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GRDadof3

Brix at Midtown project - Grand & Benson - Michigan Street

120 posts in this topic

13 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

It's not so black and white. Restaurants particularly are the most intense users of parking as far as retail goes, and the city has higher requirements. If the restaurant has 30 tables, and is successful, that's probably 40 extra cars in the neighborhood. If the surrounding block only has 40 on street parking spaces, then that's it. Not to mention the people who live in the new building and their guests, as well as the homes in the area. 

Maybe they're proposing this building as a message: "This is what you have to approve Grand Rapids if you want developers to fill the gap between income restricted and market rate." 

 

It almost seems to have been a really bad oversight that the city didnt purchase some land in the area for some sort of parking lot or garage in anticipation of this intense amount of development that we all kind of knew would be coming.

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16 hours ago, GR_Urbanist said:

Horrid design aside, you cant have it both ways on parking.

You want big city density, you aren't going to get Kentwood sized parking lots, with ample spaces by the front door, to go along with it. There just isnt a way around it.

People will park down the street and walk like they do in other parts of town if they want to go to this place.

That's what we're seeing on the Westside, particularly all of the development on Bridge St. Last week I was encouraged to see folks leaving the New Holland and walking to the Dash lot 7 which is free in the evenings (after 6???). That being said, walking to a friends condo at Union Square, Broadway Ave was completely parked up. 

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1 hour ago, GR_Urbanist said:

It almost seems to have been a really bad oversight that the city didnt purchase some land in the area for some sort of parking lot or garage in anticipation of this intense amount of development that we all kind of knew would be coming.

They may not build a parking garage, but they will be happy to narrow up the road and put a bike lane in for you - which will be super helpful come February.

Actually, I'm more surprised the city didn't purchase a few parcels then turn around and give Ellis a sweetheart deal on a 30 year lease for a surface parking lot there.

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1 minute ago, wingbert said:

They may not build a parking garage, but they will be happy to narrow up the road and put a bike lane in for you - which will be super helpful come February.

Stand in the slush and wait for the bus.  Or just get a fat bike, you lazy slob.  They're all the rage, I hear.  

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1 hour ago, x99 said:

Stand in the slush and wait for the bus.  Or just get a fat bike, you lazy slob.  They're all the rage, I hear.  

Hey, I have a fat bike! They're sweet! :) But I don't go out to eat on it and don't ride to work either. 

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21 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

Hey, I have a fat bike! They're sweet! :) But I don't go out to eat on it and don't ride to work either. 

I ride my fat bike to work in the winter. 

It would be nice if the lot behind Grand Coney was public. That lot is big and never full from the businesses connected to it. Even this past Friday when people were using it for parking to go to the Polish Halls it wasn't completely full.

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Third Coast is going to ask for a variance on the distance to parking for this development. They want to use the lot behind Grand Coney for residents. 

They had a full color drawing of it at the Midtown Annual Meeting tonight, but I didn't get a very good look at it.

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The massive scale of this project is impressive. Can't wait to see it finished. 

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On 10/17/2016 at 9:25 PM, amylynne said:

Third Coast is going to ask for a variance on the distance to parking for this development. They want to use the lot behind Grand Coney for residents. 

They had a full color drawing of it at the Midtown Annual Meeting tonight, but I didn't get a very good look at it.

There are some very terse words from neighbors and neighboring business owners in regard to the parking situation and this application, in the PC agenda:

http://grandrapidscitymi.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=2294&Inline=True

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Interesting. Rise is the most interesting of the complaints (and definitely valid). I would have figured third coast would somehow work with them on parking. Not the case. This does sound like quite a cluster. 44 apartments and a 200 seat restaurant with only 18 parking spots. I'd be really surprised if this made it through. 

Joe

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For those in the business, help me to understand the mindset of a developer who asks for variance requests like this.  Is neighborhood apathy hoped for in thinking they have a shot at this?

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1 minute ago, arcturus said:

For those in the business, help me to understand the mindset of a developer who asks for variance requests like this.  Is neighborhood apathy hoped for in thinking they have a shot at this?

In their application, they explain that they are trying to hit that "middle market" that everyone keeps complaining is getting missed. Their claim is that they are doing this by doing all micro-units in this project and not providing parking for tenants. 

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15 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

In their application, they explain that they are trying to hit that "middle market" that everyone keeps complaining is getting missed. Their claim is that they are doing this by doing all micro-units in this project and not providing parking for tenants. 

Are they bound by any requirement to keep rents in that middle market range?

Edited by arcturus

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26 minutes ago, arcturus said:

Are they bound by any requirement to keep rents in that middle market range?

No, there are no rent control systems currently in Grand Rapids. I don't think there usually are in markets this small. 

But I don't think locking in the rents does anything to assuage the concerns of neighboring property owners about parking. I think it's meant more as a strategic (and possibly political) move, since they know the city/PC is under intense pressure to provide this type of housing, even though it's not the city's role to provide housing. 

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On 10/22/2016 at 9:15 AM, arcturus said:

  Is neighborhood apathy hoped for in thinking they have a shot at this?

