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MSU Biomedical Research Campus - Phase II

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24 minutes ago, mgreven said:

Starting this fall...curious as to who the ground floor tenant is.  At first I read this as a building with 600 parking spaces in it and was thinking "How tall is this going to be?" but then I saw the site plan and realized that's going to be behind this building.  Anyway, more cranes ahead!  =)

https://mibiz.com/sections/real-estate-development/construction-on-msu-medical-innovation-center-in-grand-rapids-to-begin-this-fall?fbclid=IwAR0gieN3NuU15_egpEI4IraNXRSjEWu0l8V2LwjlYFSRRQL9rKZ4sMyD0go

I've actually been REALLY excited and eager about this next phase, and beyond! Can't wait to see some drawings! 

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Does it seem to anyone else that they've gotten better at delaying details for projects like this?   We used to get the scoop pretty far in advance but it seems like the local development scene has clamped it down.  I mean the DeVos overhaul of the 5/3rd building was announced, and then went off without any fan fare or warning.  Rockford probably has the best record of turning proposals into buildings so i'm sure this will be a go, why so closed lip lately?  I wonder if there are other things in the works that they are keeping close, been a while since we've had any real announcements. 

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9 hours ago, MJLO said:

Does it seem to anyone else that they've gotten better at delaying details for projects like this?   We used to get the scoop pretty far in advance but it seems like the local development scene has clamped it down.  I mean the DeVos overhaul of the 5/3rd building was announced, and then went off without any fan fare or warning.  Rockford probably has the best record of turning proposals into buildings so i'm sure this will be a go, why so closed lip lately?  I wonder if there are other things in the works that they are keeping close, been a while since we've had any real announcements. 

There are fewer and fewer journalists getting paid a living wage to dig up these sorts of details.

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I'm really surprised they haven't released the renderings yet. They have to be done, because I imagine they're showing them to prospective tenants. My fear is that they're not very exciting so they're in no rush to put them out. 

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I actually like this design.  It does make me kinda sad that this will cement Michigan Street as one of the most pedestrian unfriendly spots in the city.  I think that outcropping that faces inside would look great street side, though I know it's not practical since the vehicle entrance can't be located there.

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I agree that the buildings hold together really well visually, and this is a very interesting design, but it seems like someone really failed at the planning of this block. The plaza/drop off and entrance are particularly engaging, but they primarily face into the parking garage and the loading dock of phase 1. Each building seems to be functioning in it's own world without any clear spacial and circulation relationships between them nor the surrounding city. Seems like a real missed opportunity to have all three phases share a common courtyard or at the very least have a coordinated pedestrian connection that then has a positive relationship to the street.

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1 hour ago, andrew.w said:

I agree that the buildings hold together really well visually, and this is a very interesting design, but it seems like someone really failed at the planning of this block. The plaza/drop off and entrance are particularly engaging, but they primarily face into the parking garage and the loading dock of phase 1. Each building seems to be functioning in it's own world without any clear spacial and circulation relationships between them nor the surrounding city. Seems like a real missed opportunity to have all three phases share a common courtyard or at the very least have a coordinated pedestrian connection that then has a positive relationship to the street.

I like it too but I'm also a bit confused. It looks like cars are driving on a "plaza?" 

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I agree. It looks like it’s flipped the wrong way. And what’s with the “barrier” along Michigan Street? Is that a nod to the old GR Press building. Bummed that the Streep level activity is confined to an alleyway. 

Joe

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9 hours ago, MJLO said:

I actually like this design.  It does make me kinda sad that this will cement Michigan Street as one of the most pedestrian unfriendly spots in the city.  I think that outcropping that faces inside would look great street side, though I know it's not practical since the vehicle entrance can't be located there.

I have to agree. The Michigan St. facing side it a total failure. Not that I expect a pedestrian public entrance there. I just think there should at least be some outdoor seating accessible from the inside of the building fronting there so that it doesnt become dead space. What is pictured is definitely out of the 1960s school of building/street interactions.

 

I absolutely love the other side. It will make for a very striking entrance. When building 3 goes up, it will create an amazing inner courtyard. I just hope by then they will have re-opened that old railway tunnel between this site and N. Monroe by then.

