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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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I think temporary closures make a ton of sense on a number of roads - Monroe Center, Ionia, Bridge, Cherry (in East Hills), Wealthy (at several different points), etc. Or some of the suburban downtowns (Gaslight, Ada, Grandville). Detroit does weekend closures with Monroe Street in Greektown and it has worked well.
I also think there may be opportunities to do a pedestrian-focused design like Monroe Center is now with one lane of traffic with parking and wide sidewalks - not closed to traffic, but through traffic is a distant third priority behind pedestrians and parking. That could potentially work for Bridge if there was a reasonable bypass (Second could work). I also think it could do wonders for Ionia between Cherry and Fulton - route the auto traffic and buses to Commerce or Ottawa instead. 
But I am firmly against full pedestrianization. The only place I have ever seen that work consistently in this country is New York City.  It works in Europe, I suppose.
 
Pedestrian malls have worked in more places than NYC. This article, published a few days ago, showcases some surviving (even thriving) examples of pedestrian malls. It also makes a fantastic point: context matters.

IMO , the one lane of traffic on Monroe Center is terrible in the sense that I could taste the vehicle exhaust as I ate outside on a beautiful day at Brick and Porter.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2021-09-09/why-america-fell-out-of-love-with-the-pedestrian-mall?utm_content=citylab&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic

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8 hours ago, 54equalsunity said:

Pedestrian malls have worked in more places than NYC. This article, published a few days ago, showcases some surviving (even thriving) examples of pedestrian malls. It also makes a fantastic point: context matters.

IMO , the one lane of traffic on Monroe Center is terrible in the sense that I could taste the vehicle exhaust as I ate outside on a beautiful day at Brick and Porter.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2021-09-09/why-america-fell-out-of-love-with-the-pedestrian-mall?utm_content=citylab&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic

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Monroe Center may be my favorite place in the whole city. Especially with the new outside eating areas. I don't think it's easy to replicate (mature trees lining the sidewalks helps a lot) but it's definitely an stretch that I absolutely love and wish there was more of.

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On 9/11/2021 at 4:59 PM, cstonesparty said:

As expected… :tw_lol:

648306A4-DD88-4A56-A509-6B5740BC1189.jpeg

106E09CC-1244-4C63-B42D-B4DB639A0515.jpeg

OMG. People are dumb. I think most of the people who used to go to the Red Lion don't go to Bridge Street anymore, and the people who do go to Bridge Street now probably have no idea what it was. Or they might understand it's an homage to the old Red Lion. Or just  a really cool big neon sign. 

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Sovengard is looking to move to Bridge street and Valley street (I’d seen the proposal but didn’t realize it was sovengard).  

Interesting note: we tried to eat there on Friday but they didn’t have enough staff to serve us.

https://www.woodtv.com/news/grand-rapids/grand-rapids-sovengard-plans-to-move-build-new-bridge-street-restaurant/

Joe

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10 hours ago, joeDowntown said:

Sovengard is looking to move to Bridge street and Valley street (I’d seen the proposal but didn’t realize it was sovengard).  

Interesting note: we tried to eat there on Friday but they didn’t have enough staff to serve us.

https://www.woodtv.com/news/grand-rapids/grand-rapids-sovengard-plans-to-move-build-new-bridge-street-restaurant/

Joe

Yeesh. Kind of looks like that new "learning laboratory" on the hill at GRCC, but a much worse version. 

The-Sovengard-new-restaurant-rendering-v

 

dngrccpreschool1.jpg

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12 hours ago, joeDowntown said:

Sovengard is looking to move to Bridge street and Valley street (I’d seen the proposal but didn’t realize it was sovengard).  

Interesting note: we tried to eat there on Friday but they didn’t have enough staff to serve us.

https://www.woodtv.com/news/grand-rapids/grand-rapids-sovengard-plans-to-move-build-new-bridge-street-restaurant/

Joe

Kind of an odd piece of property created because of rerouting Valley when I-196 was built.  Too bad someone didn't consolidate all the parcels in this triangle for one big development.  It looks like all the parcels are held by investment firms.  Next door is or was some kind of Latino church which would be a problem for a bar but I'm pretty sure if they are still there they are just renters. 

image.png

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12 hours ago, joeDowntown said:

Sovengard is looking to move to Bridge street and Valley street (I’d seen the proposal but didn’t realize it was sovengard).  

Interesting note: we tried to eat there on Friday but they didn’t have enough staff to serve us.

https://www.woodtv.com/news/grand-rapids/grand-rapids-sovengard-plans-to-move-build-new-bridge-street-restaurant/

Joe

I guess they figure they have enough name recognition by now to move further away from the epicenter of the west side redevelopment, but it is definitely a gamble. That also leaves open a very prime restaurant space. I'd be curious to see how quickly it gets filled after they move out.

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2 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

Yeesh. Kind of looks like that new "learning laboratory" on the hill at GRCC, but a much worse version. 

The-Sovengard-new-restaurant-rendering-v

 

dngrccpreschool1.jpg

I thought the same thing! I realize these are preliminary images but nothing about this design screams Scandinavian hygge, hopefully the interior would feel that way. The move out of the core of the entertainment area is a huge gamble, there's no supporting/collaborative businesses around the new location. That being said, perhaps folks will be more willing to walk, bike/scooter, bus between the ends of the street. 

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I loved the intimacy of the old outdoor space, the way the neighboring buildings look down on you, and you felt like you were hanging out in someone's backyard.  I hope whatever moves in there next keeps that ambiance.

