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GRDadof3

Martha's Vineyard

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RegalTDP    268

Saw this on Facebook. Seems to be a lot of fretting and hand-wringing over this. If I compare it to, say, the Diocese tearing down an historic school for an empty plaza, I guess I'm not as riled up about this one. Thoughts?

 

I'm sad for the building, but not outraged. 

 

Sad because I really did like the look of the old building, and though GR may be 45 square miles (as you pointed out), there weren't many buildings like this anymore, and there aren't many intersections like Lyon/Union left in this town.

 

But not outraged.  This is different from St. Andrew's, because that was a usable/marketable building in decent condition, and they spent a great deal of money to replace it with something that serves no purpose.  619 Lyon is not usable or marketable in its present condition, and what costs $250,000 to fix now may cost more in the future.  It's true that the eventual parking lot serves equally no purpose, but at least the loss of the building in the first place was a foregone conclusion.

 

It's frustrating that this new parking lot will likely be here to stay for a long time.  But keep in mind vacant lots tend to stick around for way too long as well.

Edited by RegalTDP

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fotoman311    50

Did i hear correctly that they will use the current diagonal parking for a pedestrian area?

 

You mean the sidewalk that's currently used for diagonal parking, right? :)

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tSlater    114

The loss off the relatively unique building is sad indeed, but the only thing that can possibly enrage me is the parking lot across the street, and the lack of a way to negotiate common use of it for the benefit of the community rather than for private single-purpose use.

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wingbert    490

To be honest, if we're going to get worked up trying to save a derelict, run-down, old building then I think we should shift our focus to Olds Manor.  Where's the outrage at the Devos family for letting that building stand and rot in one of the most prominant locations in our fair city.  If it was Azzar who owned that building everyone would be calling him a squatter (or worse).

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SupercityGR    71

To be honest, if we're going to get worked up trying to save a derelict, run-down, old building then I think we should shift our focus to Olds Manor.  Where's the outrage at the Devos family for letting that building stand and rot in one of the most prominant locations in our fair city.  If it was Azzar who owned that building everyone would be calling him a squatter (or worse).

 

Im hoping that with msu owning the the press building and maybe usps moving, that olds maor will go through rehab. fingers crossed

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GR_Urbanist    420

To be honest, if we're going to get worked up trying to save a derelict, run-down, old building then I think we should shift our focus to Olds Manor.  Where's the outrage at the Devos family for letting that building stand and rot in one of the most prominant locations in our fair city.  If it was Azzar who owned that building everyone would be calling him a squatter (or worse). 

 

The answer is right there. They let the buildings stand.

​Even a clown like Azzar hasn't engaged in opportunistic demolition that I know of. And if he did, what are we going to say? That Martha's blowing holes in the street wall for a parking lot is ok because they are hip and cool or because that building doesn't matter, but Azzar or the DeVos family(whom have no record of doing so) attempting the same thing is bad?

 

Just remember that the urban renewal of the 60s that is scorned to this day was predicated on saving us from derelict, run-down, old buildings too. No one thought those buildings mattered either, until they woke up and noticed that they didnt matter themselves into a joke of a city. By then it was too late, and now billions and years will have to be spent just to get back to where we were.

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GRDadof3    1837

The answer is right there. They let the buildings stand.

​Even a clown like Azzar hasn't engaged in opportunistic demolition that I know of. And if he did, what are we going to say? That Martha's blowing holes in the street wall for a parking lot is ok because they are hip and cool or because that building doesn't matter, but Azzar or the DeVos family(whom have no record of doing so) attempting the same thing is bad?

 

Just remember that the urban renewal of the 60s that is scorned to this day was predicated on saving us from derelict, run-down, old buildings too. No one thought those buildings mattered either, until they woke up and noticed that they didnt matter themselves into a joke of a city. By then it was too late, and now billions and years will have to be spent just to get back to where we were.

 

 

N/M

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joeDowntown    664

You make a good point. However, I think Olds Manor will be rehabbed if(when) the USPS vacates the the Michigan St location. Olds Manor is one of my favorite buildings and I hate to see it sit, but I can understand any developer waiting til the time is right. 

 

I do find it a shame that Martha's ripped down the building. More for the fact that once these buildings are gone, we can't them back. I can understand the economics, but I hate to see GR lose any additional old buildings. 

 

Joe

 

 

To be honest, if we're going to get worked up trying to save a derelict, run-down, old building then I think we should shift our focus to Olds Manor.  Where's the outrage at the Devos family for letting that building stand and rot in one of the most prominant locations in our fair city.  If it was Azzar who owned that building everyone would be calling him a squatter (or worse).

