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14 hours ago, Raildude's dad said:

There are gypsum mines under a lot of the west side and downtown. Not all the shafts and levels are mapped There was gypsum mining out by 44th & East Paris until a few years ago. It's all the same formation. Downtown the bedrock isn't very deep. It is water soluble thus the voids under the DeVos some years ago. A geologic  investigation is needed for every large building downtown.

And why do we need an aquarium in Grand Rapids? We took our kids toShedd years ago. My wife said the trip on Amtrak was nice, the aquarium ok but no desire to return.  And why does the city need to build a soccer stadium?  The Whitecaps stadium is privately built and owned. 

I think he's asking why does the "city" need to build a soccer stadium. Why can't a private entity (like whitecaps) build a soccer stadium.

But I don't think the "city" is the one who is talking about building the soccer stadium. Isn't it Grand Action? Assuming the city may pitch in for something (infrastructure, etc.)

I agree about an aquarium. We went to Shedd once, I don't think I'd pay to go back. A constantly changing science center with an aquarium thrown in, that'd be cool. 

The Coldbrook station site would be perfect, IMO. Location-wise anyway. 

 

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I always thought the City Water Building would make a wonderful aquarium building.  I know this isn't the location they are thinking but this building is too nice to not be enjoyed in a better way. Be

A cluster of tourist attractions on that side of the river makes total sense.  Spanning out over the Grand River, the footprint could be as big as 160,000 square feet. Plenty of room to add attac

I thought that it would be too small as well. But look at the overhead view of the area on Google Maps, there is potentially a ton of room for an aquarium of a respectable size in this part of N. Monr

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When Populous did the video conference, carol Van Andew said the first step to building a soccer stadium was getting an ownership group for the team. It definitely sounded like Grand Action would act as a catalyst, but nothing would be done without an ownership group deciding what and where they’d want a stadium (and I assume paying for a substantial portion of it). 

Joe

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On 3/3/2021 at 5:55 PM, RegalTDP said:

Oh good catch. That's actually Leonard Street Bridge.

The truss bridge in the background is the Ann Street bridge - replaced in the late 60's IIRC.  The covered bridge is Leonard, the  low bridge is the RR bridge, still there, the truss is Ann St . Back in those days, the City water supply was the river. The intake and filtration plant were south of the RR tracks. The filtration plant is now an events center. The water was then sent to the Coldbrook pumping station where it was pumped up to the in ground reservoir on Belkap Hill. It's still there and in service. Other water towers were added as the city expanded.

The pumping station also generated electricity for the city owned street lighting system The sysytem was eventually sold to Consumers and power to it provided thru the sub station south of the pumping station. The pumping station was coal fired till the mid 60's? Coal was delivered by rail and stored in a bunker on the north side.  IIRC

 

You have missed my point about a soccer stadium. If it's so popular, why hasn't some group stepped to build one like Chamberlain and Baxter did with the Whitecaps stadium oops LMCU. Lease Housema it  seems the schools could use the money.

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2 hours ago, Raildude's dad said:

You have missed my point about a soccer stadium. If it's so popular, why hasn't some group stepped to build one like Chamberlain and Baxter did with the Whitecaps stadium oops LMCU. Lease Housema it  seems the schools could use the money.

First, always love your historical context. It’s so interesting!

Asfar as soccer, GRFC already plays at Houseman. I actually like the vibe there, but I think it’s a pretty unprofitable lease (if I’m not mistaken, They don’t make any money off concessions or parking, etc). Jumping to USL Championship league requires a different ownership structure (read: ownership with deep pockets). I’m also pretty sure 2nd tier soccer cannot play on a multi-purpose field (football field). It needs to be soccer specific. 

Grand Rapids already has a good soccer fan base. I think they’re looking to build on that momentum with better facilities and and a professional team. 

from my understanding, Grand Action isn’t looking to build a soccer stadium to attract a team. I think they are looking for a group to step forward and make it happen (USL Wants to put a Championship team in Grand Rapids), then they’ll see how they can help facilitate getting it done. 

Joe

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I've been to GRFC games at Houseman and love the atmosphere.  But that's probably a tough sell long-term. 

