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GRDadof3

The Mysterious Warehouses of Front St

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A collection of old warehouses along Front Street (on the West bank of the river South of GVSU).

38 Front - I think I heard that it would be too much to tear down this guy because the floors and columns are solid concrete. I think if you attached metal balconies all the way around the concrete sections (to cover them up somewhat), and replaced the windows, it wouldn't look too bad from the outside.

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514 Butterworth (Corner of Front and Butterworth)

The "Bicycle Factory". I like the style of it and the little center courtyard. Anyone know what McGraw is doing. I know we talked about this a little while ago.

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220 Front (Address Edited) ????

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280 Front - Mich AFL/CIO?

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The view from behind home plate (Just kidding). Some of you may get that one ;)

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I like those old industrial buildings...they have loads of potential. I though GVSU was gonna tear down the one at 38 front, but that may have been nothing more than a rumor...

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I like those old industrial buildings...they have loads of potential.  I though GVSU was gonna tear down the one at 38 front, but that may have been nothing more than a rumor...

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I hope that was a rumor! GVSU has already flattened too much of that area for parking lots! This area needs infill quickly before Grand Valley decides that their "urban campus" needs another 200 more parking spaces that only demolishing another building can provide. :wacko:

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Yes, isn't that new parking ramp on Seward big enough? I thought about that as I was touring that area. I really like 210 Front. It actually extends around to the short gray building to the South (far right in the picture) with a small courtyard between them.

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Perhaps I should've added that I heard that rumor a few years ago, and I really doubt that it's true because the building is still standing. If GVSU acquired it for parking then it would've been razed five minutes after the deal closed...GVSU doesn't lollygag around when it comes to building. (If I am not mistaken, they took their ridiculous parking garage to the city, got it approved in one day and started construction by the end of the week!) However, it would be cool if GVSU bought it and renovated it into student housing. Something tells me that won't happen though :)

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Perhaps I should've added that I heard that rumor a few years ago, and I really doubt that it's true because the building is still standing.  If GVSU acquired it for parking then it would've been razed five minutes after the deal closed...GVSU doesn't lollygag around when it comes to building.  (If I am not mistaken, they took their ridiculous parking garage to the city, got it approved in one day and started construction by the end of the week!) However, it would be cool if GVSU bought it and renovated it into student housing.  Something tells me that won't happen though :)

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It is going to take someone with a lot of vision and some innovative ideas. I hear the inside is all concrete, with no exposed beams or wood floors like most loft-style people like to see.

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I think Ed Devries owns the building.

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Ed DeVries does in fact own that building (38, the one w/ the cell towers on the roof). He receivede a large settlement from M-DOT when they changed the S-curve due to the impact it had on the value of his property.

I'd guess those cell towers are good tenants and on paper that investment looks pretty smart compared to what he has in it minus what MDOT gave him and the rents it generates

The next one going South is (or at least recently was) owned by Steelcase. This is a prime apartment candidate for GVSU students obviously..

..

Re: the old bike factory, McGraw does own it w; some partners. They don't have parking for it but that's OK if GVSU students are the target. No plans to get started yet.

The other one (220 Front?) is a cool building and was recently for sale at a realistic value. Nothing going on yet. Still kind of 'fringe' area wise, being a bit deeper south than the other un-renovated structures.

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The other one (220 Front?) is a cool building and was recently for sale at a realistic value.  Nothing going on yet.  Still kind of 'fringe' area wise, being a bit deeper south than the other un-renovated structures.

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I think we have our winner. Mrknowitall....220 Front Street? My special place?:

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We just had the breakthrough on the parking we have been working on for the last 1 1/2 years for the bicycle factory - now we are assembling the tax credits....Just happened today actually, still a long road to hoe with those things so stay tuned.

There is something brewing with the building across the street (on the river - the one GVSU owns). Just can't tell ya'll what it is - we will see if it comes to anything as it is a complicated one also.

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We just had the breakthrough on the parking we have been working on for the last 1 1/2 years for the bicycle factory - now we are assembling the tax credits....Just happened today actually, still a long road to hoe with those things so stay tuned.

There is something brewing with the building across the street (on the river - the one GVSU owns).  Just can't tell ya'll what it is - we will see if it comes to anything as it is a complicated one also.

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Thanks for the update General. Good luck! That is a great building.

The crack team at UrbanPlanet - GR strikes again ;)

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A collection of old warehouses along Front Street (on the West bank of the river South of GVSU). 

