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GRDadof3

Spectrum Health's new "consolidated offices" HQ's

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Wish they tried to find some land downtown for this new building. But it seems SH is on a big cost cutting mission. 

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7 hours ago, jonrapley said:

Wish they tried to find some land downtown for this new building. But it seems SH is on a big cost cutting mission. 

It's a tad bit more complex than that.  Spectrum like most big healthcare systems is not for profit.  It's not the same as some corporate fat cats trying to squeeze as much profit as they can.  Using chopped up spots all over downtown as its compartmentalized corporate campus is notoriously inefficient.   Fact of the matter is Spectrum has grown so fast over the last 10-15 years they've been scrambling to catch up with themselves.  As a result this "Frankensteining" of office and ambulatory space has happened.  I'm not sure how viable it would be for them to keep these dept's downtown long term anyway.  One of their biggest recruiting and retention hurdles is parking.   Building a fancy new facility downtown won't solve that.  I'll admit I find it disappointing if they leave the core.  In fairness this won't impact any of the research, or operations happening on the hill.  It will free up space to allow more growth which is sorely needed.  It will be interesting to see if that  much space on the market will breath interest from parties that might be otherwise squeezed out right now. 

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I wonder if this will cause office occupancy downtown to plummet? I guess it depends on what moves. I saw no mention of IT in this plan, so maybe 25 Ottawa stays? But will they vacate Brassworks? 

It may not be a terrible thing in the end as tenants move around into new spaces, but I wonder if it will bring any office development plans to a screeching halt? Thoughts? 

Joe

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56 minutes ago, demhem said:

Maybe this is the millennial in me, but the biggest recruiting and retention issue for me would be working downtown vs. working in a corporate office park in the burbs. Why work for a company or organization where I have to drive to Wendy's for lunch when I can walk through a bustling downtown for 30-45 minutes and grab a sandwich, food truck tacos, or eat in a park along the river? It's a no-brainer for me and part of the reason why I am so happy working for my company downtown. If I was moved to the suburbs and had no cool places to walk to or had to eat in a company lunch room every day I would be miserable and quickly look for another job. 

You assume Spectrum employees have enough time for all of that. lol. 

37 minutes ago, joeDowntown said:

I wonder if this will cause office occupancy downtown to plummet? I guess it depends on what moves. I saw no mention of IT in this plan, so maybe 25 Ottawa stays? But will they vacate Brassworks? 

It may not be a terrible thing in the end as tenants move around into new spaces, but I wonder if it will bring any office development plans to a screeching halt? Thoughts? 

Joe

I think they'll vacate Brassworks and Bridgewater. Brassworks will fill up fast or maybe even go residential. Would be interesting to go condo in there.. 

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1 hour ago, demhem said:

Maybe this is the millennial in me, but the biggest recruiting and retention issue for me would be working downtown vs. working in a corporate office park in the burbs. Why work for a company or organization where I have to drive to Wendy's for lunch when I can walk through a bustling downtown for 30-45 minutes and grab a sandwich, food truck tacos, or eat in a park along the river? It's a no-brainer for me and part of the reason why I am so happy working for my company downtown. If I was moved to the suburbs and had no cool places to walk to or had to eat in a company lunch room every day I would be miserable and quickly look for another job. 

This is actually a bigger issue than people think, and has definitely been talked about by people I know that will have to make the move.

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41 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

I think they'll vacate Brassworks and Bridgewater. Brassworks will fill up fast or maybe even go residential. Would be interesting to go condo in there.. 

Presumably Bridgewater will fill up fast, too? Especially given how vibrant Stockbridge has become, and the fact that it has dedicated parking.

They may need to renovate a little to get rid of the Gordon Gecko vibe in the lobby, though. 

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:dontknow:

I've come to realize that these institutions only see the whole "urbanism" thing and being downtown as just a PR tool to gloss up their image or present some sort of cringy "woke" vibe. They are still very much oriented towards whatever suburban plots they can quickly and cheaply expand onto like if this was any year from 1955-2000.

 

When it comes down to it, if they can plow under 200 acres for a 900 space parking lot with a tiny office park style building in the middle of it, out by the E. Beltline, they will do it in a heartbeat. Doesn't matter if it is Amway, Meijer, Steelcase, Spectrum Health, or whomever. None of these guys want to be downtown, at least not their coporate HQs or anything department that doesn't need to be. It is expensive, and a PITA when their older workforce doesnt have a cheap place to store their car reliably.

