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GRDadof3

601 Lake Michigan Dr (at Lexington) Project - West Side

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Cherry Street Capital is having a go at it for 63 apartments and 10,000 square feet of retail on this group of parcels. Let's see what the West Siiiiiide has to say about it.

 

13307823254_327e35ca6a_z.jpg

 

As soon as I can get some renderings I'll pass them along. Or if someone has a chance to drop by the Planning office, they have the plans there.

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Didn't SWAN put the breaks on another apartment proposal here a few years back?  

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Didn't SWAN put the breaks on another apartment proposal here a few years back?  

 

Do you mean the townhouse proposal on Seward?  That was between Cal & Veto.  IIRC they knocked down the houses there anyway.

 

63 units & 10,000 ft^2 retail would be incredible at that location.  Reeeally curious how the neighborhood will react.  Unfortunately I'm 3,000 miles away and can't swing by the planning office...

 

That corner building across Lexington could use some love too.

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Do you mean the townhouse proposal on Seward?  That was between Cal & Veto.  IIRC they knocked down the houses there anyway.

 

63 units & 10,000 ft^2 retail would be incredible at that location.  Reeeally curious how the neighborhood will react.  Unfortunately I'm 3,000 miles away and can't swing by the planning office...

 

That corner building across Lexington could use some love too.

 

I don't think it should have as many problems as the previous project on Seward, since those parcels are designated for mixed use on the "Future Land Use" map of the U to the Zoo area specific plan from 2013.  Of course, the plans are not always followed to the letter, and they'll still need to get a zoning change.  But, it should make it easier to get the necessary zoning changes greenlighted, once any other concerns of the neighborhood have been addressed.

 

http://grcity.us/design-and-development-services/Planning-Department/Documents/UtotheZoo_revisions_022613.pdf

 

Depending on what goes into the retail spots, it could be a real boon for the neighborhood, and it will likely provide some additional business for the sub shop across the street.  More walkability, more density.  There will likely be a Lakerline BRT stop nearby, if/when that gets up and running.  Once this project is built, it would be great to see a development on the Lake Michigan frontage of the DASH lots there.

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Looks great. I'm sure SWAN will hate it.

 

Joe

 

It will really all come down to parking, and how much the developer plans to provide.

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I dont know if I should laugh or cry at the reaction. At some point either something gets built here with some density in mind or nothing gets built. If SWAN seriously thinks that this is going to become a block of low-income single-family homes if they hold their breath long enough, then they are naive.

 

And they are concerened with the impact that a modern apartment building will have on an area with some of the most rundown homes in the city? A property that sits next to a railroad track, and just down the street from a strip club?

 

At this juncture the city has got to remind SWAN that they are not an independent government with veto power over everything. They have simply become too full of themselves when it has come to some of these developments. Any way the city can get buildings up with people in them to increase the tax dollars rolling in, should have a bit more sway than these guys trying to preserve some outdated vision of the West Side from the 1950s.

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I get Belknap's tenacity (mostly)  Belknap has a vision and it shows.  But the SWAN neighborhoods aren't even mediocre really, You'd think the neighborhood would want help increasing property values.  Can anyone name an instance where SWAN didn't categorically stand in the way of progress at all costs?

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Who represents that area and what is their position?

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SWAN is worried that developments like this will further perpetuate the move from single family ownerhip to rental properties in that area. In other news, Byron Township can barely keep up with the pace of construction of single family homes. SWAN you're about 30 years too late.

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With the modifications made from the prior proposal I would hope that would persuade the planning commission to move this project forward. Maybe they like vacant lots? Single family homes will not ever be built in those empty lots again.

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SWAN makes me so mad. Please Planning Commission, bring this area kicking and screaming into the 21st century. 

 

It really seems like the developer is trying to do this right. I officially hate swan's now. Stupid birds.

 

Joe

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Hey GR Urban Planet peeps! Its been a long time since I've posted anything, just been lurking for years but now I've got a much more vested interest in things. I've been a Westsiiiiiider for long time but have recently joined the SWAN board and am hoping to provide some new perspectives to the neighborhood association.

