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BostonianinGR

Downtown Campuses

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Here's another rambling - take it for what its worth!

One major reason why Boston's downtown never really went bad (like other cities) in the 70's was because of the several major colleges and universities located downtown.

Perhaps this may be the solution to GR's Urban Renewal.

I have noticed several posts about GVSU's downtown campus. So here's a question: is it significantly large? Can it become a dominant presence downtown (like downtown Madison)?

What about MSU's medical school moving to downtown GR? Any further news about that?

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Here's another rambling - take it for what its worth!

One major reason why Boston's downtown never really went bad (like other cities) in the 70's was because of the several major colleges and universities located downtown.

Perhaps this may be the solution to GR's Urban Renewal.

I have noticed several posts about GVSU's downtown campus. So here's a question: is it significantly large? Can it become a dominant presence downtown (like downtown Madison)?

What about MSU's medical school moving to downtown GR? Any further news about that?

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I think GR's urban renewal will be (and is) a multi-prongued approach:

- Increase residential units in the core and infill surrounding neighborhoods

- Attract and expand the medical/biotech industry, VAI and the MSU Med School

- Expand cultural attractions/concert venues/museums downtown

- Expand on the new convention center business and add a couple of new hotels

- Improve surrounding neighborhoods through fostering neighborhood associations and neighborhood improvement programs

- Improve the school infrastructure through the millage that was passed not long ago.

- The Master Plan for GR that was developed a couple of years ago to plan future development patterns

- Encourage the expansion of the college campuses downtown

- Improve mass transit

There are probably many other "prongues", but that is how I see things progressing. Downtowns have to be more than just an "attraction" or "destination" for suburbanites, like I think some cities mistakenly try to create. They should be living/breathing entities which exude energy, which will then attract visitors (and hopefully more retail).

The GVSU campus is getting bigger, and now flanks both sides of 131 and covers a couple block area from Pearl on the North to almost Wealthy on the South (they have been eyeing), from the riverfront on the East side to Seward on the West.

Western Michigan University and Cooley Law School have staked out Cherry Street Landing and now cover almost a block, and I don't think we have heard the last from them as far as expansion goes (despite Cooley's setback yesterday).

Kendall College and Ferris State University are taking over the Fountain/Lyon area, and want to create a walkable campus extending several blocks and linking to GRCC.

The MSU Medical School will actually be pretty small from what I understand (maybe a couple of hundred students), but the economic impact will be huge. They are working on putting together a solid plan and fundraiser from what I understand, which is hundred of millions $$$ to make the move.

Jeff

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What about Cooley's set back yesterday? I didn't catch that?

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They are having problems with getting full approval to expand their campuses to downtown GR and Rochester, Michigan (they are based in Lansing). They have to wait until next year to try again :( Students enrolled here can only get some of the credits they need and will have to commute to Lansing.

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That's annoying, to put it mildly. Why on earth did they refuse to give them permision? Expansion of universities brings human capital to the region, which is precisely what GR needs. How stupid can the city be?

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That's annoying, to put it mildly. Why on earth did they refuse to give them permision? Expansion of universities brings human capital to the region, which is precisely what GR needs. How stupid can the city be?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The American Bar Association denied them the right to expand due to poor success of Cooleys students on the state bar exam when compared to student of other law schools in the area.

Let me find the numbers.

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That's annoying, to put it mildly. Why on earth did they refuse to give them permision? Expansion of universities brings human capital to the region, which is precisely what GR needs. How stupid can the city be?

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It wasn't the city. It was the American Bar Association. They have to get their bar exam scores up before they can get approval. Apparently Cooley has a plan to do it with improved LSAT requirements, but it is taking time. I think they could use a reputation boost anyway :P Especially if they want to be associated with my alma mater ;)

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"The ABA's Accreditation Committee rejected Cooley's expansion plans in part because of serious doubt about the performance of its students, especially on the Michigan State Bar examination, according to court documents. Law school graduates must pass the bar exam before they can practice law in Michigan.

In July 2002, 52 percent of Cooley students passed the bar exam, compared with 75 percent by all test-takers in Michigan. In February 2004, 47 percent of Cooley students passed the bar; the statewide rate was 54 percent. "

That is their reasoning from what I gather. I got that from the GR Press.

