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Morris

The amazing transformation of 363 State St to a Dollar General

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This Topic was started with the 345 State Street NE project, which is next door to 363 State (Clarks Store)....if you wanted some of the discussion of what was said already.

I got a Public Hearing notice for the Historic Preservation Commission on tearing down Clarks and replacing it with a

four story building. 

The meeting will be Wednesday, August 17th, at 1120 Monroe Ave. NW 2nd Floor at 5 pm...

The plan is for 71 Micro apartments and 36 parking spaces.....plus a store on the ground level.

See the micro apartments segment for more about micro apartments in Grand Rapids....

Edited by Morris
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They really jacked up the price of that place. A few years ago (3 maybe)  they were asking for only a million dollars.   Good luck making something work at that price. It isn't a building that lends itself well to apts/condos. 

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I have heard there are people looking at the church for residential uses.  Nothing solid, though, far as I know.  I saw a prototypical architectural/engineering firm white pickup parked in the drive the other day, but I didn't get a really close look.  Zoning there is low density residential, so the micro-unit/no parking concept probably won't fly(?).  Parking will have to go underneath in the basement since the site itself has no parking and greenspace is already really tight.  The basement of the church is fairly cavernous, so it's possible. 

As for how to make it work at $2,000,000 on that site for the number of units you would be allowed, I have no idea.  I think you could only do something like 10-15 units without changing the zoning or getting a variance.  You're at six figures per unit just on site acquisition.  Good luck with that.  My guess is someone will go for a zoning change or variance, and all hell will break loose.  Something has to happen eventually, because the church is closing down fairly soon.

Edited by x99
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"Despite the concerns of residents, the developer’s proposal meets zoning in terms of parking and density. As such, the city planning department can approve the project without a public hearing to address the parking and density concerns, although it still requires the approval of Historic Preservation Commission.

Because the Historic Preservation Commission deals with historic design issues, its purview when considering projects does not include issues of parking and density."

 

In short: The city is cool with what is proposed by the letter of the law, and the HPC is almost certain to to approve it with a few sops tossed to them to put some perfunctory flourishes on the outside.

Thanks goodness! This will certainly help move St. Street along towards complete revitalization in a big way

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I bet you are glad you are not street parking in the area.....

I have doing a open parking site count, tonite there were 8 open non metered sites within a block. This is going to be a real parking mess, in my opinion....

7 hours ago, GR_Urbanist said:

parking and density concerns

 

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9 hours ago, Morris said:

I bet you are glad you are not street parking in the area.....

I have doing a open parking site count, tonite there were 8 open non metered sites within a block. This is going to be a real parking mess, in my opinion....

 

When I lived on that block in the late sixties to mid-seventies I don’t think you could have usually found eight open parking spots on the street, so I guess the parking situation has improved since then.  (I parked in a garage up an alley behind one of the houses.)    

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The city Historical Commission approved the project tonite, while the building will abut 345 State Street, which will have to brick up windows! This means, they can't rent apartments, that have no windows! A group of neighbors are going to appeal this ruling and other things to the State Historical Board. If you are in disagreement to this project, the Grand Rapids Planning Commission is the next step in this process. You can email them at: 

Main Office

City of Grand Rapids Planning Department 
1120 Monroe Ave. NW - 3rd Floor
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Phone: (616) 456-4100
Fax: (616) 456-4546
[email protected]

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1 hour ago, Morris said:

The city Historical Commission approved the project tonite, while the building will abut 345 State Street, which will have to brick up windows! This means, they can't rent apartments, that have no windows!

From Street View, it looks this only affects the second floor of 345 State. The first floor definitely doesn't have apartments on that side, and on the third and fourth floors, that wall is blank at the front half of the building and set back far enough at the back that the windows could stay. Looks like an enormous pain if it does directly impact any units, but it's not like it's rendering half the building uninhabitable.

You've really got me curious now about the layout of 345. I can't find anything on the LiveDowntownGrandRapids site. Does anybody know what's behind the affected windows?

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10 hours ago, Morris said:

A group of neighbors are going to appeal this ruling and other things to the State Historical Board.

 

2 cranks with obviously little else to do with their lives.

Glad to see the HPC rightfully put city development ahead of NIMBY-ism.

 

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4 hours ago, GR_Urbanist said:

There was a petition against it, with 13 names on it, about 6 letters opposing it, three spooked out against the project, one for at the public hearing.......who is wrong now?

There are about 21 or so windows on the lot line, on the second floor, on the east side of 345 State, it looks like apartments on that side, with curtains, etc....