 

Prior to my involvement with SWAN this piece of property has been a sore spot for the neighborhood. The 'structures' that were there previously were an eyesore to say the least, so when the owner had them razed it was a slight improvement. He's had several proposals for that parcel that have hit the skids. When the ASP was being created the owner was actively involved and supported the medium density recomendations and 2.5 story height limit, defined in the completed ASP. So when this newest proposal came in at 5 stories, we had to evaluate more cautiously. Through some advice we decided to formally stand by the ASP and this project doesn't meet those parameters. I personally struggled with this decision because I'm hoping to drag some of my cohorts into a more development friendly mindset but do see the value in standing by what the ASP (and in turned the hundreds of people that participated in that process) demands. I believe that a succesfull (read: profitable for the seller) project can be completed here but maybe not at the current sale price the owner is asking.

 

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone here has to say.

 

-Dave

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Also, please don't harm any swans. They can't help it that they're stupid birds.

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I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone here has to say.

 

 

Why is SWAN imposing a 2.5 story height limitation? 

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Why is SWAN imposing a 2.5 story height limitation? 

2.5 story height limitation is what was decided on in the ASP.

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Hey GR Urban Planet peeps! Its been a long time since I've posted anything, just been lurking for years but now I've got a much more vested interest in things. I've been a Westsiiiiiider for long time but have recently joined the SWAN board and am hoping to provide some new perspectives to the neighborhood association.

 

Prior to my involvement with SWAN this piece of property has been a sore spot for the neighborhood. The 'structures' that were there previously were an eyesore to say the least, so when the owner had them razed it was a slight improvement. He's had several proposals for that parcel that have hit the skids. When the ASP was being created the owner was actively involved and supported the medium density recomendations and 2.5 story height limit, defined in the completed ASP. So when this newest proposal came in at 5 stories, we had to evaluate more cautiously. Through some advice we decided to formally stand by the ASP and this project doesn't meet those parameters. I personally struggled with this decision because I'm hoping to drag some of my cohorts into a more development friendly mindset but do see the value in standing by what the ASP (and in turned the hundreds of people that participated in that process) demands. I believe that a succesfull (read: profitable for the seller) project can be completed here but maybe not at the current sale price the owner is asking.

 

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone here has to say.

 

-Dave

 

ASP's are great and all but at the end of the day, they're just tools to guide development "wishes." Certain land costs drive certain types of development, plain and simple. Why has there been very little NEW private development in downtown in quite a while? You guessed it, land costs are too high. If it's not tied to an institution or Amway family money, it's pretty much not happening. I think it's a strategy actually...

 

Maybe the land owner did agree to 2.5 stories in principle, but that doesn't mean he's going to walk away from a ready, willing and able buyer who would like to build 5 stories (because 5 stories would work on paper).

 

So if this one starts with 5 stories, compromises to 2.5 and thinks it will work, how does the proposal still get the axe?

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2.5 story height limitation is what was decided on in the ASP.

 

That doesn't answer the question of "Why 2.5?"  "Because the ASP says so" is not an answer.  What does that magic number mean to the neighbors, and the owner who agreed to it?

 

I've only read snippets and statements on why SWAN is opposing this, so thank you for coming back to the forum to talk about it.  But all anyone has said so far is "We have to stand by the ASP," as if they're talking about the Magna Carta or something.  ASPs aren't binding, and they aren't blood oaths you have to "stand by," they're just guidelines.  "Standing by the ASP" doesn't mean anything to me; the relevant guiding principles behind it does.  Why is 2.5 stories a hill everyone wants to die on?  If you accept mixed-use at that corner, you have to accept that an injection of density would greatly help sustain it.  Is that not in the spirit of the ASP?

 

It's strange to me how ASPs are invoked these days to discourage development, and that should never be their purpose.  The onus shouldn't solely be on the proposer to justify why he must deviate from the ASP, it should equally shared by SWAN to justify how the proposal harms the neighborhood.  And to be fair, sometimes they do make the case.  If you think this causes excessive shading, make the case.  But I don't see that here.  I don't mean to only go off on SWAN; I just feel like we've been through this a lot.

 

But I will say this:  Please convince me I'm wrong, but to me, the very fact that there's an ASP at all speaks to how averse SWAN is to any new development whatsoever.  Their attitude toward U-To-The-Zoo seems to be "Here in this plan is all the development we are willing to tolerate."  If that's the mindset they have, it's not surprising to see them exploit whatever facet available to oppose a project.  Again, please convince me I'm wrong.

Edited by RegalTDP
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I agree that the 2.5 story 'understanding' should not be clenched steadfastly. The best cities are those that grow with a vision but have enough flexibility to still be somewhat spontaneous in points. If a development is going to be mixed-use with ground-floor refill, 1.5 stories isn't really going to ensure a developer or potential business that there will be enough traffic around the building. However, the residents that a four-story building would add might.

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