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GRDadof3

Predictions for the coming year

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The downtown movie theater is dead

The BOBville complex finally goes away it is reimagined as a mixed-use residential building

Two hotels begin construction

Brookstone starts construction on their project mixed-use project

CWD's office or Arena Place begin construction, but not both

Continued hard work on the Grand River project, but nothing firmed up

Continued real estate momentum on Michigan 

Another new apartment project announced downtown

Smallish (under 30 unit) condo project proposed

Streetcar conversations pick up

A new major downtown tenant is announced (my failed 2013 prediction)

MSU firms up plans and tears down the Press building

A mid-rise proposal for Division along the Silver Line

ICCF lands a grocer. 

Work begins on two new construction on Wealthy plus conversion of one into mixed-use residential

 

I just read an article that The BOB is expanding their brewery operations, in their basement. I think that signals the end of the whole expansion idea.

 

"Another new apartment project announced downtown" I think is a little light. I'd say probably 4 new apartment projects, one new condo project, minimum.

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I'm not sure Lululemon is going to be much of a brand in 2014. They're getting a ton of criticisms all over the yoga world for their cheaply made clothes and exorbitant prices.

 

Oh yeah, you're right.  I mentioned them specifically because they already have a showroom in EGR, so a new store will be the next step eventually.  But I forgot, yeah, the company's in trouble.  Probably not this year.

Edited by RegalTDP

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I just read an article that The BOB is expanding their brewery operations, in their basement. I think that signals the end of the whole expansion idea.

 

"Another new apartment project announced downtown" I think is a little light. I'd say probably 4 new apartment projects, one new condo project, minimum.

 

I prefer your 4 + 1 over my prediction. New residential in a new building breaking ground in 2014 (98% probability), new hotel (80%), office (50%), movie theater (2%).

 

Any wildcards anyone dares to throw out there? I think downtown is poised to land a major new tenant. 

 

I would love to see the BOB go back to their old concept of including a boutique hotel. I vote Kimpton Hotels

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My WILD Card would be that with the opening of the new Amtrak Station they get the go ahead to start a line going to Lansing and Detroit.

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Ask the people in River House and Union Square who look right out on the highway, if they feel it impairs their values.

 

All of those lots West of 131 would be developed in a heartbeat if the city took their claws off of them (highway or no highway).

 

Can you expound on the second sentence? I am curious what you think. 

 

Regarding downtown highways generally, and 131 specifically, I think it is highly unlikely to go away in the next 30 years. The next chance to have a serious community conversation about it is when it gets rebuilt (last rebuild was circa 1996 if I recall). So, assuming a 50 year life span, we are two decades away from beginning the initial conversations. I look at this more from an economic development and livability perspective. Taking away the visual clutter and psychological barrier will facilitate greater redevelopment, and should open up additional land for redevelopment, green space and transit. 

 

With the beltway around Grand Rapids effectively complete, there is adequate highway connectivity to move through traffic around downtown on the south beltline and 96/196. I would prefer to have a 6 lane at grade boulevard configured like Lake Shore Drive in Chicago (LSD is actually 10 and 12 lanes wide). If Vancouver and Portland can succeed without a highway through the heart of their downtown, I am sure a city a quarter of the size would also manage/adapt....and be better because of it.

My WILD Card would be that with the opening of the new Amtrak Station they get the go ahead to start a line going to Lansing and Detroit.

...with a stop at GRR.

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My WILD Card would be that with the opening of the new Amtrak Station they get the go ahead to start a line going to Lansing and Detroit.

 

I'm not predicting this but I heard a rumor today that Amtrak will start running a second daily Pere Marquette to and from Chicago starting around June.  

 

Actually, a couple of weeks ago on Dec 1, one day only, they ran a second afternoon train from Chicago to Holland and back.  

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Can you expound on the second sentence? I am curious what you think. 

 

Regarding downtown highways generally, and 131 specifically, I think it is highly unlikely to go away in the next 30 years. The next chance to have a serious community conversation about it is when it gets rebuilt (last rebuild was circa 1996 if I recall). So, assuming a 50 year life span, we are two decades away from beginning the initial conversations. I look at this more from an economic development and livability perspective. Taking away the visual clutter and psychological barrier will facilitate greater redevelopment, and should open up additional land for redevelopment, green space and transit. 

