Archived

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

metrogrkid

PWCD COMMITTEE PROJECT NEXT I

44 posts in this topic

As of this morning, the democratically selected date of September 21, 2005 was announced for the inaugural meeting of the COMMITTEE FOR THE PLANNING OF A WORLD-CLASS DOWNTOWN (PWCD) and its PROJECT NEXT I: the opportunities for a proposal to redevelop the airspace above the National City Center / Amway Grand Plaza Ramp / McGraw-Hill Building / Skywalk Corridor (between Pearl Street and Louis Campau Promenade) into a world-class mixed-use atrium with entertainment, housing, restaurant and retail uses. As stated earlier in a recent PWCD thread here at UP, it is the intent of such a proposal to show a best-case scenario for taking advantage of all the considerable skywalk pedestrian traffic that will be moving through this area on treks between VanAndel Arena, DeVos Place, Plaza Towers, the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and the upcoming new Marriott Marquis tower.

The vision and proposal that will result in the weeks and months ahead will be a part of an ongoing series of follow-ups to the METROPOLITAN CENTER concept that was forwarded to the city this spring to inform and inspire development decisions for the upcoming RSC/Metro Center Site project. As before, the culminating vision for PROJECT NEXT I will likewise be presented by this Committee to GR Mayor Heartwell as well as to the key shareholders in this project's site (i.e. - CB Richard Ellis, National City Bank, Amway Hotel Corporation, etc.). This, as always, has been intended as a physical way for the vision and creative energies of PWCD Committee/UP-Grand Rapids to be heard and to influence a more synergistic, exciting and world-class future for downtown Grand Rapids.

Please feel free to use this thread as a repository for diagrams, photos and discusssion that can assist the PWCD Committee with fashioning a suitably world-class proposal for this critical downtown pedestrian juncture.

Toward a Coruscanti future :thumbsup: . . . .

Metrogrkid

Liaison to MBEI Board of Directors / www.mbei.org

(Hosting Body for PWCD Committee)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I will bring multiple photo angles of the current buildings, including interior shots of the skywalk. I'm not sure which building is the McGraw-Hill, but I'm guessing it is where Z's is? See ya next Wednesday R.R.! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will bring multiple photo angles of the current buildings, including interior shots of the skywalk.  I'm not sure which building is the McGraw-Hill, but I'm guessing it is where Z's is?  See ya next Wednesday R.R.!  ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Dad:

I'm glad I caught you. The McGraw-Hill Building is that little three-story ugly building (GRCC architecture-inspired :wacko: ) with Subway and that small regional bank on its Monroe Avenue streetfront (it actually comprises the majority of the skywalk corridor interior through the PROJECT NEXT I site :sick: ).

-Metrogrkid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dad:

I'm glad I caught you.  The McGraw-Hill Building is that little three-story ugly building (GRCC architecture-inspired  :wacko:  ) with Subway and that small regional bank on its Monroe Avenue streetfront (it actually comprises the majority of the skywalk corridor interior through the PROJECT NEXT I site  :sick: ).

-Metrogrkid

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ah! The main building in question. I have plenty of that one ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and the upcoming new Marriott Marquis tower.

/ www.mbei.org

(Hosting Body for PWCD Committee)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Not to get bogged down in semantics, but I thought the new Marriott was going to be just the regular Marriott Hotel brand. The Marriott Marquis is the upper end brand of the company, just like the Courtyard is their more business oriented and spartan brand. If they decide to give it the Marquis brand, it would definately add an upscale component downtown to help compliment the Amway Grand. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think he meant that it would be a marquis tower for Grand Rapids. As far as I know, it is going to be the standard Marriott line, although there are not a lot of them in downtowns like ours, and they are still very nice.

http://marriott.com/explore/default.mi?WT_Ref=mi_header

The closest I could find similar to ours would be the waterfront Marriott in Baltimore:

bwiwf_phototour18.jpg

bwiwf_phototour02.jpg

Technically, I think there are only two Marriott Marquis Hotels, one in Atlanta and one in New York.

