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New projects on the West Side


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Didn't know exactly where to put this? It's on the west side of the river.  :) A third story additional (Class A Office space) being built south of the hotel on Ann Street. This building has some good modern-ish bones. I'm excited to see what Lott3Metz does with it!

https://mibiz.com/sections/real-estate-development/developer-proposes-expanding-class-a-office-building-along-grand-rapids-riverfront

Joe

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Bridge Street Placemaking. Photos are 5 years apart.  

I took a walk around the new super-block/WMCAT/Meijer/apartment complex that is nearing completion.     The view from the patio balcony at Harmony Hall    

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5 minutes ago, GR_Urbanist said:

I'll admit I had no idea there was a building on the other side of the hotel.

It was built at the same time as the hotel.  It started out as a radio and  TV studio for Fetzer Broadcasting Company.  Note the broadcasting tower in the background.  They'd do a remote news segment from there for WKZO TV in Kalamazoo, and it was the studio for radio stations WJEF and WJFM along with I believe Muzak (it's where your elevator music was broadcast from.)  Before the building was built Fetzer's Grand Rapids operation  was in the penthouse floor of the Pantlind Hotel.   Don't know what if anything has been in the building in recent years but for a long time there was a travel agency.  

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41 minutes ago, walker said:

It was built at the same time as the hotel.  It started out as a radio and  TV studio for Fetzer Broadcasting Company.  Note the broadcasting tower in the background.  They'd do a remote news segment from there for WKZO TV in Kalamazoo, and it was the studio for radio stations WJEF and WJFM along with I believe Muzak (it's where your elevator music was broadcast from.)  Before the building was built Fetzer's Grand Rapids operation  was in the penthouse floor of the Pantlind Hotel.   Don't know what if anything has been in the building in recent years but for a long time there was a travel agency.  

Sounds like Compass Insurance has been in there and is the owner / main tenant doing the expansion.

Joe

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On 11/18/2019 at 10:26 AM, walker said:

This was another old neighborhood movie theater.  It made it till 1988 as a spanish language theater:

Town Theater history

The facade of the old Jesus Evangalista center was removed today, couldn't snap a photo though. You can see all the way into the building. Still pretty raw space in there but you can see the vaulted ceiling and skylights. Excited for this space to be activated again. 

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3 minutes ago, Chisox said:

My gg grand dad managed this operation along side his brother co owning several prominent theaters in Grand Rapids, Chicago, Freeport, IL and Flint, Mi. There's quite a bit of history in these places. Frank, his brother alongside Buster Keaton and others spent a great deal of time nurturing Vaudeville in Grand Rapids. The city was really a playground for Vaudeville and they spared no expenses to make sure they played and hosted acts in highly innovative theaters at the time. 

Welcome, and thanks for the insight. Got any good stories to tell?

Joe

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30 minutes ago, joeDowntown said:

Welcome, and thanks for the insight. Got any good stories to tell?

Joe

Thanks for the welcome Joe!

Nothing specific to this location, the family mostly passed down oral stories of celebrities long forgotten who went on stage at the Superba (Pre 1930s.) and mob guys in the seats. While Frank's buildings largely stand today in GR, Freeport and Chicago I think one of his more enduring legacies was that he along with a family friend purchased a rather LARGE pipe organ and installed it at their church on Fountain St. I'm not sure if it still stands at that church. I'll have to talk to granny sometime. 

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1 hour ago, Chisox said:

Thanks for the welcome Joe!

Nothing specific to this location, the family mostly passed down oral stories of celebrities long forgotten who went on stage at the Superba (Pre 1930s.) and mob guys in the seats. While Frank's buildings largely stand today in GR, Freeport and Chicago I think one of his more enduring legacies was that he along with a family friend purchased a rather LARGE pipe organ and installed it at their church on Fountain St. I'm not sure if it still stands at that church. I'll have to talk to granny sometime. 

Assuming you mean the Fountain Street Church (formerly Fountain Street Baptist Church), the organ has been rebuilt a few times over the years, most recently in 2003. Much of the original pipework remains.

