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Just the scale of Faust's project compared to Plaza Towers and the AGP always cracked me up.

News coming relatively soon on this. I will TRY and break some news here first, if possible.  

Ummmm, guys...       http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2017/12/see_the_201_market_proposal.html

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Seems like odd timing as it looks like developer conditions are about to enter a lull.  I know there's no where to park, but there really needs to be another major job source downtown other than Spectrum(i.e. corporate headquarters) , if it's ever truly going to get to that next level.

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5 hours ago, MJLO said:

Seems like odd timing as it looks like developer conditions are about to enter a lull.  I know there's no where to park, but there really needs to be another major job source downtown other than Spectrum(i.e. corporate headquarters) , if it's ever truly going to get to that next level.

Agreed. It doesn't appear that the big companies are willing to leave their tax friendly suburban locations either. 

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15 hours ago, MJLO said:

Seems like odd timing as it looks like developer conditions are about to enter a lull.  I know there's no where to park, but there really needs to be another major job source downtown other than Spectrum(i.e. corporate headquarters) , if it's ever truly going to get to that next level.

On the flip side, maybe a large plot of land on the riverfront will open up talks that wouldn't occur in normal market conditions/downtown investment?

Joe

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I have not heard of this "lull" of which you speak.  The economic forecasts I read point to a slowing of multi-unit residential development;  read "SLOWING" not "LULL"/"STOP".  This site clearly has some special attributes - we'll see what happens.  That slowing is also relative to what has been a frenzied build out.

Edited by whitemice
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49 minutes ago, whitemice said:

I have not heard of this "lull" of which you speak.  The economic forecasts I read point to a slowing of multi-unit residential development;  read "SLOWING" not "LULL"/"STOP".  This site clearly has some special attributes - we'll see what happens.  That slowing is also relative to what has been a frenzied build out.

The context in which I was using the word "lull" was indicitive of a slowdown, not a stop.  A lot of the fuel that propelled the last 3-4 years of growth has been tapped.  The office market which was hot in 2014-15 has slowed, and apartments are about to hit a saturation point.  That's not a doom and gloom prediction, more something that has been observed as new projects have started to slow, or not come to fruition.  People will move into all of the new units built downtown and demand will reignite.  But in terms of retail, the next level of mass transit, and overall vibe, Grand Rapids will not hit that next level until there is another shot in the arm of people who have to be downtown.   The biggest thing the city lacks in comparison to the cities it's trying to be like, is the presence of not even one corporate headquarters.  Grand Rapids has 4 Fortune 500 sized companies in the area.  All of them are growing, all of them are firmly entrenched in the suburbs.  It would be amazing if the city could some how incentivize a big one to move in from outside of the region.  Even one of the big companies headquartered in one of the smaller cities in the state (i.e. Dow, Kellogg, Whirlpool)  I know it'd never happen, but it's nice to have wishful thinking sometimes :) .  Especially a progressive company like Kellogg that only stays in Battle Creek because of it's legacy, but is held back in recruiting because of the not as attractiveness of it's locale.  

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2 hours ago, whitemice said:

I have not heard of this "lull" of which you speak.  The economic forecasts I read point to a slowing of multi-unit residential development;  read "SLOWING" not "LULL"/"STOP".  This site clearly has some special attributes - we'll see what happens.  That slowing is also relative to what has been a frenzied build out.

I've noticed a lull in new project announcements. Anything sizable, that is. The last one I believe was Hinman, which was 7 or 8 months ago. 

So anything that would go on 201 Market would have to be a speculative project. Same with the property by MSU. If companies were chomping at the bit to get downtown, it seems like something would've been announced there already. The other possible uses are hotels, which we seem to have a lot of those in the works, and residential, which we also seem to have a lot in the works. 

But that one developer, Bergler I believe was his name? He expressed interest in the 201 site a while ago. Didn't he have a plan laid out? 

Ah yeah, here it is:

https://mibiz.com/news/real-estate/item/21797-park-it-elsewhere-developer-asks-gr-to-reconsider-parking-lot-along-grand-river

It seems to me that the city usually puts out an RFQ when someone expresses an interest in a city-owned property, so it doesn't look like they're playing favorites. They may even have to do it by law. So my guess is that someone's already interested in it. 

 

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9 minutes ago, wingbert said:

This would be a great place for a vertical mall, some towers for office and residential customers, and even a hydrogen power plant.

It think you're right.  Do you think this will pull Suzanne Geha out of retirement?

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1 hour ago, wingbert said:

This would be a great place for a vertical mall, some towers for office and residential customers, and even a hydrogen power plant.

