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East Beltline Developments


GRDadof3

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19 hours ago, jdkacz said:

Kind of interesting, that's a nice building to just tear down and rebuild?

They must really want to be in that spot. Of all the chains along that stretch of the Beltline, only a couple have drive throughs (Wendy's, Potbelly, Red Hot Inn and I think that's it). I don't even think the township allows drive throughs in that area, which is why only the ones in the city of GR boundaries have them. 

I take that back, the old Fajita Republic is in the township. Knowing how conservative the township board is though, I don't think they'll hold up a Chik Fil A over a little ol drive through request.

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6 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

I take that back, the old Fajita Republic is in the township. Knowing how conservative the township board is though, I don't think they'll hold up a Chik Fil A over a little ol drive through request.

The east side of the East Beltline on that stretch is city of Grand Rapids. I'm just a map guy!

So, hopefully no issues on that front.

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18 hours ago, ctpgr34 said:

Looks like both sides are the cityScreen Shot 2016-09-30 at 4.21.32 PM.png

Oh yes, you're right. 

Interestingly a carwash proposed for land just North of Meijer along Knapp was voted down because the Northeast Citizens Action Committee (?) came out strongly against it. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

According to WoodTV, and this is going to make your head hurt, the planning commission rejected a plan for a Chick-Fil-A in Celebration Village, in the former Fajita Republic, because they did not want a drive-through as part of the plan because they, according to the report, didnt want the E. Beltline to turn into "another 28th street" lined with a bunch of fast-food joints. never mind that they are perfectly happy with a variety of strip malls complexes, office parks, and other assorted suburban-style plans and projects.

A drive-through of a popular chain that would bring in tons of customers, in a currently abandoned building, that doesn't empty out onto the Beltline? That somehow was rejected?

 

The WoodTV report said that there were no other drive-troughs along the Beltline. This is not true as Wendy's has one right across Knapp.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Fajita+Republic+Cantina/@42.9948882,-85.5917738,135m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x764c4c3ed5a97fec!8m2!3d43.0020795!4d-85.5912865

What makes this even more bizarre is, like the Wendy's, this proposed location is set back from the Beltline and has no direct road access to it

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Fajita+Republic+Cantina/@43.0015718,-85.5900277,384m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x764c4c3ed5a97fec!8m2!3d43.0020795!4d-85.5912865

 

So something is definitely fishy (chicken-y?) here. Either the PC has no idea what they are talking about, or they REALLY have no idea what they are talking about.

 

I seriously would have loved to not have to go down to the S. Beltline just for some Chik-Fil-A!

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51 minutes ago, GR_Urbanist said:

According to WoodTV, and this is going to make your head hurt, the planning commission rejected a plan for a Chick-Fil-A in Celebration Village, in the former Fajita Republic, because they did not want a drive-through as part of the plan because they, according to the report, didnt want the E. Beltline to turn into "another 28th street" lined with a bunch of fast-food joints. never mind that they are perfectly happy with a variety of strip malls complexes, office parks, and other assorted suburban-style plans and projects.

A drive-through of a popular chain that would bring in tons of customers, in a currently abandoned building, that doesn't empty out onto the Beltline? That somehow was rejected?

 

The WoodTV report said that there were no other drive-troughs along the Beltline. This is not true as Wendy's has one right across Knapp.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Fajita+Republic+Cantina/@42.9948882,-85.5917738,135m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x764c4c3ed5a97fec!8m2!3d43.0020795!4d-85.5912865

What makes this even more bizarre is, like the Wendy's, this proposed location is set back from the Beltline and has no direct road access to it

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Fajita+Republic+Cantina/@43.0015718,-85.5900277,384m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x764c4c3ed5a97fec!8m2!3d43.0020795!4d-85.5912865

 

So something is definitely fishy (chicken-y?) here. Either the PC has no idea what they are talking about, or they REALLY have no idea what they are talking about.

 

I seriously would have loved to not have to go down to the S. Beltline just for some Chik-Fil-A!

I think it was a strange call, especially parts about keeping Celebration Village "pedestrian friendly," but I think they're trying to limit any new restaurant drive thru's as part of the Overlay District. It didn't surprise me that it was denied.

I wonder too if it was political in nature. And seriously, it's just breaded chicken. :) I had it once and it made me think of what would happen if Arby's just totally concentrated on chicken, lol.

