Jump to content

GRLaker

Suburban Projects

Recommended Posts


2 hours ago, Pattmost20 said:

Which is funny because it is in Kent County. I know what you mean as most of Jenison and Hudsonville shop there, and most people associate Grandville with the other burbs to the west. Even the fact that Bill Huizenga has his office right there in Grandville always throws me off, as I associate the Second District mostly with Ottawa County.

As for the mall I do hope they go the route of renovation instead of just trying to sell it off. Working out there I notice that the streets are busy, the restaurants are busy, most of the shops along Rivertown Parkway are busy, yet the mall feels dead. It needs to go the way of Eastbrook/Centerpoint and de-mall.

Grandville is the gateway to Ottawa County and is culturally very similar to Jenison and Hudsonville. Hudsonville is the hot suburb right now, but it has never been a retail center. My wife has shopped at the beautiful new Meijer in Hudsonville often and she says the place is routinely dead compared to the junky Jenison Meijer and the Grandville Meijer. Jenison's retail is on its last legs. It really is bizarre. It's as if the Ottawa County suburban dwellers would prefer to drive into Grandville as opposed to hosting their own retail. 

I also agree that I hope they de-mall the place. With it being 2 story, they have a very unique advantage compared to Woodland and Centerpoint. They could gut the interior, put a road through it, and build up the exteriors to be retail on the ground level and housing on top. I recently shopped at a mall like that in Estero, FL and really liked the concept. Anytime I see one like it, I think that is something this area is really missing when it comes to retail. Below is the Coconut Point example. The road obviously wouldn't be as wide, but you get the general idea.

coconut-point-fashion-dr-both-sides.jpg?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MJLO said:

A big part of Rivertown's problem was the total lack of investment by GGP over the last 10 years.  It virtually looks the same as it did the day it opened(minus the visible wear and neglect of the facilities).   Woodland is a property that is more than 30 years older than Rivertown.  It has received a steady stream of investment and re-imaging over the last 20 years, which is why it's in a much healthier position.   The notion that this area is too small for the kind of investment needed to bring the Rivertown to a healthy level is absurd.   Show me another 1.5 million person growing retail market that can't support 2 super regional centers.  Again we are being told by "experts" outside of West Michigan that the area is "too small".   In this case the Mi-Biz article is relying on expertise from the director of a Detroit area real estate firm.   It could be that Brookfield Capital only invests in properties in 2 million+ markets who knows.   In that case by all means put lipstick on that piggy and flip it to a company that will actually invest in it.   

Never forget that outside "experts" were behind the decision for Bank of America to more or less vacate this market.  Then only to rush back into GR as a "new" market a couple years later(once they realized the level of economic potential and growth they abandoned).   My favorite example of outside "experts" underestimating this area would be Trader Joe's.  They built a smaller format store that could be converted to something else when it didn't work out.  Three years later they still have to store extra product outside behind the building, because they don't have anywhere near the storage space they need to support the volume at that location.    I don't know if the Western Michigan commercial real estate and economic development arms need to do a better job of educating outside "experts" on the true potential of the area.   Perhaps the people making these decisions from offices in major metropolitan areas need to adjust the formulaic ways they make these decisions.   What's clear is they consistently get it wrong here. 

Yeah, I don't understand why MiBiz thought it necessary to contact some random guy at a random "turnaround firm" in a city 3 hours away from Grand Rapids to discuss a mall he likely has never heard of and make assumptions about said mall in the eyes of a company he likely has never talked to in regards to said mall. Honestly...The whole being the little brother to Detroit in this state never ends, despite our massive success from both an economic and population growth standpoint.

Edited by GRLaker
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, GRLaker said:

Grandville is the gateway to Ottawa County and is culturally very similar to Jenison and Hudsonville. Hudsonville is the hot suburb right now, but it has never been a retail center. My wife has shopped at the beautiful new Meijer in Hudsonville often and she says the place is routinely dead compared to the junky Jenison Meijer and the Grandville Meijer. Jenison's retail is on its last legs. It really is bizarre. It's as if the Ottawa County suburban dwellers would prefer to drive into Grandville as opposed to hosting their own retail. 

