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Predictions for the coming year


GRDadof3

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17 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

An ex-GR Press reporter the other day said to me he couldn't believe UrbanPlanet GR was still going and he compared it to myspace. :rofl:

Anyway I had a good laugh at his expense (because look at the GR Press now, speaking of myspace).

So I was thinking in AT LEAST the last 10 years, all of the things that the members here have expressed that they'd like to see in Grand Rapids, and how many of those things have happened. We'll call this 2009 Predictions/Wish List:

) Movie theater downtown = check

) Extend development and infill all of those crazy big surface lots behind the arena = check

) A real grocery store downtown or near downtown = check

) Trader Joes to come to GR = check

) All (or most) of the old buildings on Wealthy revitalized and infill = check

) A medical school and bioscience research centers on Michigan Street = check

) In conjunction with the above, get rid of the old GR Press/Myspace building = check

) Infill on Michigan Street = check

) Something to finally be built on the WAM site = check

) More residential infill in Monroe North = check

) Reinvigorate the riverfront and re-do the riverbanks and parks = check (starting)

) A new "flatiron" project on the Louis/Ionia/Fulton surface lot = check

) More retail on Monroe Center = check (it ebbs and flows but I think it's nearly 100% occupied, a far cry from the UP - meetup and meeting with the Downtown Alliance 10 or so years ago).

) More breweries = check

) Infill on Bridge Street = check

) More GVSU presence downtown = check

) Something to finally be built on the Ellis lot at Lyon and Ottawa = check

) Revitalization and infill at the corner of Division and Fulton, the Eastern epicenter of downtown = check

) Something built on the surface lot at Sheldon and Fulton = check

) Something done with the old JA building (haha how we begged for that) = check

) Fix up the memorial parks along Fulton/Sheldon = check

) Add more bike lanes and expand transit = check and in progress

) Fix up all of those old warehouses on Ionia South of Wealthy = check

) Infill the big vacant decrepit lot at Wealthy and Division = check, on-going

) Expand the FSFM = check

) Infill apartments on pretty much every vacant lot in the city, including the "Southeast side" (dun dun dun) = check, ongoing

) Do something with that blighted Blodgett Home for Children in East Hills = check

) Fill up all retail space in Midtown, Eastown, East Hills, Wealthy Street, and East Grand Rapids = check

So keep sharing things you'd like to see. People ARE still reading.

If you think of more, you can shoot me an email at [email protected]

Toodles. 

So if UP is Myspace, what is the Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat of GR development talk? If anything, this board seems to be growing.

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19 minutes ago, GRLaker said:

So if UP is Myspace, what is the Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat of GR development talk? If anything, this board seems to be growing.

Traffic ebbs and flows over the years, depending on the level of excitement going on. I'd be interested in seeing the analytics for this page historically, actually. I'll check with the site owners (haven't talked to them in probably 5 years lol). 

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On 1/8/2019 at 2:23 PM, GRLaker said:

As do I. We have two universities between GR and Kalamazoo that total approximately 50,000 people. Add in Ferris up in Big Rapids and you're at approximately 62,000. Plus, the Dutch love a good deal, which IKEA provides in the form of a giant warehouse store. To me, IKEA is a lot like Costco, only for furniture and home goods. If you go to either Costco in this area, you'll find it very difficult to find a parking spot that isn't 1/4 of a mile out. I suspect we'd see a similar situation with IKEA.

Just to pile on.   If you put the IKEA out by the airport or 28th Street, I think it would be a slam dunk.   You could then also include MSU/Lansing in those numbers.  East Lansing to the Canton IKEA is around 1 hour and 20 minutes.  East Lansing to Kentwood would be a little over an hour.  Lansing is even a bit closer than EL.  Add in all the towns between Lansing and Grand Rapids, and I think the IKEA  would get enough traffic.

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2 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

So keep sharing things you'd like to see. People ARE still reading.

If you think of more, you can shoot me an email at [email protected]

Toodles. 

One of my pet peeves was getting rid of or revitalizing the old A&P warehouse along the S Curve that had the big cell tower on top.  Glad to see that eyesore gone.

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I didn't even know Grand Rapids MI exsisted in 2009!  There is one thing I have wanted since I moved here 5 years ago that hasn't happened yet, and that is for the big parking lot on Fulton and Market to get developed. I didn't even bother putting it in my prediction this year, I think we'd see the rapids back in the river before movement on this site. 

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2 hours ago, Sparty97 said:

Just to pile on.   If you put the IKEA out by the airport or 28th Street, I think it would be a slam dunk.   You could then also include MSU/Lansing in those numbers.  East Lansing to the Canton IKEA is around 1 hour and 20 minutes.  East Lansing to Kentwood would be a little over an hour.  Lansing is even a bit closer than EL.  Add in all the towns between Lansing and Grand Rapids, and I think the IKEA  would get enough traffic.

IKEA is even more of a smug brand than Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.  Smug brands en masse tend to be oblivious to GR as a retail market.  If there is ever actual legitimate speculation that IKEA considers opening a location in GR before it hits 1 million people in the urban area I will eat my shoes.