That section of the Beltline does not need any more (crappy) chains. Actually I think it's way oversaturated with restaurants, period. 

 

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1 minute ago, GRDadof3 said:

I think it was a strange call, but I think they're trying to limit any new restaurant drive thru's as part of the Overlay District. It didn't surprise me that it was denied.

I wonder too if it was political in nature. And seriously, it's just breaded chicken. :) I had it once and it made me think of what would happen if Arby's just totally concentrated on chicken, lol.

 

 

Political was my thought as well, and I say that as a centrist. It would have been a cash cow and they turned it down with a bogus reasoning like that. East Beltline is not far from being 28th Street already with all of its chain restaurants. 

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11 minutes ago, GRLaker said:

Political was my thought as well, and I say that as a centrist. It would have been a cash cow and they turned it down with a bogus reasoning like that. East Beltline is not far from being 28th Street already with all of its chain restaurants. 

Cash cow? For the city?

I would disagree with that statement. It's got some major institutions along it (Meijer Gardens, KISD), some large office parks with limited drives, several corporate HQ's (Universal Forest Products, Priority Health). It even has condominium complexes that are either on the Beltline or just off of it, as well as a good mix of retail and offices, and no car dealerships. It does have a TON of chain restaurants but they're (mostly) not thrown randomly in the mix like much of 28th. 28th St East of I-96 might be a good comparison but even that has more retail.  

The only drive throughs I can think of are the banks, Red Hot Inn, Wendy's and the new Potbelly.

I'm perfectly happy with the decision being political, if that were the case. It sucks being denied because of who you are, right Chik Fil A? :)

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3 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

Cash cow? For the city?

In general for the area. As of right now, it's very new to West Michigan. People drive long distances to eat there (no idea why...it's fried chicken). People coming into that area means people checking out some of the other establishments around it...Going to a movie, getting fro yo, getting some things from the store, going to the gardens, etc. It could have had a nice economic impact on the area. To us, it's just a fried chicken sandwich place...To some right now, it's a destination.

The city gets a guaranteed long term property tax payer and an occupied lot that doesn't end up deteriorating like empty ones tend to do. Now that will make it look like 28th Street.

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7 minutes ago, GRLaker said:

In general for the area. As of right now, it's very new to West Michigan. People drive long distances to eat there (no idea why...it's fried chicken). People coming into that area means people checking out some of the other establishments around it...Going to a movie, getting fro yo, getting some things from the store, going to the gardens, etc. It could have had a nice economic impact on the area. To us, it's just a fried chicken sandwich place...To some right now, it's a destination.

The city gets a guaranteed long term property tax payer and an occupied lot that doesn't end up deteriorating like empty ones tend to do. Now that will make it look like 28th Street.

OK seriously, how many people do you think go to a 4500 square foot Chik-Fuckin-Fil-A? It's not a Cabela's or Whole Foods. Or a Krispy Kreme. :) (I admittedly drive pretty far for Krispy Kreme sometimes). I'm not saying nothing should go in that spot but I don't think a chain fast food place is the right thing. A brewery would be great for that corner but I don't think at that spot?  

 

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12 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

OK seriously, how many people do you think go to a 4500 square foot Chik-fudgein-Fil-A? It's not a Cabela's or Whole Foods. Or a Krispy Kreme. :) (I admittedly drive pretty far for Krispy Kreme sometimes). I'm not saying nothing should go in that spot but I don't think a chain fast food place is the right thing. A brewery would be great for that corner but I don't think at that spot?  

 

I think you underestimate the people on the far right that flock to establishments for the sole purpose of support ;) Not saying it's not a ridiculous reason to go to a restaurant, but it is money.

I'd honestly like to see a Cheesecake Factory go in since this fell through. It's the perfect location for it IMO. It's the kind of restaurant they're looking to attract to that area by the sound of it. Only issue might be parking. That would be a big draw as well, but it would seat way more people.

Edited by GRLaker
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10 minutes ago, GRLaker said:

I think you underestimate the people on the far right that flock to establishments for the sole purpose of support ;) Not saying it's not a ridiculous reason to go to a restaurant, but it is money.

I'd honestly like to see a Cheesecake Factory go in since this fell through. It's the perfect location for it IMO. It's the kind of restaurant they're looking to attract to that area by the sound of it. Only issue might be parking. That would be a big draw as well, but it would seat way more people.