The historical commission looked at one and two story zero lot line buildings across the street, and thought it was compatible for historical reasons, not really looking into affecting 345 State's building.....

The city put up no parking signs across the street on the north side of Foster park on State Street, for a turn lane, almost to Prospect Street, leaving room for about 5 cars, that it seems that 345 State Street tenants use already, on the north and south side of Cherry Street, St Mary's employee's seem to use that for parking. Maybe their plan is to get resident only parking, in the area.

I have been doing a open parking count, between 9 and 10 pm, and have been counting 4 to 6 spaces open in the one block area. Where will the other 30 something cars will park even with resident only parking ?

 

 

Edited by Morris

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15 minutes ago, Morris said:

There was a petition against it, with 13 names on it, about 6 letters opposing it, three spooked out against the project, one for at the public hearing.......who is wrong now?

Oh? So basically a tiny fraction of the number of people that actually live near this site.

In essence ultimately 3 cranks showed up to oppose something that clears the zoning laws, and even got the HPC to not block it. The city just doesn't scuttle things that meet all legal requirements because someone raises a stink.

The state isnt going to inject itself into this either because they get cases where far more people appeal far more significant developments for far better reasons.

Edited by GR_Urbanist

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Calling me a crank, along with others, is not serving this forum with any substance. 

Calling people names, is something I did when I was 7.

Grow up!

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12 hours ago, Morris said:

Calling me a crank, along with others, is not serving this forum with any substance. 

Calling people names, is something I did when I was 7.

Grow up!

"In essence ultimately 3 cranks showed up to oppose something "

 

At what point did I state who was those three?

 

If you take it to be you, then that is on you.

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Ok, stop. I think neighborhood parking concerns are valid. Will that be enough to stop the development? probably not. But people who have lived in Heritage Hill for many years, pioneers, should get a little respect. I'm sure no one is mourning the loss of Clarks. If you've lived in the Hill, it frickin sucks when thre is an onstreet parking problem, people don't obey odd-even dates, and your driveway gets plowed in. It is a real problem. And I hope they can figure out a decent solution. 

I think Morris has the right to his opinion. 

Joe

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12 hours ago, joeDowntown said:

Ok, stop. I think neighborhood parking concerns are valid. Will that be enough to stop the development? probably not. But people who have lived in Heritage Hill for many years, pioneers, should get a little respect. I'm sure no one is mourning the loss of Clarks. If you've lived in the Hill, it frickin sucks when thre is an onstreet parking problem, people don't obey odd-even dates, and your driveway gets plowed in. It is a real problem. And I hope they can figure out a decent solution. 

I think Morris has the right to his opinion. 

Joe

I have lived in HH for almost a decade, in a large apartment building with zero devoted parking, on a one-way street with odd/even parking, and have been plowed under many times, and have had to walk a fair distance from my car on others.

So I do know what it is like, and I yet still do not see it as reason enough to stop this.

Is there a magic solution? No, and there never will be without resorting to a more suburban model for building. Demanding that every development comes with a massive surface parking to accommodate every potential car that may or may not be there is simply not an argument, especially in a near downtown neighborhood that has no business thinking that as the city builds up and out, that they will be afforded a special "no new people here" status, because there are "pioneers", what ever that is, and they say they dont like it. They aren't the only people that live in old houses, in an older part of the city, on thin streets, with limited parking. Lots of us deal with it just fine because we want to live in an urban area with all of the challenges of it. Those that find it increasingly abhorrent will always have the burbs. If people want to live close to DT and have that car, then they are going to have to adjust to the potential of having to walk between them on some days, or learn to live without the car, or move. That's just how it is living in a real city.

" But people who have lived in Heritage Hill for many years, pioneers, should get a little respect. "

They aren't aristocracy, and their voices carry no more authority than anyone else that lives on the hill. If they are using their self-anointed status to not stop a priceless building from being demolished for parking, but to just prevent new development to replace an eyesore or be built on empty land because more people just bothers them, or going to the old standby of too much traffic + maybe not enough parking or "it will invite crime" then they aren't presenting anything that hasn't been trotted out before for almost every mixed-use multi-unit project in GR for the past 15 years. That is just NIMBY-ism. That is likely why the city didn't bow to them and actually cleared these projects. They've heard it all before, and see the good far outweighs any potential annoyance.

 

These people have a perfect right to their opinion, and a perfect expectation to hear dissent from it.