I am looking forward to the meeting Wednesday night. It will be interesting to put faces with usernames :) Kind of like seeing radio disc jockeys out in public, and they don't look anything like you expected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am looking forward to the meeting Wednesday night.  It will be interesting to put faces with usernames :)  Kind of like seeing radio disc jockeys out in public, and they don't look anything like you expected.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

To add on to that sentiment, who here is planning on attending? I think it a real testiment to the strength of downtown, that people are willing to take time out of their busy lives to contribute time and talents to this project.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To add on to that sentiment, who here is planning on attending?  I think it a real testiment to the strength of downtown, that people are willing to take time out of their busy lives to contribute time and talents to this project.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I plan to be there, but I'm hoping nothing goes wrong and I can't make it. An open weekday evening is a hot commodity around our house :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I plan to be there, but I'm hoping nothing goes wrong and I can't make it.  An open weekday evening is a hot commodity around our house  :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

As a fellow GRDadof2, I can understand where you're coming from. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I plan to be there, but I'm hoping nothing goes wrong and I can't make it.  An open weekday evening is a hot commodity around our house  :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's what makes this whole PWCD Committee and its efforts that much more powerful: DIVERSE THINKERS OF METRO GR CONTRIBUTING TO THE FORWARD MOVEMENT - AND ELEVATION - OF DOWNTOWN.

By the way, Dad, when I saw that rending of the Baltimore Marriott and how the surrounding buildings look amazingly like our Oldtown Riverfront Building (and the others surrounding the GR Marriott site), it struck me that a tower like that one (albeit more likely with housing instead) rising from the top of PROJECT NEXT I's atrium would, in effect, create GR's analog to Chicago's Watertower Place (AND RIGHT IN THE CENTER OF THE BUSIEST PORTION OF THE SKYWALK SYSTEM!!). :blink: YIKES!! What have we started!!??

I just saw Joe Tomaselli - GM of Amway Hotel Corp (runs Grand Plaza, Courtyard at Plaza Towers and soon the GR Marriott) - recently and we both conceded that it was time for us to have one of our lunches where we discuss downtown GR's future. Hmmm - I think I better time that to bring a few of the PWCD committee members along when the concepts for this project become more solid.

Who to bring, who to bring . . . . Joe Downtown? . . . . GRCentro? . . . . Josh? . . . . you Dad? . . . . hmmm

I CAN'T WAIT 'TIL WEDNESDAY !! See you all that confirmed there.

-Metrogrkid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what makes this whole PWCD Committee and its efforts that much more powerful: DIVERSE THINKERS OF METRO GR CONTRIBUTING TO THE FORWARD MOVEMENT - AND ELEVATION - OF DOWNTOWN.

By the way, Dad, when I saw that rending of the Baltimore Marriott and how the surrounding buildings look amazingly like our Oldtown Riverfront Building (and the others surrounding the GR Marriott site), it struck me that a tower like that one (albeit more likely with housing instead) rising from the top of PROJECT NEXT I's atrium would, in effect, create GR's analog to Chicago's Watertower Place (AND RIGHT IN THE CENTER OF THE BUSIEST PORTION OF THE SKYWALK SYSTEM!!).  :blink:  YIKES!!  What have we started!!??

I just saw Joe Tomaselli - GM of Amway Hotel Corp (runs Grand Plaza, Courtyard at Plaza Towers and soon the GR Marriott) - recently and we both conceded that it was time for us to have one of our lunches where we discuss downtown GR's future.  Hmmm - I think I better time that to bring a few of the PWCD committee members along when the concepts for this project become more solid.

Who to bring, who to bring . . . . Joe Downtown? . . . . GRCentro? . . . . Josh? . . . . you Dad? . . . . hmmm

I CAN'T WAIT 'TIL WEDNESDAY !!  See you all that confirmed there.