38 Front - I think I heard that it would be too much to tear down this guy because the floors and columns are solid concrete.  I think if you attached metal balconies all the way around the concrete sections (to cover them up somewhat), and replaced the windows, it wouldn't look too bad from the outside.

I would think that should make demolition much easier as there is no pesky steel getting in the way of the wreching ball. On that note, if 38 Front was torn down, and something much nicer was put in, would anyone complain? That seems really like one of the best spots for something big to go up.

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That building has more history than you may think. I believe it is the first poured concrete structure in GR, was the old A&P warehouse, and actually was a great candidate for renovation until they turned the building into a cul-de-sac.

Remember, Devries is a master of reskinning buildings (look at the Van Hoeks shoes building (sorry, can't remember the name)). I think there is life in this building. If it is built like a rock, why tear it down? Pull a Jonathan Rooks and put a couple of floors on top of it.

Imagine that view!

Joe

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That building has more history than you may think. I believe it is the first poured concrete structure in GR, was the old A&P warehouse, and actually was a great candidate for renovation until they turned the building into a cul-de-sac.

Remember, Devries is a master of reskinning buildings (look at the Van Hoeks shoes building (sorry, can't remember the name)). I think there is life in this building. If it is built like a rock, why tear it down? Pull a Jonathan Rooks and put a couple of floors on top of it.

Imagine that view!

Joe

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Be careful what you wish for...

I am curious... how does one turn a building into a cul-de-sac?

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I would think that should make demolition much easier as there is no pesky steel getting in the way of the wreching ball. On that note, if 38 Front was torn down, and something much nicer was put in, would anyone complain? That seems really like one of the best spots for something big to go up.

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I think the key is to determine if we would be trading UP with a better building or DOWN with another fort moch. But I think you'd also have to weigh the history of the building and what it stands for too, not just what it looks like.

Personally, if it were demolished for something that was really nice I would be probably okay with it, but if say, in three years it became cost-effective to rehab it and make it look nicer and get some use out of it, then I would be certainly willing to wait because you would be preserving another slice of history. I think most people (myself included) are afraid to tear down old buildings and build a new one because the new building is almost always sub-standard in every way to the old one.

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There is something brewing with the building across the street (on the river - the one GVSU owns). Just can't tell ya'll what it is - we will see if it comes to anything as it is a complicated one also.

I'm confused again. Which building does GVSU own? General, were you refering to 220 Front or another building? :wacko:

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I am curious... how does one turn a building into a cul-de-sac?

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Go there and check it out. Can't get to it, and when you do you can't get away from it.

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Go there and check it out. Can't get to it, and when you do you can't get away from it.

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That's what they planned all along.. Mwwwooooohahahahaha :ph34r:

Sorry, the tone of the conversation was making me chuckle.

Like the Hotel California? LOVE it!

The General has to be talking about 220 Front St. It looks pretty decent, it was for sale at a decent price not long ago, it looks unused right now, it was owned by GVSU, it would definitely have real "lofts" as Mrknowitall described, it has graffiti on it, and has a 1 or 2 story section with a courtyard attached to it (perfect for a club/bar/lounge).

38 Front Street has some potential.

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Take out the concrete block sections where they filled in windows and loading dock areas. Replace the windows (which are huge). And attach patios like they did here and on Cambridge House (but wrap the entire building in patios :D ):

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Sorry, my post was confusing (and the name wrong). That's not Cambridge House. It is a condo building at 801 North Monroe by the 6th Street Bridge called Landmark Lofts (offices and residential). They have some nice patios on the back that face the river and have views of the bridge. Cambridge House is a restaurant in the Monroe Terrace Building across the street.

I know this is going to sound weird, but I swear this building used to have Precious Moments Dolls (you know the ones with the weepy eyes) in the first floor windows before they restored it. The building was a mess back 7 - 8 years ago.

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Sorry, my post was confusing (and the name wrong).  That's not Cambridge House.  It is a condo building at 801 North Monroe by the 6th Street Bridge called Landmark Lofts (offices and residential).  They have some nice patios on the back that face the river and have views of the bridge.  Cambridge House is a restaurant in the Monroe Terrace Building across the street.

I know this is going to sound weird, but I swear this building used to have Precious Moments Dolls (you know the ones with the weepy eyes) in the first floor windows before they restored it.  The building was a mess back 7 - 8 years ago.

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Not weird at all because you are absolutely correct. Ironically, the guy who invented Precious Moments had the unfortunate name of Butcher.

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