GRDadof3

42 story building coming to downtown GR

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The surface lot between Ionia/Division and Cresent/Lyon would be an interesting place, it could start to bring some downtown population further north and help bridge the gap between the arena district and Monroe North.  Would help that area not seem as dead after the work day as it does now.  If it's part hotel, it would be close to the convention center and the Medical Mile, and would be an easy on/off of I-196.

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40 minutes ago, urbanland said:

It's not Ottawa / Lyon.   You haven't even seen the actual renderings..... I like Warner Norcross the project, the actual renderings look good.   

BTW, what's the hold up with this?

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1 hour ago, x99 said:

My money (which, admittedly, is $0.00) is on a corporate headquarters.  That's a limited universe, with Amway arguably the best candidate.  The cost of a 42 story building for them would really be peanuts, if you try to contemplate just how much billions and billions of dollars really is.  And when you are trying to impress people coming to your "world headquarters" a 42 story building does that job a thousand times better than some low-slung building in a floodplain in the middle of nowhere.  Just sayin'.  Now, if Amway does it, perhaps it would finally push Meijer to make a move.  I hear there's space at the corner of Ottawa and Pearl and a really great plan from about 10 years ago just waiting in the wings....  

If Amway was looking to move, they probably wouldn't be erecting a whole new village square in Ada.  Meijer just updated its own corporate campus not long ago, and I doubt they care what Amway or anyone else does.  On the other hand, AFAIK SpartanNash hasn't done anything to update their HQ since the big merger.  They might be looking to turn their dated HQ into something more impressive, since they are the Fortune 500 kids in town.  That's just my money (also $0.00).

38 minutes ago, mielsonwheels said:

The surface lot between Ionia/Division and Cresent/Lyon would be an interesting place, it could start to bring some downtown population further north and help bridge the gap between the arena district and Monroe North.  Would help that area not seem as dead after the work day as it does now.  If it's part hotel, it would be close to the convention center and the Medical Mile, and would be an easy on/off of I-196.

Yes :thumbsup:

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Just a thought (or question) brought on by x99's post, but is it possible that Amway's recent involvement in the Ada Village project could be an indicator that they're considering moving their corporate headquarters downtown?  I'm framing this from the perspective of Amway showing residents of Ada that they're still invested in the area even though they may be moving their headquarters to a new location.  Maybe it was a preempted move from a PR perspective?  Being a layman when it comes to business management, I'm wondering if it's possible that these two things could be related.

In any case, I can't wait to see what comes out of the upcoming announcement; it's an exciting prospect for the downtown area regardless of what/where/who.  Although I personally find the idea of 42 stories in the Fulton/Market parking lot, paired with a fully completed Studio C as viewed from northbound S-Curve, quite sexy!  I also think a tall tower in that location would balance out the skyline very nicely.

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1 minute ago, CHGRMI said:

Just a thought (or question) brought on by x99's post, but is it possible that Amway's recent involvement in the Ada Village project could be an indicator that they're considering moving their corporate headquarters downtown?  I'm framing this from the perspective of Amway showing residents of Ada that they're still invested in the area even though they may be moving their headquarters to a new location.  Maybe it was a preempted move from a PR perspective?  Being a layman when it comes to business management, I'm wondering if it's possible that these two things could be related.

In any case, I can't wait to see what comes out of the upcoming announcement; it's an exciting prospect for the downtown area regardless of what/where/who.  Although I personally find the idea of 42 stories in the Fulton/Market parking lot, paired with a fully completed Studio C as viewed from northbound S-Curve, quite sexy!  I also think a tall tower in that location would balance out the skyline very nicely.

I wonder how many Amway's corporate staff totals compared to their operations/plant employees?

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3 minutes ago, CHGRMI said:

Just a thought (or question) brought on by x99's post, but is it possible that Amway's recent involvement in the Ada Village project could be an indicator that they're considering moving their corporate headquarters downtown?  I'm framing this from the perspective of Amway showing residents of Ada that they're still invested in the area even though they may be moving their headquarters to a new location.  Maybe it was a preempted move from a PR perspective?  Being a layman when it comes to business management, I'm wondering if it's possible that these two things could be related.

I disagree, but my thinking was that they were investing in Ada to put their own corporate HQ in a more desirable setting.

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With all of the attention and redevelopment the city has had and with more and more building sites in the CBD being snapped up, I'm surprised a big announcement of a new skyscraper hasn't happened already. It seems like all of the publicity from changing the skyline would be worth big $$$. Just think of all the photos, letterheads, merchandise, etc that reflect the skyline that would have to be updated because of your building.

