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MJLO last won the day on September 21 2013

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  1. Those cities are NOT representative of similar sized cities to Grand Rapids. Looking at city population numbers alone is about the worst comparison metric you can use for a study like this. The two that might be comparable to city size and metro area are Richmond and Norfolk, and they do not really fare that much better. 1. Madison an epic college town, they have a stronger transit/biking culture by default. There's no distinction of how many of those transit/biking commuters are students who use those methods because they have no other means. 2. St. Paul is the secondary core city in a 3.5 million person metro area with several modes of public transportation, and one of the nations foremost biking cultures. I'm actually surprised that it's numbers aren't higher given it's twin cities' transit heavy culture. (It's only about 11 miles between downtown MSP and St. Paul). Either way this is NOT a peer city to GR. 3. Salt Lake City has an urban population over 1million which is a good 60% larger than Grand Rapids UA(Same with both Richmond and Norfolk for that matter). It's the only city of it's size with light rail. Still not a good comparison metric since its transit authority serves a much bigger market, and contains a transportation mode that automatically gives it a boost in convenience (LRT). I would like to know why Colliers chose those seemingly random cities. If not only to push a narrative that GR isn't performing well against its peers. That's fine to make that point so long as you actually use peer cities to make that comparison. In this case a peer city needs to be closer to urban population since it's more representative of the routes a regional transit authority would take. Under that metric standing Grand Rapids next to St. Paul and saying look at how much GR under performs in comparison is either deliberately misleading, or ignorant as hell. If someone wants to see how GR is performing against it's peer cities, stand it up next to Omaha, Des Moines, Toledo, Colorado Springs, Tucson, Rochester, even Louisville and Jacksonville are going to be a more even comparison. Should that happen what you'll find are numbers and a culture that is little different. I understand there is a public/private battle here. It's a chicken and egg problem. Perhaps the city should consider incentivizing those downtown workers to use public transit with some kind of tax credit, the way they do to incentivize developers to build downtown. Maybe they should consider building a 10 story ramp on the big DASH lot next to Big boy, and call it the hub and increase the shuttle service. There has to be innovative ways to keep the office market downtown healthy, while also getting the daytime population an acceptable means of compromise for being there. Running around like Chicken Little because St Paul has a downtown workforce more inclined to commute via public transit is ridiculous. (Not directing that at you @WMrapids)
  2. Ironic you should mention GVSU being part of the parking problem. http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2017/02/gvsu_to_buy_padnos_property_fo.html#incart_gallery
  3. They did another sweep of the city during the latest art prize. Somewhere on the east side they found a branch. Half of the streetviews have that leaf.
  4. http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2017/02/bridge_and_stocking_super_bloc.html#incart_river_home Sounds like demolition for the super block has been slated for spring.
  5. That would be awesome if Spectrum Industries moved to Kentwood and those properties opened up. All very speculative of course, but it would be a HUGE shot in the arm to the walkability and overall appeal of that area if something were renovate and or replace those buildings.
  6. They've upped their option on it. There's no telling if they are even thinking of Class A office space. From what I can tell CWD is pretty damn strategic in how they execute things. I can't imagine them intentionally cannibalizing their own business. Amway needs to get off it's tuckus and do something with their big ass lot at Fulton and Market. Perhaps a mixed use lined building that utilitizes the river front, and contains a couple thousand parking spaces within? Something like that could help reignite the demand for that class A space.
  7. I just don't think the demand is there for them to justify something tall. (Certainly not the parking)
  8. Sorry not trying to feed into anything. I just know that it was somewhat of an eyesore from the street, so it seemed ironic. I certainly wasn't trying to speak of anyone who frequented it.
  9. Either way a convenient incident ridding an emerging neighborhood of an albatross.
  10. Boy I hope the city actually sells the property across the street. The right development there could give an instant injection of momentum changing the dynamic of that whole neighborhood.
  11. If Devos place and the Government center are always open for anyone to park it would seem that the word needs to get out that people can park in them.
  12. It think you're right. Do you think this will pull Suzanne Geha out of retirement?
  13. The context in which I was using the word "lull" was indicitive of a slowdown, not a stop. A lot of the fuel that propelled the last 3-4 years of growth has been tapped. The office market which was hot in 2014-15 has slowed, and apartments are about to hit a saturation point. That's not a doom and gloom prediction, more something that has been observed as new projects have started to slow, or not come to fruition. People will move into all of the new units built downtown and demand will reignite. But in terms of retail, the next level of mass transit, and overall vibe, Grand Rapids will not hit that next level until there is another shot in the arm of people who have to be downtown. The biggest thing the city lacks in comparison to the cities it's trying to be like, is the presence of not even one corporate headquarters. Grand Rapids has 4 Fortune 500 sized companies in the area. All of them are growing, all of them are firmly entrenched in the suburbs. It would be amazing if the city could some how incentivize a big one to move in from outside of the region. Even one of the big companies headquartered in one of the smaller cities in the state (i.e. Dow, Kellogg, Whirlpool) I know it'd never happen, but it's nice to have wishful thinking sometimes . Especially a progressive company like Kellogg that only stays in Battle Creek because of it's legacy, but is held back in recruiting because of the not as attractiveness of it's locale.
  14. Seems like odd timing as it looks like developer conditions are about to enter a lull. I know there's no where to park, but there really needs to be another major job source downtown other than Spectrum(i.e. corporate headquarters) , if it's ever truly going to get to that next level.
  15. Panera is fast casual while Chik Fil a is still fast food. The average fast food restaurant is about 70-75% drive through sales alone. Sure the inside would get busier but you're talking about a fast food restaurant that is going to do 4-4.5 million in sales with more than half of that coming in the drive through. It's too much of a risk to the volume they need. Fast food restaurants without drive-throughs are only in environments that warrant it. In a suburban environment like that they will be leaving way too much money on the table to justify it. The only reason Wendy's was allowed was because it was a couple years before GRT got snooty about drive-thru's in their zoning. It was also in the same parking lot where Meritage was headquartered. McDonalds sold the property they had for that area quite a long time ago.