 

We see DT as the place to be, and someplace that these entities ought to be staking a spot in. They will say they agree, to sound like they are "hip" and aware of work trends because they *really* want to attract fresh young talent that want to be in the city, but that is all just gloss for the magazines and news outlets or for the DDA and CoC to put in their literature. However, Spectrum made it clear what they are most concerned with:

 

Quote

Spectrum conducted an analysis of potential locations and found the site is the “best and most economically advantageous option for this purpose by more than $20 million.”

 

Hey, that's real money for them. Employees will just have to drive up to Knapp for a burger, or enjoy a wonderful view of the highway or some retaining pond. I'm more than sure they will try to soften the location by touting themselves being "near" the Meijer Gardens as some sort of plus, despite the fact that the only way to it is to drive as well. Besides it is likely most of the people working here are going to be people with kids (and have two cars) or middle-aged managers that have been with Spectrum for like 20-30 years (and dont want to walk more than 20 yards in any direction), not childless twenty-somethings  with "active lifestyles".

 

This is about Spectrum wanting a cheap building on cheap land to fill with cheap cubicles. That's a hard thing to argue against when dollars count.

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It seems to me that some road upgrades are going to be needed to support this - Bradford is going to need to be upgraded to a full intersection with the Beltline (which the residents living east of there will probably HATE, unless they work at Spectrum), and I think this really should be the trigger for MDOT to add a EB 96 to WB 196 ramp. 

And frankly I think Spectrum should have to pay for those upgrades, which would alter their pro-forma quite a bit. 

Edited by Khorasaurus1
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2 hours ago, demhem said:

Maybe this is the millennial in me, but the biggest recruiting and retention issue for me would be working downtown vs. working in a corporate office park in the burbs. Why work for a company or organization where I have to drive to Wendy's for lunch when I can walk through a bustling downtown for 30-45 minutes and grab a sandwich, food truck tacos, or eat in a park along the river? It's a no-brainer for me and part of the reason why I am so happy working for my company downtown. If I was moved to the suburbs and had no cool places to walk to or had to eat in a company lunch room every day I would be miserable and quickly look for another job. 

The vast majority of Spectrum employees don't have time for this due to the nature of their jobs.   The complexity of these buildings and being in the bubble on the hill make it problematic to explore downtown for lunch anyway.  I have probably the best office view in the city, but it still takes me 15 minutes to get to the "cool" parts of downtown.  

Keep in mind too that we are talking about a consolidation of  ancillary office space.  The VAST majority of Spectrum employees will still be on the hill,  This move will affect a statistically low  percentage of the work force downtown,   The "urban environment" will still be a recruiting tool for most things they do.  Also you might be surprised at the amount of Millennials that hate taking the bus and all of the parking nightmares that come with working on the hill. 

1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

I think they'll vacate Brassworks and Bridgewater. Brassworks will fill up fast or maybe even go residential. Would be interesting to go condo in there.. 

If I were a betting man I'd look for them to vacate 25 Ottawa first, likely before they even break ground on a new facility.  After that I'd expect them to completely exit both Brassworks, Bridgewater, the offices on the West Side, and any other building that houses departments not already on the hill.  They will also be freeing up space in 25 Michigan to make room for much needed Ambulatory expansions. 

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42 minutes ago, MJLO said:

The vast majority of Spectrum employees don't have time for this due to the nature of their jobs.   The complexity of these buildings and being in the bubble on the hill make it problematic to explore downtown for lunch anyway.  I have probably the best office view in the city, but it still takes me 15 minutes to get to the "cool" parts of downtown.  

Keep in mind too that we are talking about a consolidation of  ancillary office space.  The VAST majority of Spectrum employees will still be on the hill,  This move will affect a statistically low  percentage of the work force downtown,   The "urban environment" will still be a recruiting tool for most things they do.  Also you might be surprised at the amount of Millennials that hate taking the bus and all of the parking nightmares that come with working on the hill. 

If I were a betting man I'd look for them to vacate 25 Ottawa first, likely before they even break ground on a new facility.  After that I'd expect them to completely exit both Brassworks, Bridgewater, the offices on the West Side, and any other building that houses departments not already on the hill.  They will also be freeing up space in 25 Michigan to make room for much needed Ambulatory expansions. 

It's good you are not a betting man.

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16 minutes ago, Dj Augustine said:

It's good you are not a betting man.

Why what are you hearing?  

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2 hours ago, Khorasaurus1 said:

It seems to me that some road upgrades are going to be needed to support this - Bradford is going to need to be upgraded to a full intersection with the Beltline (which the residents living east of there will probably HATE, unless they work at Spectrum), and I think this really should be the trigger for MDOT to add a EB 96 to WB 196 ramp. 

And frankly I think Spectrum should have to pay for those upgrades, which would alter their pro-forma quite a bit. 

