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820 Monroe-Sackner Products Factory


ctpgr34

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The North Monroe area really needs more of a destination retail area and Monroe Ave is a bit too sterile IMO. Additionally, Monroe Ave can be a bit wind-swept in the winter months with the cold north and western winds blowing in off the river.

 

Three choices:

1. East-West Street - Newberry offers one opportunity. Manageable distance (3 blocks long) and relatively center to the residential portions of the area. Drawbacks: limited ROW would make parallel parking and wider sidewalks impossible, plus would require mostly newly built development - making a longer time frame.

 

2. Bond Avenue - This could be a cool street. Many of the buildings have a funky vibe, and I love the old rail road tracks parallel to the road. 616 appears to have picked up the lot across from their proposed redevelopment and could then orient their future development towards Bond, as well as include some retail on the backend of their apartment development. Drawbacks - not really a visible through street, limited right of way, will still require a lot of new development.

 

3. Ottawa is probably the most logical long-term Wider streets may better facilitate on-street parking, wider sidewalks and has higher traffic counts. However, it lacks some of the character, hosts very large manufacturing facilities and is furthest away from existing residential.

 

What are your thoughts for the restaurant/retail strip for the future Pearl District of Michigan?

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Wow!

 

I used to rent out storage space on the ground floor of this place back in 2006-ish.

 

I'm actually surprised to hear about this considering that the upper floors were really nice office spaces, with some fancy design shops considering all of the empty Apple boxes you would see in the recycle bins downstairs. There was even a beauty salon up there. There were also artist studios, I believe, on the lower floor, and established shops along Monroe.

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The North Monroe area really needs more of a destination retail area and Monroe Ave is a bit too sterile IMO. Additionally, Monroe Ave can be a bit wind-swept in the winter months with the cold north and western winds blowing in off the river.

 

Three choices:

1. East-West Street - Newberry offers one opportunity. Manageable distance (3 blocks long) and relatively center to the residential portions of the area. Drawbacks: limited ROW would make parallel parking and wider sidewalks impossible, plus would require mostly newly built development - making a longer time frame.

 

2. Bond Avenue - This could be a cool street. Many of the buildings have a funky vibe, and I love the old rail road tracks parallel to the road. 616 appears to have picked up the lot across from their proposed redevelopment and could then orient their future development towards Bond, as well as include some retail on the backend of their apartment development. Drawbacks - not really a visible through street, limited right of way, will still require a lot of new development.

 

3. Ottawa is probably the most logical long-term Wider streets may better facilitate on-street parking, wider sidewalks and has higher traffic counts. However, it lacks some of the character, hosts very large manufacturing facilities and is furthest away from existing residential.

 

What are your thoughts for the restaurant/retail strip for the future Pearl District of Michigan?

 

I think Bond is a cool street. A lot will depend on what happens with a) the second tower site for Icon on Bond that is still vacant. My recommendation to some people at the city was to build a ramp there so that other developers don't necessarily have to provide parking. b) what happens with big blue, the previous GR Spring and Stamping plant c) the restaurant site by Icon on Bond d) What MSU does with the land they now own

 

It'd be great if the city could secure the rail ROW (if they don't already) and plan a dedicated paved biking and running path that connects up to their new connection on Monroe to Ann Street. MSU could then tie into it under the overpass for its students.

 

Bond could be the future "cool" street of Grand Rapids. It certainly has a cool name. Plus, it doesn't go all the way through so it could be a "hidden treasure."

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This is an area of town I know very well.  

 

I was one of the first tenants when Delta started their renovation of the upper floors of the Sackner building back in 1995 (ish).  I had one of the nicest spaces on the 2nd floor.  I had a roof top deck and big windows overlooking the entire downtown skyline.  For several years, this was indeed a great location for creatives.  There was a cool vibe back then, albeit a bit bohemian at times.  The first wave of tenants was pretty top notch in terms of creative talent. Over time, tenant turnover diminished that creative culture quite a bit.  I left around 2008 because I simply couldn't continue to justify paying city income and property taxes for both myself and my company.  And Delta was a mediocre landlord at best.  It's nice to see this space getting an upgrade from a landlord with better aesthetic tastes.

