GRDadof3

20 Fulton E, Mixed Use Development

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Added to the DDA meeting agenda today at the last minute is a request for support of a "significant new residential project" downtown. Anyone at the DDA meeting this morning?

 

I know that's a pretty generic title so I'll amend it after more details come out.

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From Wood TV 8

 

DDA discusses '20 East Fulton' plans Residential units, commercial space, parking ramp

Updated: Wednesday, 10 Jul 2013, 10:24 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 10 Jul 2013, 9:25 AM EDT

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The Downtown Development Authority met Wednesday morning to discuss plans for an intersection in downtown Grand Rapids. 

The proposal for "20 East Fulton" calls for 54 market rate residential units, 54 affordable residential units, 9,000-square feet of commercial space and a new parking ramp. 

The plan is to build the $35 million to $40 million investment on a currently vacant lot.

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It's a Brookstone Capital project (Karl Chew). And at least with this announcement he's doing a mix of low income and market rate. He should get support for this one. Oh yeah, and there is ground floor retail.

 

"Chew said he was attracted to the site because of its proximity to a stop for the new Bus Rapid Transit line scheduled to open in 2015."

http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2013/07/developer_unveils_14-story_apa.html

Edited by Gorath

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"Chew said he was attracted to the site because of its proximity to a stop for the new Bus Rapid Transit line scheduled to open in August of 2014."

"The ground floor will include 10,000 square feet of retail space in which Chew said he hopes to attract a national retailer."

It will be nice seeing that lot rise up with a large building. I'm sure Mr. Chew will make it happen. I hope the retail space gets a good retailer that draws people downtown.
I'm sure the apartments will be filled with a waiting list in no time.
Brookstone Capital sure have been awesome developers for Grand Rapids.

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Just out of curiosity, what is the demand for housing downtown right now? For instance, how full is River House/Icon on Bond/the other new stuff...

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looks good....WAY better than the one just to the west that went up a few years ago. 

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Looks good?  Oh, come on.  Qualms about the program that funds this aside, the rest of the project actually sounds like a decent thing--some ground floor retail and income diversity in the project.  But the design ...Oh, no!  Progressive AE really needs to find someone who is good at drawing buildings and not just at engineering them.  To my eyes, they are quickly developing a legacy of buildings that only a mother could love. 

 

How's this--an assignment for their architecture crew:  Go stare at McKay Tower for about an hour or two. The hop the train and go to Chicago and talk a long walk around.  Then come back and stare at the Trust Building for awhile.  Then go stare at, say, oh, RiverHouse, just to get a brief concept of a modern Grand Rapids building that isn't nasty.  Now go get to work.  Just because you have steel at your disposal doesn't mean every building needs to be turned into a marvelous little freak show.

 

looks good....WAY better than the one just to the west that went up a few years ago. 

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to each his own i guess......your talking about a 14 story residential building, not an iconic corporate tower. IMO being that height and residential, wouldn't want it to stand out too much, it could be MUCH worse. So far, I liek what this company has planned in GR and you cant blame them for taking advantage of the funding, they are after all in business to make a profit. 

 

Looks good?  Oh, come on.  Qualms about the program that funds this aside, the rest of the project actually sounds like a decent thing--some ground floor retail and income diversity in the project.  But the design ...Oh, no!  Progressive AE really needs to find someone who is good at drawing buildings and not just at engineering them.  To my eyes, they are quickly developing a legacy of buildings that only a mother could love. 

 

How's this--an assignment for their architecture crew:  Go stare at McKay Tower for about an hour or two. The hop the train and go to Chicago and talk a long walk around.  Then come back and stare at the Trust Building for awhile.  Then go stare at, say, oh, RiverHouse, just to get a brief concept of a modern Grand Rapids building that isn't nasty.  Now go get to work.  Just because you have steel at your disposal doesn't mean every building needs to be turned into a marvelous little freak show.

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The rendering looks awful, in my opinion. However, the project itself seems pretty good...Here's too hoping that the actual façade will look much better!

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I like it because it looks modern contemporary without anything outrageous design wise. For what it is, it doesn't stand out too much which is a good thing for that size and scope. IMO It cant get much worse than Gallery on Fulton, that thing looks hideous and cheaply built, its odd shaped and odd that there are large standing seem metal looking sides. I love that this will have ground retail hopefully national brand (which leads to more retail) the glass side, balconies, and modern rooftop balcony. Nothing flashy but exactly whats needed. 

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I just feel as though this will stick out too much. The materials do not appear to match anything else in the area. The height also seems a bit out-of-place in comparison to the JA Building and Veterans Park. I do not mind the height overall, but it would be nice if the development had varying/staggered heights leading up to 14 so that the jump does not appear too drastic next to the JA Building.   ...if anything of that makes sense. haha

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I'm gonna reserve judgements on the looks until I see it.  Renderings rarely do the actual structure justice.   Maybe it'll be tacky,  just hard to tell on the jacked up photo shop hack job Mlive did on it.

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I'm all for height at that particular lot. I think it's a wasted opportunity if they don't give it height. If you can't put a tall building on a ginormous surface lot in the dead center of town, then where would you put one?

Not a fan of the picture we have, though. Somehow it reminds me of Ransom Tower. Blech. But I'll admit that tiny picture is not enough to judge it on. I'll wait for future renderings.

