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Grandville Castle Apartments

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59 minutes ago, scottythe1nonly said:

anybody ever been to the Castle Winery in Napa.  Lousy wine and a tour bus stop, but worth looking at once in your life.  It's been used repeatedly as a movie set.  This is actually built like a medieval castle, not a concrete fake

http://www.castellodiamorosa.com/

 

castello-di-amorosa-calistoga-napavalley

 

I have been there. It isn't just built like a medieval castle, it is a medieval castle, transported from Europe and reassembled brick-by-brick in Napa Valley, complete with a torture chamber.   They have good wine, but you can only get it if you visit the winery or join their wine-by-mail club.  Members also have access to exclusive parties on the grounds, which actually look amazing. 

I went a few years ago with friends who are "in the industry", so we go VIP treatment.  Private tour, including a barrel tasting in the cellar.

 

 

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Each time I drive past this thing on the highway I still think how lucky we got to have someone spend the extra money to build something like this.  I know, I know, it is not everyone's cup of tea.  But at least it is something.  

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Fox 17 reported that MIOSHA is opening an investigation in this development.  That’s basically all that was said and that MIOSHA wouldn’t comment on why.  Apparently this development is WAY behind schedule.  

 

Surprise surprise.  I’ve always thought this development was destined for failure.  Is this the beginning of the end?

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8 hours ago, jthrasher said:

Fox 17 reported that MIOSHA is opening an investigation in this development.  That’s basically all that was said and that MIOSHA wouldn’t comment on why.  Apparently this development is WAY behind schedule.  

 

Surprise surprise.  I’ve always thought this development was destined for failure.  Is this the beginning of the end?

A guy I work with was trying to rent an apartment there. The phone number for the rental office goes straight to voicemail and he has left multiple messages with no response back over the last few weeks.

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This is going to turn out like Metro Health - Sit vacant and unfinished for half a decade until the funds needed to finish it materialize. Fitting, considering the castle it's modeled after was never finished. Grandville should have never approved the construction of this thing - or at least on this scale.

Edited by GRLaker
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2 hours ago, GRLaker said:

This is going to turn out like Metro Health - Sit vacant and unfinished for half a decade until the funds needed to finish it materialize. Fitting, considering the castle it's modeled after was never finished. Grandville should have never approved the construction of this thing - or at least on this scale.

I drive by every morning and evening, and you'd think now that the building is closed in, they'd be working at a crazy pace to finish the interior. I rarely see ANY lights on. The other day I was excited to see *ONE* window lit. Maybe I'm wrong, but I can't imagine much interior work is being done (unless they start after 9am and leave before 5:30pm, and NEVER leave a light switch on). I dislike the architecture of this development, but don't want it to fail just because I don't like the aesthetics. 

Joe

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32 minutes ago, joeDowntown said:

I drive by every morning and evening, and you'd think now that the building is closed in, they'd be working at a crazy pace to finish the interior. I rarely see ANY lights on. The other day I was excited to see *ONE* window lit. Maybe I'm wrong, but I can't imagine much interior work is being done (unless they start after 9am and leave before 5:30pm, and NEVER leave a light switch on). I dislike the architecture of this development, but don't want it to fail just because I don't like the aesthetics. 

Joe

Same for all of the above. I don't wish for any failure of anything in my hometown. But all signs are pointing to failure at this rate. I hope a miracle happens and that I turn out to be completely wrong.

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19 hours ago, jthrasher said:

Fox 17 reported that MIOSHA is opening an investigation in this development.  That’s basically all that was said and that MIOSHA wouldn’t comment on why.  Apparently this development is WAY behind schedule.  

 

Surprise surprise.  I’ve always thought this development was destined for failure.  Is this the beginning of the end?

If the current developer quote unquote "fails," I don't understand why seeing this project sit vacant for 5 - 10 years would be a desirable outcome. There's no way in hell it can be torn down now, there is way too much into it. It would just be taken over by another real estate or investment company from out-of-state that would finish it (at a huge discount because they'd buy it out of bankruptcy). 

As I've said before, I don't understand the (mostly millennials) seething hatred for this project. Did the Lands scam all of your parents out of their retirement funds or something? :rofl:

I drive by it twice a week and don't really pay that much attention to it anymore. I certainly don't like the style but I could give two effs about it. I can think of 10 things that are going on that bother me more. At least 10. 

