• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


MJLO last won the day on September 21 2013

MJLO had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

421 Excellent

About MJLO

  • Rank
  • Birthday 07/25/1980

Profile Information

  • Gender

Recent Profile Visitors

7779 profile views
  1. Maybe I misread your post, but according to the print that giant blank wall is the portion of the building that makes contact with the theatre building. We shouldn't see it at all.
  2. While we may lack a flagship like most/all of our peer metros, don't forget we have two premium brand hotels that are an echelon above flagship. I don't think a single one of our peer metros can claim this. I wouldn't speculate on the brand just yet. I don't think the flagships are done looking for locations here. It won't be a Hampton with the one already in Midtown. If the Hilton brand is not going in that location I'd wait and see. The convention hotel looks to be a much larger/premium location for a flagship brand like a Hilton, perhaps they are waiting for that to come out of feasibility and break ground. Also maybe we'll get lucky and one of the hotels currently under construction will flip brands. A Hilton going in next to the Warner tower would be way more welcome than Hyatt Place.
  3. Beer

    Trust me, certain W. Michigan residents are artists at exploiting loop holes in restaurant promotions.
  4. The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2018/03/developer_plans_to_replace_chu.html This seems like a good example of the city not caving to some hair on fire residents resistant to change, and allowing a developer to add housing. I am hoping they end up doing the same for the housing now initiative. It seems like no matter where you are there will always be loud voices that resist change at all costs. These same people are the ones who resort to deceitful, and downright despicable tactics to impede progress. I don't see how some of those voices at the city meeting last night are any different. I would imagine the vast majority of residents are not opposed to making the city dense. I've always found it unfortunate that the fringe makes their voices louder than the masses.
  5. Allegan County is a great example of some of the loop holes in the methodology used to calculate metro areas. Clinically speaking Holland doesn't have a metro area. Holland's urban area is split within Allegan County. Metro area's are defined by commuting patterns between counties. The bulk of Holland's urban area is in Ottawa County. Since more than 25% of Ottawa Counties workforce commutes into Kent County it is considered part of metropolitan Grand Rapids. That means if you're standing north of 32nd in Holland you're in Grand Rapids metro. Somewhere between 15%-25% of Allegan's workforce commutes into Kent/Ottawa, not enough for it to be considered fully part of GR's metro area. Therefore Allegan County is classified as a "micropolitan" area. Micropolitan areas are always named for the largest city in the county. Since the city of Hollands borders spill into Allegan County, it is considered the "Holland MI Micropolitan Area". You can literally walk across the street without leaving the city and be considered no longer part of Metro GR. The irony is not lost that the bulk of the city of Holland is considered in a different metro area, than the micro area it is named for. In terms of growth I would imagine some of it is happening around Holland. I would also wager that there's an uptick of housing going in around Wayland and Door near the Kent County border. Also don't forget that Allegan County borders Kalamazoo County as well, and is likely receiving exurban spill over on it's southern borders. Should the population trend continue I do expect to see the commuting threshold for Allegan County into Kent/Ottawa cross over that 25% threshold. That means it will be considered part of the Grand Rapids metro area after the 2023 metro realignment.
  6. Medical Mile/Michigan Street Developments

