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GR_Urbanist last won the day on June 2 2013

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  1. GR_Urbanist

    Holland Home - Fulton St.

    Maybe what's being missed here is that this isnt 1 or 4 families dispersed throughout a broad area? This is a minimum of 80 (eaisly more) families of 3-4 people each in one building, in the middle of a residential neighborhood. The problem isnt the people, it's the scale and the concentration. I cant find any information if something of this size has been done in GR before. Like I said, I hope this organization can deal with something of this scale, because if they cant, unlike nobody noticing a single family in one home, people will know if it goes off the rails here.
  2. GR_Urbanist

    Holland Home - Fulton St.

    It's a matter of if this is actually "temporary" or a selling point get it approved while they then work to make it permanent under the table. Then there are red flags like selling the family aspect of it, while then stating that they are hiring a bunch of security guards. Why do you need security guards? It reminds me of what Stuyvesant Apartments has to contend with. Are people and "guests" going to be coming and going as they please? That is another issue. Are the people that run this operation actually on top of things, or will they slack off and look the other way when problems crop up? Will this overwhelm them? Also, where are the kids there going to go to school? Are these two-parent intact families or single parents? Are these parents working? If so, are there responsible adults to supervise the kids if necessary? How old are the kids in these units? Are these folks just expected to stay pined-up in apartments made for elderly people when they are there? I was watching the Wood TV report on this, and the lady that spoke against it, lived right next door, and she was right to be concerned that a home she bought next to a quiet senior-living facility, is now for a year, as we are told now, going to be a homeless shelter for at least 80 families in an unfortunate chaotic situation, which will be over 150-200 people eaisly, living in very close quarters, in a place not built for it. Sadly I think that today's" get along, go along" climate makes being in opposition to stuff like this a dicey proposition, so a lot of people are kind of staying mute, and hoping for the best. If this becomes permanent, it will dip their home values significantly. There is just no dancing around that. It will either work out ok, or it's really going to not going to work out ok. Compassion simply isnt a cover here. This arrangement had better be a tight operation from A to Z, with no lose ends. It isnt fair to the people that have to stay there, and it isnt fair to the people that live in the surrounding area.
  3. GR_Urbanist

    Holland Home - Fulton St.

    *facepalm* Well good luck to you guys in Eastown, and Wilcox Park. Hopefully your altruism wont bite you all in the rear.
  4. GR_Urbanist

    DeVos Family Headquarters (Old 5/3 building)

    I hope it happens quick before someone tries to declare the place as an architectural treasure from the 60s that must be preserved!
  5. GR_Urbanist

    Holland Home - Fulton St.

    So they were adamantly against a gas station in the same general area because of fear of property values, but they are in favor of what is a homeless shelter, with a nicer name, for 116 families? Family Promise of Grand Rapids seems like a nice enough and professional outfit, and I'm sure people are saying they are in favor of it in public, but when this goes up for public discussion and letters, I dont see that lasting for more than a hot second. People really need to cross-examine this idea, and non-profit, honestly and thoroughly before moving something like this into that neighborhood.
  6. GR_Urbanist

    Wealthy Street Mega Thread

    Well I suppose the Holiday Shop Hop is coming soon, so they may not have really expected a lot of BF shoppers, and will make up for it next month. But yes, Wealthy st. down there is really starting to mature and fill out nicely. Those new store fronts have just been amazing to look into. And the cool thing is that there are still more developments coming!
  7. GR_Urbanist

    Heritage Hill / Cherry Hill / Wealthy Street Updates

    Maybe this is one of those buildings where part will have to be sacrificed in order to make it usable. Take out the 1948 expansion, and let a modern one story addition with a parking deck on top. I know that's blasphemy, but this is simply a very bad bet for any future development as it is.
  8. GR_Urbanist

    The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    Looking forward to finally some development running down Eastern! This is still very exciting. My biggest hope is that the ICCF runs a tight ship here. "Low income" housing + homeless youth is potentially inviting problems if they dont have rock-solid management and security. I also saw nothing regarding the ground-floor usage. I would hope that it is useful retail and not ground-floor offices for non-profits or social services whose lights go out at 5PM. Get some of that foot traffic from Wealthy down to attractive places down there. Have this be a real catalyst for a positive change, and not have this turn into a quasi-housing project, with a dash of Degege.
  9. GR_Urbanist

    Wealthy Street Mega Thread

    To whom? From Wikipedia: I think someone is trolling them.
  10. GR_Urbanist


    I saw a report on WoodTV where various localities are voting to outlaw the selling in their towns. Examples were Hudsonville, and most of Ottawa Co. and other locations. I'm ok with this. I voted Yes just so that if you are going to do it responsibly, that you wont have to go to jail. But I think the general community should be able to protect themselves from the jerks that want to smoke it in public or think they should be able to be high and drive. It was really annoying walking in Seattle and SoHo in NYC and smelling it. That was really disrespectful.
  11. GR_Urbanist

    Grand Rapids Then and Now

    My preschool class was one of the last group of kids to ride the train when it was still in (pre City Center) Herpolsheimer's back in, I think, 1982 or 83. I remember being terrified of the thing. It did feel like it was a tiny cage suspended a hundred feet in the air. After we went there, we walked down to the then " new" Amway Grand Plaza to see the gingerbread houses, and took a ride in elevator with the view of the outside....which terrified me even more. I must have been a real pain that day.
  12. GR_Urbanist

    The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    Renters aren't displaced. You are renting, you should have no expectation that the building you rent in will always be there to rent in. Sure, maybe something for people that have to move on really short notice can be worked out where the cost of a U-Haul and the deposit + 1st month's rent can be worked out, but $3,500 is excessive. The hint is if it is modeled after something in Seattle, then it's best to avoid replicating in GR.
  13. GR_Urbanist

    The Grand River?! You mean GR has a River?

    That's why #5 was almost my choice. Part of me was wondering that too. That is this too "trendy".
  14. GR_Urbanist

    The Grand River?! You mean GR has a River?

    I picked #2 It's my wayfinding sign geek side calling me to love this. I love the bold, easy to read typeface and the mix of material (concrete and wood), and a compact profile. #5 was a close 2nd, but it's size may be too big for some of the tiny parks, like Cherry Park.
  15. GR_Urbanist

    The Grand River?! You mean GR has a River?

    I would hope it is catchy and not something boring, like named after a dead person, or whomever donated a bunch of money to it. You should see outsiders struggle to pronounce Ah-Nab-Awen, and some folks from Detroit were pretty bemused at the name Rosa Parks Circle when I told them. Monument park definitely occupies the boring category. Aim for something contemporary and insta-iconic like "the High Line" or how the the dutch make it all one word like " Rembrandtpark ".