Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

GRDadof3

Attn Google!

Recommended Posts

I know we are probably late to join the running for this project:

http://www.detnews.com/2005/technology/050.../B01-211059.htm

but why doesn't Google look for space to expand here in Grand Rapids. We have a lot that could benefit them:

-We were ranked in the top 5 Knowledge-Based Economies in the WORLD by Rogert Huggins and Associates.

-We are much more of an economic powerhouse than A-squared.

-Our unemployment is a tad higher than the national average, so we have a more available work force at lower cost.

-There are 200 or so Cybernet IT people waiting in limbo

-There is some nicely renovated space available in a hot entertainment and arena area, especially this one that is very high-tech:

997F7CD0DA9D11D9912E152418F73B1D.jpg

Keep adding reasons to this thread and it will show up on Urbanplanets front page. You just never know. Somebody get Birgit Klohs on the horn, stat!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I think A sqared, is a tad more trendy than Grand Rapids, It is also an economic powerhouse, in that it's economy is much more tech diversified than grand rapids, I think the reason they are looking to have a location there is it's presence, to other major corporations, and publishing firms located in and around Grand Rapids.

But you are right about cheaper space, and available workforce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would differ with you on the tech diversified part.  If you look at Huggins report from last year, Ann Arbor is lumped in with Detroit at #12 (they aren't even their own MSA/CSA).  I'm sure most of that is R&D and patents that come out of the auto tech centers in Auburn Hills, Troy, Plymouth, Southfield, etc.  I think that is the "perception" of Ann Arbor that just isn't there.  Not to get in a pissing match with Ann Arbor people, but it is more like a glorified Battle Creek:  similar metro street grid layout, tiny river running through it, relatively small in square miles, not much of a downtown other than the "Quad", and the cost of living and housing stock is WAY overpriced.  Other than U of M, Dominoes Pizza, Pfizer, and hash-bash, what else is there?  Oh boy, I am going to start trouble :P

But again, why not attract Google here?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Id go further and say Ann Arbor is is just Kalamazoo with a bigger school.

and instead of just whining in a thread, lets get in touch with some people there at Google HQ:

Google Inc.

1600 Amphitheatre Parkway

Mountain View CA 94043

phone: (650) 253-0000

fax: (650) 253-0001

Lets start a letter writing campaign.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really shouldn't have gone down the "bash Ann Arbor path". If you read this article:

http://www.mlive.com/mbusinessreview/stori...609_google.html

it sheds a lot more light on what they are looking for specifically. 480V wiring, that sounds pretty high! Also, it sounds like in Ann Arbor, they would end up in the burbs due to the lack of downtown space available, which is probably not what they had in mind at all. We probably have some turn-key buildings downtown just ready to go.

Terra Firma Eric has the one I showed above, and is wired pretty heavily:

http://www.grbj.com/GRBJ/Nav/Login.htm?Art...4-B1B777ACFB00}

I don't know the square footage, but there is a surface lot behind it for future expansion. I am definitely going to make a phone call or two tomorrow (not to Google) and see what I can scare up. We need heavy hitters involved to bring them here to at least look. If anyone else can think of someone to call, do it!

It might turn out to be nothing, but it sure is fun :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Google building in Michigan *AT ALL* would be a good thing. It would be GREAT if they picked Grand Rapids. Birgit Klohs @ Right Place needs to pursue this one ASAP.

Heck, thew City of Grand Rapids should buy the Choice One Building and GIVE IT to them if they would move. What a coup Google would be!

Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terra Firma Eric has the one I showed above, and is wired pretty heavily:

http://www.grbj.com/GRBJ/Nav/Login.htm?Art...4-B1B777ACFB00}

I don't know the square footage, but there is a surface lot behind it for future expansion.  I am definitely going to make a phone call or two tomorrow (not to Google) and see what I can scare up.  We need heavy hitters involved to bring them here to at least look.  If anyone else can think of someone to call, do it!