-Metrogrkid

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I would think that the Art Museum would be VERY interested in, and would support as well, a potential building that could possibly link them to the skywalk system. ;) As much as I don't like skywalks for taking people away from the streets, some months of the year around here, they are a necessary evil. And I know that the CAA, Devos Place, Amway Grand and the CVB use the skywalks as a selling point when they come upon weather as an objection for drawing conventioneers in the Winter time from Southern parts of the country.

I think an important part of the transformation of the PWCD Project would be to drastically DECREASE the width of Monroe Avenue and greatly INCREASE the width of the sidewalks on both sides. Most of the heavy traffic volume downtown seems to be going East/West (Michigan and Fulton), while North/South gets disseminated throughout the various arteries, especially if Ottawa and Ionia were opened to two-way traffic. I'm sure there is someone who has access to those numbers who could bring that along on Wednesday :whistling:

Just some rambling thoughts...

Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think that the Art Museum would be VERY interested in, and would support as well, a potential building that could possibly link them to the skywalk system.  ;)  As much as I don't like skywalks for taking people away from the streets, some months of the year around here, they are a necessary evil.  And I know that the CAA, Devos Place, Amway Grand and the CVB use the skywalks as a selling point when they come upon weather as an objection for drawing conventioneers in the Winter time from Southern parts of the country. 

I think an important part of the transformation of the PWCD Project would be to drastically DECREASE the width of Monroe Avenue and greatly INCREASE the width of the sidewalks on both sides.  Most of the heavy traffic volume downtown seems to be going East/West (Michigan and Fulton), while North/South gets disseminated throughout the various arteries, especially if Ottawa and Ionia were opened to two-way traffic.  I'm sure there is someone who has access to those numbers who could bring that along on Wednesday  :whistling:

Just some rambling thoughts...

Jeff

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Go here for a pdf of traffic count info. ;)

http://www.gvmc.org/transportation/TrafficCounts.shtml

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if i can actually show up to these meetings 'cause of work, but if you guys want me to build the concepts into 3d models and rederings let me know...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Niiiiice andy!  That's awesome!  You should try and make it on Wednesday  ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thanks, I want to go, but I have a work commitment on Wednesday night that I can't miss. :( Otherwise I'd be there.

Also check the Kent County website, they have traffic counts too, but in my experience the GVMC data is more up-to-date.

http://www.kentcountyroads.net/PDF/TrafficCounts.pdf

Actually, I think it might be the same as the GVMC data. Probably worth a look, though ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Ohhhh! You and Rizzo, work, work, work!! What, do you have bills to pay or somethin :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ohhhh!  You and Rizzo, work, work, work!!  What, do you have bills to pay or somethin  :P

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yah I know...maybe I should just stop paying them :P . Unfortunately my job often requires my evenings.

Seriously though, if you PWCD attendees need anything in the way of information and/or research to which I might have access, let me know and I'll try to help out. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Folks,

As you all know I've just moved here, but I would love to become more involved in the community. I also happen to be an urban/transportation economist with an avid research program in transportations systems (not to flaunt my credentials here), but I would delighted to help out in any way needed (or offer my two cents :) .

How does one get invited to the PWCD meetings? Do I have to be a registered voter in GR to participate/attend OWCD meetings?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Folks,

As you all know I've just moved here, but I would love to become more involved in the community. I also happen to be an urban/transportation economist with an avid research program in transportations systems (not to flaunt my credentials here), but I would delighted to help out in any way needed (or offer my two cents :) .

How does one get invited to the PWCD meetings? Do I have to be a registered voter in GR to participate/attend OWCD meetings?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hey Bostonian! You certainly don't need to be a registered voter here. I would shoot an e-mail to the project coordinator (from the last thread):

"For all those interested who are not yet a part of this committee and would like to be, please forward your name, email address and phone number to "[email protected]"

I can't speak for everyone, but I'm sure there is room for an out-of-towner's viewpoint, for sure. The meeting is tomorrow (Wednesday) night at an "undisclosed location" :P