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On 8/18/2016 at 0:43 PM, GR_Urbanist said:

Oh? So basically a tiny fraction of the number of people that actually live near this site.

In essence ultimately 3 cranks showed up to oppose something that clears the zoning laws, and even got the HPC to not block it. The city just doesn't scuttle things that meet all legal requirements because someone raises a stink.

The state isnt going to inject itself into this either because they get cases where far more people appeal far more significant developments for far better reasons.

 

Urbanist you're causing trouble in this thread too? Go give your mom a call or something and lighten up. 

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On 8/21/2016 at 10:10 AM, GR_Urbanist said:

Is there a magic solution? No, and there never will be without resorting to a more suburban model for building. Demanding that every development comes with a massive surface parking to accommodate every potential car that may or may not be there is simply not an argument, especially in a near downtown neighborhood that has no business thinking that as the city builds up and out, that they will be afforded a special "no new people here" status, because there are "pioneers", what ever that is...

What is important to recognize about Heritage Hill is that the bulk of it is a suburb, was originally designed as such, and due to the historic designation, will stay that way for the foreseeable future.  That "no new people" status isn't going to change, much.  The problem here is that some areas which are directly adjoining are zoned for much higher density. Butting up those two uses creates a situation which is ripe for conflict, most of it parking conflict.  You can wedge 150 people onto a 1/3 of an acre and it's no big deal.  But you cannot wedge their cars onto it.  So they either need to 1) not have them, or 2) keep them somewhere else.  Option 1 works fine.  Option 2 creates severe issues in this environment.

Assume the "they'll take the bus" concept fails, and tenants have the usual 1.25 cars per unit.  A parallel parking space takes, on average, about 20 feet.  Include driveway cut-outs, fire hydrants, bad parking jobs, and so forth, and a development that has 125 automobile users and zero on-site parking will consume 3500 linear feet of street.  To put that in perspective, that is almost every parking spot between Cherry and Wealthy on Prospect, Madison, and Morris, all of which are one-side parking.  That is 25 acres of street parking to service something that could easily be sited on a 1/3 acre.  This is not a tenable situation.  So let's say the neighbors start a petition, and the city imposes some sort of permit system where long-term "free" street parking is allocated to you based on how much land you own.  Or all the parking becomes time limited.  Or it becomes metered.  Whatever.  Now you have 1/3 of an acre, 100 units, and 125 cars with nowhere to go, no parking ramps, and nowhere to build one.  

So you can see the problems that arise when you try to do a high density development in an already built, non-demolishable suburban environment, and the "they won't bring cars" assumption fails.  The problem isn't that street parking just gets a little tighter.  The problem is that the whole development plan in my example unravels like wildfire, and the development becomes ridiculously un-dense, effectively sprawling over 25 acres of space. 

Edited by x99
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and then the developer is screwed, forecloses on the property and you have a large building that needs a bit of work to be useful, or gets rented out to people that can't afford a car. 

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On 8/21/2016 at 1:56 PM, GR_Urbanist said:

Ok... "causing trouble"? :P

" Go give your mom a call or something and lighten up. "

Thanks for the suggestion. She is fine, but badly shaken, after being in the direct path of a tornado in Wyoming.

btw I know what you were getting at. It just is a bit of an impolite way of telling me to "shut up" in light of stuff that happened yesterday, and I would just suggest as a moderator that you just politely in the future to just say something like this instead of snark ;):

 

"I realize that this is a contentious topic, with passionate people on both sides with good views, but let's all take a step back and let the process function for a bit, and see if we can get some of the other topics some attention".

 

I was trying to be nice. Next time I'll suspend you. 

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1 hour ago, GR_Urbanist said:

Care to explain why and not because of a difference of opinion? Because you have not explained anything outside of me "causing trouble", which isnt even something you bothered to elaborate on, and instead gave a swipe and said you were being "polite".

If you just dont like my position on topics, that is not grounds to suspend anyone, and you know this, and I will report this to the owners of the site.

Your job as moderator is to moderate discussion, not to use it to bully people into conforming to your opinion because you just dont like what they have to say.

If I wrong in my positions on these topic we talk about, then fine. All someone has to do is press reply and state where I'm incorrect.

Your condescension and disdain toward everyone and everything is getting old. And then to call the people who actually took time out of their day to go to this meeting names, and when it turns out on of those objectors is on this thread and you showed no conciliation shows that you may lack the class to participate in this forum anymore. Choice is yours. Contact the owner?? He'll probanly ban you in a new york minute. 

 

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