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Word is some guys got trapped in the basement which prompted the investigation. There were numerous other violations found too. Also there is no way Lucas is seeing this through (at least on his own).

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2 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

If the current developer quote unquote "fails," I don't understand why seeing this project sit vacant for 5 - 10 years would be a desirable outcome. There's no way in hell it can be torn down now, there is way too much into it. It would just be taken over by another real estate or investment company from out-of-state that would finish it (at a huge discount because they'd buy it out of bankruptcy). 

As I've said before, I don't understand the (mostly millennials) seething hatred for this project. Did the Lands scam all of your parents out of their retirement funds or something? :rofl:

I drive by it twice a week and don't really pay that much attention to it anymore. I certainly don't like the style but I could give two effs about it. I can think of 10 things that are going on that bother me more. At least 10. 

It’s not just Millennials, everyone I know hates this thing.  I honestly have never spoken to someone that likes it or is happy about it.

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3 hours ago, jthrasher said:

It’s not just Millennials, everyone I know hates this thing.  I honestly have never spoken to someone that likes it or is happy about it.

What do you mean "not happy about it?" Not happy about what? Do they live close to it? Is it blocking their sunsets? Is drainage from the site flooding their basements? Is the expected traffic going to block their access to the Shell gas station? What are people unhappy about?

What do they HATE about it? What are they UNHAPPY about? 

I'm bound and determined to get to the bottom of this. :)

The only reason I ask is that I've been at many many public hearings and planning meetings where citizens came out against projects. And honestly more often than not, concerns were legitimate. Concerns that affected immediate neighbors to a project. And I've never seen a developer in recent memory NOT address issues that affected immediate neighbors to a project. At least, in the meetings or projects I've been a part of. (The whole waiving of parking for a residential project is nothing that I would ever assign my name to, FWIW, because the overflow parking affects immediate neighbors).  

So what are people immediately adjacent to this project unhappy about? 

 

 

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11 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

What do you mean "not happy about it?" Not happy about what? Do they live close to it? Is it blocking their sunsets? Is drainage from the site flooding their basements? Is the expected traffic going to block their access to the Shell gas station? What are people unhappy about?

What do they HATE about it? What are they UNHAPPY about? 

I'm bound and determined to get to the bottom of this. :)

The only reason I ask is that I've been at many many public hearings and planning meetings where citizens came out against projects. And honestly more often than not, concerns were legitimate. Concerns that affected immediate neighbors to a project. And I've never seen a developer in recent memory NOT address issues that affected immediate neighbors to a project. At least, in the meetings or projects I've been a part of. (The whole waiving of parking for a residential project is nothing that I would ever assign my name to, FWIW, because the overflow parking affects immediate neighbors).  

So what are people immediately adjacent to this project unhappy about? 

 

 

Everyone I've talked to about it, hates it because it's a hideous massive eyesore.   It may be convenient because it's close to the highway but it also is surrounded by industry and wasteland, not the prettiest location for an apartment building, let alone a giant castle.   If this thing ever gets finished I would bet someday they'll put a stop light at the entrance even though the Wilson stop light is like 600 feet away.  Grand Rapids LOVES to stack their stop lights so close together.  Forget about planning to avoid that, stop lights are the answer to everything. 

This project was all about someone with  so much money he didn't know what to do with and he wanted to make sure everyone knew it.   "Look at me.  Everyone said I can't do it but I'll prove them wrong. I don't care if I fail and it sits empty for years.  I don't care about how it looks or what others will think about it."  

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The more gripes about a project the more encouraged I become thinking it will be a success.  GR Urban Planet 101.

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32 minutes ago, arcturus said:

The more gripes about a project the more encouraged I become thinking it will be a success.  GR Urban Planet 101.

Haha. Nice one! :) as I’ve said, while I don’t like the style, I’d hate to see this thing fail. First, the developer really went for it, building his castle. Second, if successful, it could give that section of 28th a shot in the arm. Third, how bad would it be to have a building that size site empty?! Fourth, if it failed, I don’t want a Castle inspired casino there (I don’t know why, but I feel if this thing went south there’s be an instant proposal to build a casino). :)

Joe

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Seems like a bigger statement would have been made by the developer if he just built the equivalent in square footage in a series of smaller structures in the central city part of Grandville.