From leaked images I heard it looks something like this. Notice the UFO. It includes an alien spaceport. The new administration is still trying to figure out if real aliens can be detained at the border. Could be a deal breaker for this project. LOL

 

IMG_4045.JPG

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1 hour ago, joeDowntown said:

From leaked images I heard it looks something like this. Notice the UFO. It includes an alien spaceport. The new administration is still trying to figure out if real aliens can be detained at the border. Could be a deal breaker for this project. LOL

 

IMG_4045.JPG

Just from looking at it I can tell it's 100% shovel ready.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm looking forward to seeing what this RFQ produces since this area is one of 15 "opportunity sites" identified in the the GR Forward Plan.

201 Market Bird's Eye.png

This could be a great demonstration of flood wall removal and improved access to The Grand. Is the concrete pad under the east side of the RR bridge used for emergency personnel boat access? If one of the goals is to make this section of river navigable, does that mean the swinging RR bridge will finally be put to use? :D

GR-Fwd-Fig-2.23-201-Market-Street-Concept-Option-B.jpg

GR-Fwd-Fig-A1.11-201-Market-Street-aerial-view.jpg

GR-Fwd-Fig-A1.1-201-Market-Street-Birdseye-view.jpg

My vote is to leave the island untouched.

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On 2/18/2017 at 0:11 PM, Quercus said:

I'm looking forward to seeing what this RFQ produces since this area is one of 15 "opportunity sites" identified in the the GR Forward Plan.

201 Market Bird's Eye.png

This could be a great demonstration of flood wall removal and improved access to The Grand. Is the concrete pad under the east side of the RR bridge used for emergency personnel boat access? If one of the goals is to make this section of river navigable, does that mean the swinging RR bridge will finally be put to use? :D

GR-Fwd-Fig-2.23-201-Market-Street-Concept-Option-B.jpg

GR-Fwd-Fig-A1.11-201-Market-Street-aerial-view.jpg

GR-Fwd-Fig-A1.1-201-Market-Street-Birdseye-view.jpg

My vote is to leave the island untouched.

Is that railroad line going to be vacated for sure? 

That's an interesting document too. I hadn't seen that before (I know, hard to believe ;) )

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I haven't heard anything about the RR line being vacated. I believe someone on here said it's still in use by Amtrak as the route between the station and overnight storage. Plus, that bridge and line will be important for commuter rail to the lake shore...someday ^_^

I too feel maintaining a park on that island would be difficult. It would probably end up being more concrete than sand. Plus, I kind of like the thought of kayakers having a little destination to explore that's not accessible without a boat.

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1 hour ago, EastownLeo said:

That island gets fully covered in water most winters after thaw. A "park" would get washed away. Its pretty much a sandbar with trees on it. I do not think much could be done with it.

 

There were three islands at one time and this is the last remnant I believe of island three.  Indians lived on the islands in the summer.  Speaking of flooding, Charles Belknap, of Belknap Hill fame, mentioned the annual flooding when he wrote of what the islands had looked like when he was a boy in the 1850’s.  I posted this quote in a slightly different context several years ago:

. . . even then the three islands were almost without a blemish. Indians never built a fire at the foot of a tree and the high water flooded the islands each year washed them free of all refuse of their camps. The heavy covering of grass and plants prevented washing of the soil. The prevailing west winds wafted the odors of the trees and flowers over the village.

May not an old man today be forgiven for a longing that this beautiful playground of his boyhood might have been spared for his great-grandchildren? Only men of deep thinking can tell you how long nature was in creating and clothing these islands, but any school boy with a piece of chalk can figure how long man was in obliterating the last traces of them.

 

Seems like there might be a chance to restore this last trace as part of the river restoration.  Maybe there should be a marker on the island or the adjacent shore (above the high water mark of course) with Belknap’s thoughts.

 

Belknap wrote a series of columns for the Grand Rapids Press back in the nineteen-twenties.  They were collected and published as a book called The Yesterdays of Grand Rapids.  The link points to the short chapter called “The Islands” from which I excerpted the above quote: 

http://archive.org/stream/yesterdaysofgran00belk#page/128/mode/2up

Surprisingly the book is still in print.

53 minutes ago, Quercus said:

I too feel maintaining a park on that island would be difficult. It would probably end up being more concrete than sand. Plus, I kind of like the thought of kayakers having a little destination to explore that's not accessible without a boat.

Well, it would have to be designed with the flooding in mind, Riverside Park floods many years too.

Edited by walker
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Kind of like the "island" along the river by Baker Furniture Company and that railroad bridge, I think it serves as a "tent city" for homeless people. Any park/greenspace that can't occasionally be patrolled by police is a magnet for illicit behavior. 

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  • GRDadof3 changed the title to RFP - 201 Market

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