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ModSquad last won the day on June 15 2012

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  1. On my building on Madison I had an urban clothing shop renting from me for a while. I was committed to not have security bars. After 6 smash and grabs at 3 AM, I gave in and bought swinging gates. During the day you couldn't see them, but when they closed, the owner would swing the gates shut. I think it can be done inconspicuously, but it is a necessity.
  2. I imagine you are right. The labor shortage in the trades is getting pretty bad, I know of several large projects around the State that are dead in the water because the developer literally cannot find builders. Now, if the developer was doing modular, it would be a whole other story (just sayin) Here is two recent examples. The large 4 story is on the old Tiger Stadium site, 110 high end apartments. What you see here was set in 21 days with zero change orders. The smaller project is our townhouse project on the 700 block of Bates. These are attached single family townhouses. We began this set at 8 AM, and what you see on this photo is how the units looked at 5 PM. We set 5 high end homes in one day., 60 days to finish and they hit the market. $150 a sf finished cost, not including land costs. I included the sketch up of the finished product. If anyone wants a tour of the townhouses, let me know.
  3. Dan is also a City if Wyoming Commissioner
  4. Joe, Right now all we have is very technical black and white drawings. Our architect is working on the “pretty pictures” to present to the historic commission up there. When I get them done I’ll post them.
  5. I agree, this is a VERY cool project. InnovaLab has some similar floor plans and elevations in our modular plan book. One is a 4 unit 2 bed apartment development that is being installed in Muskegon and we are now working on refiguring it to install 4-6 more of these units in a historic district south of Flint. Our layout in Flint is very similar to this one. I am going to follow this closely to see how the HPC reacts to the proposal. I have a thought as to how they will react, hope they surprise me...
  6. The studio and 1 bedroom units leased up very fast. They are having a difficult time (and that is being kind) leasing the 2 and 3 bedroom units. The reason for this, I am told, is because of two things. One, it is still under construction and no one wants to move a family into a construction zone. And two, almost none of the promised amenities are in, i.e. work out rooms, dog grooming rooms, promised walking trail by the water, boat docks, etc. If a family is going to move in (2 and 3 bedrooms) they want those things upon arrival.
  7. Hell, I have to drive from Montague to GR. I have to deal with multiple areas of Eastbound 96 from Muskegon to GR under construction just to get to the F’ing gridlock in GR. I have taken to driving through Fremont and Newaygo to ultimately drive Alpine to get to town. You know its bad when Alpine is your clearest route to get into the City.
  8. I can’t resist pointing out (a bit off topic here) that Hibma was the driving force behind the eventual demise of the Kent County Land Bank Authority. He sued the KCLBA all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court and lost, and as we now know eventually got enough votes at the County Commission level to command the County Treasurer to withdraw from the Intergovernmental Agreement which allows the KCLA to exist. His main argument is that the KCLBA was “government interfering in the private sector.” I should point to that Hibma has been buying up land along the Grand River for years between Grand Rapids and the lakeshore. Now he is pressing the government to pay to dredge the river so his land will artificially triple or quadruple in value. Someone please tell me how is this not the government interfering in the private sector? If Hibma wants the river dredged so bad he should pay 100% for the legal work to get the right to do it, and for the work itself. If he lobby’s for and gets even one dime of government funds to pay for this work then he is asking the government to “pick winners and losers,” which is another argument he has used agaisnt the KCLBA.
  9. I wonder how much it cost Redstone Group to submit their application that was just rejected? To a development group as large as this it probably does not matter. But to the point that has been made numerous times on this forum, the small scale developer, new developer, or even individual land owner applying for a zoning variance or special land use permit is completely out of reach knowing a project can get shouted down by Neighbors.
  10. If the Russo’s location is able to be zoned for a dispensary I can only imagine how much a company paid for their building. It’s crazy out there right now. The KCLBA has a two contiguous parcels that it has owned since 2014. We could not give it away, literally. We got a completely legitimate (the company buying it is already licensed with the State) 6 figure offer for it because its “in the zone.” If vacant land is worth that much, how much for a primo location like the Russo site?
  11. As I am working in Cities across the State right now with modular solutions for in-fill development lots I have been asked by numerous developers in those cities to come up with some designs that include attached ADU’s. We are working on a couple of new designs for this right now. Actually, buying a newly constructed home that has an attached 450 -600 SF ADU attached on the rear of the building provides a nice source of revenue for the buyer helping offset their housing costs. It may add $30,000 to the price of their home which would add about $100 to their monthly payment but provide potentially $600 in extra monthly income. We have been talking with a few appraisers to determine how these new homes would be valued. All indications thus far is that if it cost an extra $30,000 to add an ADU it would most likely raise the value of the home by more than that, so the buyer wold have added equity on day one. We will see what comes of it.
  12. ...aaaand the Eastown Neghborhood Association has already started an online campaign to stop the ordinance.
  13. Shipping Container Buildings Proposed for Corner of Wealthy and Fuller This will go over like a lead balloon with the Historic Commission.
  14. The answers lay between what is possible and what is practical. Whenever I would communicate to City leadership the need for any changes or modifications to zoning I could alway plan on getting a very long dissertation from Suzanne about why my requested change was not needed because whatever it was I proposed was already possible in GR. Included in her response would be a detailed step by step description of how one would go about getting the type of building approved. The process always includes an application for either a zoning change or usually a special land use permit. The latter being the suggested course of action 90% of the time. If the form of what I would be proposing to build fit within the form based code (or as Suzanne often calls it “form based lite”) but the function did not fit I would be required to submit an application for a Special Land Use. This basically requires me to pay an application fee (I think it’s $1,500) and usually hire an architect to do a site plan and preliminary elevations to show my proposed development. Depending on the size of my project this can cost a pretty penny, architects don’t work for free on spec projects. Once the application goes in then you get on the merry-go-round with the notification to the neighbors of the proposed development. So when Suzanne states in the article that 90% of all applications are approved, instead of coming to the conclusion that there is then no need for a change in zoning, to me the question that should be asked is how many potential projects are never brought forward because our process is either too risky or cumbersome? As it relates to the public outcry from the proposed zoning changes put forward by GR’s HOUSING NOW initiative, from my perspective everything seemed to be moving along fine with the suggested changes which would have allowed more density in traditional neighborhoods to be built by permit. In fact affordable housing groups, non-profits, neighborhood groups, and developers were all around the table developing these ideas. It was not simply a group of developers huddled together making these changes as the neighborhood associations eventually charged. Everything changed, however, when (whether intentional or unintentional) Suzanne at a meeting with a group of neighborhood association leaders chose to use the terminology “Build By Right” when referring to these changes. Let’s be clear they are the same thing. But to a neighborhood association and neighborhood activists, developers having the right to build without a long drawn our community input proceed is grounds for a fight and that’s what we got. I remember quite clearly a battle cry went out on social media literally during the meeting with Suzanne, Suzanne is 100% correct in that article. But to me it’s a matter of semantics it “can” get approved and developed, but will it in the current system?
  15. Unfortunately that’s exactly what is going to happen.
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