Also, and I doubt it will happen anytime soon, but I've always hoped that the next big project would commission a renowned architect. It doesn't have to be Frank Gehry (although I do love his work) but something a little more interesting than what we have...

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1 hour ago, x99 said:

My money (which, admittedly, is $0.00) is on a corporate headquarters.  That's a limited universe, with Amway arguably the best candidate.  The cost of a 42 story building for them would really be peanuts, if you try to contemplate just how much billions and billions of dollars really is.  And when you are trying to impress people coming to your "world headquarters" a 42 story building does that job a thousand times better than some low-slung building in a floodplain in the middle of nowhere.  Just sayin'.  Now, if Amway does it, perhaps it would finally push Meijer to make a move.  I hear there's space at the corner of Ottawa and Pearl and a really great plan from about 10 years ago just waiting in the wings....  

 

My money would also be on corporate headquarters.  This project is way to big to be feasibly funded as residential with all of the other projects going up.  There is still too much available office space for it to be just a new project.  Amway would be logical,  however I'm not sure they really need to grow beyond the sprawling Ada complex. They are also tailor making the village of Ada to impress the people who go there.  Longshot that it could be another of the big companies,  Meijer, or possibly SpartaNash who's Byron Center headquarters is dated.  I wonder if there's a possibility it could be a company from outside the area too.  There are several big fortune 500 companies in the state that are not in the most desirable of places.   Again if that is the case,  it'd probably be Amway but who knows.

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I would assume if it was a HQ for someone they would not take up the entire 42 stories.  I couldn't get a good number for actual employees at Meijer, SN, Amway headquarters.  An example I could come up with is 500 Spectrum employees moving into Arena Station's 5 floors.

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What about a tech company locating their offices here because of the Switch project?   Booking.com already has a big presence here, maybe they have corporate offices that would want to move here and combine with their call center.  Boeing moved their HQ to Chicago based on economic issues, right?  Maybe a company in a high cost city like San Francisco would venture to a more affordable city like GR. 

It would create great synergy with the new movie theater complex but I'm kind of hoping it is more in the center city area to create more activity around there.

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1 hour ago, CHGRMI said:

Just a thought (or question) brought on by x99's post, but is it possible that Amway's recent involvement in the Ada Village project could be an indicator that they're considering moving their corporate headquarters downtown?  I'm framing this from the perspective of Amway showing residents of Ada that they're still invested in the area even though they may be moving their headquarters to a new location.  Maybe it was a preempted move from a PR perspective?  Being a layman when it comes to business management, I'm wondering if it's possible that these two things could be related.

In any case, I can't wait to see what comes out of the upcoming announcement; it's an exciting prospect for the downtown area regardless of what/where/who.  Although I personally find the idea of 42 stories in the Fulton/Market parking lot, paired with a fully completed Studio C as viewed from northbound S-Curve, quite sexy!  I also think a tall tower in that location would balance out the skyline very nicely.

That's an interesting perspective. Even if they moved a big chunk of employees downtown, a lot of them would probably still live in Ada/Forest Hills. They're definitely the largest taxpayer in Ada Township.

There's also LMCU. Despite the rumor that I heard they were going to build a new HQ by Metro Health in Wyoming, I have not heard or seen anything else (and it was from a questionably reliable source). Maybe that was one of LMCU's optional locations. Professionals/white collar workers who work at a credit union are perfect downtown candidates. 

If it is the Hinman site, if it were just the triangle, that would be like a space needle. :) A tall thin spire. But if it does span over to the parking garage, then it would have a much larger footprint.

Hinman Site.JPG

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1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

There's also LMCU. Despite the rumor that I heard they were going to build a new HQ by Metro Health in Wyoming, I have not heard or seen anything else (and it was from a questionably reliable source). Maybe that was one of LMCU's optional locations. Professionals/white collar workers who work at a credit union are perfect downtown candidates.

They already built that small office on the corner near M6. I'm not sure if that would change the probability of them using the Metro site though.

Edited by WMrapids

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1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

That's an interesting perspective. Even if they moved a big chunk of employees downtown, a lot of them would probably still live in Ada/Forest Hills. They're definitely the largest taxpayer in Ada Township.

There's also LMCU. Despite the rumor that I heard they were going to build a new HQ by Metro Health in Wyoming, I have not heard or seen anything else (and it was from a questionably reliable source). Maybe that was one of LMCU's optional locations. Professionals/white collar workers who work at a credit union are perfect downtown candidates. 

If it is the Hinman site, if it were just the triangle, that would be like a space needle. :) A tall thin spire. But if it does span over to the parking garage, then it would have a much larger footprint.