The emergence of the Rivertown corridor is the very thing that lead to the demise of Jenison's retail presence.   Crossing from the Ottawa County suburbs into Grandville, is tantamount to crossing into Wyoming from Grandville.   I think it's the lack in uniform development infrastructure that makes them feel more separate.  It's a six minute freeway ride from Hudsonville to Grandville.  I don't think there's much value in trying to create a retail corridor in Hudsonville/Jennison.  It's the equivalent of feeling that Cascade and Ada should have a retail corridor separate from the 28th and EBL area IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Pattmost20 said:

Which is funny because it is in Kent County. I know what you mean as most of Jenison and Hudsonville shop there, and most people associate Grandville with the other burbs to the west. Even the fact that Bill Huizenga has his office right there in Grandville always throws me off, as I associate the Second District mostly with Ottawa County.

As for the mall I do hope they go the route of renovation instead of just trying to sell it off. Working out there I notice that the streets are busy, the restaurants are busy, most of the shops along Rivertown Parkway are busy, yet the mall feels dead. It needs to go the way of Eastbrook/Centerpoint and de-mall.

True, it is in Kent County. I always forget. People come from Holland and Zeeland too to shop at Rivertown. Grand Havenites probably go up to the Lakes Mall in Norton Shores. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

True, it is in Kent County. I always forget. People come from Holland and Zeeland too to shop at Rivertown. Grand Havenites probably go up to the Lakes Mall in Norton Shores. 

 

Very true. Rivertown was really what killed the Lakeshore Mall in Holland. They have attempted to de-mall it and have had little luck finding tenants. People in that area either shop downtown Holland or they go to Grandville. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I might just be behind the times, but what is the obsession with "de-malling" malls? I don't see what benefit it confers to take an interior space and make it exterior, or why it seems a foregone conclusion that it's the only way forward.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, ZAP! said:

I might just be behind the times, but what is the obsession with "de-malling" malls? I don't see what benefit it confers to take an interior space and make it exterior, or why it seems a foregone conclusion that it's the only way forward.

I wouldn't say it is the only way forward. I personally think it offers the benefits of having a large collection of stores in a small area  so you can walk around and shop a bit, while allowing the convenience to pull right up to the store you are going to  for quick in and out . I know at Malls you can park near whatever store you are trying to shop at, however last time I went into Rivertown on my lunch break having to navigate the mall parking lot and small number of entrances added a lot of time to the experience. That was probably over a year ago, haven't been back since.

Besides just the inconveniences, the building feels massive and empty. It is depressing. I know renovating it and getting more tenants that actually draw people in would change that feeling, however I just think those dollars would be better spent de-malling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, ZAP! said:

I might just be behind the times, but what is the obsession with "de-malling" malls? I don't see what benefit it confers to take an interior space and make it exterior, or why it seems a foregone conclusion that it's the only way forward.

Well a mall is more expensive to build and operate than a de-mall.

 
But I agree with you.  Note that on the photo that GRLaker posted that there are palm trees lining the street.  Just my opinion but I think that this is just a trendy retail concept that started in some place with a warmer year-round climate and little inclement weather, probably California.  Some place where you’re not going to encounter rain or snow very often when walking between stores outside.  It is sort of like around here in the fifties when they started building tri-level mid century modern houses with carports rather than garages because having a carport was a cool thing in California.  Most of those carports have since been converted to clunky looking but practical enclosed garages.


I’ve got a bias towards malls though even though I rarely shop in them.  They are where I do my daily long exercise walk when the weather is bad.  
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, ZAP! said:

I might just be behind the times, but what is the obsession with "de-malling" malls? I don't see what benefit it confers to take an interior space and make it exterior, or why it seems a foregone conclusion that it's the only way forward.

Back when malls were a big thing (I think of the movies Valley Girls and Weird Science), people used to go to the mall for the whole experience, and spend hours there eating and shopping. I used to work in a mall as a teenager; it was THE thing to do on weekends for a lot of teenagers. 