 

With the beltway around Grand Rapids effectively complete, there is adequate highway connectivity to move through traffic around downtown on the south beltline and 96/196. I would prefer to have a 6 lane at grade boulevard configured like Lake Shore Drive in Chicago (LSD is actually 10 and 12 lanes wide). If Vancouver and Portland can succeed without a highway through the heart of their downtown, I am sure a city a quarter of the size would also manage/adapt....and be better because of it.

...with a stop at GRR.

 

I think that removing 131 would be a mistake from the standpoint that there would be no other way to easily get from north to south. If any freeway were to be removed, 196 between 131 and fuller or college would make the most sense to me.  people going from east to west or vice versa could easily take M-6 or 96 as an alternative.

 

 

my only prediction for next year would be the start of more commercial development on state street. I think that area is ripe for development as east hills is nearly built out at this point and wealthy street is seeing significant development. 

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Can you expound on the second sentence? I am curious what you think. 

 

Regarding downtown highways generally, and 131 specifically, I think it is highly unlikely to go away in the next 30 years. The next chance to have a serious community conversation about it is when it gets rebuilt (last rebuild was circa 1996 if I recall). So, assuming a 50 year life span, we are two decades away from beginning the initial conversations. I look at this more from an economic development and livability perspective. Taking away the visual clutter and psychological barrier will facilitate greater redevelopment, and should open up additional land for redevelopment, green space and transit. 

 

With the beltway around Grand Rapids effectively complete, there is adequate highway connectivity to move through traffic around downtown on the south beltline and 96/196. I would prefer to have a 6 lane at grade boulevard configured like Lake Shore Drive in Chicago (LSD is actually 10 and 12 lanes wide). If Vancouver and Portland can succeed without a highway through the heart of their downtown, I am sure a city a quarter of the size would also manage/adapt....and be better because of it.

...with a stop at GRR.

 

131 is not keeping those lots from being developed. The fact that the city runs them as DASH lots and has no plans to get rid of them is hindering development. They'd be perfect for student housing, and they wouldn't rankle SWAN because they're nowhere near Seward.

 

Highways are sort of a turnoff for single family home developments (although in mega metro areas you see a lot of homes built right up to new highways). But in urban areas, they are all part of the "bustle."

 

I would think that living next to one of the extremely noisy L lines in Chicago would be way worse than living next to 131, yet people are packing into new developments in those parts of Chicago.

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131 is not keeping those lots from being developed. The fact that the city runs them as DASH lots and has no plans to get rid of them is hindering development. They'd be perfect for student housing, and they wouldn't rankle SWAN because they're nowhere near Seward.

 

Highways are sort of a turnoff for single family home developments (although in mega metro areas you see a lot of homes built right up to new highways). But in urban areas, they are all part of the "bustle."

 

I would think that living next to one of the extremely noisy L lines in Chicago would be way worse than living next to 131, yet people are packing into new developments in those parts of Chicago.

my dad used to live across the street from an L line and I never seemed to notice the sound.  he was in a second floor condo and right at the level of the train.  maybe if I lived there full time it would be more bothersome but I think that it worries potential buyers more than it probably should.

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my dad used to live across the street from an L line and I never seemed to notice the sound.  he was in a second floor condo and right at the level of the train.  maybe if I lived there full time it would be more bothersome but I think that it worries potential buyers more than it probably should.

 

Long time ago I had a work assignment at a factory in Chicago.  The second floor conference room was right next to and level with the Ravenswood line.  First day there I was in a conference about the project.  All of a sudden all the regulars in the conference froze in mid-sentence and in a second or two the train went by, then they’d resume talking right from where they had left off.  It happened every ten minutes or so.  I thought it was pretty funny like being in a Monty Python skit.  Later the conference room became my temporary office and soon I didn’t notice the trains at all.  Of course by then I was probably going into suspended animation mode myself.

 

Being it was out on the Ravenswood line and not in the loop it was not as busy as Elwood’s apartment but the view from the window was about like this:  

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQMEmY1EdsU   

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Long time ago I had a work assignment at a factory in Chicago.  The second floor conference room was right next to and level with the Ravenswood line.  First day there I was in a conference about the project.  All of a sudden all the regulars in the conference froze in mid-sentence and in a second or two the train went by, then they’d resume talking right from where they had left off.  It happened every ten minutes or so.  I thought it was pretty funny like being in a Monty Python skit.  Later the conference room became my temporary office and soon I didn’t notice the trains at all.  Of course by then I was probably going into suspended animation mode myself.

