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KCLBADave last won the day on June 15 2012

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  1. People talking about Grand Rapids

    With an average sales price of $249,000 and the fact that it costs about $250,000 to build a reasonably sized home it means we are not going to be able to build our way out of the housing shortage any time soon. On another, somewhat related note, I was told by a VERY credible source that the rental market in GR is softening very fast. To quote my source: "The rental market is down, various sectors of the rental property business have rising vacancies and good tenants are getting harder to find forcing the to reduce rents and re-think their requirements for an applicant." We should watch this closely.
  2. New projects in Monroe North

    You are brave. I am deathly afraid of heights. Looking through those photos made my stomach queasy.
  3. The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    Jeff, I could not agree with you more. The housing recommendations are live now, we finished them up this AM. Potentially even more impactful is the recommendations from the Rose Fellowship. As I just stated in the morning commission meeting, if one understands the full implications of many of these recommendations, they have the potential to be incredibly controversial and impactful (the latter is my personal opinion. Here is a link: http://s3.amazonaws.com/downtowngr.org/general/Rose-Center-Presentation-to-City-Commission-11.14.17.pdf?mtime=20171114104222
  4. The "Affordable Housing" Discussion in GR

    Back story, I got a call on Friday from someone telling me that they saw that I was on this panel. That was news to me! . Since my mug was already distributed for the event and I had the evening open, I participated. Frankly, it was kind of hard for me to answer some of the questions because they were so pointed as it relates to the City Commission. Regardless, I was open and blunt and will own what I said. The room was packed.
  5. Warner Tower - Lyon and Ottawa

    So do you take an elevator up to the cab or do you have to climb all those stairs? I was talking with GRFD leadership last week. A few weeks ago they did some training exercises with one of the cranes, practicing a rescue from one of the cranes. If anything happens to the crane operator while up there it is our firefighters/rescue teams that have to get up there, with a bucket or a stretcher and get the person down with ropes and cables. Funny, you don't think of those type of things typically.
  6. Mangiamo/Paddock Place Residential Development

    x99 - Cost of construction in our region starts at $150 per square foot, and that's for entry level construction. This does not include the cost of the land. I would love to know where someone could spend $255K for the home in the suburbs that you describe. Personally, I do not like the label "good neighborhood" and "bad neighborhood."
  7. Mangiamo/Paddock Place Residential Development

    We got the total construction price of our townhouses down to $255K in a historic district, we are about $230K for the same townhouse anywhere else. What potentially makes it work for us is that the KCLBA does not have to build in large amounts for overhead and profit. We view ourselves as the first risk taker that can get the ball rolling on a non-traditional product and then once the baseline is established let the market take over.
  8. Mangiamo/Paddock Place Residential Development

    Joe, I'll try to get this discussion back on track. I for one, really hope this project comes to fruition in some form or fashion. Here are my reasons, I'll admit some are self serving for my day job at the KCLBA. We have a desperate need for more housing options in the region, especially in GR's central city neighborhoods. I know of numerous employers that are having a hard time attracting new employees from outside the area because of the lack of housing available. Let me be clear on what I perceive is the need: high quality housing in the $175-$275K range. This need exists in the neighborhoods and not necessarily downtown. Because the need is at the Neighborhood level I believe that one answer to alleviating the shortage of housing in GR is to provide a market for housing types other than the traditional single family home. Attached single family home owner townhouses is one of the types I think will work at the neighborhood level. The KCLBA got attached single family townhouses approved on Donald Place in a historic district. We are breaking ground in a few weeks on these. Our RE Agent used the Fairmont Square condo's/townhouses at comps. I am excited to see more comps for projects like this. We also got plans approved for a larger site on Bates just West of Eastern, and Euclid behind Fair Housing on Hall street. Unfortunately the market value of the completed townhouses cannot support our cost to construct, and we are building at cost with no mark up. In general I believe there is a serious structural issue in a market like ours when simply the the as built value of a new home cannot support the cost to construct. We have to be able to build our way out of this shortage. OK, discuss amongst yourselves in a positive manner.
  9. The State of Downtown Grand Rapids Retail

    Duh, now I see it, Mondays...
  10. The State of Downtown Grand Rapids Retail

    So, is the Olive Oil store leaving?
  11. Grandville Castle Apartments

    I have to share a funny story about this development. My mother lives in the Chicago area. She is 76 and is legally blind from macular degeneration. She sees pretty good far away, just not so good up close. I drive to the area quite a bit to bring her up to GR for weekends to visit her great grandkids. She likes it when I take 196 all the way around to 131 South to get to my house because she loves that view of the City. Needless to say on most of our recent trips she has been looking at "The Castle" and monitoring its progress. When I take her home I do use M6 so she only sees it as we are driving north. The last time she was up, M6 was closed for reconstruction so we had to take 196 home. As we drove past the Castle heading south she exclaimed loudly, "Holy crap what was that developer thinking? He built the doggone thing looking over a concrete factory and a drainage ditch!" I almost died laughing.
  12. Mangiamo/Paddock Place Residential Development

    It will be interesting if HPC allows attached units/row homes on this site, we could not get a 3 unit approved on Donald and ended up having to cut it down to a 2 unit.
  13. Wealthy Street Needed Renovations

    Mike and Lenn have retired. Good for them! They had a long run on the corner. They told me that they sold to a women's clothing company that was moving off Division. I assume it is the one being discussed earlier in this thread. The new business owner will be living upstairs as Mike and Lenn did while running her business on the main floor. She plans to preserve the gardens.
  14. ArtPrize - Grand Rapids

    Art Prize "Officially" starts in two days. I was just downtown walking around and noted that there are VERY few pieces set up in public spaces. What gives? Is there a more intentional attempt by AP to spread out the art to various venues outside the Central Business District?
  15. MSU Biomedical Research Campus

    Look what they just installed in the upper corner of the building!