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5/3 Bank to sell downtown campus, remain as tenant

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Close to some downtown college campuses, the convention center, has a parking ramp (albeit not a large one) and one parking ramp right across the street, downtown shopping mall anyone?

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I split this off due to the significance of this news. 

Interesting to hear that SIBSCO has definitely decided to submit a proposal. 

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It's a pretty sizable campus, almost 4 acres. If 2 or 3 towers go up, downtown GR may be unrecognizable in 5 - 10 years. 

23221815796_dda512b147_b.jpg

 

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I dont want them to tear down the taller of the two buidlings.. I would like a remodel of the ground floor to make it more accessible, pleasent, and useable. However, I think we should be careful to tear down all the buildings from this period, maybe we will regret it 50 years from now....

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That entire stretch of Ottawa are characterless boxes from that era tear them down!  The HPC has already designated the city/county buildings as precious pieces of history we don't need to save all of them.

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57 minutes ago, MJLO said:

That entire stretch of Ottawa are characterless boxes from that era tear them down!  The HPC has already designated the city/county buildings as precious pieces of history we don't need to save all of them.

 

Personally, I like the 5/3 building much more than the city/county buildings.  

 

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Personally I don't think those any of those buildings are interesting enough to justify preventing something taller, more significant, and potentially Iconic from being built.  That area of downtown is the best possible spot in the city to add density, height, and character.  How visionary city leadership was in the 50's and 60's to build a bunch of 150 ft structures that empty out at 5pm and create a multiple block dead zone.  Yes lets keep our suburban style office park of characterless boxes to preserve history.

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I agree that the whole mess needs to be cleared, it is a shame that the potential option is taking place at the height of the "mid-entury modern" craze, and this complex is a really good example of 60s architecture, at least for Grand Rapids.

Look for a real fight to preserve the tower on Ottawa. The rest may be able to get the wrecking ball easily.

 

The hope is that whomever buys it, and will hopefully move to clear the whole site, will put forward a world-class plan, and not some of the more bland and value-engineered slop that we are seeing here lately. If they do that, then the 60s preservationists will have a stronger hand.

 

 

And do something with that absurd parking lot between it and the city/county complex!

 

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2 hours ago, gvsusean said:

I dont want them to tear down the taller of the two buidlings.. I would like a remodel of the ground floor to make it more accessible, pleasent, and useable. However, I think we should be careful to tear down all the buildings from this period, maybe we will regret it 50 years from now....

When I said "2 or 3 towers" I meant while keeping the taller of the 5/3 buildings, and taking out the smaller 5 story one. That's too prime of a corner downtown to have a squat little shack like that. The site is easily large enough to accommodate the existing taller one and 3 more towers. It's humongous by urban standards. 

If it were Chicago they'd try to fit 4 towers on the parking lot alone. 

 

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Considering that CWD owns the Calder Plaza Building, I would be curious to see what they propose with the 5/3 building. That corner deserves better then that ugly wall fronting the streets 

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1 hour ago, GR_Urbanist said:

I agree that the whole mess needs to be cleared, it is a shame that the potential option is taking place at the height of the "mid-entury modern" craze, and this complex is a really good example of 60s architecture, at least for Grand Rapids.

While I don't think that any of these buildings are or will ever be regarded as architectural treasures, there is no reason to rip down the tall tower.  That is just wasteful.  It's a soild building, and could easily be incorporated into another development, or possibly reclad if a developer was really ambitious.  

I think someone already said it, but this is about the only site downtown where a large urban retail complex is feasible.  Frankly, not only is it feasible, it's a rather good idea.  Living near downtown, you quickly realize that you are about 10-20 minutes from every major population center with disposable income.  Better yet, the highway access to this site is unparalleled.  If the City was willing to play ball and lose some of the wasteful and worthless Calder Plaza along the street, you could do something really amazing (assuming you can build a low-rise building on top of the underground parking ramp, and I don't see why not).  Fifth Third Center tower could come out to the street, and even the small tower might be a useful retail building.  Oh--and there is ample room for a the sort of ramp you need for retail use.   If you incorporate a good chunk of Calder Plaza as well the "in limbo" Calder Plaza Building, the entire site would afford closer to 7 acres.  If you wipe out the County Building, pick up Chase and the Ellis lots along Division, you pick up 10 acres, and fix it all...Not that this will ever happen, but it's nice to dream... And without picking up Fifth Third Center, it's almost impossible to pull off of a major repair of the Urban Renewal Zone.

Now, there is a possible counter-point:  If the deal Warner Norcross has with Orion to build on the Ellis lot isn't inked in stone, they could put in a bid for the entire building (why move(?)--seriously--this has never made sense), scrap the Orion/Ellis deal, and nothing ever changes.  But that's just too obvious.  Or,  that deal happens, someone buys this, and makes more Class A office space.  Probably the most likely scenario.  It would take a huge amount of foresight, capital, and planning to make a large-scale retail destination happen.  Still, it is probably the last, best hope for downtown to really make something of itself other than an office park.