I agree on an aquarium, went to Shedd as a kid and once as an adult and I am satisfied. Like GRdad said, maybe something like a combo aquarium/science center. I kind of like the Science Museum of Minnesota (it lines up to the Mississippi River) https://new.smm.org/ as sort of a reference, but overall, I feel "just" an aquarium is kind of meh, but a world class aquarium/science center could be a much bigger draw short term and long term too.

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On 3/7/2021 at 8:23 AM, GRDadof3 said:

I agree about an aquarium. We went to Shedd once, I don't think I'd pay to go back. A constantly changing science center with an aquarium thrown in, that'd be cool. 

 

Aquarium + indoor water park.  Like Great Wolf Lodge but with sharks.

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On 3/5/2021 at 10:06 AM, cstonesparty said:

A few years ago along the riverbank, towards GVSU and the museum, there were issues with former gypsum mines and subsidence of the surface.  Anyone know the extent of those mines?  Is this area a potential problem for either aquarium, soccer stadium, etc?  

They pumped a LOOOOOT of concrete down into the sinkhole that opened up, so my guess is the voids from that mine specifically, barring any cave-ins that may have separated sections of the mine, are probably all filled up now.

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23 hours ago, Allison Slater said:

They pumped a LOOOOOT of concrete down into the sinkhole that opened up, so my guess is the voids from that mine specifically, barring any cave-ins that may have separated sections of the mine, are probably all filled up now.

I remember reading at some point that one of those mines extends under the riverbed.  Wondering how far they extend and if more surprises await with these projects.  

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

More press..

Personally I think Millennium Park is a really BAD place for an aquarium. 

Put it right next to the Ford Museum. "Two parks for the price of one"

 

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2021/04/john-ball-zoo-envisions-building-massive-aquarium-in-grand-rapids-to-compete-on-the-national-level.html

 

 

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4 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

More press..

Personally I think Millennium Park is a really BAD place for an aquarium. 

Put it right next to the Ford Museum. "Two parks for the price of one"

 

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2021/04/john-ball-zoo-envisions-building-massive-aquarium-in-grand-rapids-to-compete-on-the-national-level.html

 

 

It should definitely be downtown or downtown adjacent. Imagine a tram going down Fulton from the zoo/aquarium to, I dunno, Monroe and Fulton?

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I'd like to see them build the aquarium ON the river.  So there can be gigantic windows down to the riverbed and the natural exhibit becomes river life in addition to the imported sealife that they exhibit from other locales.  

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I agree with GRDad, I think the lot next to the Ford Museum on Bridge/Michigan would be a perfect spot. Maybe push the building close to the river (encroaching on Ah-Nab-Awen park a bit so it sits on the river) with some sort of "pass-through" or walkway around the building (similar to the GR Public Museum). It'd be a pretty easy tram ride from the zoo to the aquarium (straight down Bridge, To Valley street). 

Joe

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1 hour ago, joeDowntown said:

I agree with GRDad, I think the lot next to the Ford Museum on Bridge/Michigan would be a perfect spot. Maybe push the building close to the river (encroaching on Ah-Nab-Awen park a bit so it sits on the river) with some sort of "pass-through" or walkway around the building (similar to the GR Public Museum). It'd be a pretty easy tram ride from the zoo to the aquarium (straight down Bridge, To Valley street). 

Joe

A cluster of tourist attractions on that side of the river makes total sense. 

Spanning out over the Grand River, the footprint could be as big as 160,000 square feet. Plenty of room to add attached parking and/or underground parking. Cause you know that will come up as an issue. 

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10 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

Personally I think Millennium Park is a really BAD place for an aquarium. 

I agree - especially the west side of the park (Johnson Park/ Wilson Avenue), as mentioned in the article. The infrastructure in that area is nowhere close to being able to support something like this. There is no public sewer and water. Walker's system ends at O'Brien, I think - plus the nearby residents are dead set against expanding that system. So you'd be building a pipe under the river to connect to the Grandville or Wyoming systems.