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Anyway, I do agree that a large number of college students downtown would help a lot. We have about 25,000 college students in the metro area. A good mix of students, baby boomers, couples, singles, families with kids, and Budgies is just what downtown needs.

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"The ABA's Accreditation Committee rejected Cooley's expansion plans in part because of serious doubt about the performance of its students, especially on the Michigan State Bar examination, according to court documents. Law school graduates must pass the bar exam before they can practice law in Michigan.

In July 2002, 52 percent of Cooley students passed the bar exam, compared with 75 percent by all test-takers in Michigan. In February 2004, 47 percent of Cooley students passed the bar; the statewide rate was 54 percent. "

That is their reasoning from what I gather.  I got that from the GR Press.

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Misinformation. The decision is a month old, by the way. It was Judge McKeague. He was sitting on the whole thing for five months and released his decision THE DAY HE WAS APPOINTED TO APPELLATE COURT BY BUSH. I won't say what I think of this guy.

Don't believe everything you read in the Press. That particular reporter was incredibly biased.

B.

P.S. I go to Cooley. Yes, I am VERY p-o'd that I can't walk the four blocks to the G.R. campus from my condo downtown but must waste gas and time driving to Lansing every Sunday.

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Anyway, I do agree that a large number of college students downtown would help a lot.  We have about 25,000 college students in the metro area.  A good mix of students, baby boomers, couples, singles, families with kids, and Budgies is just what downtown needs.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I KNEW you loved me!

:wub:

B.

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Misinformation. The decision is a month old, by the way. It was Judge McKeague. He was sitting on the whole thing for five months and released his decision THE DAY HE WAS APPOINTED TO APPELLATE COURT BY BUSH. I won't say what I think of this guy.

Don't believe everything you read in the Press. That particular reporter was incredibly biased.

B.

P.S. I go to Cooley. Yes, I am VERY p-o'd that I can't walk the four blocks to the G.R. campus from my condo downtown but must waste gas and time driving to Lansing every Sunday.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I figured there was more to the story. That is why I didn't post the link. I am boycotting putting any links to the GR Press for awhile until they clean up their act :P

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I figured there was more to the story.  That is why I didn't post the link.  I am boycotting putting any links to the GR Press for awhile until they clean up their act :P

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Thank you.

McKeague's decision had more to do w/Cooley not following protocol in setting up the campuses in GR and Oakland. Plus it's extremely political. In addition to a federal judge wimping out on releasing his decision before his appointment was in the bag, word is that someone in the ABA is p-o'd that Detroit College of Law didn't get their campus set up in GR before Cooley, but I can't substantiate that.

The ABA historically has been reluctant - no STUBBORN - to get with the program and graciously allow alternative ways to get a law degree, i.e., nights and weekends.

B.

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Thank you.

McKeague's decision had more to do w/Cooley not following protocol in setting up the campuses in GR and Oakland. Plus it's extremely political. In addition to a federal judge wimping out on releasing his decision before his appointment was in the bag, word is that someone in the ABA is p-o'd that Detroit College of Law didn't get their campus set up in GR before Cooley, but I can't substantiate that.

The ABA historically has been reluctant - no STUBBORN - to get with the program and graciously allow alternative ways to get a law degree, i.e., nights and weekends.

B.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Is there any other newspaper in GR other that the Grand Rapids Press? Which from what I've gathered from this forum, is not worth much?

Reminds me of what Captain Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson in a British comedy) says about a British newspaper 'King and Country' that soldiers preferred to use as toilet paper during WWI:

"Ah yes...without doubt my _favourite_ magazine. Soft, strong...and

thoroughly absorbent.

Tophole, Blackadder, I thought it would be right up your alley..."

No offense to anyone here...just a quote

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I figured there was more to the story.  That is why I didn't post the link.  I am boycotting putting any links to the GR Press for awhile until they clean up their act :P

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Correction. It was not the Press article that was incredibly biased, although it was wimpy and lacked depth. The article I'm thinking of appeared on WOOD-TV's web site and quoted from a newspaper in Rochester, MI. THAT one was really biased.

