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City looking to build "Wedge Lot" parking ramp and mixed use - across from VAA


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I'll start a thread on this and then incorporate it into the parking thread eventually. Wonder what thoughts are on this.

The "wedge lot" that most of us are familiar with at Fulton and Ionia is back on the market after CWD ended its option on it. The city itself is looking to add a 200 space parking ramp..... wait for it :) .... with ground floor retail and either 1 floor of office space at the top (floor 7) or add three levels of office space (floors 7-10). 

Which would you rather see? Since everyone on here likes height I can imagine what the answer will be. 

The city would look for a private developer to partner with on this (somewhat similar to 38 Commerce I would imagine). 

In an interesting twist, the parking floors will be flat and with 10' clearance, so that they entire building could be converted to office space down the road. 

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Can't judge it until the texture finishes loading.

This is just... bizarre.  I really love how the illustration has two bikes, two cars, and four or five pedestrians.  All that's missing are a few cows munching on grass in a median.  Reality would sho

I'll start a thread on this and then incorporate it into the parking thread eventually. Wonder what thoughts are on this. The "wedge lot" that most of us are familiar with at Fulton and Ionia is

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In looking at those aerials, and with the new hotel going in at 10 Ionia, I think it's time that the city looks at doing something to reduce the width of Fulton. It's obscenely wide in this part of downtown.  I know it's been highlighted in many of the GRForward plans.

I know the city was looking at the Cultural Trail in Indianapolis to replicate here. Would be cool to see a recreational "trail" that is multi-use (not more bike-only lanes frankly) that runs along Fulton from Division down to the riverfront.  It could be used by cyclists but also by runners, walkers, etc.. The sidewalks could stay in place as well for people wary of walking with bikes around.  

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It'd also be an opportunity, with the new "wedge lot" project, to tie Studio Park to Fulton. Make the wedge building have a large architectural feature (terminating vista) at the end of the "Arena Trail" that runs between the arena and the Ionia businesses. 

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While height is fun and all, with the ability to convert the parking floors to office space, it seems to make sense to keep it at 7 floors, for the sake of cost and practicality.  I know office vacancies are low right now, but the 5/3 building, 50 Monroe, and studio park all in the mix in the next couple of years, its hard to imagine the demand being there for even more office space.  

It just doesn't seem like businesses are tripping over each other to get downtown.  I suppose that maybe changes with all that parking they would be adding, but I suspect it would only affect demand at the margins :dontknow: 

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I hope they go big. It's a great location, and I'd prefer to not have a lot of "dead space" along Fulton. More office space would bring more workers to that intersection. And they have a pretty good selling proposition with parking below. 

Parking *IS* a problem for businesses looking to move or expand downtown. This definitely would make the office space desirable.

Joe

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1 hour ago, discgrab21 said:

While height is fun and all, with the ability to convert the parking floors to office space, it seems to make sense to keep it at 7 floors, for the sake of cost and practicality.  I know office vacancies are low right now, but the 5/3 building, 50 Monroe, and studio park all in the mix in the next couple of years, its hard to imagine the demand being there for even more office space.  

It just doesn't seem like businesses are tripping over each other to get downtown.  I suppose that maybe changes with all that parking they would be adding, but I suspect it would only affect demand at the margins :dontknow: 

In reading the application it looks like they're going to leave it up to the developer partner. It'd be a great way to get a 4 story office building downtown with built-in parking and the land probably paid for. 

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What I'd almost like to see is a shorter, 3 or 4 story statement building.  But that's not practical, given the need for added parking to support growth.  A ramp with the quality of the Cherry/Commerce or Monroe Center ramp, coupled with office space on top thus becomes the reasonable option.  I don't think the final height here makes a significant aesthetic difference.  Both are tall enough that the buildings won't be very "personable", yet short enough that the final height will not make a meaningful skyline difference or variance in building heights.  It's a wash either way.

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7 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

Which would you rather see?

Meh. 

Anything is better than a surface parking lot, so that is a win.

Ground level activation is a win.

As long as it at least matches the height of the ramp, meh.  More actually useful space is gravy on the taters.

 

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7 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

I think it's time that the city looks at doing something to reduce the width of Fulton

Agree, but I do not see that happening; there is not the political will required to push through the blow back from reducing right-of-way.

If anything happens to Fulton - and my money is on nothing - it will likely be the dynamic lanes concept, but maybe signalized instead of just signed (like Monroe). 

Then the right lane can be open to traffic, closed, or restricted to mass transit based on a schedule or adaptive to traffic patterns.  That could help a lot with prioritizing transit service during events or at rush hour as well as effectively narrowing the street for pedestrians.  Yet doesn't look like you are taking space away from cars.   It seems like the perfect "well, lets be reasonable" hand wavy West Michigan solution.

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I don't think I can agree on reducing the width of Fulton. It's such an important arterial road. Like the ideal of replacing excess parking for active use, in practice it can go too far and cause more problems than it solves, and I think that'd be the case here. The cost (traffic congestion) for Fulton just seems too great for the benefit. And as we can see from Michigan St in Chicago, urban fabric and activity can span a wide road with ease.