 

Being it was out on the Ravenswood line and not in the loop it was not as busy as Elwood’s apartment but the view from the window was about like this:  

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQMEmY1EdsU   

 

 

Yes, humans become accustomed to certain levels of sound. Regular sounds like traffic and trains just sink into background noise. Growing up we used to live about a mile from a heavily traveled freight rail line where there were crossings all day long. When I first moved away, I missed the sound of train horns blowing at night.

 

That's why I don't believe at all that 131 is hindering high-density residential development next to it. I think people care more about what is around them at the ground level. Is it in the middle of an industrial zone, or in a "neighborhood?" With the Y and Big boy and GVSU and West Fulton and Bridge Street, it is very much a neighborhood. A fledgling one, but still a neighborhood with more growth on the way.

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Time for a recap!

 

 

Alright I guess I'll start this thread, if people are interested.

 

My predictions (I could be wrong, obviously):

 

) A new riverfront condo project announced this year - close, announced by Orion but no renderings yet

) A development proposal for 201 Market (city owned land) - Well a parking lot counts as a development proposal right?

) Founders will expand again - Yup

) A restaurant will be announced for the Downtown Market, the brewery space will be split up into smaller spaces - Yep and yep.

) Arena Place project idea will wither away - I was wrong. Boy was I wrong.

) Grand Rapids will land on another "list." :) - Of course

) Hotel at Midtowne Village will kick off construction - Yep

) Hotel at WAM site will kick off, or not happen - Getting closer

) A lot of talk about streetcars will percolate up again - Hmmm, pretty quiet on this

) Some really awesome plans for the Laker Line will come up - Not "really awesome" but it's moving along

) Silver Line will be operational in August-ish. Amtrak station operational mid-summer (?) - Yep

) A new apartment project will pop up in Monroe North - Yep

) A parking ramp proposal will be debated for Monroe North - Nope, not yet anyway

) MSU will unveil a "first of its kind in Michigan" research facility, to mixed reviews on the "institutional" design - Kind of

) New Brewpub on Wealthy will finally open - Yep, still havent' checked it out yet

) New mixed use projects on Wealthy will begin construction - Yep

) Something big will be announced. I can sense it in the force. - A mixed bag of big projects

) GRID35 or whatever it's called will still be under construction. - I was wrong! It's open.

) The new apartments on Monroe Center will begin to have tenants move in - I believe they've started renting?

 

I'll have some more. Just need to think about it. ;)

 

 

For this year, I'll have to think on it. Anyone have any predictions?

 

A few:

 

) Bridge Street will resemble a war zone with all of the projects going on (New Holland, Alabama Ave, etc)

) At least one project will FINALLY kick off in the Seward Ave area, at LMD or Fulton

) GVSU and MSU will be in a race to build their new health sciences facility, bookending the medical mile. Foundations going in by year's end 2015.

) GVSU will announce a football stadium upgrade so that it doesn't look smaller than Rockford's high school stadium. :)

) 20 Fulton East will finally break ground, after Brookstone's State Street project starts to get buttoned up

) A new project announced for Lyon and Ottawa parking lot, including office, residential and retail, as class A and B office occupancy downtown approaches 90%+. Orion opts for this and puts Bob project on hold for a couple of years.

) Tampa signs on as second franchisee of ArtPrize. Artprize attendance in GR actually grows.

) A new science center is announced for downtown, next to the Ford Museum on the riverfront. Major funding provided by a foundation not previously involved in Grand Rapids.

) Project announced for the Ionia property next to Hopcat

) Project announced for the land across from Downtown Market. A "village" of townhouses and mid-rise lofts.

) Project announced for the Baker furniture factory and Sligh by the Amtrak station, after Klingman's Lofts begins to finish up

) Wealthy and Division still looks like little Detroit

) Project announced for the Rowe and the post office

) Spectrum announces a mid-rise next to McDonald's to accommodate additional 2000 employees.

) Microsoft and MEDC announce major new data center at the old 36th St GM site in Wyoming, gets $20 Million in tax credits, employs 5 people. :) (Microsoft is in a building boom due to its increased cloud/computing)

) Whole Foods and Trader Joes both announce new stores... in Kalamazoo, mainly to see the rage on GR's Facebook fan pages.

 

Still thinking...

