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


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On January 23, 2016 at 9:00 PM, 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." 

 

What about the big Ellis lot in the block bordered by Division, Lyon, Ionia, and Crescent? Right across Ionia from the courthouse.

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7 hours ago, getemngo said:

What about the big Ellis lot in the block bordered by Division, Lyon, Ionia, and Crescent? Right across Ionia from the courthouse.

Ah, where the old Rapid central station used to be. You're right that's a possibility. Although not a very high profile spot at ground level. 

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  • 4 months later...
On 1/21/2016 at 3:55 PM, mpchicago said:

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

https://mibiz.com/news/real-estate/item/23706-sources-cwd-wins-bid-for-5-3-bank-campus-in-downtown-grand-rapids

5/3 is moving all employees in the 5 story to the 10 story over the next year and will take on the Detroit office concept- http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20160409/NEWS/160409832

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  • 3 months later...

Of all the buildings on Vandenberg Plaza, I have always thought this was the ugliest. From its brutalistic exterior to its fortress interaction with the street, this is the most urban unfriendly building downtown. Any "fixing up" that they do to it will be lipstick on a pig. IMO, the best solution is to tear it down and start over. 

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I also hope they tear it down.
 However, "mid-century modern" preservation is on everyone's lips, so there may be an outcry to save it with all of the irony the universe could hold seeing that the complex was how we lost the old Kent County building.

 

If they cant tear it down, then at least build out the ground floor to the street with a modern addition.

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4 hours ago, Dj Augustine said:

Hopefully CWD will come up with a plan faster then they have on 50 Monroe.  

The Monroe St. building is likely to be converted to a hotel.

 

 

It seems like CWD has a lot of irons in the fire.  Maybe after they finish up the Rowe and the Calder Plaza bulding, they can move on to 50 Monroe?  

The old Mich Con building a hotel?   I wonder how many more hotels downtown can handle.   I know CWD had plans for a hotel at 50 Monroe.  

Besides the bad news over at the Keeler, it seems that Franklin Partners has been kind of laying low lately.    

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1 hour ago, mpchicago said:

It seems like CWD has a lot of irons in the fire.  Maybe after they finish up the Rowe and the Calder Plaza bulding, they can move on to 50 Monroe?  

The old Mich Con building a hotel?   I wonder how many more hotels downtown can handle.   I know CWD had plans for a hotel at 50 Monroe.  

Besides the bad news over at the Keeler, it seems that Franklin Partners has been kind of laying low lately.    

I thought I just read that Display Pack building was picking up some steam? 

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I used to hate the 5/3 building but it has grown on me over the years (and I think now actually adds to the diversity of architecture). Not saying I'd want 5 of them downtown, but I think with a little cleanup to the building itself, and a lot of work done to the way it interacts with the street, it could be really nice. I'd love to see them knock down the other 5/3 building on Monroe (the one they are vacating), and level the giant wall, bunker entrance along Lyon. That would be a "game changer". :)

joe

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I'm fine with the taller building, it's a fair representation of that era of architecture. Im not a fan, but it is important to have diversity created by time. The shorter one on Monroe I would cheer it's demolition. That would make a great spot for a tall building that really anchors the block. It's too high profile of a spot for a building many walk on by and likely don't know a building it exists there.

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I feel like we all have to make the disclaimer that we know saving the buildings are for the sake of history out of political correctness.  I get it.  The city messed up and destroyed some of the most iconic structures Grand Rapids will ever know.  So now we overcompensate so badly for past mistakes we will make sure that all generations to come will know how excruciatingly boring, and unoriginal architecture was in the 1960's. How many people will look at them when they are 100 years old and appreciate the craftmanship it took to make a non-descript cube?  As with anything those buildings were the fashion of the times.   There are several cities out there that haven't had building booms since structures like these were erected and they are among the most boring/depressing cores in the country.  None of the buildings surrounding Vandenburg Center are interesting or particularly historic. That area is the best place in the city to build an actual skyline.  Saving those buildings for the sake of history does nothing to advance the cities future.  I hope to God the HPC wouldn't stand in the way of something better being built at the corner of Lyon and Monroe, when you have nothing but examples of utilitarian monotony surrounding it.

There is a balance between preserving history, and better positioning the future.  I am of the opinion we are still looking for that balance.

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Neither building is listed as historic.  But SHPO for some reason has web pages for each building.

Old Kent Building

Built in 1965, the "Old Kent Building" is over 50 years old. It now qualifies for consideration as historic according to the Secretary of the Interior.


Michigan Consolidated Gas Building

This building will be 50 years old next year.  The architect for the MichCon Building is Daverman Associates, same as the Old Kent Building. The SHPO page also lists Minoru Yamasaki & Associates as an architect.  I have no idea to what extent Minoru Yamasaki had a role, if any, in its design.

