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New projects on the West Side


GRDadof3

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Nice, this is a high quality gas station brand that will be nicer than anything currently in this area. They are based out of Iowa and expanding rapidly because of their connivence stores. I get the local ownership of franchised brands but the selection really sucks here with way too many stations with brands that I hate; Speedway (known for price gouging setting and sold out to a Japanese investor), British Petroleum (single largest polluter of lake MI) and Citgo (Venezuelan gov owned). Even Mobile gets way too much foreign oil for me to like the brand. 
Keep your eye out for another Iowa chain expanding rapidly called Casey's General Store, they have 1 SW MI location and tend to build in smaller towns and know for the food. 

Too bad the local brands either sold out (Crystal Flash, 4Star, Admiral) or dont expand rapidly/smartly (Wesco and free standing Meijer) 

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1 minute ago, joeDowntown said:

The Kum & Go is getting some pushback from the police department because of liquor sales. I hope the city commission pushes back more because that lot could be so much more ...

https://www.woodtv.com/news/grand-rapids/developer-pitches-razing-gr-big-boy-for-gas-station-store/

Id like it to be student housing, parking, and a walmart/target on the bottom floor

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1 hour ago, gvsusean said:

Id like it to be student housing, parking, and a walmart/target on the bottom floor

Student housing would be a great fit. Or a mix of student and market rate. 

My dream scenario would still be for the soccer stadium to go over there. I just hope the city is considering what it wants for that area, instead of whatever it can take. A bit of a master plan would be nice. Once it’s a gas station, there’s no turning back and I feel like a gas station further entrenches the divide between the east and west side of the expressway. 

Joe

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1 hour ago, joeDowntown said:

Student housing would be a great fit. Or a mix of student and market rate. 

My dream scenario would still be for the soccer stadium to go over there. I just hope the city is considering what it wants for that area, instead of whatever it can take. A bit of a master plan would be nice. Once it’s a gas station, there’s no turning back and I feel like a gas station further entrenches the divide between the east and west side of the expressway. 

Joe

Doesn't that area have unlimited height restrictions too?   It would basically be a completely unobstructed view of downtown with 131 being right there.  I really wouldn't wanna see a gas station there.  Once it's in it will never go away.

Interesting about GRPD.  Did they voice any opposition to DGX wanting to sell alcohol?  I think Bridge Street Market intentional doesn't sell certain high alcohol, cheap beers.

Student housing would be great.  I'm a little surprised GVSU hasn't built more housing downtown.  When I went there, there was a waitlist.

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I’m surprised GVSU didn’t acquire the property when it was first available. If we get a Kum & Go in a prime gateway to downtown, I don’t know what I’ll think about the long term strategy of the city.  It sure seems like a massively wasted opportunity. The city should purchase it and bundle it with a portion of the DASH lot. I hope they’re thinking bigger than a gas station/convenience store. 

Joe

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Sad to see the old Big Boy go, its iconic brand with very few locations left but blocking the c-store because of alcohol sales is absurd. I mean it would get a lot of alcohol sales given the immediately surrounding demographics  but so what its not going to produce any more bums in the area 

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On 5/10/2022 at 8:39 PM, GR8scott said:

Sad to see the old Big Boy go, its iconic brand with very few locations left but blocking the c-store because of alcohol sales is absurd. I mean it would get a lot of alcohol sales given the immediately surrounding demographics  but so what its not going to produce any more bums in the area 

Have you seen all the bums outside the new Total Wine store? It's unbelievable! :rofl:

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On 5/10/2022 at 8:39 PM, GR8scott said:

Sad to see the old Big Boy go, its iconic brand with very few locations left but blocking the c-store because of alcohol sales is absurd. I mean it would get a lot of alcohol sales given the immediately surrounding demographics  but so what its not going to produce any more bums in the area 

Big Boy may be around  little longer.  According to WOODTV, the developer has withdrawn the zoning variance request for now because of negative feedback to the proposal:

WOODTV: kum-go-pulls-request-to-raze-big-boy-and-add-gas-station

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2 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

Have you seen all the bums outside the new Total Wine store? It's unbelievable! :rofl:

That place is awesome!  It's like Toys-R-Us for adults!

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4 hours ago, walker said:

Big Boy may be around  little longer.  According to WOODTV, the developer has withdrawn the zoning variance request for now because of negative feedback to the proposal:

WOODTV: kum-go-pulls-request-to-raze-big-boy-and-add-gas-station

Good opportunity for Grand Rapids to figure out what they want the future of that area to look like. 

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On 11/12/2021 at 7:53 AM, joeDowntown said:

The apartment building that was proposed for the former YMCA on Leonard is getting started:

https://grbj.com/news/construction/partners-to-break-ground-on-16m-housing-development/

 

2FBAB978-56F5-4C72-BB65-256B4C00B351.jpeg

 

The elevator shafts are just about up.  Took this on my walk today (pretty hot out today):

1361170406_LeonardStreet.thumb.JPG.c14e9347d51c86f006a832a68046faf3.JPG 

This perspective is just about the same in the photo as in the rendering.  The wires at the top of the photo go to the same telephone pole as in the rendering.  The pole is just slightly out of the photo.  

