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Took a long 25 mile bike ride out past Knapp's Corner and into the belly of Ada and Ada Township this weekend. I haven't done one of these photo essays in a while, what a lot of work! Here's one

Looks like Brann's is gonna have to step up their game.

The skepticism I have with Meritage and these concepts is that it’s very difficult “flash create” a successful chain.  Almost every mainstream, or mid level restaurant chain out there started organica

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On 4/19/2021 at 11:19 AM, joeDowntown said:

I was reading through the planning commission agenda packet and saw this 4 story apartment building proposal just off the Beltline (South of Burton, behind the "Salespad" building). Looks like it would replace a gigantic, oversized parking lot:

 

Screen Shot 2021-04-19 at 11.16.16 AM.png

Wow, that's an interesting project. Not bad. I thought when you said Beltline it was going to be at Celebration Village. I'm shocked that one last parcel hasn't been filled in with apartments yet. 

I just got back from the Tampa/St Petersrburg area and I was fascinated by the infill projects. 8 - 12 story apartment buildings going up in the strangest areas and neighborhoods (like their planning people said screw it, build whatever you want wherever you want, we need housing). Like for instance, drop a 12 story building near Breton and Burton, right next to single family homes.

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1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

I just got back from the Tampa/St Petersrburg area and I was fascinated by the infill projects. 8 - 12 story apartment buildings going up in the strangest areas and neighborhoods (like their planning people said screw it, build whatever you want wherever you want, we need housing). 

When I was on City Commission in GR, Commissioner O Connor and I joked (in all honesty we were pretty serious) that the City should buy up underutilized or vacant retail lots along 28th street.  We were talking BIG lots of land.  And then declaring them Zoning Free Zones!  Meaning a developer could come along and try something different and unique on the lot.  As long as they could make it pencil out in their proforma...have at it.  We envisioned maybe a whole neighborhood being built with smaller homes, kind of like a cottage court, or some other creative buildings  not currently in the market.  Of course that went over like a lead balloon.

Tiny Homes Village set for final inspections » Albuquerque Journal

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8 minutes ago, ModSquad said:

When I was on City Commission in GR, Commissioner O Connor and I joked (in all honesty we were pretty serious) that the City should buy up underutilized or vacant retail lots along 28th street.  We were talking BIG lots of land.  And then declaring them Zoning Free Zones!  Meaning a developer could come along and try something different and unique on the lot.  As long as they could make it pencil out in their proforma...have at it.  We envisioned maybe a whole neighborhood being built with smaller homes, kind of like a cottage court, or some other creative buildings  not currently in the market.  Of course that went over like a lead balloon.

Tiny Homes Village set for final inspections » Albuquerque Journal

I'm not sure about  "zoning free", but certainly 28th Street zoning should definitely NOT strictly require suburban auto-oriented retail development. Housing/office/medical/mixed use should all be allowed. And there should be very few restrictions on height or large setback requirements.  GR, Wyoming, and Grandville have all moved in that direction. Not sure about Kentwood or Cascade. I know Grandville is considering removing all height restrictions from 28th Street in the area of the Castle...because once you have the Castle, what's the point in limiting the height of other buildings?

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23 hours ago, ModSquad said:

When I was on City Commission in GR, Commissioner O Connor and I joked (in all honesty we were pretty serious) that the City should buy up underutilized or vacant retail lots along 28th street.  We were talking BIG lots of land.  And then declaring them Zoning Free Zones!  Meaning a developer could come along and try something different and unique on the lot.  As long as they could make it pencil out in their proforma...have at it.  We envisioned maybe a whole neighborhood being built with smaller homes, kind of like a cottage court, or some other creative buildings  not currently in the market.  Of course that went over like a lead balloon.

Tiny Homes Village set for final inspections » Albuquerque Journal

Tiny House Project - Chatham Savannah Authority for the Homeless (homelessauthority.org)

I was in Savannah over spring break and came across this project of tiny homes for homeless veterans.  I think phase 2 is done and its up to 47 units and it looks great.  Savannah’s Tiny House Project for homeless vets enters second phase (wtoc.com)  Really wish we could do something like this here.