That's more do-able, but it would still be completely out of character for Hinman to build a brand new office or residential building on a speculative basis.  Rockford's currently attempting to unload 2000 square foot condos in Morton for a million each.  No one in their right mind is going to speculate on 40 stories of brand new nonsense like that, or on apartments or office space, for that matter.  If this project is real, there either has to be a corporate presence attached to it or it is a very, very bad omen of wildly excessive frothiness. 

Well... One other small possibility.  I just can't help but notice that Rich DeVos is now 90 years old.  They have done an awful lot for downtown and for years had the tallest building in it.  One which, as I understand it, never made money anyway (although more recently perhaps it finally does).  If I were at his stage of life and had his past history of revitalizing the city, and I still had a few billion in my pocket, I would probably want to do that one last great thing for the city now that it's done so well with what I've given already.  Oh, and I would of course want to reclaim my top spot by a significant margin.  600 or 700 feet minimum to the top primary floor, with another hundred feet to the observation deck in the spire.  That's what I'd build.  And if it takes a hundred or two hundred million to build a building worth two thirds of that, who cares? It's beer (or soda) money, in the grand scheme of things.  The tax man cometh soon enough in a big, big way anyway.   Put some Amway offices in it and sell off the rest for condos or rent it out for what someone will pay for it.  Something like this would actually make a lot of sense to me.  But maybe it's all wishful thinking about how I would go out if I were a nonagenarian billionaire with a pretty clear love of my hometown and all the buildings and people in it.  90's a big number, though, and it would get me to thinking...

Edited by x99
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5 hours ago, mielsonwheels said:

The surface lot between Ionia/Division and Cresent/Lyon would be an interesting place,

 I was thinking the same thing

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3 hours ago, x99 said:

That's more do-able, but it would still be completely out of character for Hinman to build a brand new office or residential building on a speculative basis.  Rockford's currently attempting to unload 2000 square foot condos in Morton for a million each.  No one in their right mind is going to speculate on 40 stories of brand new nonsense like that, or on apartments or office space, for that matter.  If this project is real, there either has to be a corporate presence attached to it or it is a very, very bad omen of wildly excessive frothiness. 

Well... One other small possibility.  I just can't help but notice that Rich DeVos is now 90 years old.  They have done an awful lot for downtown and for years had the tallest building in it.  One which, as I understand it, never made money anyway (although more recently perhaps it finally does).  If I were at his stage of life and had his past history of revitalizing the city, and I still had a few billion in my pocket, I would probably want to do that one last great thing for the city now that it's done so well with what I've given already.  Oh, and I would of course want to reclaim my top spot by a significant margin.  600 or 700 feet minimum to the top primary floor, with another hundred feet to the observation deck in the spire.  That's what I'd build.  And if it takes a hundred or two hundred million to build a building worth two thirds of that, who cares? It's beer (or soda) money, in the grand scheme of things.  The tax man cometh soon enough in a big, big way anyway.   Put some Amway offices in it and sell off the rest for condos or rent it out for what someone will pay for it.  Something like this would actually make a lot of sense to me.  But maybe it's all wishful thinking about how I would go out if I were a nonagenarian billionaire with a pretty clear love of my hometown and all the buildings and people in it.  90's a big number, though, and it would get me to thinking...

Of course it'd have to be high enough to see Lake Michigan, if I were said billionaire.

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I would really hope that it's not 600-700ft.  If anyone has seen OKC it looks ridiculous with the 800ft Devon tower overpowering anything else in the skyline,  It definitely feels like an overcompensation.  Grand Rapids does not need that. 

In terms of location if it is Amway,  I would still be thinking the corner of Lyon/Ottawa.   The Devos family is very insular in their real estate/business dealings and tend to keep everything under their umbrella.  CWD (D is for Devos)  Just purchased the 5/3rd Center.  Warner-Norcross-Judd vacates for future Orion project.  5/3rd consolidates its regional headquarters in the taller building.  This leaves the squat ugly ass 5 story 5/3rd building empty.  No one will miss a 1960's suburban office structure if it gets torn down.   If i'm Amway considering building a flagship signature tower, I want it to have immediate access to my flagship signature hotel, performance hall, and convention center.   I do not think CWD purchased a complex in a competitive market on speculation they could lure a bunch more suburban office tentants into an overly competitive office market,  of course they would have inside knowledge.  Of course this is based on purely speculative knowledge. With our luck Duane Faust is back with another hydrogen power plant.

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10 hours ago, urbanland said:

It's not Ottawa / Lyon.   You haven't even seen the actual renderings..... I like Warner Norcross the project, the actual renderings look good.   