And that's not even getting into the roads - I-196, Wilson, Butterworth/Maynard/Veterans - none of them are designed for a major attraction on the west side of Millenium Park. And there's no public transit to that area. 

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4 hours ago, Khorasaurus1 said:

I agree - especially the west side of the park (Johnson Park/ Wilson Avenue), as mentioned in the article. The infrastructure in that area is nowhere close to being able to support something like this. There is no public sewer and water. Walker's system ends at O'Brien, I think - plus the nearby residents are dead set against expanding that system. So you'd be building a pipe under the river to connect to the Grandville or Wyoming systems.

And that's not even getting into the roads - I-196, Wilson, Butterworth/Maynard/Veterans - none of them are designed for a major attraction on the west side of Millenium Park. And there's no public transit to that area. 

I agree for for all of the above reasons, poor location. I'm not in favor of building it in the first place but next to the Ford is my preferred.

FYI: South Walker south of O'Brian  in the Butterworth Wilson area  is master planned for sewer and water from Grandville.

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What about in John Ball Park? The NIMBYs didnt want to expand the zoo because of smells. Aquariums dont have smells, as Bobby from Bobbys World famously said, The fish dont stink under the water.

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2 hours ago, gvsusean said:

What about in John Ball Park? The NIMBYs didnt want to expand the zoo because of smells. Aquariums dont have smells, as Bobby from Bobbys World famously said, The fish dont stink under the water.

The neighborhood association there views the park area as their neighborhood park and raises a holy stink every time any change is discussed.  A building outside the current footprint of the zoo proper would again bring wailing and gnashing of teeth from that area and likely legal challenges et al...

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1 hour ago, cstonesparty said:

The neighborhood association there views the park area as their neighborhood park and raises a holy stink every time any change is discussed.  A building outside the current footprint of the zoo proper would again bring wailing and gnashing of teeth from that area and likely legal challenges et al...

Especially if they want this to be in the "top 10" for aquariums in the U.S., imagine the parking needs. 

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3 hours ago, SupercityGR said:

I keep hoping to see a large scale waterpark or Amusement park within the city limits 

small waterpark possibly, the old splash/bulwinkles place on 28th street wasnt that old when it closed! But an amusement park takes up way too much space and wouldnt be economically viable, the only urban one I can think of is downtown Denver built when the land was wasteland, now developers will do anything to get it

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26 minutes ago, GR8scott said:

small waterpark possibly, the old splash/bulwinkles place on 28th street wasnt that old when it closed! But an amusement park takes up way too much space and wouldnt be economically viable, the only urban one I can think of is downtown Denver built when the land was wasteland, now developers will do anything to get it

Kennywood outside Pittsburgh maybe counts? But that's on land that was so useless that they couldn't build steel mills on it back in the day. 

I could see an indoor hotel/water park (like a Great Wolf Lodge) in the core of GR (in North Monroe maybe). But not something space intensive and outdoors. 

We're kind of running out of space for big uses, frankly. I'm really not sure where this aquarium will end up - the Ah-Nab-Awen idea floated here makes sense, but wouldn't that require coordination with City/Feds/Ford family (he's literally buried there...)/etc? I really think Millenium Park is a non-starter. And that leave us with...Jackson Island? North Monroe? The Front Street corridor north of 196?

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23 hours ago, Khorasaurus1 said:

Kennywood outside Pittsburgh maybe counts? But that's on land that was so useless that they couldn't build steel mills on it back in the day. 

I could see an indoor hotel/water park (like a Great Wolf Lodge) in the core of GR (in North Monroe maybe). But not something space intensive and outdoors. 

We're kind of running out of space for big uses, frankly. I'm really not sure where this aquarium will end up - the Ah-Nab-Awen idea floated here makes sense, but wouldn't that require coordination with City/Feds/Ford family (he's literally buried there...)/etc? I really think Millenium Park is a non-starter. And that leave us with...Jackson Island? North Monroe? The Front Street corridor north of 196?

The idea I drew up comes nowhere near the gravesite.  But it is held by the national archives. I think if someone tried to build a private development there, you'd have issues. But a public/non profit venture like this would be complicated but not impossible. 

 

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