It might turn out to be nothing, but it sure is fun :D

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

200,000 SF is a lot of area... Im sure there are options in the downtown GR area, but in reality there are likely as many as Boston (as noted in the article)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is also the space connected to the new Israels location on Seward, that was planned to house a "high-tech" company that was expanding (was that Cybernet?), and Kmart looked at this spot as well:

DCD38600D91911D98000A83E18F73B1D.jpg

200,000 square feet is a lot of space, and that is probably why Ann Arbor will not get the project. I will see my Brother-In-Law Wednesday who lives in Ypsi Township, works for a big civil engineering firm, and who's family is active in the Democratic party, blah, blah, blah who might have some insight.

I love Joe's idea. Buy the Choice One Building (or any other) and offer them free rent for life :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it would be cool,

But Don't be so quick to downplay Ann Arbor. It is definately smaller than Grand Rapids. But it is a Vibrant city, there are reasons it's rated higher, than every other Michigan Metro area in terms of quality of life. But I know one of the main reasons Google is eyeing Ann Arbor, is the fact that the founder, went to U of M.

AA kicks Kzoo's booty! Theres not much comparison. Dont believe me, Just go to the two cities, and see for yourself. I'd almost venture so far as to say, that AA's downtown, while definately not as tall as GR, has a much more vibrant night life. That whole city is just full of life.

But as I was Driving down Monroe center the other day I couldn't help but smile at how nice everything is looking down there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right, I think Google is looking to tap the intellectual capital of Ann Arbor, in the same way that companies gravitate to Cambridge, MA to be close to MIT. Still, it is worth a shot for us to try. :) Get that Economic Engine revving GR!

Joe

I think it would be cool, 

But Don't be so quick to downplay Ann Arbor. It is definately smaller than Grand Rapids.  But it is a Vibrant city, there are reasons it's rated higher, than every other Michigan Metro area in terms of quality of life.  But I know one of the main reasons Google is eyeing Ann Arbor, is the fact that the founder,  went to U of M. 

AA kicks Kzoo's booty!  Theres not much comparison.  Dont believe me,  Just go to the two cities, and see for yourself.  I'd almost venture so far as to say, that AA's downtown, while definately not as tall as GR,  has a much more vibrant night life.  That whole city is just full of life.

But as I was Driving down Monroe center the other day I couldn't help but smile at how nice everything is looking down there!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about the old Sligh Furniture building on the SE corner of Wealthy and Grandville? That building is huge, and would seem to have the flooring footprints available that large users like Google would require. I'm not sure what the cost on upgrading the power would be, but it would seem logical that it would be a great building to market to the big users.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about the old Sligh Furniture building on the SE corner of Wealthy and Grandville?  That building is huge, and would seem to have the flooring footprints available that large users like Google would require.  I'm not sure what the cost on upgrading the power would be, but it would seem logical that it would be a great building to market to the big users.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That building is massive. It's gotta be at least 500,000 square feet or more. But it looks like it needs a lot of work. I can't wait until someone takes that building and brings it back to life. It has such a massive presence when you are driving on 131.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are 200 or so Cybernet IT people waiting in limbo

Trust me, most of them had new jobs within weeks. I work in the industry and companies were scrambling to get the best from Cybernet. Unfortunately, most of them were simply over-hyped.

About the topic. I suspect that Grand Rapids just does not have the 'high tech' appeal of other cities. Ann Arbor has a bit more simply because it is home to a major University (even though U of M is not really known for IT or Computing) - most university towns have that appeal. There is a constant flow of employees, which for a large IT firm is good. They like to chew them up and spit them out. In CA, work weeks in the IT sector are usually 80 hours, no questions. People out of college work there for a few years, make a fortune, then when they get married, they are basically pushed out of the company.

That is not quite how Grand Rapids works, and it is actually not really a good employer to have in town.

I could really care less where Google goes. But, considering the current state of Michigan, this would be a big win for the entire state - money wise and perception wise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hah!  Large bills will be fine, thanks ($50s and $100s). 