Agreed Urbanland. People (including me) haven't even seen a rendering of the Warner Tower yet it's "second rate" and "shoddy". Drives me nuts. 

It's like saying a painting sucks when all the artist has told you is that it is a 5 foot by 7 foot rectangle with paint (or some other type of medium that may or may not cover canvas).  Frickin' exhausting! 

Joe

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9 hours ago, RegalTDP said:

I disagree, but my thinking was that they were investing in Ada to put their own corporate HQ in a more desirable setting.

Agreed. No way Amway is moving their HQ.

1) the building is just too big to abandon. It's an exhausting, rambling building (try walking end to end sometime) but it seems to serve them well. Plus, you get behind it and there's a whole other world of manufacturing, transportation, etc. they couldn't abandon half the site and they actually seem to be consolidating, not branch in out. 

2) they aren't doing that well (with the word well in air quotes). Still making a lot of money but the Chinese economy / strong dollar vs. Chinese Yuan has not been doing them any favors. 

Joe

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14 hours ago, MJLO said:

I would really hope that it's not 600-700ft.  If anyone has seen OKC it looks ridiculous with the 800ft Devon tower overpowering anything else in the skyline,  It definitely feels like an overcompensation.  Grand Rapids does not need that. 

Nah.  I rather like the height of Devon, now that I've looked at it.  All glass skyscrapers aren't always my thing, but it isn't bad.  It's also 844 feet tall, with the next closest being 500.  That's 354 feet.  600 feet in GR would only be 200 over River House.  Still, I see the concern.  I would hope the top of the building would be tapered...

12 hours ago, joeDowntown said:

Agreed. No way Amway is moving their HQ.

No, but they wouldn't need to move everyone.  And it doesn't even have to be Amway.  It could be and likely is, now that I think about it a bit more, another DeVos-backed hotel project, probably mixed-use.  I just can't figure out who else would even float an idea like this.  No one established would float something like this on a spec basis.  Too much egg on your face when it doesn't happen.  Assuming this little rumor is real and not a late April Fools joke, a 90th birthday present on the huge swath of Amway Hotel Corp asphalt south of Fulton at the bend in the river makes the most sense to me.  It ain't like they bought Charlie's Crab and all of those parking lots to be in the parking business forever.  

And as good as their finance guys are, I doubt they managed to eliminate all estate taxes.  Building or buying very, very expensive things can be done at a substantial discount as long as Rich DeVos is alive and kicking.  When all of the cash you haven't been able to squirrel away in various tax planning devices is going to be taxed at 40%, it's time to get spendy.  Sort of explains the restructuring of Ada, too...  If a project costs, say, $100 million and is only "worth" $25mm for tax purposes (because, oh, there really isn't a market for what you just built or bought, so market value at the moment is only $50mm, and on top of that, you take some hefty lack of control and lack of marketability discounts because of the ownership structure), the tax discount on it is $30mm.   Spend $100mm, but it really only "costs" $70 million now because the rest was going to Uncle Sam.  Beats a Menard's paper bag sale by a mile, and does a lot more good for your town and its people than an extra $30 million to Uncle.  That's why I think this has to be a DeVos backed project because it would actually make some degree of economic sense for them, whereas it would make zero sense for anyone else.

Of course, I could be completely wrong too.  Maybe after getting out the real estate business Fifth Third really does plan to sign a multi-decade lease on a new tower.  Or Silicon Valley decided to move here... Who knows?

Edited by x99
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I don't think it's Amway. I do think it's mixed use, probably hotel, maybe condos (which we haven't seen in a while) and office for a specific user. 

And someone told me it's unlikely that it's LMCU. 

 

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2 hours ago, x99 said:

Nah.  I rather like the height of Devon, now that I've looked at it.  All glass skyscrapers aren't always my thing, but it isn't bad.  It's also 844 feet tall, with the next closest being 500.  That's 354 feet.  600 feet in GR would only be 200 over River House.  Still, I see the concern.  I would hope the top of the building would be tapered...

No, but they wouldn't need to move everyone.  And it doesn't even have to be Amway.  It could be and likely is, now that I think about it a bit more, another DeVos-backed hotel project, probably mixed-use.  I just can't figure out who else would even float an idea like this.  No one established would float something like this on a spec basis.  Too much egg on your face when it doesn't happen.  Assuming this little rumor is real and not a late April Fools joke, a 90th birthday present on the huge swath of Amway Hotel Corp asphalt south of Fulton at the bend in the river makes the most sense to me.  It ain't like they bought Charlie's Crab and all of those parking lots to be in the parking business forever.  

