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downtownGRguy

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About downtownGRguy

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  1. Here is a 2009 summer photo from my GIS Software. Looks like one lonely house!
  2. I agree that GRR's busy factor is way less then other airports, but with one of the highest average airfares in the country shouldn't we have some benefit? What I have always liked about GRR is the ability to get in and out quickly. The shuttles for parking lately have slowed things down, but I am looking forward to the ramp being done. I hope they can get the security screening process back to a quick process. Before the shuttle parking, I used to be able to leave my house (10 mins to the airport) 60 minutes before my flight, and have plenty of time. Of course that is without checking bags. From downtown I would need 10 more minutes, so 70 total. This extra hour can be a pretty big deal if you are in GRR for meetings all day, and flying out in the evening.
  3. This is definately going on the first floor corner in the space VanHoeks moved out of. I think Bernie is quite happy with his location and afaik is not going anywhere. Which is good because I love Big O's too!
  4. Walked by the former Herkner space tonight, and heavy demo was going on in the main floor space. Appeared the door from Ottawa with a stair up to the second floor was open as well. Very large dumpster sitting on Ottawa Ave. I was hoping to get a clue here as to what is going on. Any one with some scoop? Is it something new, or just white boxing it to make it more presentable to a potential tenant. Working on this at 9:30 at night makes it seem a bit more urgent, and looked like professional construction people, not just some moonlighters. This truly is a great retail location, with store frontage on two busy streets. Hopefully some news soon! 99% sure I saw a Macatawa sign above the hole Sunday when I walked by.
  5. Looked out my office window, and saw this today. I agree it looks great, when I saw the work starting though I had hoped they already had it rented. It was dark when I left, so didn't get a chance to peek inside. I know before they put up the temp surrounding they had cleared out the entire interior, knocked out the bathroom in the center and all the fixtures, etc. Not sure if they did anything more or not. According to the tax records its owned by VANDERWEIDE PROPERTIES, LLC the address comes back to RDV headquarters, so looks like a DeVos family connection?
  6. OK, this Original Topic got pretty lets see if we can pull it back. I see that the old Two Choppers space has been completely gutted. I mean down to the framing. The bathroom in the center completely gone. Doesn't really seem like something someone would do if there wasn't a tenant lined up or in mind, does it? Is there something happening here, or would this just be work to make the space more desirable to a potential tenant. On another note, I see that DeVries put a new access door from the empty former VanHoeks space into the 1st floor elevator lobby in that building. I suspect this might be just getting the space ready to show (access to restrooms, etc. would need this door) It did look like I saw Ed showing the space though the other day, so perhaps promising! Anyone know anything futher. This is a great corner of downtown, sure would hate to see these two major spaces empty for too long.
  7. Two Choppers and Van Hoeks are on the same corner. And its a pretty high profile corner IMHO. The second floor above the shoe store would not be an option though, Amway's Artistry Beauty Institite takes the entire floor. Now if someone wanted to buy me a cup of joe, I may let them look over Monroe Center out of my 3rd floor window......
  8. A few random thoughts: WOW, 4500 jobs is a TON. I didn't realize there would be that many, this is GREAT! I agree that this requires some careful planning for how people will get there. I can't believe that pedestrians seem to be forgotten altogether, somebody wrote about how the sick wouldn't probably walk to the hospital. This ignores the fact that at least half of the people on the hill will be staff/students. Even the comment that 400 people will have to "park" off site shows a lack of thinking...Why do 400 people have to park anywhere. Thats less than 10% of the new jobs, don't you think that a few people will want to live in river house, plaza towers, tall house, the fitzgerald, peoples building, the new places in the McKay tower, etc.? I have a condo advertised for rent right now in the Plaza Towers and have already had some inquiries from people who will be moving to GR for healthcare jobs/Med School next year. Unfortunately I need a renter now, not next year...but still bodes well for the future. People from downtown could walk to the hill easily if it were ped friendly...or an enhanced DASH type service would be nice in the winter, etc. I personally don't have a problem with widening I-196, I doubt 2 more lanes will really change anything from the pedestrian standpoint, or change the charactor of the area. Its too bad as the huge parking ramps along I-196 were being built people were not thinking about how you could do an exit ramp/service road etc. from along I-196 to keep all those cars off College and/or Michigan. If people do decide to drive, let them pull off the highway into their ramp....hey its their boring life....lol. I like the idea of public transport...seems like the perfect opportunity..with this many people all working in one small area The park over the highway idea is interesting as well...could connect Belknap and make some more viable walkable housing to Med Hill Sorry about the rambling thoughts..but its late...lol
  9. No major leaking problems that I know of. A few minor roof leaks here and there, but that is to be expected with flat roofs I guess. The work that is being done is a routine cleaning and sealing of the building. A local firm got the job, but was spec'd and is supposed to be reviewed by Epstien out of Chicago, so hopefully done right. The bill is certainly big enough...WELL into the 6 figures. It is supposed to be 1/3 completed this fall, starting on the east elevation. The balance to be completed next year, supposed to be by August. Also missed one of the big dogs...Activa (DeVos, VanAndel)
  10. I think this is right...it will stick out, but in a good way. It looks like the side facing Monroe Center here is almost all glass...the concrete is 2nd floor and above. Look also at the Guggenheim in New York I think the contrast between the Modern and the Historic will be great!
  11. Cleaning and resealing the exterior of the Plaza Towers is in the nearby plans..at least I know I saw the cost in the budget...ouch!
  12. Well...I think we may be giving Target too much credit here...I for one do not see a huge amount of difference in the exteriors of any of these stores. (Meijer, Target, WalMart) They are all huge boxes with no windows apart from the entrances with massive amounts of blacktop surrounding them. Inside there are some big differences. WalMart in my experience has been very disorganized and unkempt. Target is probably about as nice as a store in this format can be. The new Meijer stores (the Kzoo/M-6 store is my reference) are actually quite nice inside. I actually said to my wife one time that I thought that Meijer store is nicer inside and better stocked than the 44th/Breton D&W (at that time now a Family Fare) The Meijer store has a entire aisle of ethnic foods, nice produce displays, etc. Some of the new Meijer Gold label foods are also quite premium quality.
  13. Boy from the pictures in this post of the Ionia one and my memory from regular visits to the Kzoo/M-6 Meijer they sure seem pretty much the same on the exterior to me. Care to elaborate on what the differences are?
  14. whew....for a second I thought my office building got "renewed" lol
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