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It would be interesting to see how it works with the 2 buildings.  The smaller of the two also has the banking center included as part of the address.  Basically everything behind this wall on Lyon

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 11.40.39 AM.png

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News Flash!  My sources report that CWD is buying the Fifth/Third campus.  More to follow.  

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2 hours ago, mpchicago said:

News Flash!  My sources report that CWD is buying the Fifth/Third campus.  More to follow.  

Seems like kind of a blocking move to me, which is disappointing. I was hoping for two iconic towers right in the smack dab center of downtown, here and Lyon/Ottawa. We shall see...

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Agreed. I hope they have big ideas and aren't just buying it up to limit competition. I love what CWD has done but was hoping for a fresh face in the market. 

Joe

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No details but have heard they will put some money into renovation, not just slapping lipstick on it.

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12 hours ago, ctpgr34 said:

No details but have heard they will put some money into renovation, not just slapping lipstick on it.

I think many people didn't really care what they did with the 5/3 building, but moreso with the empty lot next door. 

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21 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

Seems like kind of a blocking move to me, which is disappointing. I was hoping for two iconic towers right in the smack dab center of downtown, here and Lyon/Ottawa. We shall see...

There really aren't that many players in the downtown market.  CWD, Franklin, Rockford, Orion, and SIBSCO.  Was anyone expecting a new player?   Who would you have rather won out?  It makes sense, considering they own the Calder Plaza building.  While on paper I'm not in love with their plan for Calder, I'm hopeful that their renovation there will turn out nice.   CWD have been great stewards of the buildings they have picked up so far.

Also, I don't hate the main 5/3 headquarters building as much as I used to.  It's grown on me.

7 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

I think many people didn't really care what they did with the 5/3 building, but moreso with the empty lot next door. 

 I would think they have plans for that awful parking dec, if not short term, long term. I think they know it can't stay that way.  I know an indoor shopping mall was floated around here, but that may be a pipe dream, but I guess you never know.

Edited by mpchicago

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21 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

Seems like kind of a blocking move to me, which is disappointing. I was hoping for two iconic towers right in the smack dab center of downtown, here and Lyon/Ottawa. We shall see...

So their supposed intention is to limit competition, do they just sit on the complex?  I agree that a renovation of the 5/3rd tower is rather unexciting unless it involves a reclad that drastically alters it's appearance.  Is there even a demand for something iconic on that lot with so many other projects in various stages?

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I guess my point is competition never hurts. When we looked for new space downtown, it was almost impossible to NOT move into a CWD building. I'm not saying that is a bad thing as they seem to be good landlords. But I was hoping another player came in (maybe SIBSCO, maybe Franklin) to mix it up and create more competition. 

I do agree with MPchicago, that 5/3rd building has grown on me. I used to think that it was by far the ugliest building downtown. Now I kind of like it. Would love for them to do something with the big plaza around the building and fortress like walls on Lyon. 

As GRDad said, my biggest hope for this property is actually the lot next to it (I've never thought mall, but a mixed use building would be fine by me). With Calder Plaza going through a "redesign" I'm hoping something will happen to re-energize (or would it just to energize) that area. 

So I'm not saying CWD is a bad thing, or that they won't do something great. Selfishly, I think I'm disappointed partly because I want them to focus on 50 Monroe and the proposed hotel in the parking lot and this might divert their attention. :)

Joe

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12 hours ago, mpchicago said:

There really aren't that many players in the downtown market.  CWD, Franklin, Rockford, Orion, and SIBSCO.  Was anyone expecting a new player?   Who would you have rather won out?  It makes sense, considering they own the Calder Plaza building.  While on paper I'm not in love with their plan for Calder, I'm hopeful that their renovation there will turn out nice.   CWD have been great stewards of the buildings they have picked up so far.

Also, I don't hate the main 5/3 headquarters building as much as I used to.  It's grown on me.

 I would think they have plans for that awful parking dec, if not short term, long term. I think they know it can't stay that way.  I know an indoor shopping mall was floated around here, but that may be a pipe dream, but I guess you never know.

I don't hate the 5/3 building either. 

My only thing is that if downtown GR is ever going to have a 400 - 500 foot tower, it's got to be in the 5/3 parking lot and/or at Lyon and Ottawa (or Market & Fulton). That's it. There's no other place left, unless you go way out of city-center. 

Another 12 story building here and at Lyon and Ottawa and we will officially be "Stubsville." 

 

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19 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

I don't hate the 5/3 building either. 

My only thing is that if downtown GR is ever going to have a 400 - 500 foot tower, it's got to be in the 5/3 parking lot and/or at Lyon and Ottawa (or Market & Fulton). That's it. There's no other place left, unless you go way out of city-center. 

Another 12 story building here and at Lyon and Ottawa and we will officially be "Stubsville." 

 

Well, they could always tear down an existing structure that no longer is relevant. The west side of the river could use some love...

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On 1/23/2016 at 4:36 PM, ironyisadeadscene said:

Well, they could always tear down an existing structure that no longer is relevant. The west side of the river could use some love...

Where on the West Side of the river? The only place I can think of is the parking lot by the Ford Museum. 

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