I bet they'll pay for upgrades to Leffingwell to Leonard but not Bradford all the way to the Beltline. I hope I'm wrong but I doubt it. It would also be nice if they extended the non-motorized path on Leffingwell to their new facility (which is being repaved this summer). I can only imagine how long the line of cars will be at 5:00 to get from Bradford and turn right onto the Beltline. Probably all the way back to Spectrum's new parking lot. 

1 hour ago, MJLO said:

Why what are you hearing?  

I believe Spectrum signed a long-term lease there. Although they're not talking about this new HQ's being open until 2022. 

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48 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

I bet they'll pay for upgrades to Leffingwell to Leonard but not Bradford all the way to the Beltline. I hope I'm wrong but I doubt it. It would also be nice if they extended the non-motorized path on Leffingwell to their new facility (which is being repaved this summer). I can only imagine how long the line of cars will be at 5:00 to get from Bradford and turn right onto the Beltline. Probably all the way back to Spectrum's new parking lot. 

I totally agree about Bradford...so why don't you think they will upgrade it/be willing to pay to upgrade it? And MDOT will really need to add the 96 to 196 ramp, because otherwise anyone going to WB 196 from Spectrum HQ will end up on Bradford. They basically have to open up Leffingwell to Leonard to 96 to 196 as an option. 

Also, bus upgrades will be necessary. The 15 should probably serve this facility and Cornerstone and terminate at Meijer Gardens. Leaving a need for a new downtown-to-Knapp's Corner route. And there is probably a need for a Beltline Express service, too. 

This location is in the City limits, and will require investments from City, Regional, and State entities. And Spectrum should shoulder some of that burden. Or stay downtown where the infrastructure already exists. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

I believe Spectrum signed a long-term lease there. Although they're not talking about this new HQ's being open until 2022. 

Well I knew that much.   I am not at all in the know for official news happening within SH.   The tidbits I've heard has made it seem like the future in that building is up in question, again 2nd or 3rd hand info at best.   There's been some space shifting at Brassworks which is part of the reason my impression is as such.

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1 hour ago, Khorasaurus1 said:

I totally agree about Bradford...so why don't you think they will upgrade it/be willing to pay to upgrade it? And MDOT will really need to add the 96 to 196 ramp, because otherwise anyone going to WB 196 from Spectrum HQ will end up on Bradford. They basically have to open up Leffingwell to Leonard to 96 to 196 as an option. 

Also, bus upgrades will be necessary. The 15 should probably serve this facility and Cornerstone and terminate at Meijer Gardens. Leaving a need for a new downtown-to-Knapp's Corner route. And there is probably a need for a Beltline Express service, too. 

This location is in the City limits, and will require investments from City, Regional, and State entities. And Spectrum should shoulder some of that burden. Or stay downtown where the infrastructure already exists. 

 

 

Technically I don't think they HAVE to do any street upgrades, except that which directly affects ingress/egress from their parking lots, but the city might hold that as a carrot to give them a parking variance (which they'll undoubtedly need, like Consumers Energy did).  But upgrading Bradford to Leffingwell is about a mile, which, considering how much "upgrading" would be pushed, and if you add in enhancements at the Beltline, you might be talking $20 Million, which would almost negate the move in the first place.  SH won't go for that, is my estimation. They'll say "We'll upgrade Leffingwell, it's only about a block, and make it 3 lanes with a left turn lane down the center and plenty of turn lanes at Leonard. "  Just spitballing but they're a pretty tightwad group over there. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Khorasaurus1 said:

It seems to me that some road upgrades are going to be needed to support this - Bradford is going to need to be upgraded to a full intersection with the Beltline (which the residents living east of there will probably HATE, unless they work at Spectrum), and I think this really should be the trigger for MDOT to add a EB 96 to WB 196 ramp. 

And frankly I think Spectrum should have to pay for those upgrades, which would alter their pro-forma quite a bit. 

Don't hold your breath. Neither will happen because of this development. How much road improvement has been done due to Cornerstone or the Heart center. Nada, zippo. I do agree Leffingwell and Bradford need a lot of improvement (spine surgeon is at OAM and cardiologist is around the corner on Bradford.)

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On 6/11/2019 at 8:47 AM, demhem said:

Maybe this is the millennial in me, but the biggest recruiting and retention issue for me would be working downtown vs. working in a corporate office park in the burbs. Why work for a company or organization where I have to drive to Wendy's for lunch when I can walk through a bustling downtown for 30-45 minutes and grab a sandwich, food truck tacos, or eat in a park along the river? It's a no-brainer for me and part of the reason why I am so happy working for my company downtown. If I was moved to the suburbs and had no cool places to walk to or had to eat in a company lunch room every day I would be miserable and quickly look for another job. 

