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mgreven

West Side "Super Block"

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I had heard that Rockford wanted to do something big on Bridge west of Seward but this article makes it sound like something huge since Mike VanGessel is calling it the "super block".  I wonder what the time frame is on this...if he's talking to the press about it, it can't be that far off.

http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2016/05/mike_vangessel_wants_to_bring.html

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9 hours ago, mgreven said:

I had heard that Rockford wanted to do something big on Bridge west of Seward but this article makes it sound like something huge since Mike VanGessel is calling it the "super block".  I wonder what the time frame is on this...if he's talking to the press about it, it can't be that far off.

http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2016/05/mike_vangessel_wants_to_bring.html

Since it's not really a project yet, can we put this in the West Side thread? :)

I think this project concept has been talked about on here quite a few times. I've mentioned it at least a couple. 

 

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Sure. I guess I was hopeful that since it's being talked about now by Rockford that maybe we'd have more info soon for its own thread. Maybe I'm early.  I debated where to put it, too. :)

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That does make it more interesting...  It says Planning Commission in a few weeks, maybe?

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Wasn't this the block that Bob Israel bought up and was going to transform it as well?   Hope Rockford has better luck.

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I recall a presentation from Rockford, maybe two years ago, when they had some real conceptual 'village-y' drawings of Bridge St. It will be interesting to see how that's evolved. 

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6 hours ago, sfloria said:

Wasn't this the block that Bob Israel bought up and was going to transform it as well?   Hope Rockford has better luck.

I don't think they will run into Bob Israel's same struggles given that right after he talked about that the economy went into the tank and he lost his business.

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Cue conspiracy theorists and paranoia ... https://griid.org/2016/06/01/buying-a-neighborhood-capitalist-narratives-and-rockford-construction/

This is my favorite gaff " Having spoke with numerous near westside residents about these issues at recent housing forums, it is disconcerting that there are no voices critical of the Rockford projects."

Obviously he doesn't know our neighborhood association. We're always critical, its what we do. 

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3 hours ago, thebeerqueer said:

Cue conspiracy theorists and paranoia ... https://griid.org/2016/06/01/buying-a-neighborhood-capitalist-narratives-and-rockford-construction/

This is my favorite gaff " Having spoke with numerous near westside residents about these issues at recent housing forums, it is disconcerting that there are no voices critical of the Rockford projects."

Obviously he doesn't know our neighborhood association. We're always critical, its what we do. 

That might be my favorite line too.  Way to undermine your own argument, GRIID.  To paraphrase: "I talked to the people whose interests I'm supposed to represent, and they told me I actually don't represent their interests.  How 'bout that."

I suspect that probably happens to him a lot.

Edited by RegalTDP
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" Buying a neighborhood "?

 

He bought empty lots, rundown structures with barely functional businesses, and I believe where New Holland is used to be an adult movie store and a sleazy peepshow place! Any of the homes bought in this area were from people that got an offer that they freely accepted. From another article, the owner of a gas station further west did not sell, so no one was forced.

But what is worse is the absurd notion that the real "evil" is that the new residences being constructed are not even more "low-income" housing, as if that is the only thing that can be built in Grand Rapids anymore.

This has always been my problem with the west side. This comfort level too many people there have with blight because of some romanticized image of "grittiness" that they think is endearing and charming. That everything west of the highway must forever look like a sea of neglect. Forget the porn store right past the highway, nevermind that empty building, avert your eyes to the vacant lot... this major revitalization is the real evil because it might actually invite people with a higher income to want to live and be in an area that has apparently been deemed a reservation of some sort to those in a state of poverty?

The west side was not always like this, and is too close to downtown to ever have expected no new development to ever take place, or expecting cheap-looking development or a sea of subsidized housing. These guys are aiming higher because he loves the place where he is from and wants it to not be the butt of jokes.

For years people on the west side complained of being ignored by the city and for being abused with horrid ideas like running US-131 through their best structures, cutting them off from the city and river, and I totally agree with their decades-old resentment. But you cannot then demand that you just be left to stew for what is almost 60 years in a crumbling area, and that any development to turn things around must be stopped.