Hopefully R.R. will get back to you in time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think an important part of the transformation of the PWCD Project would be to drastically DECREASE the width of Monroe Avenue and greatly INCREASE the width of the sidewalks on both sides. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I hate to be a pessimist, but this argument will not likely go anywhere. Looking at that traffic count info, 16,000 to 20,000 cars a day would probably be way to heavy for two lanes. I doubt traffic engineers would ever go for that. It is my understanding that one lane in each direction starts to become problematic at around 10,000 to 12,000 cars per day. Maybe a more effective argument would be to bring up some kind of planted median, e.g. Fulton/LaGrave area. It is still four lanes of traffic, but it looks better and is much more pedestrian-friendly than the plain ol' 5-lane super-slab.

Or you could make Monroe a one-way, which would allow you a narrow road and wider sidewalks, maybe some street parking. One-ways, however, are not always that popular, so there might be other problems with that.

Just a thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hate to be a pessimist, but this argument will not likely go anywhere.  Looking at that traffic count info, 16,000 to 20,000 cars a day would probably be way to heavy for two lanes.  I doubt  traffic engineers would ever go for that.  It is my understanding that one lane in each direction starts to become problematic at around 10,000 to 12,000 cars per day.  Maybe a more effective argument would be to bring up some kind of planted median, e.g. Fulton/LaGrave area.  It is still four lanes of traffic, but it looks better and is much more pedestrian-friendly than the plain ol' 5-lane super-slab.

Or you could make Monroe a one-way, which would allow you a narrow road and wider sidewalks, maybe some street parking. One-ways, however, are not always that popular, so there might be other problems with that.

Just a thought.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

With the construction going on with the Amway Grand and having one lane cut down, I never witnessed any BIG traffic backups going South. Maybe they could take out the left turn lane except at Pearl and at Louis, which could shrink the size of the street. Your idea might be good as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think that the Art Museum would be VERY interested in, and would support as well, a potential building that could possibly link them to the skywalk system. 

Dad:

Unfortunately, after a talk last spring with Second Story Properties President and GR Art Museum Fundraiser Chairman, Sam Cummings, the museum and its site MUST remain isolated from connections to other buildings (including what I was proposing to him as a Messeturm-like complimentary mixed-use tower incorporated into the museum site) due to the security measures necessary for bringing in world-class art exhibitions.

:(

sorry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if i can actually show up to these meetings 'cause of work, but if you guys want me to build the concepts into 3d models and rederings let me know...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

CONSIDER THIS AS "LETTING YOU KNOW". Come with it, Rizz

-Metrogrkid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Folks,

As you all know I've just moved here, but I would love to become more involved in the community. I also happen to be an urban/transportation economist with an avid research program in transportations systems (not to flaunt my credentials here), but I would delighted to help out in any way needed (or offer my two cents :) .

How does one get invited to the PWCD meetings? Do I have to be a registered voter in GR to participate/attend OWCD meetings?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hey metrogrkid, did you notice Bostonianingr's post?^^^ You may want to shoot him a PM ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dad:

Unfortunately, after a talk last spring with Second Story Properties President and GR Art Museum Fundraiser Chairman, Sam Cummings, the museum and its site MUST remain isolated from connections to other buildings (including what I was proposing to him as a Messeturm-like complimentary mixed-use tower incorporated into the museum site) due to the security measures necessary for bringing in world-class art exhibitions.

:(

sorry.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Wow metrokid, thanks for the insight. ;)

Your post just begs the question:

If GRAM must remain isolated from other buildings, and it isn't tall, and is made of left-over road construction materials (e.g. concrete slabs) for "security", then WHAT IS GOD'S NAME IS IT DOING IN THE MOST IMPORTANT SITE IN DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!

Sorry...I just had to get that out. :blush:

And Jeff, I agree with you about Monroe, one lane in each direction might not be to bad in reality, I'm just sayin' that I doubt the traffic engineers wouldn't let it fly. I would love to see Monroe as 2 lanes with street parking and wide sidewalks. It would be a great positive addition to the pedestrian experience downtown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.