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GR_Urbanist last won the day on June 2 2013

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  1. Diamond Place at the Proos Site

    Michigan street is at a crossroads (pun?). Projects like this, while not masterpieces, will at least get the ball rolling on the idea that Michigan St. can be a walkable, urban extension of DT, that may stand a better chance of having the retail that the central core simply cannot, and that it can be done with a strong residential component. Right now it is a bit schizo, as GRDad pointed out, with the other side of the street being firmly rooted in the 1990s Michigan St. vision of a mini 28th St. running parallel to the highway. We can only hope that enough of these spots are bought-out, and new developments arise, that complement at least the vision that people are pushing for of a more urban corridor, and that the current owners don't cement the car-oriented nature of the place now like the Wendy's (not the worse example), McDonalds, Goodwill, KFC, and that Sprint store have done for the foreseeable future. This building at least defines the eastern-most we can expect infill to really take over. It is also a fair distance from the top of the hill, and it is impressive enough that it may bring some momentum to continue to build back towards the west if it sells well, hopefully. I'm hoping that the strip mall with the Ritz Kony is the next one to get a rebuild because of developments like this.
  2. 234 Market, former Lady Godiva's

    The royalty of the Netherlands are from the "House of Orange-Nassau ". Their flag used to be orange, white, and blue before they changed the orange to red. I really love the color scheme myself. If you on the bridge (on Bridge St.), you will have a great down-river view of the project. The color will definitely make it stand out when looking at it from the north. Even when you are approaching the S-Curve on Market, it is such an imposing and inspiring structure already, and the unique color will make it pretty breathtaking.
  3. ArtPrize - Grand Rapids

    It honestly doesn't "feel" the same. I do see that the number of entries is down slightly, and big player such as Site Lab are not in it this time. Of course the BOB can no longer host a parking lot of entries either. The competition could be going through an awkward middle period where it has to start a 2nd act because things have become too predictable. I see that the new construction will actually renew things because we will have so many new potential venues to replace some old favorites or ones where they just arent interested in participating. I'm sure it will still draw people in, but DT is now doing that all on its own all year, so maybe we just can no longer notice the crowds because it's kind of always like this now?
  4. Martha's Vineyard

    That is one heck of an addition, and for me makes up for the whole parking lot thing years ago!
  5. Wealthy Street Needed Renovations

    *shrug* I like it. Looks rustic and cozy. Should really look nice in the winter, especially next to the Winchester.
  6. Woodland Mall to get $100 Million makeover

    It's actually quite jarring. That place has been a part of some of our lives for decades. My dad got keys made for 3 separate houses, and numerous cars there, bought two swing sets, 3 family portraits, school clothes, Christmas presents... and just like that, there it goes.
  7. Amazon looking for a city to put HQ2

    Come on GR! If the Museum School can do it, so can you!
  8. Amazon looking for a city to put HQ2

    Two of their requirements are direct access to mass-transit, and to be no more than 1-2 miles from a highway. That's going to narrow locations considerably. Likely against anything outside of the ITP zone, unless a special route is created, because we have no rail options.
  9. Amazon looking for a city to put HQ2

    We have this massive inland sea we humbly call a lake that lacks hurricanes, tsunamis, and salt! Easy access to Chicago and Detroit, without the cost of living (by air, we are almost dead center between those two, as well as Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Madison, and Toronto). Dozens of smaller communities along the shoreline that have thousands of acres for new housing that can be built long before the first Amazon employee clocks in. A university that Amazon can invest in that isn't pretentious. So many nature (no volcanoes or earthquakes) and cultural activities. This place is the closest you will get to virgin territory that isn't in the middle of nowhere.
  10. Amazon looking for a city to put HQ2

    Would love to see it come here. About as much chance of that as one of our actual big companies locating their HQ to the city though. But the city HAS to try. GR is spooky similar to Seattle in a lot of ways, just really scaled down. I honestly felt like it was just a larger, more developed version of home when I was there. It would be incredible to win this one! Heck, can we start a letter writing campaign? Pretty meh about it going to Detroit though. I dont have these warm feelings for the place. Detroit didnt give a toss about GR when they were on top, So I've never developed this "we are all in this together" (because Michigan) vibe.
  11. RFP - 201 Market

    Providence Park in Portland would actually JUST fit the site, and leave space to spare. I would still contend that parking would make this a no-go unless a deal is reached to build a massive ramp + liner building on the surface lots to the north of the highway, which isnt that far-fetched. As long as the building/complex is built to the street, and hosts non-sports dependent businesses, residential or retail along Market, Then I could warm to this.
  12. RFP - 201 Market

    While the GRFC has a great culture and fan-base, this is not the best space to give a minor-league team (or any sport) a permanent venue that will likely eat up most of the site (because parking), be unused 98% of the year, and on top of that it will be exposed to the elements. Honestly, I think a better place for them would be Rumsey Park, right off of Market Ave, although it might be a little too far removed. No need to get fancy about this site. Just build it out like it was a normal part of the existing DT. The most important thing is to establish a real urban extension, with everyday services, that will just get people down there.
  13. 1415 Lake Drive - Kingsley Bldg - Redevelopment

    The renovation in front of Kingsley as of today. Also the veterinarian building across the street has construction fencing up! Expansion will be under way soon! This intersection is going to get interesting.
  14. GR Public Museum School

    If you have the occasion to go by the Museum School site in the evening, and they leave the lights on, you will get an excellent view of the interior space as it stands now since the ground-floor windows have officially been uncovered. It looks like almost everything has been removed from the inside. I was able from State St. to see clear to the other side of the building.
  15. New projects on the West Side

    I was at a red light by New Holland once, and for a few seconds I wasn't even sure what city I was in.