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MSU Biomedical Research Campus - Phase II


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RIP old press building. When I was a teen I was a press carrier for the Grand Rapids Press and I do remember going to the the old press building to turn in my collections, order rubber bands, and bags for my paper routes and talking to my district manager from time to time. I had mixed feelings about the building. On one hand it was not exactly the prettiest place in town. But on the other, I admired how well constructed the building was. It was almost like a military bunker in strength. The most distinctive memory of the building outside of its appearance is the smell of ink. The interior was awash in that bitter sweet odor which like it or hate it leaves a permanent mark in one's memory. On one hand it is sad to see a building go down especially one that once housed something important to the community. However it is a good thing to see the old press building go down to make way for a new edifice that will house something very important not only to the city but possibly the world as well. Progress, people. Progress. 

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(the area to the left of the parking deck along Monroe is called out as a future building site, the dimension from the parking deck to the inside of the sidewalk is 49')

I think that is a bad way of thinking. The city  deserves better. We should expect better. If we’re just going to build buildings downtown to be optimal distance from a parking ramp, they might as wel

What is mind blowing/mind numbing is that this “grand entrance” faces the newly built parking garage and a the loading dock for the other building...  They made such a big deal about developing t

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Apparently that last section of girders fell the wrong way. Was supposed to fall away from Michigan Street but got stubborn at the last minute and fell toward Michigan (no damage to cars or the road):

 

http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2015/04/final_girders_fall_their_own_w.html

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting quick-read:

http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2015/04/have_medical_mile_developments.html#incart_river

 

The article references new "parking ramps," and included this little bit:

 

"Jerry Kooiman, assistant dean for external relations at MSU's College of Human Medicine, said they will seek a developer who can build up to 600 parking spaces in addition to at least 300,000 square feet of mixed-use space on the two outlots."

 

I will be curious to see what comes of this.

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Interesting quick-read:

http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2015/04/have_medical_mile_developments.html#incart_river

 

The article references new "parking ramps," and included this little bit:

 

"Jerry Kooiman, assistant dean for external relations at MSU's College of Human Medicine, said they will seek a developer who can build up to 600 parking spaces in addition to at least 300,000 square feet of mixed-use space on the two outlots."

 

I will be curious to see what comes of this.

 

 

$28.5 Million in property tax credits? That seems exorbitant. I seem to remember the Michigan Street Development got something like $6.6 Million to help defray the cost of their parking ramps. 

 

So not only will the school be property tax exempt, so will the development parcels? And the city is turning all of the riverfront land into non property-tax generating parkland? Make downtown a tax free zone!  (Except for parking meters). That tax burden has to be shifted to someone. Who? 

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I have no issue with tax credits for brownfield remediation, demolition, and infrastructure improvements -- the original intent behind the tax credit program to get redevelopment of obsolete properties back in revenue generating status. It is the subsidization of parking that I struggle with. If anything, incentives should be focused on the wealth creating portion of a development, rather than the dormitory for vacated automobiles?

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I have no issue with tax credits for brownfield remediation, demolition, and infrastructure improvements -- the original intent behind the tax credit program to get redevelopment of obsolete properties back in revenue generating status. It is the subsidization of parking that I struggle with. If anything, incentives should be focused on the wealth creating portion of a development, rather than the dormitory for vacated automobiles?

 

I agree Jippy. There's really no need to subsidize parking at this level. It basically means the developers will not have to pay for any of the parking they need, and then some. They could have gold plated underground cooled and heated parking spaces for $28.5 Million, paid for by anyone who pays Kent County property taxes.

 

Anyway, anyone sick of demolition pictures yet?

 

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This seems like a totally wacky idea, but I wonder if anyone could have gotten away with the idea of building over Michigan St. between the Ford federal building and this site as a way to bridge Calder Plaza with this side of Michigan. You may have to lover Michigan several feet for clearance, but it would have created an easy pathway as it seems that Michigan and Monroe looks too broad  and busy for people to routinely want to try to cross it. And since This stretch of Michigan up the hill is never going to be pedestrian friendly, it might have been a great solution to connect N. Monroe to the rest of DT.