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43 minutes ago, MJLO said:

IKEA is even more of a smug brand than Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.  Smug brands en masse tend to be oblivious to GR as a retail market.  If there is ever actual legitimate speculation that IKEA considers opening a location in GR before it hits 1 million people in the urban area I will eat my shoes.

I agree. I also think we *can* support an IKEA.  But just need to convince them of that.

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1 hour ago, jonrapley said:

I didn't even know Grand Rapids MI exsisted in 2009!  There is one thing I have wanted since I moved here 5 years ago that hasn't happened yet, and that is for the big parking lot on Fulton and Market to get developed. I didn't even bother putting it in my prediction this year, I think we'd see the rapids back in the river before movement on this site. 

Agreed. That lot is a huge wasted opportunity for skyline development. It is definitely put to use for parking, but it's large enough that you could have a tower, a large parking ramp, and a small surface lot. 

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Different forum and from a few years ago and I think its been discussed here in the past too.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/grand-rapids-metro-area/2293964-should-grand-rapids-consolidate-its-suburbs.html

If you annex Wyoming, Kentwood and Walker and then GR is a city with 350,000 people and maybe we hit people's radar a bit more.

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10 minutes ago, jdkacz said:

Different forum and from a few years ago and I think its been discussed here in the past too.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/grand-rapids-metro-area/2293964-should-grand-rapids-consolidate-its-suburbs.html

If you annex Wyoming, Kentwood and Walker and then GR is a city with 350,000 people and maybe we hit people's radar a bit more.

I think that is the best way to do it. People can say it is artificial, but Indianapolis, Nashville, and Louisville have all annexed large swaths of their urban area and they are definitely more on the map because of it (Louisville went from 250k to 600k in the 2000s, Nashville  went from 170k to 450k in the 1970s, Indianapolis 475k to 745k in the 1960s).

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7 minutes ago, Pattmost20 said:

I think that is the best way to do it. People can say it is artificial, but Indianapolis, Nashville, and Louisville have all annexed large swaths of their urban area and they are definitely more on the map because of it (Louisville went from 250k to 600k in the 2000s, Nashville  went from 170k to 450k in the 1970s, Indianapolis 475k to 745k in the 1960s).

Jacksonville as well.

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Grand Rapids merging with with Kentwood and Wyoming would still have less land area than Toledo.    If it had the same land area as the city/county merged cities you’d be looking at 500-600k.  At the end of the day a city can’t really annex and merge its way to prominence.  It may help a little from a layman’s perspective, but the size of the market remains the same.

 

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20 minutes ago, MJLO said:

Grand Rapids merging with with Kentwood and Wyoming would still have less land area than Toledo.    If it had the same land area as the city/county merged cities you’d be looking at 500-600k.  At the end of the day a city can’t really annex and merge its way to prominence.  It may help a little from a layman’s perspective, but the size of the market remains the same.

 

I don't think it really matters. Salt Lake City is 200,000 in a metro of 1.087 Million.  I think they just got their IKEA in 2018. 

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26 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

I don't think it really matters. Salt Lake City is 200,000 in a metro of 1.087 Million.  I think they just got their IKEA in 2018. 

Salt Lake City is at the center  of 80 miles of continuous development from Provo to Ogden.  It's combined statistical area is approaching 2.6 million people.  That's still in line with similar sized markets that IKEAis entering right now.  The smallest market that I am aware of IKEA entering is Jacksonville currently.  

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If you think about it, there really isn't much of a difference between southern Grand Rapids and much of Wyoming and Kentwood. If you didn't see the sign saying "welcome to Kentwood," you would never know you're leaving GR. Such a move makes sense and it would put Grand Rapids on the map at around 320,000 people. I would like to see Walker as well, but I can't see them going along with it like I could see Wyoming and Kentwood going along with it. With Wyoming though, you might see the panhandle split off and merge with Grandville.

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Never gonna happen. GR's income tax will make it a nonstarter for many residents of those suburbs. And weren't those cities formed specifically to stem the tide of annexations? I know that Kentwood was formed from the remnants of Paris Township, which Grand Rapids had been annexing over the decades (when my house by Garfield Park was built in 1916, the land had only been part of GR for a few years).

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Map of annexation for anyone curious to see the growth. Interesting point to think about, a lot of our early population growth was partly due to annexation. I saw an chart at some point that showed city area at each census along with population. It was interesting to chart population density throughout the years. I believe 1910 or 1920 was the densest the city has ever been.

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14 hours ago, Floyd_Z said:

Would the city really want to annex any surrounding areas?  IT seems like resources are already spread pretty thin.

An argument could be made that the additional revenue would offset that, and consolidation of services would lower costs potentially. But the city relies heavily on city income tax for revenue. Would they want to annex any surrounding cities that don't have an income tax already? Walker does. Does Wyoming or Kentwood? If an income tax were proposed for any city that doesn't have one, this idea would be dead on arrival. 

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