And as good as their finance guys are, I doubt they managed to eliminate all estate taxes.  Building or buying very, very expensive things can be done at a substantial discount as long as Rich DeVos is alive and kicking.  When all of the cash you haven't been able to squirrel away in various tax planning devices is going to be taxed at 40%, it's time to get spendy.  Sort of explains the restructuring of Ada, too...  If a project costs, say, $100 million and is only "worth" $25mm for tax purposes (because, oh, there really isn't a market for what you just built or bought, so market value at the moment is only $50mm, and on top of that, you take some hefty lack of control and lack of marketability discounts because of the ownership structure), the tax discount on it is $30mm.   Spend $100mm, but it really only "costs" $70 million now because the rest was going to Uncle Sam.  Beats a Menard's paper bag sale by a mile, and does a lot more good for your town and its people than an extra $30 million to Uncle.  That's why I think this has to be a DeVos backed project because it would actually make some degree of economic sense for them, whereas it would make zero sense for anyone else.

Of course, I could be completely wrong too.  Maybe after getting out the real estate business Fifth Third really does plan to sign a multi-decade lease on a new tower.  Or Silicon Valley decided to move here... Who knows?

The last hurrah idea does make a lot of sense (I'd do it if I had the money. Build stuff because it's cool to build stuff. Probably why I don't have that kind of money. haha). I just don't think Amway proper would move. I know they had intended on moving Amway Asia downtown at one time, but they've totally restructured the way those business units run (Amway Asia was public, right)? Pieces and parts though, maybe.

I guess it all depends on where it ends up. If it is CWD property (Monroe/Lyon) or the Riverfront, it seems logical. If it is one of the other properties mentioned, I don't see that as a logical scenario (unless they buy the property). I'm also not a fan of one big tall fortress being built on the Market/Fulton / Charley's Crab lot. I'd love to see something with 4, 5, 6 buildings on a lot that big. Maybe a large version of what they're proposing for the Movie Theatre (the way the buildings are laid out, not a bigger theatre. ;)). 

Either way, I hope it is something that doesn't wreck the market. I think something strictly office or strictly residential would not be good for downtown (eg. hoping this announcement doesn't sink a bunch of other projects). Office/residential/hotel with a new downtown tenant would seem to be ideal.

We'll see!

Joe 

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48 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

I don't think it's Amway. I do think it's mixed use, probably hotel, maybe condos (which we haven't seen in a while) and office for a specific user. 

And someone told me it's unlikely that it's LMCU. 

 

I don't see how something like this could happen without a new (big) player coming into downtown.  There is not enough demand for anything to be that big without it. The speculative portion of the market couldn't get financing on the basis of intending to line up tenants.  If it were speculative it would kill a couple other office/hotel/residential projects as it would cannibalize existing demand.  

Downtown really needs a new big player to continue its existing momentum anyway.  A 42 story class A office tower without tenants would kill the Kendall Building,  quickly emptying 50 Monroe,  and leave an empty 5 story building at  Lyon and Monroe (unless it were built there).  A mixed used including a hotel would likely kill the Suburban Inns hotel without a big player.  Not to mention the CWD concept rumored to be an AC Marriott. 

 

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50 minutes ago, MJLO said:

I don't see how something like this could happen without a new (big) player coming into downtown.  There is not enough demand for anything to be that big without it. The speculative portion of the market couldn't get financing on the basis of intending to line up tenants.  If it were speculative it would kill a couple other office/hotel/residential projects as it would cannibalize existing demand.  

Downtown really needs a new big player to continue its existing momentum anyway.  A 42 story class A office tower without tenants would kill the Kendall Building,  quickly emptying 50 Monroe,  and leave an empty 5 story building at  Lyon and Monroe (unless it were built there).  A mixed used including a hotel would likely kill the Suburban Inns hotel without a big player.  Not to mention the CWD concept rumored to be an AC Marriott. 

 

So in the end, either someone is trying to make a huge power play to suck in anyone looking for space downtown (which would toss everything into chaos), or someone is moving in from far out of the area that we simply could never imagine.

 

But what outsiders have been seen scouting around GR? Who would make such a bold move?

I'm thinking maybe a Chicago-based outfit as it is almost as common to find Illinois plates in GR than Michigan these days.

 

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It sounds like SpartanNash could be a likely candidate.  I have heard that Spectrum has been looking for a single building for their offices.  That would leave a lot of vacancies all over, and does not seem likely given their recent move to Arena Station.  

New or outside companies, what about Kellogg?  I have heard they are very interested in Grand Rapids.  Would probably be quite a controversial move to leave BC, but who knows.  I would think it would have to be a company that would benefit form the prominence and publicity of being in DT-GR, keeping in mind that the prominence downtown GR provides is really only regional in scope.

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