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33 minutes ago, grandrollerz said:

Tiny House Project - Chatham Savannah Authority for the Homeless (homelessauthority.org)

I was in Savannah over spring break and came across this project of tiny homes for homeless veterans.  I think phase 2 is done and its up to 47 units and it looks great.  Savannah’s Tiny House Project for homeless vets enters second phase (wtoc.com)  Really wish we could do something like this here.

I am VERY familiar with this project and echo your comment that it would be incredible to do a development like this in GR.  Again, I assert that some of the dead or dying retail along 28th would be a perfect spot for something like this.

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On 4/13/2021 at 8:02 AM, GRDadof3 said:

The Northeast Beltline area is exploding again. I haven't driven through there in a while and that big new apartment development at 4 Mile and EBL is built out/framed (I got a new drone I may get some drone shots). Every single building is built out. They're also clearing land at the office park just North of 3 Mile on the East Side on that little lake. Looks like something rather large is going to go in (or several office buildings). 

There's also new apartment buildings going in at 5 Mile and East Beltline on the West Side of the road. I think Orion also has apartment/townhouses planned for land that borders Kuyper College. 

Dang. 

 

I walk around that lake every day at lunch. It appears that they have just prepped the sites to sell them. I believe they are separated into 5 different lots.

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I thought this was interesting. With Gun Lake Casino rebuilding the onramp/offramp, a group of 13 property owners are trying to get their land annexed into Wayland (for water and sewer). If it happens, it'll be interesting to see that area grow in the next 10 years. 

https://grbj.com/news/real-estate/developers-eye-u-s-131-commerce-center/

Joe

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15 hours ago, joeDowntown said:

I thought this was interesting. With Gun Lake Casino rebuilding the onramp/offramp, a group of 13 property owners are trying to get their land annexed into Wayland (for water and sewer). If it happens, it'll be interesting to see that area grow in the next 10 years. 

https://grbj.com/news/real-estate/developers-eye-u-s-131-commerce-center/

Joe

I see this having a pretty good chance of going through. It will be interesting to see what gets put in. Most likely it will resemble the Cedar Springs exit (fast food, hotels, pharmacy, gas stations, etc).

Maybe we'll see the State's first Buc-ees gas station. Stopped at one of these in Georgia must have had 100 pumps (and about 50 toilets in the men's room). 

 

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7 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

I see this having a pretty good chance of going through. It will be interesting to see what gets put in. Most likely it will resemble the Cedar Springs exit (fast food, hotels, pharmacy, gas stations, etc).

Maybe we'll see the State's first Buc-ees gas station. Stopped at one of these in Georgia must have had 100 pumps (and about 50 toilets in the men's room). 

 

I went to one in Dallas and took photos to show friends. I did actually like it. Puts Speedway to shame.

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1 minute ago, egrguy said:

I went to one in Dallas and took photos to show friends. I did actually like it. Puts Speedway to shame.

speedway sucks as a company, obvious price gouging at least when they were an Ohio company maybe less so now that they sold out to the Japanese. Buccess is a little ridiculous and way more of a travel center/destination almost mini-walmart type and really only in the south, pretty sure if Waffle House isnt this far north, Buccess wont be for the foreseeable future especially with gas engines, prices and travel patterns changing rapidly. Best chain gas stations missing from this area are probably Kum and Go or Caseys General stores and theres also pretty much no travel center/newer truck stops outside of Holland. We are stuck with horrible selection of dingy non-exciting franchises of foreign global conglomerates like citgo (Venezuela), BP (UK and largest single source of pollution in Lake MI) of course Speedway (Jappanease). Crystal flash, 4-star and Admiral were all local until they sold out. Ago the local Citgo owner is probably the dirtiest. Even ExxonMobil where J&H a local franchisee has a big presence of modest generic stores by todays standards. Nationally I see much more of a trend improving the retail part that doesnt seem to be happening much here. The only hope for a local brand that has some character to expand would probably be Wesco but they dont seem to grow much especially not in GR. Gas station rant over....