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32 minutes ago, walker said:

 

The elevator shafts are just about up.  Took this on my walk today (pretty hot out today):

1361170406_LeonardStreet.thumb.JPG.c14e9347d51c86f006a832a68046faf3.JPG 

This perspective is just about the same in the photo as in the rendering.  The wires at the top of the photo go to the same telephone pole as in the rendering.  The pole is just slightly out of the photo.  

I'm guessing the rest is going to be stick build like the rest of the projects this size?

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Follow up to the kum and go story:

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2022/05/proposal-to-demolish-grand-rapids-big-boy-build-gas-station-draws-opposition.html
 

I think it’s funny that congestion, alcohol and “saving big boy” were the main objections and not the fact that it’s a poor use for a valuable piece of real estate that could help connect the west side to the rest of downtown. 

It is interesting that the planning commission “doesn’t have a position” until it reaches their desk. I’m sure it would receive strong opposition from the PC, but surprised they don’t have a public position on that part of town being developed properly. 

Joe

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2 hours ago, joeDowntown said:

Follow up to the kum and go story:

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2022/05/proposal-to-demolish-grand-rapids-big-boy-build-gas-station-draws-opposition.html
 

I think it’s funny that congestion, alcohol and “saving big boy” were the main objections and not the fact that it’s a poor use for a valuable piece of real estate that could help connect the west side to the rest of downtown. 

It is interesting that the planning commission “doesn’t have a position” until it reaches their desk. I’m sure it would receive strong opposition from the PC, but surprised they don’t have a public position on that part of town being developed properly. 

Joe

The Planning Commission is subject to the Open Meetings Act, and is basically prohibited from doing anything except during an open meeting, so none of them can comment until the actual meeting itself.

Edited by Khorasaurus1
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Honestly it's pretty pathetic that we have this dispute regarding a property this close to DT. That one side wants to build a likely suburban style gas station and liquor store and the other wants to preserve a suburban style restaurant, with GVSU being in opposition because of congestion (ironic due to all of the cars they attract) and noise, when the location is next to a freeway on and off ramp that services thousands of cars per day.

Nevermind that the area is still a pedestrian unfriendly mess due to the clear-cutting of the residential neighborhood for parking lots, and the auto-centric nature of GVSU, BK, and the YMCA.

Would be nice if the controversy was over whether the new 6 story mixed-use development there should house a liquor store in one of its 4 retail spaces, but this is Grand Rapids, I guess.

Edited by GR_Urbanist
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The old Clipper Belt Lacer Company building on Front is going to be turned into apartments. I love these old buildings. I had a feeling they'd be renovated someday. 

https://mibiz.com/sections/real-estate-development/pinnacle-construction-plans-13m-historic-renovation-for-riverside-apartment-office-development

https://goo.gl/maps/zAr2EyXfkgvF3Brv9

 

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1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

The old Clipper Belt Lacer Company building on Front is going to be turned into apartments. I love these old buildings. I had a feeling they'd be renovated someday. 

https://mibiz.com/sections/real-estate-development/pinnacle-construction-plans-13m-historic-renovation-for-riverside-apartment-office-development

https://goo.gl/maps/zAr2EyXfkgvF3Brv9

 

Another great renovation of an old building.  Maybe other people already knew this but it made me wonder, who were they and what exactly does a belt lacer company do?  Luckily I live in an age when Google exists.  It turns out they were pretty high tech in the belt lacer business back in 1913 when this building was built:

 Clipper Belt Lacer Co. History

And they are still here in the the area with a new factory in Walker but under a different name:

Flexco Announces Michigan Facility Move And Expansion

 

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“This is entirely within the John Ball Area Neighbors neighborhood boundary,” said Peter Carlberg, a resident from the neighborhood organization who spoke against the project at today’s planning meeting. “We keep getting ignored, and other neighborhood organizations keep volunteering to do our role.”

Carlberg called the new location “highly objectionable” based on the lack of parking and proximity to homes.

Just move the project over here to E. Hills/Uptown. Why waste time and money being someplace where they dont want you?

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17 minutes ago, grandrollerz said:

https://mibiz.com/sections/real-estate-development/the-sovengard-s-relocation-plan-stalls-amid-parking-neighborhood-concerns - let's just hope this is a minor speed hump and the church parking comes through.  

Some of the long-time JBAN Board members seem to approach a lot of the new projects/investment in the neighborhood as an affront. In this case, the investment in a now vacant and existing commercial building.

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27 minutes ago, GR_Urbanist said:

Just move the project over here to E. Hills/Uptown. Why waste time and money being someplace where they dont want you?

I've interacted with that Peter Carlberg on Facebook before. None of them were ever pleasant. He is anti any development at all. 

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I still don't understand the whole thought process for Sovengard. They're in a very vibrant area (maybe they don't own the building/are being forced out), yet want to build a new building in an area that is not vibrant, very odd footprint, and the neighborhood doesn't want them. Seems weird to me. I love Sovengard where it is (the outdoor area is fantastic). Seems like a lot of hassle instead of potentially doubling down on the location they are already at (or staying near the action even if they need to move).

Joe

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