Personally, I think it's going to take a LOT for Cooley to improve its reputation after the damage that has been done by these articles.

B.

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Is there any other newspaper in GR other that the Grand Rapids Press? Which from what I've gathered from this forum, is not worth much?

Reminds me of what Captain Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson in a British comedy) says about a British newspaper 'King and Country' that soldiers preferred to use as toilet paper during WWI:

"Ah yes...without doubt my _favourite_ magazine. Soft, strong...and

thoroughly absorbent.

Tophole, Blackadder, I thought it would be right up your alley..."

No offense to anyone here...just a quote

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That's good :D I have a weird thing with the Press. I get it every Sunday, and look forward to reading it, but then I am disappointed every time I go through it. And now they are trying to get me to get it every day by dropping free weekday issues in my mailbox. I usually like the GR Business Journal and GR Magazine though, personally. I like the Streettalk section in the Business Journal.

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I KNEW you loved me!

:wub:

B.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

B.

I have four females in my life already, but I have a big heart (really) :P

J.

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B.

I have four females in my life already, but I have a big heart (really) :P 

J.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

J.

Yes, I did read on the Demographics board that you had three daughters, all quite young. That really must be quite something. The couple down the hall from me have three daughters as well, but they are all grown. Mr. Neighbor tells me that the only way he could remain sane when all three were living at home was to have multiple bathrooms.

B. :D

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J.

Yes, I did read on the Demographics board that you had three daughters, all quite young. That really must be quite something. The couple down the hall from me have three daughters as well, but they are all grown. Mr. Neighbor tells me that the only way he could remain sane when all three were living at home was to have multiple bathrooms.

B. :D

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I spend a lot of time out taking photos :D That and golfing (I know, not very urban of me). Has anyone tried the Mines Golf Course yet (the one where the old Gypsum mines used to be on the West side)?

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I spend a lot of time out taking photos :D  That and golfing (I know, not very urban of me).  Has anyone tried the Mines Golf Course yet (the one where the old Gypsum mines used to be on the West side)?

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Yes, I did notice that you post an incredible number of photos just about daily. And you golf, too? Must be a tough life. What is it that you do for $$$$? Dare I ask?

B.

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Yes, I did notice that you post an incredible number of photos just about daily. And you golf, too? Must be a tough life. What is it that you do for $$$$? Dare I ask?

B.

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It's actually on my demographic post ;) It's a rough life :P , but my schedule is pretty flexible and the money is great. I wouldn't mind getting more into development though (hint, hint). I keep working my boss to do new construction downtown, but to no avail so far (don't ask).

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Keep chipping away at him GRDad! We need more developers w/ people like you behind them.

Joe

It's actually on my demographic post ;)  It's a rough life :P , but my schedule is pretty flexible and the money is great.  I wouldn't mind getting more into development though (hint, hint).  I keep working my boss to do new construction downtown, but to no avail so far (don't ask).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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Has anyone tried the Mines Golf Course yet

Not open yet. I live near it and have been carefully checking on it. Today they placed small flags to mark the fairways - looks like this first mowing will be tomorrow. So it will probably be ope next weekend.

The Mines is actually a great use of city land that technically can have no other use.

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Not open yet.  I live near it and have been carefully checking on it.  Today they placed small flags to mark the fairways - looks like this first mowing will be tomorrow.  So it will probably be ope next weekend.

The Mines is actually a great use of city land that technically can have no other use.

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Definitely a great re-use of that land since nothing could be built on it. I just found their website (didn't know they had one).

http://www.minesgolfcourse.com/

With an update as of July 5th:

http://www.minesgolfcourse.com/weeklyupdate.pdf

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If it's OK NOT to talk about golf courses in this post now :D , there was a good article on the Cooley Law School situation in this past week's Business Journal (below). I agree that the presence of colleges and universities enhance a downtown area as long as the parking situation is properly handled and regional mass transportation is addressed. GVSU has done a pretty good job with this.

Cooley Assesses Legal Setback

By Anne Bond Emrich

GRAND RAPIDS

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