People don't really do that anymore. My wife goes to the de-malled Center Pointe Mall a lot. But she'll go and hit 1, MAYBE 2 stores. And you can park right in front of the store you want sometimes (however it's pretty busy the few times I've gone and you rarely get a front row spot). She ain't got time to navigate the entire mall to go to one store in an indoor mall. And my teenage girls rarely go to the mall anymore. 

The outlet mall in Byron Center is a strange hybrid. It's like a mall without the roof. It apparently stays busy though. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, walker said:

Well a mall is more expensive to build and operate than a de-mall.

 
But I agree with you.  Note that on the photo that GRLaker posted that there are palm trees lining the street.  Just my opinion but I think that this is just a trendy retail concept that started in some place with a warmer year-round climate and little inclement weather, probably California.  Some place where you’re not going to encounter rain or snow very often when walking between stores outside.  It is sort of like around here in the fifties when they started building tri-level mid century modern houses with carports rather than garages because having a carport was a cool thing in California.  Most of those carports have since been converted to clunky looking but practical enclosed garages.


I’ve got a bias towards malls though even though I rarely shop in them.  They are where I do my daily long exercise walk when the weather is bad.  
 

I wouldn't say that climate is the deciding factor in the success of a de-malling. I went to a similar mall in the Cleveland area a few years ago and the place was quite full in the middle of a lake effect snow storm. I think more than anything, we have shifted to being a culture that wants the "Main Street" feel in our shopping experience. We want to be able to drive up to our destination, walk tree-lined sidewalks, live above the stores and restaurants. It's a shift back to a time before the large indoor mall was a thing. I don't think that new shift in demand will be going anywhere anytime soon, even in the era of Amazon.

Grand Rapids is a metro area of over 1 million and we're one of the few cities of that size or larger that I have been to that doesn't have a "Main Street" type of mall. Anytime I have been to one, I wonder why we're so slow to adapt to this trend. That is why I hope Rivertown goes in this direction. I think it would not only be the ideal site to have this due to it being two story, but I also think it would be quite successful. In my opinion, Bookfield would be foolish to put lipstick on the pig and sell it off as-is to a smaller mall management company. The cost would be high to city-fy it, but I believe it would pay off in the long run. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

The outlet mall in Byron Center is a strange hybrid. It's like a mall without the roof. It apparently stays busy though

This outlet mall is interesting because it's almost designed to feel like you are walking downtown in a city full of stores, whereas the reality couldn't be further from the truth. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/11/2018 at 9:53 AM, jonrapley said:

This outlet mall is interesting because it's almost designed to feel like you are walking downtown in a city full of stores, whereas the reality couldn't be further from the truth. 

Exactly.

They're clearing land all over the metro area for new projects that I've seen lately and I can't recall now where I saw them all. :) I'm just driving around going "Hey look at that?" and "Hey, what's that?" (runs home to search the internet). I'll try:

One is the new TJ Maxx's at Knapp's Crossing. Foundation is in. for those who care lol. 

Another I saw is a large parcel being cleared in the Walkerview project that borders I-96., right by Bristol. There's also a hotel going up near Walker Avenue in this development I noticed. 

I also read that a 143 townhouse/condo project was approved for land just off Maryland by I-196. I had no idea it was even going through approvals. Supposed to start early 2019.  This is not that church property by Michigan and Maryland, but a different project. 

The townhouses on Spaulding near Cascade Rd are almost finished. Holy unremarkable batman. In the same area, a large retirement community is going in behind Old National Bank (used to be Founders Bank and Trust) on that land on Spaulding that was for sale for about a decade. 

They're building something next to the Fresh Market on Burton near EGR. McGraw Construction is the contractor. Those townhouses back there were supposed to kick off soon.  The Breton Village de-mall almost looks finished. Nicely done. Heading to Fitzgerald's new store today to do some Christmas shopping. 

That big apartment complex at the SE corner of Lake Michigan Drive and Wilson has started (tree clearing). Huge. 