Edited by GR_Urbanist
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11 hours ago, GR_Urbanist said:

" Buying a neighborhood "?

 

He bought empty lots, rundown structures with barely functional businesses, and I believe where New Holland is used to be an adult movie store and a sleazy peepshow place! Any of the homes bought in this area were from people that got an offer that they freely accepted. From another article, the owner of a gas station further west did not sell, so no one was forced.

But what is worse is the absurd notion that the real "evil" is that the new residences being constructed are not even more "low-income" housing, as if that is the only thing that can be built in Grand Rapids anymore.

This has always been my problem with the west side. This comfort level too many people there have with blight because of some romanticized image of "grittiness" that they think is endearing and charming. That everything west of the highway must forever look like a sea of neglect. Forget the porn store right past the highway, nevermind that empty building, avert your eyes to the vacant lot... this major revitalization is the real evil because it might actually invite people with a higher income to want to live and be in an area that has apparently been deemed a reservation of some sort to those in a state of poverty?

The west side was not always like this, and is too close to downtown to ever have expected no new development to ever take place, or expecting cheap-looking development or a sea of subsidized housing. These guys are aiming higher because he loves the place where he is from and wants it to not be the butt of jokes.

For years people on the west side complained of being ignored by the city and for being abused with horrid ideas like running US-131 through their best structures, cutting them off from the city and river, and I totally agree with their decades-old resentment. But you cannot then demand that you just be left to stew for what is almost 60 years in a crumbling area, and that any development to turn things around must be stopped.

 

Interestingly I don't think the author Jeff Smith even lives on the West Side. I think he's near Wealthy and Division area. 

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I also find it suspect when he states he "spoke with numerous near westside residents". So did he actually speak with anyone actually living in the area in question. I know he made exactly zero attempts to contact our neighborhood organization for input. Total internet click bait hack. 

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2 hours ago, thebeerqueer said:

I also find it suspect when he states he "spoke with numerous near westside residents". So did he actually speak with anyone actually living in the area in question. I know he made exactly zero attempts to contact our neighborhood organization for input. Total internet click bait hack. 

Recently I've heard some people refer to the area close to downtown as "Near Westside," though I have no idea how pervasive it is, or if it's just a few people trying to make it catch on, or if anyone actually living there calls it that.

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4 hours ago, thebeerqueer said:

I also find it suspect when he states he "spoke with numerous near westside residents". So did he actually speak with anyone actually living in the area in question. I know he made exactly zero attempts to contact our neighborhood organization for input. Total internet click bait hack. 

He lost all credibility with me during the East Hills anarchists debacle. I don't even know why people share his articles anymore. 

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It must be the SW corner of 1st and Seward, directly across the street from Rockford's front door.  It appears to be apart of the super-block development that includes the Meijer.  

The WMCAT vacancy is on the second floor of the Acton Building.  Maybe the Acton Institute will just absorb that space.

As you can see Lott3Metz is the Architect. Hi Ted ;)

-e9f28378916d9275.jpg

 

Edited by mpchicago
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2 hours ago, mpchicago said:

It must be the SW corner of 1st and Seward, directly across the street from Rockford's front door.  It appears to be apart of the super-block development that includes the Meijer.  

The WMCAT vacancy is on the second floor of the Acton Building.  Maybe the Acton Institute will just absorb that space.

As you can see Lott3Metz is the Architect. Hi Ted ;)

-e9f28378916d9275.jpg

 

Hey. What's up?

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I can say with pretty much 100% certainty that the Acton Institute will take over WMCAT's old space.

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1 hour ago, Ted said:

Hey. What's up?

I like the blue hidden underneath and inside the nooks and crannies.

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17 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

Is WMCAT expanding programs? That looks a lot bigger than their current location. 

Edit, can't read the BJ article so here are some more details from Mlive:

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2016/09/wmcat_announces_75m_capital_ca.html

They're nearly doubling in size. 

 

We had a Rockford representative at our board meeting and he said WMCAT is looking to expand their tech job training. I thought all they did was teenage art/tech stuff but they offer pharmacy tech training and other career training. Should be a sizable expansion. 

Edited by thebeerqueer

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