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GRDadof3    1837

I was one of the people who made an uproar when the Diocese was tearing down the school, so this may seem hypocritical, but it seems like there are a lot of people in the city of GR more concerned about a building being torn down here and there, and not that concerned about huge population and job losses within the city. Unemployment in some sections are 30+%. Most of the kids in GRPS qualify for free lunch programs because of the abject poverty. Entire high schools are being closed down. I'm not advocating that buildings be torn down for parking lots, but how about putting energy toward filling in the 185 vacant lots in the city's residential areas? (last count I saw) And not chasing businesses away with Amsterdam ideology?

 

And comparing this to urban renewal of the 60's? Urban renewal (in some cities was way bigger than GR), it would mean Martha's would be gone, along with every home North to Michigan, West to College, South to Fulton, East to Eastern.

 

Probably not a good idea to chase Kameel out of Heritage Hill. I'm sure some suburban commercial developers would love to land him as a tenant.

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GRDadof3    1837

As I said, it sure will be nice to have this nice brick paved sidewalk used as it was intended.

 

8519900928_a99a47bd00_z.jpg

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fotoman311    50

As I said, it sure will be nice to have this nice brick paved sidewalk used as it was intended.

 

8519900928_a99a47bd00_z.jpg

 

 

Certainly!  And those cars are parked very well.  It's not uncommon to have someone park 30-40" from the building.

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GRDadof3    1837

Certainly!  And those cars are parked very well.  It's not uncommon to have someone park 30-40" from the building.

 

Actually, when I came out after taking this photo, there was a car so close that you had to turn sideways to get between the bumper and the ivy of the wall.

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GR_Urbanist    420

I just could not pass up posting this from the Marth's FB page. Apparently one poster had enough of people having the audacity of being critical of the most holy of stores over their exciting new parking lot.

 

 Most of the haters should keep in mind that you're street probably isn't congested because of the lack of parking and that this helps the store owners, the patrons, AND the neighbors. No I don't live in this neighborhood and deal with the congestion, but I live nearby and can appreciate what this will do. The reality is that restoring and maintaining an old building is EXPENSIVE AS crap and if they weren't tearing it down then you'd be stuck looking at a crapty old building whining for someone to do something with it. Well, someone is doing something with it that is logical and beneficial, you just can't tell because your new urbanist glasses are too thick. I'm against parking lots as much as the next schmo, but you also have to be reasonable taking all sides, including the financial side, into consideration. Anyway, it's martha's, so you know their going to dress it up with landscaping as much as possible. Nothing to worry about folks, you can go back inside now. Nothin to see here.

 

This is the same line of "logic" used in the suburbs, during urban renewal, and with entities like St. Mary's today. And as I said before, while it may be "ok" because it is Martha's and few people have the desire to call them out, it wont be possible for the same people cheering this to credibly chide anyone else for doing the same in the future. 

 

And oh they will.

 

If I was a developer with a plan to waste some buildings for a parking lot, I would walk into a PC meeting and just flash a picture of the Martha Lot with all of the thumbs-up, and with a grin, dare them to say I'm doing something wrong.

 

Then again after living for 35 years in a city that almost grounded most of its buildings into dust for "safe and easy" parking, maybe my " new urbanist glasses are too thick".

Edited by GR_Urbanist

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walker    171

As I said, it sure will be nice to have this nice brick paved sidewalk used as it was intended.

 

8519900928_a99a47bd00_z.jpg

 

Unless they intend to build new front doors facing the new parking lot like a suburban strip mall, I think people will continue to park on the sidewalk rather than around the block in the parking lot.

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john_denver    29

Unless they intend to build new front doors facing the new parking lot like a suburban strip mall, I think people will continue to park on the sidewalk rather than around the block in the parking lot.

Can't just put decorative cement planters along the street to prevent this?

Add a few bike racks...

Put some table and chairs out when the weather is nice.

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wingbert    490

That building was crap.  Everything can't be saved.  Glad it's gone.

 

Agreed.  I guess I just don't believe that more decrepit buildings and less parking is the key to a successful downtown Grand Rapids.

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GRDadof3    1837

Can't just put decorative cement planters along the street to prevent this?

Add a few bike racks...

Put some table and chairs out when the weather is nice.

 

I was going to say the same. Put some big planters with mini-trees in them and that sidewalk would look dynamite.

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arcturus    145

I was going to say the same. Put some big planters with mini-trees in them and that sidewalk would look dynamite.

 

Perhaps the new parking lot will create the opportunity to do just that.  

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mpchicago    187

They really did a great job on it.  Mark Miller did a small piece about it in this month's GR Magazine.  Same owners as Martha's Vineyard and Lyon Street Cafe.

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HavingAhoot    12

Camille building always look awesome... well if they are occupied. I think he owns that abandoned repair shop on the corner of Michigan and Lafayette and maybe one or two more on Michigan?

 

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