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Those of us who don't live in town can't get enough pics.  Am all for saving trees, but do they really think those crappy Norway Maples will be saved as a part of the future development?   :dontknow:

 

That is curious that they have them all snow fenced off, to protect them. Maybe they want to keep some of the natural fauna until a development plan is put forward?

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  • 3 weeks later...

A new candy shipment for the candy store!  Although some bad news: retail is nixed from the ground floor on these most recent plans. There does seem to be a lot of ground floor fenestration though.

 

For a recap:

 

Initial built out space will accommodate 33 Principal Investigators (and support staff)

Shell space for an additional 11 PI's

Floors 2 - 4 will be research labs

One floor will be a "Vivarium" (basically animal and plant testing). I thought about it and I'm not going to post the detailed floorplans. There are groups in this world who are vehemently against animal testing and I don't want to give fodder to possible lawlessness..

 

162,680 gross square feet

 

June 2015 construction start

According to the timeline I'm looking at, the private development portions are estimated to begin in June 2016

 

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If you haven't been by the site lately, Pitsch has set up almost a makeshift quarry operation, where they are processing the concrete into different materials. Crazy looking.

 

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Really disappointing about the retail.  Understandably, may be hard to sell ground floor retail in that area thanks to Vanderburg Plaza wall, and the convention center, but that's also why the area needs it.

Good thinking on the floorplans, too.  It's already happened to MSU once, I believe.


And what's with the pink line?  Is that a utility?  Looks like there's no opening of that underway up or pedestrian access through there..

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Really disappointing about the retail.  Understandably, may be hard to sell ground floor retail in that area thanks to Vanderburg Plaza wall, and the convention center, but that's also why the area needs it.

Good thinking on the floorplans, too.  It's already happened to MSU once, I believe.

And what's with the pink line?  Is that a utility?  Looks like there's no opening of that underway up or pedestrian access through there..

 

I think in one of the earlier plans they labeled that as a pedestrian connection to Monroe North. 

 

I believe the other development parcels will be required to have ground floor retail, unless they seek a variance. 

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If the retail was there, then just taken out, I wonder if it is just another example of developers buying approval for a project by promising stuff like that, and then when they get the approval and start turning dirt, they quickly get rid of that component because they never had any intention in the first place.

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If the retail was there, then just taken out, I wonder if it is just another example of developers buying approval for a project by promising stuff like that, and then when they get the approval and start turning dirt, they quickly get rid of that component because they never had any intention in the first place.

 

Retail was never part of the plan for this building; it's expected to go in the "Development Zones," I think.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There's an interesting item in the city commission agenda for next week, for a request to pursue funding (US Commerce Dept grants, city funds, street funding) to do work NORTH of I-196 in conjunction with MSU's project. 

 

- Refinishing Newberry Street from Monroe to North Division, including a roundabout at Newberry and N Division

- Realignment of the Eastbround offramp to Ottawa Ave, including Ottawa from Michigan to Hastings

- Realignment of the Westbound on ramp at Ionia, including reconstruction of Ionia from Michigan to 196

- Repurposing of the abandoned railroad tunnel, including a non-motorized path connecting to the Grand River

 

$9.1 Million project. I imagine they'll show some drawings of what they're proposing (nothing in the agenda packet).

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I was thinking the same thing,  they must have something specific in mind for the master neighborhood plan. Otherwise I see no value added in putting a roundabout at T intersection in what is more or less a dead zone currently. 

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I was thinking the same thing,  they must have something specific in mind for the master neighborhood plan. Otherwise I see no value added in putting a roundabout at T intersection in what is more or less a dead zone currently. 

 

I think because Newberry is a connector from North Division to the 6th Street bridge. And it might also be to slow traffic down on North Division, which is almost like a highway through there.

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That was my very first thought, slowing the traffic.  And probably that specific intersection because of the 6th St. Bridge.  It's been a while since I've been there, but I know there were talks of restoring the stairways up Belknap Hill.  There's one at that intersection.  Did that one get restored at all?

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