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GR_Urbanist last won the day on June 2 2013

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  1. GR_Urbanist

    Wealthy Street Mega Thread

    This cant be right! They are just going to up and ditch GR ? They get a ton of business, and are getting all types of praise! Getting that here was really important for the street. I'm actually really disgusted at the owners on this one. Just unbelievable.
  2. GR_Urbanist

    Wealthy Street Mega Thread

    Yes, please!!! HPC, that house is not historic and isnt something that we need to "preserve". It is way more important to build up commerce on the street. Also, is Louise Earl Butcher moving? I could swear I saw a banner driving by saying something about that, but I went by too fast
  3. GR_Urbanist

    Hey, what's that?

    So, what's going on with the old MoDiv? I'm assuming MoDiv is no longer a thing, and that something new is going in. The new frontage on Division is looking really nice for whatever is going there.
  4. GR_Urbanist

    What are Grand Rapids' best assets?

    Our best asset is stability, and relative isolation. People around here are more chill. Fairly low crime, very safe neighborhoods, people dont engage in the civil strife that you get in big cities. We are separated from Chicago by a lot of water, and from Detroit by other cities to hopefully filter out all but the most determined. It's cheap and easy to live here We also dont have earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, tidal waves, or shut-down cities over .25" of snow. Come to GR if you want to take a breather from the world.
  5. Great job, GR. One step forward, two steps back.
  6. GR_Urbanist

    New projects on the West Side

    At first I was excited because this can become super dense and affordable small unit housing + apartments with a BRT line servicing it. Then I saw the sea of cul-de-sacs around it, and know that "my precious wetlands" and "my way of life" NIMBYS are already practicing their cliches.
  7. GR_Urbanist

    Wealthy Street Mega Thread

    This is interesting to see. On one hand, One less surface lot, and a fill in streetfront. But on the other, that will introduce a parking crunch on the street, and people will wonder why build there when you have 4 buildings that need renovation or demolishing, and two large parcels of land that could potentially house a new building.
  8. GR_Urbanist

    Should a city be judged by its tallest buildings...

    You can actually see DT GR from the highway in Holland Twp. on a clear day when the sun is to the west. Riverhouse is easily visible from almost Standale. While on the other side, only the top of the Amway is visible from Lake Dr. and Diamond. DT is virtually invisible to the eastern half of the city anywhere else. If DT, and most of GR, were on a relatively even elevation, you could likely see the entire skyline from past the E. Beltline easily.
  9. GR_Urbanist

    Should a city be judged by its tallest buildings...

    I think cities need a good "ground game" more than tall buildings. That is to say incredible street life, plenty of density, lots of interesting things to look at, and places to shop and be entertained if you want to impress people from the outside these days. Perception is everything. Right now, sure, GR lacks any really good tall buildings to define itself to the outside world on sight alone, but our street life is only "ok" and getting better by the month, but far too many parts of DT are still dead zones with only a hint of what could be. Personally I would love to trade modest-height Riverhouse for 24 smaller 3 story buildings that filled in the gaps in the streetwall around DT. Outside of making a good photo, tall buildings really dont do much. My fantasy is a city filled in from Hall St. all the way up to Riverside Park with 3-7 story buildings if it meant we never got a really tall building.
  10. GR_Urbanist

    ArtPrize - Grand Rapids

    I wish this was the setup since the first year. The news is definitely going to sting a lot of people and businesses in the wallet. AP is like a Black Friday for a lot of establishments, and was what took over from Celebration on the Grand as the end of summer festival. I think it will work out in the end. People honestly knew that it was starting to become a bit threadbare anyway. Last year was nothing like the first 4. Sure, attendance was up, but the art was starting to drop off in terms of ambition. If they didnt act now then it would start to affect attendance numbers, and then they would be in real trouble. I just hope they do something really spectacular on the off years. Not just some Site:Lab deal, but something that will WOW people.
  11. GR_Urbanist

    Diamond Place at the Proos Site

    Reminds me of the grocery store I visited in Seattle called "Kress IGA Supermarket". Not a D&W sized grocery, but more than a Martha's Vinyard. It isnt going to appeal to Meijer fans nor current residents in the single-family homes on either side of Michigan. So maybe Gordon's is banking on more dense development on Michigan in the future to the tune of a few thousand more units? Right now the area isnt a heavily pedestrian corridor like the grocery in Seattle enjoys, so I hope they are in for the long-haul, and dont close after one year.
  12. GR_Urbanist

    Division / Wealthy and ICCF

    From another Mlive story on the project. So far, It at least occupies the site well enough. No massive surface lot either facing Division or helping to relegate Sheldon to a back service alley status. The street wall on Wealthy and Division gets the most love, which is good. And 7 stories is a nice height for the area. Senior housing may land a CVS or Walgreens there. At least a Rite Aid, hopefully.
  13. GR_Urbanist

    Diamond Place at the Proos Site

    Looking at the photos of their store's interior, it looks decent enough. They seem to carry the right products people will generally want, and have clean and bright interiors. If they make a good appearance (tap back a bit on the spartan food supplier warehouse look), they could totally be a welcome middle addition to the Family Fare to the East and Meijer to the west
  14. GR_Urbanist

    That weird retail space at the base of Plaza Towers

    Maybe it just needs to be a Chick-fil-A?
  15. GR_Urbanist

    Wealthy Street Mega Thread

    Ah but the catch is that the place was a boarded-up wreck that was overlooking a dingy strip mall tacked onto the back of an abandoned McDonalds back then. I'm sure 40K(?) had to go into this at least.