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3 hours ago, tSlater said:

I don't think I can agree on reducing the width of Fulton. It's such an important arterial road. Like the ideal of replacing excess parking for active use, in practice it can go too far and cause more problems than it solves, and I think that'd be the case here. The cost (traffic congestion) for Fulton just seems too great for the benefit. And as we can see from Michigan St in Chicago, urban fabric and activity can span a wide road with ease.

I just think that there will be so much pedestrian traffic crossing Fulton mid block there (evenings and weekends) that something may have to be done. 

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2 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

I just think that there will be so much pedestrian traffic crossing Fulton mid block there (evenings and weekends) that something may have to be done. 

Pedestrian bridge!

https://www.google.com/search?q=横断歩道橋&tbm=isch

... ignoring all the impracticalities for people with disabilities, or anyone who just doesn't like stairs.

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Here's the GRForward vision for Fulton, which I think is not the right way to go. On-street parking won't work in that section. That would be like adding on-street parking on Michigan Street in its heaviest traffic areas. 

 

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Anyway, back to the Wedge Lot project. :)

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Maybe it’s just my perception, but it seems like CWD has bitten off a lot more than they can handle. They have done some great work downtown over the years dating back to theie Second Story Properties days, but there was no movement on this or the Fifth Third campus for quite a while now. And the 50 Monroe Place is taking a very long time. 

Again, not judging them by the quality of their work or what they’ve done for downtown in the past, but their new projects are at best moving at a snail’s pace, and at worst dead in the water. 

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1 hour ago, Prankster said:

Maybe it’s just my perception, but it seems like CWD has bitten off a lot more than they can handle. They have done some great work downtown over the years dating back to theie Second Story Properties days, but there was no movement on this or the Fifth Third campus for quite a while now. And the 50 Monroe Place is taking a very long time. 

Again, not judging them by the quality of their work or what they’ve done for downtown in the past, but their new projects are at best moving at a snail’s pace, and at worst dead in the water. 

CWD no longer has an option on that lot. This is being driven by the city with the goal of finding a developer partner on it. Seems like every local developer has a boatload of projects going on so it will be interesting to see who bites. 

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Yeah I don't know the inner workings at CWD but I'd hesitate to go so far as to say they've bitten off more than they can chew.  They tend to be pretty shrewd in what they take on and are backed by some of the most successful names in W. Mich Development.   They acquire properties and then go silent on plans, while doing a bunch of work in the background.  They have also been reorganizing tenants as they renovate/repurpose their properties.  My guess is that's what's happening while they are in the midst of the 50 Monroe transition.   Based on their history I'd speculate they would have big plans for the 5/3rd center which is in a dated, glorified suburban office park.  They wouldn't announce until they secured what ever they were going to do.  They've got a lot to work with there, though I know they've taken a hit with the parking crunch.

Speaking of the parking crunch it appears the city must be feeling the loss of momentum in the commercial sector downtown.  This proposal makes it seem like they are actively working to create more parking again.  I hope once several of these new parking spaces come online it will help ease the day time crunch and demand for office space will return.

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Agreed. Two ramps proposed?! :) i do think it’s pretty interesting that the new proposed ramp could be converted into a traditional building at some point in the future. 

I do think autonomous vehicles will play a big role in the future, but we’re talking decades. Still not a bad idea to have options in the future.

Joe

 

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On 9/8/2018 at 9:00 AM, GRDadof3 said:

Here's the GRForward vision for Fulton, which I think is not the right way to go. On-street parking won't work in that section. That would be like adding on-street parking on Michigan Street in its heaviest traffic areas. 

 

GRForwardFultonStreetFuture.jpg?mtime=20

 

Anyway, back to the Wedge Lot project. :)

This is just... bizarre.  I really love how the illustration has two bikes, two cars, and four or five pedestrians.  All that's missing are a few cows munching on grass in a median.  Reality would show cars bumper to bumper as far as the eye could see and zero bikes.  Sort of like Division has been for five or six years since they pulled a stunt like this on Division, which has been a permanent traffic jam ever since.

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Division doesn't seem too bad at 8.30a, but at 5p it is a complete nightmare. I tried turning left onto Division from a street that doesn't have a light (I think it was Bartlett), eventually turned left into the turning lane, and waited multiple cycles of the traffic light ahead without anyone even letting me into a traffic lane. Eventually I had to just quickly nose myself in as traffic started moving causing the person behind to slam on their brakes just to get anywhere. I think it took me damn near half an hour to get out of Downtown using Division. Haven't used Division ever since for the evening commute. Do the same to Fulton and you'll have the whole downtown break down into a complete mess. Instead of citing parking issues, you'll have offices citing traffic issues when leaving downtown for the suburbs.

As for the building, the international-style lack of frontage for the street level has me worried.

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