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Everything posted by DSchoon

  1. I'm not sure how to respond. It seems like you're agreeing with the naysayers.
  2. I believe SXSW does make a difference to Austin. I'm not sure I've ever heard someone say they going to look at the art though. Maybe in 10 years this will evolve into something of that magnitude, but that has to be the best of best-of-case scenarios. Here's my point and why you're getting a backlash from some people: If you were to stand up and say that any altogether positive but to the average person uninteresting event is going to change Grand Rapids for all time, people are going to roll their eyes and probably have a negative reaction to the news in general. This is what is happening. It takes a lot of faith to have the that type of enthusiasm. Don't be offended because people don't share yours. Edit-I do realize that the organizers aren't pumping this up that huge. But their reps from Seyferth certainly have and so are the people on this forum (I think HUGE was used a couple of times).
  3. I don't personally believe this will be a negative PR-15, but I could certainly make a case for one. Let me give it a try: -Big stir arises when controversial art piece catches ire of religious right in Grand Rapids. Or less likely, DeVos foundation refuses to award prize money to winning pro-choice performance art piece. -Arival of out of area artists puts local artists out of business. -Someone realizes that this money was all foundation funds and could have been spent, on you know, charitable stuff. -Facility commitment displaces a long-running ethnic festival. -Community starving for positive news is further jaded by art show publicized as economic engine. Now I'm not saying any of that stuff will happen, but I believe they are all in the realm of possibility.
  4. Actually, I think it's very hard being a naysayer. It's easy to get excited about these things and to start daydreaming about how awesome it'll all be. You've got it totally backward. You get to say I told you so when it goes right and no one remembers all the jokers who pumped up the mystery development or the downtown condo market or the emperor's new clothes. But I also don't think anyone is saying ArtPrize is a bad thing for Grand Rapids. Let the DeVos family spend their money. I think people are disagreeing on whether it will move the needle. If you were to say that this contest is going to raise the awareness of Grand Rapids to the arts community and draw some daytrippers, I'd certainly agree with you. I don't think the fact that I'm not doing a happy dance about this makes me a naysayer. It makes me realistic.
  5. Wow. Golly. West Michigan is abuzz. And there are all these hits from this thing called PRnewswire. I believe my comment was that there weren't any blog entries outside of West Michigan at 9:20 a.m. this morning. Still true far as I can tell. I'm sure that will change in the next few hours/days, so don't feel the need to feed me updates.
  6. I'm sure there will be a ton of entries, but I'm a little perplexed about what has everyone thinking this is going to generate a huge amount of traffic into Grand Rapids. Even if it turns out to be a three-week death match between the world's best living artists I can't see it being that big of a draw. Maybe I'm underestimating the global arts community, but I can't see that many people planning a trip around this. The Dead Sea Scrolls were a huge deal and that was just a blip in traffic. I hope I'm wrong.
  7. There have been a number of times where I can't help thinking that you're a PR plant. I know there are a couple of folks on here that post about their stuff anonymously and I always thought you were one of them. But you got the number wrong so I guess you must be legit. I looked for five minutes and couldn't find a single blog entry from outside of the region, nothing on twitter either. I don't get it. For my money, this is a cool little project but I can't see it being any more meaningful to the local economy than any of the other events we have. Maybe it'll raise awareness among the artistic community, but I think it'd be in the way that Herman Miller raises awareness of Zeeland. There was actually an international sculpture festival here last fall, anyone remember that? I really wonder how Festival of the Arts is looking at this. I have a hard time seeing how another major arts event could be a good thing for them.
  8. 30-40% vacancy rate? Depending on how you define that, I have a hard time believing that it is so high. There doesn't seem to be a huge amount of vacant storefronts on the beaten path, although a lot of those are office tenants. When I was researching downtown retail last year, there was actually a number of complaints about a shortage of space for certain tenant requirements. Full-service restaurants and bars, in particular, were having trouble finding good spots.
  9. Here, here. The Zimmerman Volk study a long time ago suggested that there was a need for mid-range rental space downtown. I'm going from memory, but I think there is a strong possibility the condo demand (with data, relating to GRDad's point, from when the state was at least above water in the toilet) was eaten up by a handful of early developments, River House and the several hundred converted apartment units. Allowing that a lot of condos are now rentals, I'm guessing there might be a shortage of quality apartments downtown. I also wonder if peopel might be souring on condo developments to some degree. I've heard some horror stories about association housing developments in the burbs.
  10. The same thing. Unfinished.
  11. I didn't go, no. But I am very familiar with the project. The original plan looked very nice, too. Do you know anyone that has bought one? I don't.
  12. Do you mean the Fitzgerald? I think the jury is still out on that one, all I see is building with no windows. But I have to agree, this just can't be what it would look like. If the UICA comes through, they're not going to want a building that looks like an airplane hangar. And the historic people would tear it apart.
  13. It leaks? Yeah, that's a problem for an art gallery. Does UICA want to be mainstream? I always kind of thought they were the anti-GRAM.
  14. On the flip side of that, what is wrong with the UICA's current location? It's basically on the Avenue of the Arts already and closer to the avant garde section of it than this would be. The current spot is a really great facility and they don't have to worry about becoming the mainstream draw they would need to become to support a cornerstone development.
  15. Actually, I think this guy was writing for the G. R. Press in the not too distant past. I'm not completely sure of that, but I know he's worked locally.
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