 

For approx 10 years prior to 1995, I and a couple partners occupied the bldg at 800 Bond (corner of Newberry).  We were one of the very first to move into that area of town back then.  The big blue GR Stamping bldg was an empty parking lot back then and nearly every building in the area was empty or rarely used. We did a major renovation to create a film studio and offices and enjoyed the quiet of that part of town for several years before Autodie began growing and Monroe north started getting noticed.  Sidebar:  the bldg at 800 Bond (currently red painted masonry) was originally a Consumers Power substation that powered all the electric trollies that ran up and down Monroe early in the 20th century.  I know this because we produced several documentary films for Consumers Power and I found pictures of this building in their archives while researching a project.

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This is an area of town I know very well.  

 

I was one of the first tenants when Delta started their renovation of the upper floors of the Sackner building back in 1995 (ish).  I had one of the nicest spaces on the 2nd floor.  I had a roof top deck and big windows overlooking the entire downtown skyline.  For several years, this was indeed a great location for creatives.  There was a cool vibe back then, albeit a bit bohemian at times.  The first wave of tenants was pretty top notch in terms of creative talent. Over time, tenant turnover diminished that creative culture quite a bit.  I left around 2008 because I simply couldn't continue to justify paying city income and property taxes for both myself and my company.  And Delta was a mediocre landlord at best.  It's nice to see this space getting an upgrade from a landlord with better aesthetic tastes.

 

For approx 10 years prior to 1995, I and a couple partners occupied the bldg at 800 Bond (corner of Newberry).  We were one of the very first to move into that area of town back then.  The big blue GR Stamping bldg was an empty parking lot back then and nearly every building in the area was empty or rarely used. We did a major renovation to create a film studio and offices and enjoyed the quiet of that part of town for several years before Autodie began growing and Monroe north started getting noticed.  Sidebar:  the bldg at 800 Bond (currently red painted masonry) was originally a Consumers Power substation that powered all the electric trollies that ran up and down Monroe early in the 20th century.  I know this because we produced several documentary films for Consumers Power and I found pictures of this building in their archives while researching a project.

 

I know exactly which building you're talking about. It was for sale for quite a while.

 

A couple of other interesting buildings are those garages on Bond on the West side of the street across from GR Spring and Stamping. One has a big mural on it. They're kind of on an island by themselves but they might be interesting for something fun.

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RANT:

... Rendering provided by 616 Development via Mlive

14068481-mmmain.jpg

 

Using clip art like this is detrimental to the cause of bicycle-safe transportation. The rider appears to be about to make a left turn from the right --that is, incorrect-- side of the road.

 

I'm putting this here in the hope that the 616 Development artist will revise future renderings. Serious about this.

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Seriously? I'm lodging a complaint as well. Medians don't float. Just look at the shadows?! They are hovering! [triple sarcasm]

 

Joe

 

RANT:

 

Using clip art like this is detrimental to the cause of bicycle-safe transportation. The rider appears to be about to make a left turn from the right --that is, incorrect-- side of the road.

 

I'm putting this here in the hope that the 616 Development artist will revise future renderings. Serious about this.

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Seriously? I'm lodging a complaint as well. Medians don't float. Just look at the shadows?! They are hovering! [triple sarcasm]

 

Joe

 

I noticed that the shadows from the bike tires do not match up with the actual bike tires. I'm sensing a clip art photoshop job, intentionally trying to encourage cyclist homocide. That shadow from the tree looks more like an interpretation of a blood spatter, or oil slick. It's all very disgusting actually.  ^_^

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RANT:

 

Using clip art like this is detrimental to the cause of bicycle-safe transportation. The rider appears to be about to make a left turn from the right --that is, incorrect-- side of the road.

 

I'm putting this here in the hope that the 616 Development artist will revise future renderings. Serious about this.

 

Are you sure the rider isn't just moving toward the median, in preparation for a left turn onto Newberry?

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Wow, and I was just wearing my old Bond Street Studios t-shirt this past weekend (with the haggard cartoon guy holding a video cassette and saying, "I got the video done" or something like that.)  Hoo boy, what a co-winky-dink.

 

... and that bicycle rider should really wear a helmet if he's going to be riding that recklessly because that ball cap isn't going to do much to protect his noggin when that car pastes him.

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... and that bicycle rider should really wear a helmet if he's going to be riding that recklessly because that ball cap isn't going to do much to protect his noggin when that car pastes him.

 

I’ve almost pasted cyclists who have turned in front of me like that.  What struck me about the drawing is that apparently this development only attracts white people, very white people at that.  And they all drive white cars and wear all white clothes.  

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