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We were just out in Arizona and they had a chain called Maverik. Just looked it up and they seem to be all over the west. Not as big as Buc-ees but still very nice, in-between convenience store and grocery store. 

We saw a billboard for Buc-ees diving through the panhandle of Texas but were very bummed to learn there are none in the panhandle. 

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11 hours ago, Pattmost20 said:

We were just out in Arizona and they had a chain called Maverik. Just looked it up and they seem to be all over the west. Not as big as Buc-ees but still very nice, in-between convenience store and grocery store. 

We saw a billboard for Buc-ees diving through the panhandle of Texas but were very bummed to learn there are none in the panhandle. 

There were billboards all over Georgia for Buc-ees actually advertising how many toilets they have. Something like "50 Thrones, we have one waiting just for you!" with the big beaver. So we had to stop and check it out. People were actually shopping for clothes in there, lol. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looks like Wyoming finally gave up on having a “true downtown” and will instead focus on having different hubs throughout the city. They plan on doing this by replacing golf courses and other open land in the area with these community hub developments.

https://www.woodtv.com/news/kent-county/spark-new-plan-promises-change-to-wyomings-28th-street/?fbclid=IwAR13R_hsYuh60WrYAq4aCPQ1uh2-U8kiPhyZy6Nc0BYc4LFxEKIvOHygpeY

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3 hours ago, MJLO said:

Sometimes I wish Wyoming would give up on trying to be an independent city and just merge with GR lol.  A GR at 280k people in 70sq mi would be a lot more nationally relevant :D

Agreed. The place has little to no identity. It’s split between five school districts, has no downtown, and has a long suffering commercial corridor on 28th. Southwest Wyoming (the 49418/Grandville schools area) could merge with Grandville and the rest could merge with GR.

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They definitely win an award for most overhyped video montage. It reminds me a bit of the unfinished attraction videos in Jurassic park, mixed with those cool old Walt Disney Futureland videos (the music...). At one point, they even call 28th Street "famous". LOL. 

 

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Not sure if this should be here or restaurants, I dont visit mlive much at all anymore since the comments and free articles went away and now some are complete bias/agenda but saw this announcement and looks like a really cool addition to the Ada village thing going on there

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2021/05/garage-bar-grill-plans-new-ada-location.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=grandrapidspress_sf&fbclid=IwAR0sHKleeNRYf9ck8PUAL4gtBiESjHHUorOxOhf_JjIY3wHlSLKD4_qbBrs

but  with just a single story its begging for a rooftop section! 

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That is pretty interesting. That building (a house converted to offices) was one of the only properties that didn't sell to Amway when they snapping up properties. Wonder what changed. 

Haven't been to the Garage Bar and Grill. Is the Ottawa location any good?

Joe

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21 hours ago, joeDowntown said:

Haven't been to the Garage Bar and Grill. Is the Ottawa location any good?

It's an okay place, tasty bar burger. Draws a strange crowd of weekend warrior bikers and bros. 

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On 5/26/2021 at 2:29 PM, GR8scott said:

Not sure if this should be here or restaurants, I dont visit mlive much at all anymore since the comments and free articles went away and now some are complete bias/agenda but saw this announcement and looks like a really cool addition to the Ada village thing going on there

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2021/05/garage-bar-grill-plans-new-ada-location.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=grandrapidspress_sf&fbclid=IwAR0sHKleeNRYf9ck8PUAL4gtBiESjHHUorOxOhf_JjIY3wHlSLKD4_qbBrs

but  with just a single story its begging for a rooftop section! 

Totally should have a rooftop patio.  Now they need to just do something with that gas station. 

https://goo.gl/maps/9Cpj4vtkLPepQn396

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