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GRDadof3

The Next Big Thing..

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What do you think will be the "next big thing" for Grand Rapids, project wise? Or do you think it will just chug along with a hundred different small projects? I was talking with a few people the other day who felt like GR was in a development "lull," because there were no big projects going on (and the Downtown Market is/was essentially a dud). Is that feeling legitimate? Nothing big on the horizon?

 

This may ruffle feathers but I think the new outlet mall in Byron Center is going to be a pretty big event when it opens. I also foresee more development in that area to follow, possibly an indoor water park and a Bass Pro Shops...

 

The MSU campus/mixed use project could also be a big splash downtown. I would also love to see a plan to revitalize the riverfront. I know the plan is being worked on but a big plan with financial backing is due. That would get some big attention, if it coincides with the rapids being brought back?

 

Anyone else?

 

 

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I don't think the GR market is a dud. It's not even a year old? I think that the building across the street doesn't get renovated without the market's presence. I think in 5-10 years we will see the maturation of the market and it's impact for GR.

To get to your question, I think the majority of GR's growth comes from infill (Orion's project for the edge of Easttown, the arena project, the hotel in midtown, the new development on Croswell in East GR, the developments by Breton/burton, etc)

I don't see anything big on the horizon (but what do I know) but that's okay, I see projects going all over, even boring stuff like infill in the Cascade Meijer parking lot or new retail across the street from the cascade Meijer.

I feel that critical mass will happen where we see bigger developments due to the lack of desirable space in some pockets of the city. 5 years?

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Not so much what I think we will see but rather what I would like to see would be A museum of natural history and/or a large aquarium on the river :)

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I was walking down Campau today thinking about how nice a 20 story tower would look in that area, but ultimately realized it wasn't likely. But I dont really think Arena Place is small. Also, isn't a 14 story high-rise going in on Fulton and Division? I wouldn't consider them major projects, but they aren't small, IMO.

 

 

But I don't know as much as most of you, so I could be wrong.

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To me it seems like the infill is progressing at a pretty strong clip.  I was just reading the article on mlive about the office market being active http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2014/07/downtown_office_market_was_a_h.html#incart_river_default   I am assuming that also means vacancies are drying up as new owners are trying to fill any empty space.   It seems like there is a small amount of canabalism in the downtown office market with a few firms switching buildings.   I would am hoping to see existing office space hit a saturation point and more needing to be built.  I would love to see some of the bigger companies in the area increase their presence downtown or move there altogether. (I'm sure we all would)  But it seems like the momentum right now is in residential,  I would imagine seeing more big residential projects and hopefully not in the form of Karl Chew and his glut of LIHTC buildings.    

 

Other than that the new MSU research facilty hopefully combined with whatever else their developers come up with will be huge.   Maybe even to the scale of how it was when the 4 towers on the hill started going in ten years ago. 

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The MSU campus is probably the biggest thing going on. Other possibilities would be

  • the continued discussions on the river itself,
  • the new music venue at Millennium Park
  • Streetcar,
  • And don't forget the potential that the Silver Line will generate long-term, especially if it becomes the first of many enhanced transit lines. 

We will start seeing some larger development proposals (+15 stories), but I am okay with the current scale of development. I would much rather see a city packed with mid-rises with good street-level design than JW Marriott-styled soul-killing streetscapes that happen to look good from afar. 

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I think MSU is the next big thing. Arena South could start to emerge, especially the lot that Rockford has an option on (across from Hopcat).

 

As everyone else is saying, I think infill will be the big thing.

 

- Hope to see the Keeler Building get renovated soon.

- What is up with the Half Century building? That building seems majorly underutilized. 

- Interested to see what happens to the Waters Building

 

I hope the restoration of the rapids gets funding. I could see that being a big posthumous donation from Peter Wege.

 

In the burbs, here's a few things that I think will be big:

 

- Bankruptcy sale of the Village of Knapp Crossings

- Tanger Outlets in Byron Center

- I've heard a rumor that Crate & Barrel is trying to get into Woodland. I've also heard this will happen one of two ways: 1) Sears will leave and they'll know down the building, split it into several new buildings (similar to Barnes and Noble). 2) Celebration Cinema will vacate their building and several new tenants (including Crate & Barrel) will move in there.

- I'm also interested in what is happening in Ada. It will look totally different in 5-7 years.

 

Joe

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I think I read where the occupancy rate for apartment/condo rentals downtown is over 98%.  If this can be sustained when various projects go online such as Morton House then it has to be a statistic to be reckoned with.

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I wasn't inferring that there aren't a lot of "positive" things going on. I had a colleague in Detroit and a relative in Colorado (both of which are connected to me on FB) ask me recently what the "big" things going on in GR were, since it seems like a pretty happening place to them. It was a bit hard to say. Seriously MSU was the only thing I could come up with. A bunch of "infill and full apartments" is not a characteristic that is unique to GR. In fact, that story is happening in just about every city of any decent size in the U.S.