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Based solely on the renderings, this project doesn't do it for me.. This is one of the most high profile lots available in all of West Michigan and we fill it with generic, blah, nothingness. It's not that its hideous , it's that it is so bland. its perrfect for NoMo or even south Ionia but not there.

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Agreed, I thought the same thing (Ransom Towers). I'm concerned it will get worse, not better, as they value engineered some features out of the building he's putting up on Ionia. I'm hoping for the best. It IS a great place for infill.

 

Joe

 

Not a fan of the picture we have, though. Somehow it reminds me of Ransom Tower. Blech. But I'll admit that tiny picture is not enough to judge it on. I'll wait for future renderings.

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There is at least one other rendering of this project out there.  WOOD TV had it on their 11:00pm newscast.  Its a birds eye view looking down from the SW.

 

WOOD's website has the same NW street view that M-Live shows.

Edited by Gorath

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By and large, this is very nice project in terms of the fundamentals--much better than the initial proposal at 345 State.  In pictures, though, it isn't good.  I'm still of the opinion that fault probably lies more with Progressive AE than with Karl Chew's outfit.  (FWIW, I think his heart probably is in the right place on most of this stuff).  I challenge anyone to look through Progressive's portfolio and come away with a positive impression of their aesthetic design skills.  The engineering, I am sure, is fine, and the buildings very functional, but in terms of being aspirational architecture or anything possessing an ounce of traditional beauty, fuhgeddabout it.  Their website says they "design spaces and systems that produce measurable results."  I read that to mean they design stuff that works good, even if it looks like crap.  They are engineers, not artists.  Unfortunately, the most prolific developer can't seem to get away from these guys, and we are being left with a legacy of perfectly functional, but rather bland and ugly buildings. 

 

Even the absolute schlock designed in the throes or urban renewal arguably did a better job.  Fifth Third Center, Chase Bank Building--even the weird green Federal building--all paid at least some respect to their verticality.  The new court house was a bit of a stinker, but that came of age in this new era of horrendous Grand Rapids architecture.  I fear that one day we're going to look back at what we built in these years and ask ourselves, "How did we do even worse than the 70s?". 

 

If they stay anything close to this, it's still going to look like a 14 story motel.  The building has height, but it's as if it's an afterthought.  The principal emphasis of the building is on the horizontal--not the vertical.  14 stories is a lot for Grand Rapids, and this building basically says, "Eh, whatever--I'm a people warehouse."  None of the building's features even attempt to take good advantage of the height.  In this respect, at least, even the giant tin can a couple of doors down has it beat--and they value-engineered the original design there until it bled.  Architecturally, this thing looks like someone stacked 14 prefab trailer-park units on top of each other, and then stuck some incongruous little flourish on the top.  Whoop. De. Do.

 

Not a fan of the picture we have, though. Somehow it reminds me of Ransom Tower. Blech. But I'll admit that tiny picture is not enough to judge it on. I'll wait for future renderings.

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I can't find that second rendering.

 

Here is the rendering for 20 East Fulton by Progressive AE

rmid.jpg

 

I don't think it looks bad. Hopefully the tan stuff is brick and not Alucobond panels. 

 

We could have had The Meridian by Bob Tol / DTS Winkelmann.

6t2r.jpg

 

I prefer the Progressive design.

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I have to agree with many here.

 

It COULD be really good, but it isnt "great" based on that one image. Certainly based on most building that have gone up DT over the past 10 years, we've come to expect bland and economical as the two great architectually styles of GR. Hopfully this goes at leat $14.00 past really cheap looking.

 

But the basics are fantastic. If a good retail catch goes in on the ground and the parking is intergrated in a way where the ground floor doesnt look forboding, this can really light a fire for more development both on S. Division and E. Fulton, perhaps even SE of there as well.

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Jeesh, it looks fine. It's a residential tower. Go to the gold coast to Lincoln Park area in Chicago and let me know when you stop counting buildings that look like this. I won't hold my breath. McKay tower? The historic buildings in dt Chicago? Yeah, they'd list for a $million a flat and the project would go bankrupt. Seriously people. :)

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If the building had a 14 story blank wall, now that would be objectionable.

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Jeesh, it looks fine. It's a residential tower. Go to the gold coast to Lincoln Park area in Chicago and let me know when you stop counting buildings that look like this. I won't hold my breath. McKay tower? The historic buildings in dt Chicago? Yeah, they'd list for a $million a flat and the project would go bankrupt. Seriously people. :)

 

:camera:   That's it.  Enough said . . . .

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Jeesh, it looks fine. It's a residential tower. Go to the gold coast to Lincoln Park area in Chicago and let me know when you stop counting buildings that look like this. I won't hold my breath. McKay tower? The historic buildings in dt Chicago? Yeah, they'd list for a $million a flat and the project would go bankrupt. Seriously people. :)

 

Agreed.  Its an apartment building.  It'll be a great infill for that area.  It'll be pretty visible from northbound 131.

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I'd rather the tan NOT be brick, actually.  Brick looks good when it makes a presence.  The tan is too thin and sparse.  I'd actually rather see it be some sort of panel or anything else with smooth texture.  (Wood would certainly be interesting.)

 

As for the rendering itself, I agree with those who said the image is too small to really make any judgment.  It may not be the best, but I don't think it'll be the worst, either.

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WIth all the other construction going on, I think it would make another nice project down town. I wont give my .02 thought till we can see a bigger picture

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