    Yeah our building association sent out a letter from the city talking about how Lafayette will be closed until July. It was also detailing the work that will be done on Michigan which is in preparation for the new GVSU building and their joint ramp.
  7. For those of you who follow population stats the census bureau released the 2017 county population estimates on Thursday. As someone who has hobbies that are categorically un-enjoyable to a normal human being I analyze them every year. Since M-live doesn't seem interested in following it this year (not that they are particularly competent and posting accurate facts about trends) I am posting my analysis below. A break down of the regions data suggests a trend that people are moving to the rural metro counties at faster rates than I've seen since I've been watching them. (If you find this stuff boring feel free to disengage at this point :D) I'll start with the big ones. Together Kent and Ottawa Counties contain 934,977 enough on their own to be the 59th largest metro area in the country. They have also added more than 60,000 people since 2010. Over the past couple of years their growth has started to slow. Kent County added: 6,095 in 2015, 6,401 in 2016, 5,685 in 2017 . (The lowest number of added residents since 2011.) Ottawa County was a bit more consistent: 3,136 in 2015, 2,803 in 2016, (slowest growth in over a decade) 3,141 in 2017. Over these three years the housing inventory crunch has really intensified leading to one of the most cut throat real estate markets nationwide. From what I can tell these 2 counties have been bearing the brunt of it. I believe it is choking their ability to effectively add more residents. Conversely several rural counties that are part of the MSA, or greater CSA region have started to show a surge of growth in that same period. Barry County long has been a slow but steady gainer: 115 in 2015 323 in 2016 874 in 2017 (second fastest growth rate in the state) Montcalm County seems an odd addition to the Grand Rapids MSA, and has historically oscillated between population stagnation and decline: -44 in 2015 235 in 2016 587 in 2017 (top ten state growth rate) Allegan County is considered statistically separate from Grand Rapids MSA, but still part of it's CSA. It is typically consistently stronger than average in growth: 795 in 2015 870 in 2016 1,492 in 2017 (3rd fastest growing in the state) Muskegon County which shares more in common with post industrial counties on the eastern side of Michigan also appears to be benefiting: 202 in 2015 729 in 2016 591 in 2017 Ionia County is the only county that doesn't seem to be affected by the trend of people moving further out. -178 in 2015 131 in 2016 109 in 2017 Even further out Newaygo(added 454 residents in 2017 9th fastest in the state) and Mecosta Counties are seeing a steady increase in numbers. Now part of this could be attributed to a larger trend within the state as a whole. Several rural and remote counties are showing a reversal of decades of decline over the last three years. Specifically when I look at population numbers in the counties that border Kent and Ottawa Counties, I believe they are immediately being impacted by the housing situation in the core counties. Growth in the core counties has started to slow, while Barry, Montcalm, and Allegan are starting to surge. To me this indicates new families being attracted or recruited to the area are more easily able to find housing further out, or people within the core counties that are looking to move up in housing brackets are choosing longer commutes in order to do so(more likely a combination of both). It's also an indication that W. Michigan is not achieving it's full potential in gaining new residents. I don't have the means to assess how many people are being recruited to the area, or are potentially interested in relocation but choose not to, due to a lack of housing. Over the past several years we've seen the apartment/rental market react to demand for housing. However single family housing has lagged. The residential construction industry in the area is producing beyond it's capacity. On top of that there continues to be a talent shortage in skilled trades. The area has never recovered after several major home builders exited the region during Michigan's 10 year recession. None of them seem to have taken note that there's hundreds of millions of dollars being left on the table these days. Additionally the township lobby adds to this with prohibitive and expensive regulations that remove even more incentive for big builders to take a chance on the region. In my opinion housing is the most important issue this region faces at the moment. If we cannot accommodate those who wish to move here, we are losing opportunity. I challenge anyone who would argue growth is a bad thing. This region isn't experiencing anything near the level of growth that compromises quality of life and may never see it. If the region is unable to supply an inventory to meet the demands, the demand will go elsewhere. Let me be clear I am not trying to over dramatize the situation, and I think almost all other metrics of the area are quite healthy. We live in an area of transition, in order to complete that transition we need the resident base to support it. If you do not grow you decline. Decline only creates more decline, as municipalities receive less revenue, and in turn reduce services, which in turn makes the region even less attractive. What can be done to remedy some of these issues? I can't imagine W. Mich will ever see the return of Pulte or the like, nor am I certain anything can be done about the growth prohibitive township lobby. Could major construction players like Rockford and Orion enter the residential market instead of just building urban monstrosities? I know all kinds of things about population statistics, I know almost nothing about the dynamics of the construction industry, let alone commercial vs. residential. Are any of the many economic development engines within the region working toward solutions on this front?
  8. The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    It seems as if the city is doing the right thing with zoning and somewhat bypassing the hair on fire neighborhood associations the past few years. Are you saying they can actually prevent the city from continuing to shift in a more competitive position with its peers?
  9. Suburban Projects

    I almost think counties in the region should consider doing what Phoenix/Maricopa county did in the 1990's and add a 1 cent sales tax to fund the building of the current Phoenician freeway network. Kent, Ottawa, Allegan, Kzoo, Berry, and maybe even Berrien counties could do this. I wouldn't give two craps about giving an extra penny for every dollar especially if it brought the area out of the 1960s in terms of infrastructure. Aside from that this side of the state gets a ton of out of state traffic from tourism and business so it would in part be paid for by more than just locals Lets circumvent MDOT since it is clearly buried in maintaining an infrastructure that was built for an area who's golden age was the 60s and 70s. Even with the demographic shift they can't afford, or they don't care to modernize the states most economically dynamic region.
  10. Suburban Projects

    To Dads's point I imagine if there were ever a northern freeway belt Rockford and the surrounding twp's would grow like weeds.
  11. Suburban Projects

    The immediate urbanized portion of the Grand Rapids area is disproportionately slanted to the south. Is there anywhere this kind of growth around Rockford/ Belmont/Plainfield/Alpine Twp?
  12. East Beltline Developments

    The Louisville location feels similar, although it's in the Highlands which is one of the coolest neighborhoods in the city.
  13. The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    That was one of the most accurate representations/descriptions of Grand Rapids and the situation here. Most national publications do a terrible job when doing stories on GR.
  14. Lakeshore Projects

    Well right, but I think the Dutch population that settled here were specifically Calvinists that didn't agree with the societal and philosophical direction Holland was going at the time no? They didn't even then represent the political leanings of the mainstream Dutch. Perhaps the reason the Netherlands is so liberal is because all of the people would would have had opposing views are in Ottawa County?
  15. New projects on the West Side

    I wonder if they are working in conjunction with Rockford on this since they are all things West Side. EDIT: I have answered my own question. Yes of course they will be working with Rockford. Mlive has the address listed as 501 Alabama Ave NW which is behind the 616 lofts on Alabama, and across the st from Rockfords headquarters in that parking lot. http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2018/03/consumers_energy_to_build_20m.html