A bunch of new retail and office going in out in Allendale along LMD, West of the University. 

Anyone been by the new Woodland - Von Maur wing lately? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

Exactly.

They're clearing land all over the metro area for new projects that I've seen lately and I can't recall now where I saw them all. :) I'm just driving around going "Hey look at that?" and "Hey, what's that?" (runs home to search the internet). I'll try:

One is the new TJ Maxx's at Knapp's Crossing. Foundation is in. for those who care lol. 

Another I saw is a large parcel being cleared in the Walkerview project that borders I-96., right by Bristol. There's also a hotel going up near Walker Avenue in this development I noticed. 

I also read that a 143 townhouse/condo project was approved for land just off Maryland by I-196. I had no idea it was even going through approvals. Supposed to start early 2019.  This is not that church property by Michigan and Maryland, but a different project. 

The townhouses on Spaulding near Cascade Rd are almost finished. Holy unremarkable batman. In the same area, a large retirement community is going in behind Old National Bank (used to be Founders Bank and Trust) on that land on Spaulding that was for sale for about a decade. 

They're building something next to the Fresh Market on Burton near EGR. McGraw Construction is the contractor. Those townhouses back there were supposed to kick off soon.  The Breton Village de-mall almost looks finished. Nicely done. Heading to Fitzgerald's new store today to do some Christmas shopping. 

That big apartment complex at the SE corner of Lake Michigan Drive and Wilson has started (tree clearing). Huge. 

A bunch of new retail and office going in out in Allendale along LMD, West of the University. 

Anyone been by the new Woodland - Von Maur wing lately? 

I haven't taken a picture of it because...why would I? BUT - yes - Von Maur is looking like a fully built store with a lot of the facade on. It's nothing jaw-dropping but it is a very attractive building. The REI is also pretty much built, and I'm sure the facade isn't far behind. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

Anyone been by the new Woodland - Von Maur wing lately? 

I was there earlier this week. It's coming along nicely. Looks like it's mostly interior stuff left for the most part. It was dark outside though, so I could be wrong. Also saw what I think is going to be the REI building being worked on.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

Exactly.

They're clearing land all over the metro area for new projects that I've seen lately and I can't recall now where I saw them all. :) I'm just driving around going "Hey look at that?" and "Hey, what's that?" (runs home to search the internet). I'll try:

One is the new TJ Maxx's at Knapp's Crossing. Foundation is in. for those who care lol. 

Another I saw is a large parcel being cleared in the Walkerview project that borders I-96., right by Bristol. There's also a hotel going up near Walker Avenue in this development I noticed. 

I also read that a 143 townhouse/condo project was approved for land just off Maryland by I-196. I had no idea it was even going through approvals. Supposed to start early 2019.  This is not that church property by Michigan and Maryland, but a different project. 

The townhouses on Spaulding near Cascade Rd are almost finished. Holy unremarkable batman. In the same area, a large retirement community is going in behind Old National Bank (used to be Founders Bank and Trust) on that land on Spaulding that was for sale for about a decade. 

They're building something next to the Fresh Market on Burton near EGR. McGraw Construction is the contractor. Those townhouses back there were supposed to kick off soon.  The Breton Village de-mall almost looks finished. Nicely done. Heading to Fitzgerald's new store today to do some Christmas shopping. 

That big apartment complex at the SE corner of Lake Michigan Drive and Wilson has started (tree clearing). Huge. 

A bunch of new retail and office going in out in Allendale along LMD, West of the University. 

Anyone been by the new Woodland - Von Maur wing lately? 

Was there this weekend. If you enter/exit the mall through the temporary entrance (behind Celebration Cinema) they have the barrier wall up with a couple of viewing walls for you to "peek" in and see the progress. The mall expansion and Von Maur wing is just one huge open space right now, only concrete and framework. I'm assuming they're working on getting as much exterior work done before winter really hits then they'll start the interior. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

Exactly.

