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GRDadof3

Rowe Hotel

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I'm not one to criticize the Devos family very often, but an article in the GRBJ today about the old Rowe Hotel is just agonizing. Basically Devos is just sitting on the property. "We may renovate the property, we may build a new facility, we may sell, we may partner with somebody blah, blah, blah...." But they want to be an "influence" on such an important corner in the city. Rockford Construction has removed all of the asbestos, and cleaned the place out, so it is ready to go!

A31BBEE0011011DAB7C1473718F73B1D.jpg

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I'm not one to criticize the Devos family very often, but an article in the GRBJ today about the old Rowe Hotel is just agonizing.  Basically Devos is just sitting on the property.  "We may renovate the property, we may build a new facility, we may sell, we may partner with somebody blah, blah, blah...."  But they want to be an "influence" on such an important corner in the city.  Rockford Construction has removed all of the asbestos, and cleaned the place out, so it is ready to go!

A31BBEE0011011DAB7C1473718F73B1D.jpg

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That building looks great and has a prime location. If it is structurally sound, safe, then it should be renovated and used for something...housing/apartments/condos would be ideal...with lots of retail on the ground floor, of course :D

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Yeah, it's location has become unkind to it over the years it seems. It's wholely isolated from from the rest of downtown, now.

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was the reason for a lack of development the asbestos? Going sort of off topic, asbestos is great stuff, infanitely heat resistand strong... just too bad it supposedly causes cancer, more than regular breathing. ;)

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I really would like to see this place restored as hotel.

It

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Actually, they have been sitting on the piece of land at the SW corner of Fulton and Monroe Ave.  This has been in their possesion for many, many years, and nothing has ever been announced for it except for back room rumors.

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True, true, Prankster. They hold the right and left bower of downtown (for you euchre players) <_<

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Allow me to be the culturless oaf who doesn't appreciate beauty, but if someone were to propose a six hundred foot high rise at that location, I'd be like tear that beotch down! It's pretty and it does us no good empty, but if we could get some world class height downtown, I'd be all for it

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i dont know if that building would do to well as any residential, it would be too creepy :blink:

perhaps thats why devos would destroy it, its kind of a creepy building.

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i dont know if that building would do to well as any residential, it would be too creepy  :blink:

perhaps thats why devos would destroy it, its kind of a creepy building.

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I've seen a lot creepier places turned into fantastic residential projects, and I think it would be unjust to tear it down. But maybe other people have different opinions. I can't imagine why anyone would find the City or County buildings historically or architecturally significant, but look at how the preservationists came out of the woodwork against tearing those two down, just because they were International Style. There are plenty of other places for a 600' tower, IMO. They are having this same discussion on the Detroit forum about multiple old structures being torn down, except they are discussing the fact that it is too late.

I say Devos needs to s**t or get off the pot. ;)

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They are waiting for the building moritorium that the Post Office is under to end. It is well known that the Post Office for years has been attempting to get a new home nearer to the airport. The only problem, budget issues have all but halted new Post Office construction across the nation.

As soon as the limits are lifted and we can get them moved, the Rowe will be re-used. Until then, it is in essence a useless property.

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They are waiting for the building moritorium that the Post Office is under to end.  It is well known that the Post Office for years has been attempting to get a new home nearer to the airport.  The only problem, budget issues have all but halted new Post Office construction across the nation.

As soon as the limits are lifted and we can get them moved, the Rowe will be re-used.  Until then, it is in essence a useless property.

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I imagine the rowe would be used in a similar manner as the pantlind when amway grand was built.

I would like to see it become a retail center though, and not another hotel.

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I imagine the rowe would be used in a similar manner as the pantlind when amway grand was built.

I would like to see it become a retail center though, and not another hotel.

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I agree that it should be a retail center, at least on the ground floor. There could be residential above though. It would be a good anchor for folks who lived in RiverHouse and Monroe North. A hotel would be okay too, but we already have one of those going up, so who knows if there is enough demand to fill it.

Ideally, Rowe would stay and be renovated, the post office would be demolished developed into some fantastic mixed use high-rise :D . The current location of the Press across the street should also be demolished and replaced with something (anything) better than what is currently there.

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Allow me to be the culturless oaf who doesn't appreciate beauty, but if someone were to propose a six hundred foot high rise at that location, I'd be like tear that beotch down!  It's pretty and it does us no good empty,  but if we could get some world class height downtown, I'd be all for it

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I really don't understand the whole "height is everything" spirit that many members of this forum seem to promote. Perhaps someone can explain it to me.

I don't think it makes any more sense to tear down historic buildings just to gain a "six-hundred foot high-rise", than it did back in the 70's to tear down historic structures and build the faceless concrete masses we're forced to look at today.