1922 original instrument: https://pipeorgandatabase.org/OrganDetails.php?OrganID=22688

1959 rebuild: https://pipeorgandatabase.org/OrganDetails.php?OrganID=22689

1970 rebuild: https://pipeorgandatabase.org/OrganDetails.php?OrganID=22690

2003 rebuild: https://pipeorgandatabase.org/OrganDetails.php?OrganID=13514

The 1922 entry has this note:

Quote

The cost of the organ was $60,000 and was a gift from Mr. & Mrs. William A. Jack, Mr. & Mrs. Fred Nichols, and Mr. & Mrs. F. Stuart Foote. The instrument and organ were dedicated on February 3, 1924. Recitals were played by Chandler Goldthwaite, Emory L. Gallup, Marcel Dupré, and others.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/10/2020 at 8:21 AM, TheLonesomeHobo said:

They had to remove part of the insulation and plywood on the northwest upper corner of the red lion development where they never put windows in before the project temporarily stalled. I still don’t understand how they installed 90% of the windows and then just stopped...

FEDDDC65-0891-4313-BF2A-2BE3678B6F72.jpeg


As of TODAY, all the windows are now in on this project. 

I can't imagine the pro forma blood bath going on with this deal. Hope everyone survives.

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On 9/23/2019 at 8:40 AM, mpchicago said:

Meadery, Arktos, is getting ready to set up shop along the burgeoning Bridge Street corridor.   The project includes a mead hall and production facility.

https://mibiz.com/sections/food-agribusiness/arktos-meadery-plans-move-to-grand-rapids-bridge-street

https://arktosmeadery.com/

Arktos is on the late February planning commission agenda for 442 Bridge St. Are they going to completely vacate their Century location? That building looks a lot bigger than 442 Bridge. 

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15 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

Arktos is on the late February planning commission agenda for 442 Bridge St. Are they going to completely vacate their Century location? That building looks a lot bigger than 442 Bridge. 

They're only in a small part of the Century building. Most of it is offices for a janitorial company (IIRC).

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16 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

And so it begins. The "entertainment" district just South of Bridge. :)  We are becoming more and more like a smaller version of Nashville (or other tier 1 cities), with separate distinct visit-worthy entertainment districts throughout the city.  Now the West Side needs a boutique hotel! Or two. 

I live right by the Warner building and I'm still surprised at how "far away" the west side feels. I'll regularly walk to Bridge Street Market via the Gillet Bridge and through the Northern Ford Museum parking lot and the whole area has kind of a desolate vibe despite being in the heart of the city. It would've been cool to have a pavilion cafe on the lawn a la Mies van der Rohe Chicago Post Office style like what they're proposing for Calder (although I suppose flooding makes this impossible). Perhaps there is opportunity to tunnel under 131 and move the Ford north parking lot to Dash Area 7 in order to develop the land across from River House?

Unfortunately, having two large parcels which aren't really utilized at night (Ford Museum & Convention Center) really separate the west side and downtown in my opinion. 

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20 hours ago, kwl said:

I live right by the Warner building and I'm still surprised at how "far away" the west side feels. I'll regularly walk to Bridge Street Market via the Gillet Bridge and through the Northern Ford Museum parking lot and the whole area has kind of a desolate vibe despite being in the heart of the city. It would've been cool to have a pavilion cafe on the lawn a la Mies van der Rohe Chicago Post Office style like what they're proposing for Calder (although I suppose flooding makes this impossible). Perhaps there is opportunity to tunnel under 131 and move the Ford north parking lot to Dash Area 7 in order to develop the land across from River House?

Unfortunately, having two large parcels which aren't really utilized at night (Ford Museum & Convention Center) really separate the west side and downtown in my opinion. 

Agreed. And walking the Bridge Street bridge isn't much better. I've always thought the parking lot across from River House was such a prime spot for development. I wish the Ford Family would parcel it off and sell it. They could even have a great amount of input into what is put there and the design. It's going to be a front row spot for the rapids when they're reintegrated. 

 

1996015257_Fordparkinglot.thumb.jpg.8718ad7cf302fe770f5894a32372f8b4.jpg

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It's easy to forget  that President Ford and his wife are kind of buried right there, so it's unlikely they would ever agree to anything but museum expansion even though they kind of just stuck them next to the staff parking lot, so I cant imagine that the parts right next to Bridge being developed should be that unreasonable.

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