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The Press site overall is disappointing. Put the distinctive feature in the center, why,? No one driving by or even walking will see it. The only corner at Michigan and Monroe  that is pedestrian oriented / inviting is the NW with Atwood Brewing. Federal Build = solid walls , City Hall solid walls, DeVos solid walls with big doors on Bridge, big drape covered windows on Monroe . At the least they could do would be to put some colorful decals on some of the glass.

Edited by Raildude's dad
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2 hours ago, Raildude's dad said:

The Press site overall is disappointing. Put the distinctive feature in the center, why,? No one driving by or even walking will see it. The only corner at Michigan and Monroe  that is pedestrian oriented / inviting is the NW with Atwood Brewing. Federal Build = solid walls , City Hall solid walls, DeVos solid walls with big doors on Bridge, big drape covered windows on Monroe . At the least they could do would be to put some colorful decals on some of the glass.

I agree and wish they would rotate it so that the the feature is facing Michigan.  It would add a lot more to the street.  Kind reminds me of the Compuware building in Detroit.

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10 hours ago, GR_Urbanist said:

I have to agree. The Michigan St. facing side it a total failure. Not that I expect a pedestrian public entrance there. I just think there should at least be some outdoor seating accessible from the inside of the building fronting there so that it doesnt become dead space. What is pictured is definitely out of the 1960s school of building/street interactions.

 

I absolutely love the other side. It will make for a very striking entrance. When building 3 goes up, it will create an amazing inner courtyard. I just hope by then they will have re-opened that old railway tunnel between this site and N. Monroe by then.

Is it because they envision this parcel on the Michigan and the ones they own North of the highway as being a "campus" of sorts? So the dramatic entrance faces the campus grounds? 

I understand Michigan Street is becoming a pretty majorly used thoroughfare but that doesn't mean wall it off and make it even worse.  

Flip the design! Flip the design! lol

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Instead of a “cube, it’d be nice to extend the “cutout” along the whole western side, so it connected Michigan with what will be the campus. 

I always thought the north side of the research center was intentionally built to be slightly boring as they’d develop to the north and east. Now it looks like they’re building a plaza, and the north and east side have a slightly boring look that I thought would be covered up by close proximity to other buildings. 

Joe

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It makes sense to me.  First of all, as a standalone, I love the design.  Not that I know much about architecture, but its big, bold, and I like it.  But as it relates to the location, having the main entrance being primarily accessible from the parking ramp makes perfect sense.  Almost all of the users and visitors of that building will be driving and parking in that ramp (correct me if i'm wrong).  Why make them trek all the way around a huge building to get inside?  Or, if using a back entrance or skywalk, why have a huge bold statement entrance that nobody is going to use?  I highly doubt there will be convention goers /postal workers/Rowe residents who will just happen to decide to wander into the Innovation Hub. 

Now I can understand the argument about folks there leaving on foot for lunch, but that is just not a pedestrian driven or entertainment/leisure destination.  As has been discussed for a while, this part of Michigan is meant to move cars more than anything, and that won't change with the 196 on/off ramps right at the corner.  Unless/until Monroe/Calder Plaza turn into such a spot, I don't see any reason not to cater to your "audience" or "customers" with the design here, which of course will be folks parking in the garage and walking in across the "plaza" to enter this building.  And its not like the Michigan side will be a bunker-wall like the Press building was.

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I was thinking along those lines myself. Imagine a nice plaza area between the buildings. Benches and other amenities encouraging the the occupants to spend their lunch  / breaks out doors in nice weather.  The DDA?  wants to add that stuff to Calder Plaza to encourage pedestrian activity and then  another new building gets built just like the rest of the "walls". I can be a hard ass, I'll give it a 2/10.

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3 hours ago, ProtoSapien said:

Perhaps a consideration is being given to having it look good to people passing on the highway or using the off ramp?

I would imagine the parking structure will block the view from the expressway. 

Joe

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5 hours ago, GR_Urbanist said:

I'm confused. Is the "3rd building" just supposed to be some plain parking ramp, or is that what they will put on only the existing parking lot?

The third building appears to be a "liner" building that will face Monroe on the West side of the parking ramp. 

I agree with Joe, a few tweaks and this could easily be made more attractive to the Michigan Street side. 

 

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Definitely needs more ground floor work.

 

The activity-less strip next to a 5 lane throughway to feed cars to, on, and off the highway is seriously getting irritating. The federal and state buildings across the street are already bad enough, and you can at least excuse those as products of backwards thinking from the 60s. But this? It doesn't need anything dramatic, just something to soften it a little.

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