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Microsoft and MEDC announce major new data center at the old 36th St GM site in Wyoming, gets $20 Million in tax credits, employs 5 people. :) (Microsoft is in a building boom due to its increased cloud/computing)

That would be awesome. Highly unlikely since GR serves no real geographic benefit for such a facility.

And why five? What are the other four going to do?

"The factory of the future will be manned by a dog and one guy. The guy will be there to feed the dog and the dog will be there to keep the man from touching anything."

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 A new project announced for Lyon and Ottawa parking lot, including office, residential and retail, as class A and B

 

OH please someone just building something of importance there 

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My out of the box list, some are probably not on the radar for 5 years or ever:
 
- Downtown aquarium along the river in conjunction with the Return the Rapids project
- Parking garage/apartments/retail structure on Cherry to support more growth
- Removal of Heartside Park with a 6-8 story 400 unit market rate apartments
- Shorts satellite brewery in the Purple East building
- Grand Central Market convinces West Coast coffee to move into the abandoned Japanese restaurant next door so they can expand their grocery options
- Chick Fil A enters the market
- Cheesecake Factory takes over the departed Olga’s at RiverTown Mall
- The Rock Wood Fired Pizza expands to the MAC Breton site 
- Grand Rapids is awarded a 4th Division Soccer team (playing at Houseman)
- Jose Babushka’s makes its triumphant return (ok, it already is, but I want to look back with one correct answer)
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That would be awesome. Highly unlikely since GR serves no real geographic benefit for such a facility.

And why five? What are the other four going to do?

"The factory of the future will be manned by a dog and one guy. The guy will be there to feed the dog and the dog will be there to keep the man from touching anything."

 

Right, and geographically Microsoft has a massive data center in Chicago. Maybe build one here as a redundancy?

 

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/cloud-os/global-datacenters.aspx

 

I think they mainly look for cheap land and lots of nearby power. Some even run on biogas and their own wind turbine farms.

 

(I have a family member who works on their design team, they're not going to build here AFAIK but it is interesting hearing how fast they're growing).

 

Here's a longshot prediction: The Derby Condos in EGR is finally resurrected, although a scaled down verson.

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Right, and geographically Microsoft has a massive data center in Chicago. Maybe build one here as a redundancy?

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/cloud-os/global-datacenters.aspx

.

Just knowing the industry, I'll take the very solid position that Microsoft, or any one of the big boys, will build a data center here for at least the next five years. More likely ten years.

Chicago benefits from being a major hub of internet traffic. GR is kinda...out of the way..for lack of better wording.

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Because I have absolutely zero insider information, I dont think any of my predictions ever come true. So, might as well aim for the moon again....
1) UofM announces plan to enter the GR market with a satellite campus of reasonable scale. 
2) A MAJOR announcement will be made regarding a residential/commercial tower, possibly a GR tallest.
3) Post office, blamo...
4) Movie theater gets final approvals, begins construction/demo

5) GR subsidizes rents and creates a retail tax haven on Division, making it a retail hotspot

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Condos in East are the longshot in that list? :)

Yes I think the Derby ever coming back is a very long shot. I could be wrong... :)

True that some of the others were spitballing/connecting dots but fuggit, why not. Maybe they'll get someone thinking.

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Well my Score is pretty poor for 2014. A few almost happened or jury's out (Orange).

 

 

The intersection of Wealthy and Eastern will see a number of renovations and construction projects. Continued high crime will leave the Franklin and Eastern area dormant.

 

Boutique hotels ( to help accommodate a huge uptick in tourism) will become the big trend as several appear between DT and Reeds Lake.

 

Spin-off development around the new market will be modest or even lackluster. It will still receive lots of foot traffic

 

The Siverline will be a bust, but interest will pick up on some form of public transport to the "Gold Coast".

 

The hotel on N. Monroe will not be built.

 

Another record flood will almost scuttle any talks of seriously putting rapids back into the river or removing any of the floodwalls.

 

The ICCF project on Division will be redesigned into low-income apartments with ground floor retail after all hopes for a grocery are abandoned.

 

Ferris-Kendal buys the Keeler building to become student apartments and studio space.

 

The area behind the D&W in EGR will become home to a number of small ultra-modern homes, condos and apartments.

 

The Ford Federal Building is slated to be rebuilt.

 

The Post Office will stay put. **Some operations did moved to S. Division**

 

The rather large church between Lake Dr. and E. Fulton, on Diamond, will be bought and converted into an independent theater and performing arts center.