They're clearing land all over the metro area for new projects that I've seen lately and I can't recall now where I saw them all. :) I'm just driving around going "Hey look at that?" and "Hey, what's that?" (runs home to search the internet). I'll try:

One is the new TJ Maxx's at Knapp's Crossing. Foundation is in. for those who care lol. 

Another I saw is a large parcel being cleared in the Walkerview project that borders I-96., right by Bristol. There's also a hotel going up near Walker Avenue in this development I noticed. 

I also read that a 143 townhouse/condo project was approved for land just off Maryland by I-196. I had no idea it was even going through approvals. Supposed to start early 2019.  This is not that church property by Michigan and Maryland, but a different project. 

The townhouses on Spaulding near Cascade Rd are almost finished. Holy unremarkable batman. In the same area, a large retirement community is going in behind Old National Bank (used to be Founders Bank and Trust) on that land on Spaulding that was for sale for about a decade. 

They're building something next to the Fresh Market on Burton near EGR. McGraw Construction is the contractor. Those townhouses back there were supposed to kick off soon.  The Breton Village de-mall almost looks finished. Nicely done. Heading to Fitzgerald's new store today to do some Christmas shopping. 

That big apartment complex at the SE corner of Lake Michigan Drive and Wilson has started (tree clearing). Huge. 

A bunch of new retail and office going in out in Allendale along LMD, West of the University. 

Anyone been by the new Woodland - Von Maur wing lately? 

Thanks for the updates!  It's a start to a little bit of relief from the housing crunch, I think developers are starting to catch on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They're finally clearing out that janky "gold" business at the corner of LMD and Wilson (the last undeveloped corner in Standale).  New development will be called Westown: apartments and retail along both drives.  If you haven't been in this area, the development stretches far to the South, well beyond the Wilson Ave entrance into Meijer. 

 

1974508939_westowndemolition.thumb.jpg.ab39681ea38a734d1f7fd75ecb1b25f4.jpg

 

1397904726_Westowndevelopment.thumb.JPG.e85cf2c0de3562e1566758381688c46e.JPG

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That makes me wonder when, if ever Wilson will be upgraded to handle the volume of traffic that drives on that stretch daily.     Wilson Ave between 28th and LMD is probably the perfect example in this area of the state of Michigan ignoring 60 year old infrastructure designed to handle 1/2 to 1/3 the volume it carries.  This development looks pretty significant, I  can see it only adding to the current bottlenecks.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

It was only a matter of time. Now I wonder if it's another situation where Brookfield doesn't actually own the anchor store like the situation they have with Younkers. My hope is that they acquire both buildings (if they don't already own the Sears building) and move forward with a total revitalization. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/5/2019 at 10:29 PM, walker said:

So there used to be a combination laundromat / drycleaner in the Ramblewood Shopping Center Strip Mall off 44th Street.  A few years ago, the owners closed the laundromat part and moved the dry-cleaning business across the street to a new strip mall on the south side of 44th.  Same name and same owners as far as I know.  Now CWD, the new owner of the shopping center property, has been awarded a MDEQ Brownfield grant and a loan in the amounts of $202,000 and $433,000 respectively.  The money is supposedly to be used primarily to remediate the environmental contamination caused by the dry-cleaning business.  If I understand how the loan works, it is not so much a loan as it is a tax abatement since it will be paid out of future taxes on the redeveloped property.  What I don’t understand is that the old shopping center isn’t abandoned property and the business that caused the alleged contamination isn’t long gone, it still exists and is a going concern that is located just a couple hundred feet away.  Why isn’t the current property owner and/or the business that caused the contamination responsible for the clean-up?  Say in a few years the dry cleaner moves again, maybe back across the street, can the strip mall owner on the south side of the street then also get free money from the state and city?  If the dry-cleaning business is so toxic, why are they allowed at all?   

MDEQ press release about grant and loan

MLIVE article: 640K state assistance

That's a very good question. Companies that are still in existence should not be absolved of their contamination issues. The whole point of Brownfield was to remediate a site where the violators are not around anymore, or too difficult to trace who the violators are.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.