They do indeed have plans for expansion, but I think it is all north of Paterson St., and mostly on the site of the old Checker Motors factory. One person on Facebook seems to be in the know and claims it is going to be a new Medical Marijuana grow faculty, coming Spring 2021. But no public info that I've seen on that. We will see... Here's a google maps street view, from before the demo. The first two photos below are by Jane Brewer on Facebook, posted on July 11. And the last few are my own, taken on July 19 - WMU Projects / Facilities Construction Cameras I don't why it took me until just now to notice that Western Mich. University Facilities Department has several cameras and time lapses for campus construction projects on their website. Right now there are three active cameras, all focused on the new developments in the South Neighborhood area (Arcadia Flats & the new Student Center). The Student Center camera is especially useful, since it is largely obscured by construction fencing, landscaping, and adjacent buildings in-person. Links and stills from today, below. Camera 1 - South Neighborhood Overview Camera 2 - South Neighborhood / Arcadia Flats Close-Up Camera 3 - Student Center & Dining Facilities: Here's a time-lapse of the first 8 months of Arcadia Flats construction (from February 2019 - September 2019), also on the Facilities site. [YOUTUBE]as-rCNLtjbc[/YOUTUBE] Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Development Finally, while not exactly development in the traditional sense, this is potential huge news for Kalamazoo if it results in billions invested in Pfizer by the Federal Government:
  12. I just noticed that there is a separate Muskegon-Holland development thread, but it has not been updated in years. Would it be better to move these topics to that thread, or keep the discussion going here?
  13. By the way, here is a rendering of the aforementioned new downtown justice complex. This will likely be the highest profile construction job in the near future, in downtown. HOK partnered with local architecture firm TowerPinkster on this design. Source: WKZO | Courtesy Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners
  14. Maybe I can help fire things up again. I just joined Urban Planet (although I have silently followed the Grand Rapids discussions for many years). I'm an Architect living in Kalamazoo and I provide pretty regular Kalamazoo updates on skyscraperpage and skyscrapercity (and it's pretty quiet on those forums too). Here is a copy-paste job of my most recent update from a few days ago, for most of the higher-profile projects happening around town, to help get things going again. There is (still) a lot going on! Welcome to town, gvsusean! These are from last Saturday (7/11/20) and they are just in the order that I came across them. A mix of driving and walking, and a mix of things big and small, suburban and urban. King-Westwood Elementary School Addition and Remodel - Consumers Credit Union Branch - this was a fast new build on the northwest corner of Drake and West Main. An older bank branch was demolished to make way for this. The branch functioned out of a mobile trailer in an adjacent parking lot while this went up. Looks like it is just abut ready to open - In contrast, across the street on the NE corner of Drake and West Main is the site of the slowest-moving project in town, a new Chik-Fil-A (only the region's 2nd) - Bronson Methodist has a lot of things going on around town, including no less than six new Primary Care medical buildings. This is the one on West Main, in Oshtemo Township. All six were scheduled to open at the start of July, requiring a rather coordinated move of 60+ physicians that ended their contract with Ascension Borgess (the other big hospital in town) recently - There is a new drive that connects over to the new Advia Credit Union Headquarters, also under construction - Though in a suburban location, the Advia CU building is quite massive - And the adjacent stormwater retention pond taking shape is also quite immense, in its own way. It rained hard yesterday, so we got to see it pretty full today - I'm glad to see so much masonry on the building - South on Drake, past Stadium Drive, Western Michigan University now has most of the infrastructure and landscaping in place for its Business Technology and Research Park Phase 2 Expansion. Here's a site plan and some photos - no buildings yet, except for an open-air pavilion structure - Source: WMU Heading up Stadium Drive now, towards WMU. It's hard to get a good shot driving by, but there is a new Honor Credit Union Branch that was formerly a Bob Evans. It is quite the transformation and will open this fall - Here's some renderings, since I couldn't get a good shot - Source: Honor Credit Union Further up Stadium, Lume, the city's first Recreational Marijuana Dispensary, is open. I read that Lume is currently the largest, single-state marijuana dispensary company in the country. And they have some aggressive expansion plans. WMU's Arcadia Flats - And the new WMU Student Center, which is taking on greater presence - Kalamazoo College's new Natatorium is a lot further along than I thought - Downtown, Hilton Hotels - Just west of here is where the new county justice facility will be built. The construction fencing is up, and there is a job trailer and excavator on site - 180 E Water St / Catalyst Development - exterior finishes are underway (and look sharp!) - "The Creamery" - Bronson Cancer Pavilion - Bronson Generator Enclosure - Bronson Surgical Suite Expansion (infill at main hospital) - Bronson Labs (like I said, lots going on) - 400 Rose (now occupied) - And finally, ending with something random, some sort of roof top work at the at&t downtown building - Thanks for scrolling! Here's a second (mostly copied) post from the other forums, which I shared a few days ago, as a follow up to the previous post, above. The construction fence (and now demolition work) that I thought was for the new justice facility is actually a block west of this, and is for a parking lot that will serve the new facility. My neighbor, and this article, helped correct me. Newschannel 3 posted some video footage of the demo work that was commencing yesterday. Source: WWMT / Newschannel 3 | Matt Miller Lastly, I must mention that Buddy's Pizza opened in Portage on Monday, after a COVID-19 related delay. The building used to house "Old Chicago" another pizza chain with often mixed reviews that closed last year. This is the first Buddy's Original Detroit-Style pizza chain in southwest Michigan, and I think it will be a hit. I grew up with it, and jokingly say it is about the only thing that would make me want to move back to the east side of the state. Now I'll never have to.