 

This thing would have made 20-40 smaller structures of decent size, and put hundreds of people into the core of the town. With the older demo that is slated to live here, it would have attracted a lot of services/stores, and made it easier for those older people to stay independent with a walkable environment.

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I may shake my head at the audacity of this enterprise against what would seem like some pretty long odds, but I certainly would hate to see it flop.  Heck, in my younger days I probably would've considered living there.  I'm hoping it pulls through and achieves full occupancy - which they are going to need to cover the ongoing interior and exterior maintenance costs of this wondrous marvel.

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people hate it because it is lousy design.  There is no damn reason to build a massive hulking structure like that for apartments.  For the money invested, using that same site, something more humane and possibly even walkable could have been built.  Instead of building a place that would be good to live in, the developer indulged in a personal obsession that is anathema not only to good taste but also to the prospect of creating a livable community.   

City leaders should share a huge amount of the blame if it goes belly  up.  

Edited by scottythe1nonly
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27 minutes ago, scottythe1nonly said:

people hate it because it is lousy design.  There is no damn reason to build a massive hulking structure like that for apartments.  For the money invested, using that same site, something more humane and possibly even walkable could have been built.  Instead of building a place that would be good to live in, the developer indulged in a personal obsession that is anathema not only to good taste but also to the prospect of creating a livable community.   

City leaders should share a huge amount of the blame if it goes belly  up.  

As much as I hate opening things up to the community for input - something like this would be an exception for me due to the scale of the project and its obvious uniqueness that doesn't match up with the city it's in whatsoever. Grandville made a mistake in not allowing for community input. Instead, it was rushed through a vote immediately after getting fire department approval.

With that said...It's being built. There's no going back now. We might as well hope for its success. If it fails, we're stuck with an empty, ugly monstrosity dragging down the area rather than a filled, ugly monstrosity that will likely contribute to the city economy in a positive way.

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On 1/13/2018 at 10:40 AM, jthrasher said:

Everyone I've talked to about it, hates it because it's a hideous massive eyesore.   It may be convenient because it's close to the highway but it also is surrounded by industry and wasteland, not the prettiest location for an apartment building, let alone a giant castle.   If this thing ever gets finished I would bet someday they'll put a stop light at the entrance even though the Wilson stop light is like 600 feet away.  Grand Rapids LOVES to stack their stop lights so close together.  Forget about planning to avoid that, stop lights are the answer to everything. 

This project was all about someone with  so much money he didn't know what to do with and he wanted to make sure everyone knew it.   "Look at me.  Everyone said I can't do it but I'll prove them wrong. I don't care if I fail and it sits empty for years.  I don't care about how it looks or what others will think about it."  

Wow, so it's some kind of jealousy/classism thing?  I kind of had a feeling that might be part of it. 

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19 hours ago, scottythe1nonly said:

people hate it because it is lousy design.  There is no damn reason to build a massive hulking structure like that for apartments.  For the money invested, using that same site, something more humane and possibly even walkable could have been built.  Instead of building a place that would be good to live in, the developer indulged in a personal obsession that is anathema not only to good taste but also to the prospect of creating a livable community.   

City leaders should share a huge amount of the blame if it goes belly  up.  

So you're saying if they had built a "walkable" town center design out there in Grandville next to an industrial park and on a run-down section of 28th Street, you would've lived there?  

 

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18 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

So you're saying if they had built a "walkable" town center design out there in Grandville next to an industrial park and on a run-down section of 28th Street, you would've lived there?  

 

The site is lousy too.  However, there would have been ways to mitigate and tailor the site.  This monster doesn't do that.  

One example of what should be done in such a development would be Celadon New Town, which is adjacent to a massive retail strip and traffic congestion.  But the neighborhood looks and feels pretty good in comparison to most apartment complexes in the burbs.

There are great examples all over the country of "industrial" sites converted to residential multi family buildings.   I was in Charlotte, NC two weeks ago.  They're building massive apartment/condo/townhome complexes all over the city, mostly in "industrial" zones where land is available.  But they're building them with public transit proximity in mind, as well as lower level retail and adjacencies to restaurants and other 'amenities'.  

 

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