 

The triangle of land across from Marie Catrib's will be officially named Marie Catrib Square with a carillon clock tower in the center.

 

There will be an attempt to try to block off parts of DT to cars by overzealous bike activists and some city officials. It will suffer a huge backlash.

 

The west side will finally see some new development in the area adjacent to GVSU.

 

Apartment development next to Founders (This will be the year!)

 

For 2015:

 

*State Street will see a new development near Lafayette.

 

*Valley City Linen on E. Fulton will announce that it's moving. Will be demolished for a huge mixed-use project.

 

*Clarke's Liquor store gets bought out. Converted back to a full-grocery.

 

*Azzar will attempt to move to demolish the Keeler building out of spite.

 

*The majority of new apartment buildings will be on the west side.

 

*A private company will institute an inter-city bus surface (Uber Bus) between Grand Rapids, Holland, Grand Haven, and Muskegon. Cities will flip their lid, but the public will flock to it.

 

*First chain retailer will open on Ionia. Likely a GAP or Banana Republic. 

 

*ICCF development goes nowhere for another year.

 

*East Hills/Eastown/Wealthy St./E.Fulton are made a "special venue zone" for the next Art Prize, in an experiment to evolve the original boundaries.

Edited by GR_Urbanist

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My recap:

 

 

- Initial ridership for the Silver Line will be slow at first, but improve over time.

      - Too soon to tell, but going as well as I expected

- MLive will gleefully cover any delays or problems with the Silver Line’s rollout, with quotes from the anti-transit crowd complaining about slow traffic on Division.  Nobody outside of MLive will really care.

     - Not really.  To be honest, I expected more problems

- No ITP referendums in the suburbs this election year.

     - Correct

- More GR park improvements will be announced.  The boost in neighborhood quality of life from park improvements just this year alone will be major.

    - Correct, at least on the park improvement announcement

- Woodland and Centerpointe will increase in retail activity.  Rivertown Crossings will decline.

    - My general impression is that this is true, but I can't back that up.  However, now, with the economy improving at the pace it's in, Rivertown is going to do better this year too.

- Also more retail in vicinity of Breton Village and EGR.  Possibly including a full-scale Lululemon.

    - Correct

- New businesses move into 978 Cherry and 619 Wealthy.

    - Correct for 978 Cherry. Did not predict new additions would be planned for 619 Wealthy.

- One of the properties razed on Division last year will see something new proposed.

    - Didn't happen AFAIK.  Wasn't there a party store (ugh) proposed on Division? Does that count?

- I put odds at greater than 50% that the Tanger Outlets will not happen.  I don’t know why, I just have a feeling.

    - Wrong. It's happening.

- US-131 will be dismantled piece by piece, ground into dust, and the citizens of GR will rejoice and dance and in its ashes…  In dreams posted on the Salon’s Facebook wall, again and again, all year long. (Love ya Salon! :))

    - Correct... But I will admit it was far less obsessive this year.  Still love you guys.

 

 

My predictions for 2015:

 

-- Area 2 lot will remain the same for at least this year.  BUT...

-- Downtown parking will be the issue of the year.  More park & ride lots will be proposed along the Silver Line, such as 54th Street.  Some downtown companies will complain and move out.  

-- Parking in Eastown and East Hills will become contentious too.  Long term plans will be called for.

-- Hotel proposal for Monroe and Louis will go through at least one more revised rendering

-- Westside proposal at Lake Michigan & Lexington will break ground.  (Early prediction for 2016: SWAN area development floodgates open)

-- Next new label to arrive in GR: Urban Outfitters.  H&M will open 2nd store in Rivertown.  Potbelly's opens downtown location.

-- Grand Rapids will be listed on another asinine web infographic, like "Ten Best Cities to Raise Alpacas" or something.  MLive will cover it in an article.

 

 

 

) Whole Foods and Trader Joes both announce new stores... in Kalamazoo, mainly to see the rage on GR's Facebook fan pages.

 

Not sure if you're joking, but I could see this actually happening.  :whistling:

 

 

 

- Chick Fil A enters the market

 

I bet this happens sooner rather than later.

Edited by RegalTDP

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I was hoping that Temporary Name would do a video of predictions for 2015. :whistling:


My recap:


 

 

 

Not sure if you're joking, but I could see this actually happening.  :whistling:

 

 

 

 

 

Me too, I was only half joking.

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