 

A complete revamp of the riverfront and bringing back the rapids is something that I would consider "big." If GVSU unveils an entire campus plan in Monroe North I'd consider that big.

 

Over $1 Billion in medical development a few years ago was certainly big.

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Founders just announced another $25 million in expansion growth.  Where will they build?  That could be pretty big too.

 

I'd also be interested to see if the relocation of the Train Depot spurs any development along the SW side of Downtown.

 

I see more 4-6 story development around Michigan Hill/Bellknapp Lookout. 

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Founders just announced another $25 million in expansion growth.  Where will they build?  That could be pretty big too.

 

I'd also be interested to see if the relocation of the Train Depot spurs any development along the SW side of Downtown.

 

I see more 4-6 story development around Michigan Hill/Bellknapp Lookout. 

 

I'd like to see them get started on any of the handful of projects already proposed.  I haven't check but it doesn't seem like there's been a lot of movement in Belknapp with everything that's been planned.

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Founders just announced another $25 million in expansion growth.  Where will they build?  That could be pretty big too.

 

I'd also be interested to see if the relocation of the Train Depot spurs any development along the SW side of Downtown.

 

I see more 4-6 story development around Michigan Hill/Bellknapp Lookout. 

 

So the next BIG thing is a warehouse? :) Wow, that's huge. Can't wait to tell the out of state friends. Actually, have you seen the massive beer distributor building down by the Steelcase Pyramid and M-6? THAT is big. I wonder how much that was. Edit: 274,000 square foot distribution facility. Yowza. Edit again: Alliance Beverage is doing the massive expansion.

 

Founders expanding again is great. I'd bet they go into one of the city's Market Ave properties. Or over in the industrial areas near Cottage Grove/Division. Or maybe some of the old factories on Godfrey?

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So the next BIG thing is a warehouse? :) Wow, that's huge. Can't wait to tell the out of state friends. Actually, have you seen the massive beer distributor building down by the Steelcase Pyramid and M-6? THAT is big. I wonder how much that was. Edit: 274,000 square foot distribution facility. Yowza.

 

Founders expanding again is great. I'd bet they go into one of the city's Market Ave properties. Or over in the industrial areas near Cottage Grove/Division. Or maybe some of the old factories on Godfrey?

 

Smarta$$ness aside, their expansion could include another taproom or touring facility.  They will be (already are) quite the travel destination for beer fans.

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Smarta$$ness aside, their expansion could include another taproom or touring facility.  They will be (already are) quite the travel destination for beer fans.

 

Of course they are. I think they'll be the next New Belgium, which has put Fort Collins on the beer map (New Belgium prides itself as having better tours than Coors, I saw it in a magazine out there). I can think of a few Founders brews that taste a lot better than Fat Tire. Let's just hope Founders doesn't sell to a national or European company...

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Putting on the dreaming hat

 

The recent news that the Van Andel will be focusing on epigenetics points in the likely direction of the next big thing. The VAI emphasis gives a push to GVSU to bring some computational work to the hill. Between VAI, GVSU and the MSU labs we begin to have the opportunity for spin-offs. Here, the immediate neighborhood north of the highway (Upper Monroe?) is such an inviting place for start-ups -- a tech corridor to match the medical acropolis. On the east side there remains some interesting space for a new tech building or two, to the west and north there are certainly the smaller spaces for the tech start-ups. Were the area to take off as a tech neighborhood, the impacts would be felt immediately up in Creston Heights, as well as across the river.

 

Speaking of across the river - that old industrial park from Bridge to Leonard looks rather inviting -- though, it likely needs strong development on the east side of the river before it takes off. Say, building a new office tower opposite the Riverview building, replacing the surface lot with underground parking. Let's imagine the City is successful in recruiting a major firm to relocate there..

 

A third possibility: Spectrum decides to jump Fuller and build an out patient facility just east of Fuller on Michigan. Right now, there are a lot of low use buildings there, a medical office or two and the like. While the development would not be as big as the $billion spent on the hill, nonetheless, a new facility there would further stabilize the Marywood neighborhoods, and likely spur redevelopment of the older neighborhoods to the west (roughly Fuller-Lyon-Union-Michigan).

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...

A third possibility: Spectrum decides to jump Fuller and build an out patient facility just east of Fuller on Michigan. Right now, there are a lot of low use buildings there, a medical office or two and the like. While the development would not be as big as the $billion spent on the hill, nonetheless, a new facility there would further stabilize the Marywood neighborhoods, and likely spur redevelopment of the older neighborhoods to the west (roughly Fuller-Lyon-Union-Michigan).

Maybe we'll get that mass transit train line north of Michigan a little sooner.

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