Honestly, much of Spectrum's administration are not in a position to walk around downtown for lunch. Their offices are spread all over the city, including the old Widdicomb building on the NW side, Brassworks, Burton and East Paris, Lake Drive, 44th St by the airport, and off of Broadmoor at M6. I'm sure I'm missing quite a few, but I would dare say most administrative people work outside of the downtown core. 

Also, if you work on the hill, the majority just end up eating at the cafeteria or at one of the four chain restaurants located on the ground floor of one of the white buildings north of the hospital. It's a long walk from there to the downtown restaurants. 

Edited by GRLaker

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19 hours ago, Raildude's dad said:

Don't hold your breath. Neither will happen because of this development. How much road improvement has been done due to Cornerstone or the Heart center. Nada, zippo. I do agree Leffingwell and Bradford need a lot of improvement (spine surgeon is at OAM and cardiologist is around the corner on Bradford.)

Yeah, and this is frustrating. The upgrades will be needed, and then taxpayers will be on the hook because Spectrum decided to relocate all of these employees to an area with only two ways in or out. 

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3 hours ago, GRLaker said:

Honestly, much of Spectrum's administration are not in a position to walk around downtown for lunch. Their offices are spread all over the city, including the old Widdicomb building on the NW side, Brassworks, Burton and East Paris, Lake Drive, 44th St by the airport, and off of Broadmoor at M6. I'm sure I'm missing quite a few, but I would dare say most administrative people work outside of the downtown core. 

Also, if you work on the hill, the majority just end up eating at the cafeteria or at one of the four chain restaurants located on the ground floor of one of the white buildings north of the hospital. It's a long walk from there to the downtown restaurants. 

I mean, this is likely true, but I work near the hill and stand in line or sit near people with Spectrum Health badges almost every time I go somewhere to eat. I also see them walking along the river. It is definitely not uncommon.

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I can assure you all SH employees are out and about for lunch. The ones that stay in the hospitals are more likely on the clinical side and on a time crunch.

The jobs moving to Leffingwell are higher up and come with a level of flexibility. It will be a big adjustment for employees at Brassworks, Bridgwater and anyone else in located close to downtown. 

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4 hours ago, Khorasaurus1 said:

Yeah, and this is frustrating. The upgrades will be needed, and then taxpayers will be on the hook because Spectrum decided to relocate all of these employees to an area with only two ways in or out. 

Why so frustrated? We live in a growing city and if it wasn’t Spectrum, someone else would have eventually built something there. 

I would imagine a lot of municipalities would have fought for the chance to get Spectrum to move to their city / township. 

I’m surprised they didn’t do street improvements years ago. They have a mega church that dumps out on Bradford, and it actually could make a handy street to deal with some of the congestion on the Beltline (I use Leffingwell all the time, but turn at Leonard since Bradford is not a great street to travel).

Joe

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I'm pretty sure Michigan law prevents a government agency from requiring a "development' pay for off site improvements.  The first project I was in the field for the Road commission was widening 4 Mile Road from Alpine to Cordes.  The developer of the commercial plat at the NW corner of  Alpine and 4 mile was required to fund a part of the widening for the entire 1/2 mile. He sued and said he was responsible for only the 7-800 feet in front of his plat. The courts agreed with him and the Road Commission wrote him a refund check.  To my knowledge, the law hasn't been changed. 

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34 minutes ago, Raildude's dad said:

I'm pretty sure Michigan law prevents a government agency from requiring a "development' pay for off site improvements.  The first project I was in the field for the Road commission was widening 4 Mile Road from Alpine to Cordes.  The developer of the commercial plat at the NW corner of  Alpine and 4 mile was required to fund a part of the widening for the entire 1/2 mile. He sued and said he was responsible for only the 7-800 feet in front of his plat. The courts agreed with him and the Road Commission wrote him a refund check.  To my knowledge, the law hasn't been changed. 

But they were required to pay for their 700 feet. Developers are required to pay for sewer/water expansions, new traffic lights, new turning lanes, etc, all the time. 

The standard isn't "off-site." It's "directly related to the development." So new rolling stock for the Rapid or a new freeway ramp may be too much. But upgrading Leffingwell and Bradford would not be, in my opinion.

There's also a gray area where they can do things "voluntarily" in exchange for the city waiving zoning requirements, through a PUD process. Or do things voluntarily because they agree they are necessary and the City can't/won't pay for them (generally this happens with sewer and water, though, rather than roads).

Edited by Khorasaurus1

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