And speaking of "faceless", this builing actually has faces! Those "gargoyles" are pretty hard to miss.

I'm just not sold on the argument that every building has to be tall to be cool. I really like a balance of old and new, glass and brick, tall and short, etc.

The friendliest downtown areas I've visited aren't just canyons of glass and concrete. They have open spaces, and light, and a mix of masses that add up to a real sense of "place".

Anyway, that's just my opinion.

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The friendliest downtown areas I've visited aren't just canyons of glass and concrete. They have open spaces, and light, and a mix of masses that add up to a real sense of "place".

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perhaps its just me, but I think Grand Rapids has a lot of this already. theres no central park, but we have lots of good street scapes expecially along Ottawa, and Monroe. We have some of the best parks in the region. and there is a good mix of tall and short buildings, and more to come.

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I think the only reason it looks creepy is because it's sat vacant so long and left to deteriorate. The windows on the ground floor are so dirty it makes me sick and parts of the facade are falling apart. I know life can be pumped back into the building. At first I had the attitude of tearing it down to build a tall skyscraper, but the more I observe the building the more I appreciate it's beauty. I think the only thing holding back the development is the post office. Once it's gone something great will happen. Unfortunately we know the budget problems of the US post office. We just have to keep our fingers crossed for that great day when the post office meets the wrecking ball.

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"I think the only reason it looks creepy is because it's sat vacant so long and left to deteriorate. The windows on the ground floor are so dirty it makes me sick and parts of the facade are falling apart. I know life can be pumped back into the building. At first I had the attitude of tearing it down to build a tall skyscraper, but the more I observe the building the more I appreciate it's beauty. I think the only thing holding back the development is the post office. Once it's gone something great will happen. Unfortunately we know the budget problems of the US post office. We just have to keep our fingers crossed for that great day when the post office meets the wrecking ball. "

Well said...

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I think the only reason it looks creepy is because it's sat vacant so long and left to deteriorate.  The windows on the ground floor are so dirty it makes me sick and parts of the facade are falling apart. I know life can be pumped back into the building. At first I had the attitude of tearing it down to build a tall skyscraper, but the more I observe the building the more I appreciate it's beauty. I think the only thing holding back the development is the post office. Once it's gone something great will happen. Unfortunately we know the budget problems of the US post office. We just have to keep our fingers crossed for that great day when the post office meets the wrecking ball.

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I agree. I think it looks creepy because its so dirty from neglect. The small, plain windows on floors 3-7 don't help much. I also agree with grdad that it would be a crime to tear it down. There a plenty of ugly buildings around that we can demolish and build higher. Why would we want to demolish something with so much history if it can be rehabbed?

That whole chunk of town near Michigan Ave needs work. The government buildings (fed, state, county, city) are all just hideous. Add to that the Press and post office and you have an ugly couple of blocks. Those are the buildings that should be demolished and built taller IMO B)

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Can we all agree that if GR is to get any other highrises they will be on the Vandenburg, GR Press, or the Post office if the planets align in our favor?

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I agree.  I think it looks creepy because its so dirty from neglect.  The small, plain windows on floors 3-7 don't help much.  I also agree with grdad that it would be a crime to tear it down.  There a plenty of ugly buildings around that we can demolish and build higher.  Why would we want to demolish something with so much history if it can be rehabbed?

That whole chunk of town near Michigan Ave needs work.  The government buildings (fed, state, county, city) are all just hideous.  Add to that the Press and post office and you have an ugly couple of blocks.  Those are the buildings that should be demolished and built taller IMO  B)

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Thanks for the props, andy ;) I'm with allbusiness. I have seen a lot of gleaming skyscrapers look outdated and ugly at street level in just 10 years. Why do that when we have something that has such classic architecture. It is really in relatively good shape, and would not take much to bring it back. There is an old photo of the Rowe Hotel from 1947 here...

http://www.grpl.org/photocoll?cat=buildings#mid

(1/2 way down in the left column)

...when it had shops at ground level (probably a diner). The photo also says the Grand Trunk Railroad Station sat where the post office is now. It was definitely in a prime location in its day ;) Come on post office!

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what makes it creepy isnt the deterioration of the building, but the fact it used to be an old people home!

Its probably haunted :P

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What is that great tower in the photo where the post office is now. It looks like an earlier version of GVSU tower across the river...

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What is that great tower in the photo where the post office is now. It looks like an earlier version of GVSU tower across the river...

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Caption says "grand Trunk Depot".

Look how good the Rowe Hotel looks with the street level filled in with retail! That dank and dirty "cavern" entryway is depressing today.

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