Neighborhood apathy isn't happening and they are aware of parking issues because they have worked in the area enough. At the neighborhood association annual meeting they presented the project and said they are going to provide parking spaces for residents in the lot behind Grand Coney (with a few loading spaces at the building for residents to drop things off). A few people argued that people wouldn't want to do that, but then it was kind of settled by someone saying, well if Third Coast wants to build it that way then it's their problem if no on wants to rent from them because parking is far away. 

Farah's Bar is planning an expansion which will up capacity and eliminate a few parking spaces. That project was presented before the Third Coast building and there was a long, long discussion about parking. 

There was also a presentation from Mobile GR about the possibility of permit parking on the neighborhood streets.

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Going back to the RISE project for a minute, I had to pull this pic up again to figure out what's being built right now. Looks like it's the parking ramp tucked into the bottom right hand building. 

29882278964_0f782edace_b.jpg

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That's going to bring so much more traffic to that area,  it's hard to think that the area won't take off with further development, perhaps even more dense. 

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8 minutes ago, ironyisadeadscene said:

That's going to bring so much more traffic to that area,  it's hard to think that the area won't take off with further development, perhaps even more dense. 

Making a left turn now out of any of those side streets between College and Eastern is uhhh, a bit harrowing at times. Wonder what it will be like next year. 

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On 10/23/2016 at 10:24 AM, amylynne said:

There was also a presentation from Mobile GR about the possibility of permit parking on the neighborhood streets.

That's what could ultimately destroy the whole micro-unit concept if the parking promises don't work.  There are really only two ways for this go:  

Scenario 1:  People want cars.  Developers find out that there really is no market for $900 a month 350 square foot apartments with no parking.  Despite promises otherwise, they start using neighboring residential areas to provide the parking.  People in nearby residential areas petition for permits, and then band together to draw lines around these projects which ban them from receiving any permits (since, well, they said they didn't need parking anyway).  Now the project has NO parking.  Rents plummet.  Project busts. Walls are torn out to increase unit sizes.  Money is spent to purchase and tear down houses for parking.  No one builds another one of these because no one will finance one.  

Scenario 2:  It actually works because there are people who will pay $900+ a month for a 400 square foot "house" with no parking.  No explanation needed.  Just.. HOLY CRAP IT WORKED!!  How it works, I do not know, because I do not understand who permanently lives in a space the size of a travel trailer in or near Grand Rapids, Michigan (unless it is really cheap).  NYC or Chicago?  Sure, but Grand Rapids?  Oooohhkaaay..

Now, the way this all falls apart is if the city lets developers build these and makes residents compete for parking spaces, and refuses to limit them with permits because, you know, those clowns living in those luxurious 1400 square foot houses and 800 square foot apartments ought to get rid of their cars and take the bus, too.  Given current mindsets, I can see that happening, at least for awhile.  Eventually, voter backlash will take care of that problem, and a campaign slogan of "Cars rule, bikes and buses suck" will be enough to get elected.  There is a potential downside to pushing for transit too hard.

There are a lot better ways to solve housing issues than with micro units.  Like, oh, not requiring duplexs to basically have 1/4 acre lots and prohibiting new duplexes in neighborhoods already full of them...  Duh.  A lot of houses probably wouldn't have been flattened if it wasn't for zoning laws that said you COULD NOT USE THEM for anything but single family houses.  You want to talk stupid...  

Edited by x99
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The way permit parking is now, is it is enforced from only 9 to 5, and no assigned parking, everybody in the area with a permit can park anywhere. Also, at $50 a year, permits are not free, and more than half the residents have to approve it, in a three block area. Where they draw up the area, and who does it, I think the city has approval on that, and there will be some fighting going on with that. Across Michigan, are a couple of side streets, that have limited open parking spaces already, and the VFW Hall, does not like to share their parking on Grand Street, in front of their place and their own lot is a tow away zone.....So, a real parking battle is shaping up for that area. I will not be surprised that Dukes and Ferra's put out tow away signs in their lots, in the future, as parking gets tighter. Bob's already has it, and I bet more to come, so, bar hoppers will have to be careful where they park!

Did the 649 Michigan project get approved today? Anyone went and have a report?

Edited by Morris

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2 minutes ago, arcturus said:

Time to open up a towing business.

Do what the lot owners do in Detroit and Chicago: get the city to put bags on parking meters in a particular neighborhood without notice, and have everyone towed. And then people will be forced to pay your outrageous lot fees. Or slip some money to the planning commission and don't provide any parking with your project, and let the neighborhood fight it out.

If people think that big cities don't have car and parking issues, ha! 

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2 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

There's not really a thread for this project out on Michigan Street, but it was approved WITH the huge parking variance:

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2016/10/michigan_street_project_receiv.html#incart_river_home

In a perfect world, the comments from one of the commissioners are correct:  

"If the developer thinks their clientele will not have a car, will participate in public transit, will use the lot a block away, then they've put everything on the line on that bet and I don't think that it is a bet," Ruis said. "I think it'll happen.

"There will be stresses as a result of this, as there are for any development, but I just don't think we solve the parking issue by not allowing development to move forward."

For this ideal little market-based perfect scenario to happen, though, the City needs to be willing to come to the plate if developers attempt to utilize vast amounts of neighborhood parking to fix a miscalculation.  Because what a nice little deal for developers when their tenants all park in front of a neighbor's house, along a curb with grass the neighbor is expected to cut.  

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