I agree with the comments above about Ann Arbor, and I didn't mean to dig on them.  If I had to live near Detroit, I would probably live in the Ann Arbor area. But the reality is is that Ann Arbor will get cut from the pack.  They just don't have the space right now that works well for the Googleplex.  They want 50,000 now, with 150,000 nearby space to expand into, that is TURN KEY.  Minimal build outs, no new construction, etc..

The more I read the two articles, and I found an article in the Boston Business Journal, they are being very discreet about this.  They probably do not want a delegation of mayors, governors, dignitaries, and everyone else tripping over each other to make a buck off of them (Google).  In fact, The Detroit News did not hear about it until 3 weeks AFTER they visited, and Google showed up in Boston with only 24 hours notice.  I am now thinking that we need another angle to this.  Please send me a Personal Message with your thoughts.  I have some of my own as well.

Eric, what is your power in 44 Grandville?  I would imagine Choice One is sucking a lot of voltage with their equipment.  For expansion, they could go into the the other property on Grandville (100 - 200) by the highway.  The property that Delta Properties is renovating on Century and Hall is 440V.  There is also over 150,000 square feet available at American Seating, but I don't know the power available....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Not sure, but I'm guessing that the bigger issue than power / voltage is all the tel-com infrastructure. More fiber in that place than the fiber factory !

44 and 56 Grandville were linked together when Choice One was in the whole place, would not be hard to link it all back up. All the infrastructure is there !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's gotta be at least 500,000 square feet or more.

Last number I heard was 1,000,000 square feet, and I believed it. Delta Properties owned it for a while, maybe it's one they sold to that huge REIT as part of the package... not sure...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trust me, most of them had new jobs within weeks.  I work in the industry and companies were scrambling to get the best from Cybernet.  Unfortunately, most of them were simply over-hyped.

About the topic.  I suspect that Grand Rapids just does not have the 'high tech' appeal of other cities.  Ann Arbor has a bit more simply because it is home to a major University (even though U of M is not really known for IT or Computing) - most university towns have that appeal.  There is a constant flow of employees, which for a large IT firm is good.  They like to chew them up and spit them out.  In CA, work weeks in the IT sector are usually 80 hours, no questions.  People out of college work there for a few years, make a fortune, then when they get married, they are basically pushed out of the company.

That is not quite how Grand Rapids works, and it is actually not really a good employer to have in town.

I could really care less where Google goes.  But, considering the current state of Michigan, this would be a big win for the entire state - money wise and perception wise.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I imagine that is why they want 22 - 30 year olds. Low pay, long hours, green out of college and excited to work in the "Googleplex". The spinoff business that would come, and an upgrade in image, would be much more valuable. It is all in how you package it and sell it (GR). I work in sales and train salespeople for a living, and it is usually 1 part rationale, 2 parts emotion or "gut" instinct. That is why you can set up every tax incentive in the book, but if their "gut" feeling is wrong, they won't pull the trigger. And other companies (followers) would take notice if someone like Google took a chance on the area.

I know I am probably preaching to the choir with this great group :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update:

I have been working a couple of different things on this, but if you would like to contribute, you can e-mail [email protected], and address at the top of your message to any one of the following people, To: Larry Page, Omid Kordestani, David Drummond, Shona Brown. It goes straight to the Business Development Department in Mountain View. I have heard of crazier things happening. Chicago snatched the Boeing HQ away from Seattle at the total dismay of the entire country.

We are totally out of our element on this, but a little gumption goes a long way ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go GRDAD go!

Update:

I have been working a couple of different things on this, but if you would like to contribute, you can e-mail [email protected], and address at the top of your message to any one of the following people, To:  Larry Page, Omid Kordestani, David Drummond, Shona Brown.  It goes straight to the Business Development Department in Mountain View.  I have heard of crazier things happening.  Chicago snatched the Boeing HQ away from Seattle at the total dismay of the entire country.

We are totally out of our element on this, but a little gumption goes a long way ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.