  15. Hi Everyone! I have followed the Grand Rapids discussion board for many years. I am an active member / contributor on skyscraperpage and skyscrapercity, and a new member here. I'm an Architect living in Kalamazoo, and I mostly track developments on the west side of the state. SSP and SSC are fine, but the interest level in Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, and elsewhere in the region is typically very light. For whatever reason, Urban Planet seems to be the place to be, at least when it comes to Grand Rapids and its surrounding environs. I really appreciate the thoroughness and passion of everyone on this forum, and I hope to be a small part of that now. Onekama's post above this one sent me down a bit of a wormhole, and while I unearthed some more info on the aforementioned 210 / 212 S. River Ave. I also found some other Holland development updates to share here. 210 / 212 S River Ave. Resthaven, a senior living provider, is teaming with GDK Development and TAG (The Architectural Group - Grandville, MI) for a new 55+ facility in downtown Holland at 212 S River Ave. This is on the site of the former Harbour Bay Furniture Co., which closed in 2018. There is also some incidental work planned concurrently at the property next door (210). The Planning Commission reviewed revised application information for both 210 and 212 S River Ave at a June 23 special meeting. 210 is an existing, 2-story historic masonry structure that would receive a new roof and second floor deck for the existing second floor residence. 210 would be the new 5-story Resthaven facility with ground floor retail space, 21 single-bedroom units, and some main floor covered parking. The design is inspired by the Brower Furniture Co. Building, a historic building that formerly occupied the site 100 years ago. The Commission unanimously passed the site plan applications for both properties. Here are the renderings and elevations presented on 6/23 - Photograph of Historic Brower Building (demolished) - Source: City of Holland (Renderings & Historic Photo) (Elevations) 173 W 20th St. At the same June 23 Planning Commission Meeting, some plans were reviewed to convert a former church structure into a 6-unit apartment building targeted to medical professionals. This would also require a rezoning from R-TRN to PUD to allow for the higher density unit count (current zone only allows for up to two units). The Commission responded favorably, and the next steps include community outreach. The developers seem pretty novice, and the plans that were reviewed are pretty unexciting, but maybe an interesting project nonetheless - Source: City of Holland 159 S River Ave "Towers on River" This 5-story project was reviewed in September of last year. The applicant, Midwest Construction, returned to the Planning Commission at their July 14, 2020 meeting to amend the original application. Included in the amendment is the provision of medical office suite space on the second floor, multi-level patient and tenant parking, and a total of 27 residential units on the top three floors. Also included is an additional curb cut off of 7th St, in addition to a previously approved cut off of 6th St. Awaiting minutes to find out what the outcome was from this 7/14 review. Renderings and below - Source: City of Holland 66 E 8th St (New Holland Brewing Expansion) Here's where my bad "Holland be Hoppin'" pun comes into play. New Holland Brewing is looking to expand their current building with a ~2,400 SF rear addition with a basement and two floors. The goal of the addition is to provide an expanded kitchen and year-round indoor / outdoor bar space on the ground level, with restrooms, storage, and roof top patio above. There is also an elevator proposed as a part of this development, which would require an OPR (Optional Plan Review) and Planning Commission Waiver, due to its location along a public right-of-way. The online documents also indicate plans for a future second phase addition, to finish a build-out of the second floor up to the 8th St. frontage. The building is also in the historic downtown district. Plans, Elevations, and (sketchy) Renderings below - Source: City of Holland (Drawings) (Renderings) 36th Street Housing Development (285 W 36th St and 904, 906, 926 Washington Ave) City Council voted 7-2 in early July to approve the rezoning of these parcels to allow for a new affordable housing development spearheaded by Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity and Jubilee Ministries. A total of 42 units across two phases would be built on the parcels rezoned from R-1 to PRD (Planned Residential Development). There will be a mix of single-family detached homes, and 2 and 3-unit townhouses. This is a fairly massive development, considering the stakeholders, and a lot of moving parts were involved to get it to this approval point. More info and imagery below -
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