The new location will feel completely different.  Maybe not bad, but just different.  You'll just have the freeway overlooking you.  But interesting to see development on the other end of Bridge, maybe more will follow.

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20 hours ago, RegalTDP said:

I loved the intimacy of the old outdoor space, the way the neighboring buildings look down on you, and you felt like you were hanging out in someone's backyard.  I hope whatever moves in there next keeps that ambiance.

The new location will feel completely different.  Maybe not bad, but just different.  You'll just have the freeway overlooking you.  But interesting to see development on the other end of Bridge, maybe more will follow.

I think it will feel like an Arnie's.  And maybe that's what they're going for. They say they're moving because they want a more "neighborhood" vibe. 

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I'm surprised there's such a negative reaction. The location does seem odd to me, although it sounds like maybe they're trying to push some revitalization down Bridge a little bit?

In terms of design, I feel like they're going for a modern longhouse vibe, which fits with the Scandinavian theme.

image.jpeg.07ab41f295b2e65847318725784055ee.jpeg

Makes me a little nervous, since I've always been a fan, but I'm still optimistic to see what they do with the space. 

 

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27 minutes ago, Winston1206 said:

I'm surprised there's such a negative reaction. The location does seem odd to me, although it sounds like maybe they're trying to push some revitalization down Bridge a little bit?

In terms of design, I feel like they're going for a modern longhouse vibe, which fits with the Scandinavian theme.

image.jpeg.07ab41f295b2e65847318725784055ee.jpeg

Makes me a little nervous, since I've always been a fan, but I'm still optimistic to see what they do with the space. 

 

Totally. It fits a very Scandinavian barn house style (which I'm personally obsessed with). I bet it'll look great. 

Parking, and hoping that the building doesn't get slammed into by a car seem to be two of the biggest obstacles. :)

Joe

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11 hours ago, Winston1206 said:

I'm surprised there's such a negative reaction. The location does seem odd to me, although it sounds like maybe they're trying to push some revitalization down Bridge a little bit?

In terms of design, I feel like they're going for a modern longhouse vibe, which fits with the Scandinavian theme.

image.jpeg.07ab41f295b2e65847318725784055ee.jpeg

Makes me a little nervous, since I've always been a fan, but I'm still optimistic to see what they do with the space. 

 

Well they picked the right architects. None of the accoutrements of faux historic architecture, combined with none of the fun eye candy of modernism. Like a bland Krispy Kreme donut. In fact, it looks like the production line for some kind of donuts (scandinavian?).  :P

Just because a building is minimalistic and has no overhangs doesn't make it good modern. Grade schools built in the 1970s all had that. 

It might seem harsh, but has anyone driven by the building on Division at Weston lately? It already looks 30 years old. 

 

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17 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

Well they picked the right architects. None of the accoutrements of faux historic architecture, combined with none of the fun eye candy of modernism. Like a bland Krispy Kreme donut. In fact, it looks like the production line for some kind of donuts (scandinavian?).  :P

Just because a building is minimalistic and has no overhangs doesn't make it good modern. Grade schools built in the 1970s all had that. 

It might seem harsh, but has anyone driven by the building on Division at Weston lately? It already looks 30 years old. 

 

I would say it’s a bit harsh. Especially what may amount to a couple of early stage renderings. 

Joe

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15 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

Moving on. 

20210915_125321.thumb.jpg.23fa4fd1ea6c57373597654915c99a12.jpg

 

Gonna pair that with a lights on shot! And it is much more vivid and bright than I expected in person. 

 

20210916_080937-01.thumb.jpeg.3d2865ed7f10cbc597b4f952de3cb948.jpeg

Must be on a simple light sensor because this was around 8am when it was still in shadow.

Edited by GR_Urbanist
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5 hours ago, GR_Urbanist said:

Gonna pair that with a lights on shot! And it is much more vivid and bright than I expected in person. 

 

20210916_080937-01.thumb.jpeg.3d2865ed7f10cbc597b4f952de3cb948.jpeg

Must be on a simple light sensor because this was around 8am when it was still in shadow.

I love it. I feel like it's something Detroit would do. (which I mean in a good way)

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5 hours ago, Raildude's dad said:

Walt should buy the diners up on 14 Mile and restore them into an operating restaurant on the lot with the sign..

I’ve always dreamed of someone moving one of the diners downtown. Also that that little nook by the parking ramp of the Boardwalk Condos/apartments would be a great spot. Just read an article about the auto dealer that owns the property on 14 mile wanting  them gone (but also wanting them saved). 

Joe

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24 minutes ago, NoDustBusterNoMore said:

https://www.woodtv.com/news/kent-county/2020-too-much-for-us-iconic-28th-street-diner-shuts-down/

This diner was sitting on blocks when I went to the Pit Stop BBQ a few weeks ago.

It is going to Muskegon. It will be in the parking lot of the Harley Davidson dealership on Shoreline Dr. I believe they are going to open a bar attached to the diner as well.

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On 9/17/2021 at 12:21 AM, joeDowntown said:

I’ve always dreamed of someone moving one of the diners downtown. Also that that little nook by the parking ramp of the Boardwalk Condos/apartments would be a great spot. Just read an article about the auto dealer that owns the property on 14 mile wanting  them gone (but also wanting them saved). 

Joe

Here's your opportunity :) Go see your favorite banker. Better yet an Urban Planet go fund me page :)

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