 

I doubt CWD is going to try to get them listed as historic.  I also don't think they will tear them down. But they may do some major exterior changes like they are now doing with the Calder Building.  And I also doubt the HPC will try to assert themselves here without being asked by CWD.  Not after that fiasco with the farmhouse on Lake Michigan Drive.

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8 hours ago, GRLaker said:

I don't even think the HPC has a say over Lyon and Monroe. It's not a historical district. Any preservation of the 5/3 Building would be by the owners themselves. 

Do I remember incorrectly that they denied Jack Buchanan one of his Bat **** crazy proposals to tear down city hall because of the historical nature of the buldings in 07?  (Not that they didn't do us a favor there)

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8 hours ago, GRLaker said:

I don't even think the HPC has a say over Lyon and Monroe. It's not a historical district. Any preservation of the 5/3 Building would be by the owners themselves. 

Correct. It is not within a historic district and HPC has no oversight. The only thing on the Vandenburg super-block that is designated for protection is La Grande Vitesse. Occasionally, the City Commission or others will solicit an opinion from HPC (for example, concerning Jack Buchanan's hotel proposal on Calder Plaza), though this is a rare request and the opinion is not binding. I highly doubt anyone will ever apply for historic designation for the 5/3 building.

 

Personally, I have no love for the architecture of the 5/3 building or the planning of its site. Worse than being unfashionable, I find it offensive to a healthy urban environment. Though, I wouldn't necessarily want to see it demolished. I don't think it has much weight as a historic resource, but materially, to knock it down would be incredibly wasteful. If it still has a serviceable life, it should stay. The challenge for any designers involved in the future of this building (and a whole generation of poorly-devised built environments, for that matter) is to learn how adapt it in a way that maximizes its material longevity and minimizes its brutality. 

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8 hours ago, Gorath said:

Michigan Consolidated Gas Building

This building will be 50 years old next year.  The architect for the MichCon Building is Daverman Associates, same as the Old Kent Building. The SHPO page also lists Minoru Yamasaki & Associates as an architect.  I have no idea to what extent Minoru Yamasaki had a role, if any, in its design.

Yamasaki did the MCG building in Detroit.

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On 10/8/2016 at 8:19 AM, MJLO said:

Do I remember incorrectly that they denied Jack Buchanan one of his Bat **** crazy proposals to tear down city hall because of the historical nature of the buldings in 07?  (Not that they didn't do us a favor there)

I believe you are correct.  I also seem to remember the mind-boggling argument that the City / County buildings were historic.  Historically uninspiring perhaps, but I'm not sure I see where it takes much creativity to draw a dark box.

Cardboard box, black spray paint... Viola! 

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That's the funny thing with architecture and art in general. Look at that blue and white thing in the lobby of the GRAM. They paid some famous artist a million dollars for that. 

not all of those buildings need to be saved but style In Architecture seems to follow a predictable pattern of something being new and shiny and popular, then people steadily lose interest befor becoming looked at as national treasures. These properties are at their nadir right now and the best examples probably should be saved. I particularly like the 5/3 building. There is a sense of grace and vision in that building that wasn't "value engineered". The grounds can be reconfigured to make it more pedestrian friendly but a complete overhaul/demolition would be wasteful and eventually regrettable. 

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When Jack Buchanan (where'd that guy go? I'm sure he was chased out of town after the boondoggle on Alpine) wanted to build this where the City/County buildings are located, I was pretty excited. I hated those buildings:

 

145780484_c67d9fa4ef.jpg

But I've actually grown fond of them. I still think Calder Plaza is horrible (which they are addressing), but I think the City and County buildings ad variety to the city. 

Joe

 

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13 minutes ago, joeDowntown said:

When Jack Buchanan (where'd that guy go? I'm sure he was chased out of town after the boondoggle on Alpine) wanted to build this where the City/County buildings are located, I was pretty excited. I hated those buildings:

 

145780484_c67d9fa4ef.jpg

But I've actually grown fond of them. I still think Calder Plaza is horrible (which they are addressing), but I think the City and County buildings ad variety to the city. 

Joe

 

This thing would be fantastic near the convention center. 

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1 hour ago, joeDowntown said:

When Jack Buchanan (where'd that guy go? I'm sure he was chased out of town after the boondoggle on Alpine) wanted to build this where the City/County buildings are located, I was pretty excited. I hated those buildings:

 

145780484_c67d9fa4ef.jpg

But I've actually grown fond of them. I still think Calder Plaza is horrible (which they are addressing), but I think the City and County buildings ad variety to the city. 

Joe

 

Wow, I remember this. 

I seem to remember he was out in Colorado or California now. Hanging out with Joe Moch. :rofl:

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