I'd like to see the hotel get built that was supposed to go behind this spot, assuming it had its own parking contained in the building. Would help complete the neighborhood main street they were going for. Or even an apartment building with ground floor retail. 

I don't KNOW if the decision was political so I'm not going to speculate any further. :)

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I agree, bad spot for this concept, and also agree that the developer (who i think is Celebration Cinema) needs to get back to making this more of a pedestrian friendly concept.  When this area was laid out 10 or so years ago, that was the plan. It really got away from them. I do understand the parcel in questions is not owned by Celebration. 

I'm surprised the GRPC let Pottbelly include a drive thru, and then shot this one down.  Frankly, I don't understand the big draw of Chick -fil-a.  It's ok, but in my opinion, not that great.

Edited by mpchicago
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Surprised about this rejection.  I get the idea that they don't want it to be another 28th street, but replacing one chain restaurant for another with a drive thru isn't really going to tip the balance.

There are already a few drive-thrus near Knapp's corner:

  • Food:  Pot Belly (new), Starbucks, Kitchen 67 (new-ish), Wendy's & Red Hot.
  • Banks:  Chase, Macatawa, LMCU, DFCU, Mercantile, PNC (new) &  5/3rd.  
  • Plus the Meijer and D&W prescription drive-thrus
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In many locations Chick-Fil-A is a major source of traffic congestion.  While vacationing down in South Carolina, Chick-Fil-A traffic would spill off into main parking lot and drive. The drive thru line would almost wrap around the whole building, depending on the time of day. The celebration area would be clogged, would require a full redevelopment of the road system, and because of the michigan turns, would be very difficult to get in and out.

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1 hour ago, EastownLeo said:

In many locations Chick-Fil-A is a major source of traffic congestion.  While vacationing down in South Carolina, Chick-Fil-A traffic would spill off into main parking lot and drive. The drive thru line would almost wrap around the whole building, depending on the time of day. The celebration area would be clogged, would require a full redevelopment of the road system, and because of the michigan turns, would be very difficult to get in and out.

"That's what's wrong with this country." :rofl:

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Eh, I don't really care what restaurant goes in there, but denying it to keep it more "walkable"?  That quote by Suzanne Schulz made me LOL.  Is it time for a new planning director who isn't totally detached from reality?  It's the EAST BELTLINE for goodness sake.  Traffic backing up onto the Beltline, now that I could have understood.  But walkable?  Fer realz?  

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Backed up on the Beltline?? That restaurant doesn't/wouldn't have a driveway on the Beltline.  They might backup onto the Celebration Drive or interfere with Chili's, but likely would have little impact on the Beltline traffic. The busiest an average Chik Fil A gets is at lunch and they average 95 cars during that time.  Can't imagine that this is going to have a significant impact the 66,000 cars that already drive past Knapp's corner everyday.   

Plus, Celebration Cinema approved it.  They are the ones who would be impacted with any traffic issues.

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 Well hopefully they can find something that will reuse the existing building which is actually kind of cool. There's probably several other empty lots along east beltline the Chick-fil-A could build in without having to demolish something. Not sure what's up with the city rejecting  everything in that area? Also are they ever going to finish the celebration "village" to actually make it more pedestrian friendly or are they just trying to keep out drive-through's? 

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40 minutes ago, GR8scott said:

Also are they ever going to finish the celebration "village" to actually make it more pedestrian friendly or are they just trying to keep out drive-through's? 

I don't understand the concept.  You have to drive there and it is a bunch of destination places.  Who cares if it is pedestrian friendly?  You park outside where you are going and go in.  That's sort of the way these things work.

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Agreed. It's a restaurant pad - you either drive up and park in an parking lot, or you drive up and go through a drive through (next to a parking lot). I don't really see how a drive through hurts the integrity of a development that is already a) not pedestrian friendly and b) not very car friendly either. :)

Seems like someone is trying to make a "statement" more than building better developments. Celebration "Village" is already a sh*t show. I just don't see what axe they are trying to grind here. Isn't Waterworks, in a sense, one big flippin' drive through?

I don't really understand "the Commissions". They seem to get in the way more often than they up the level of proposed development.

Joe

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I haven't been able to go through all 40 pages so Idk if it's been talked about, but for the growth of metro GR, I feel it's best if East Beltline expanded into a 6 lane road, 3 lanes going each way. I've noticed in the past how backed up it can get and I highly anticipate there will be a lot more of development in the future for EB so before it gets too built up I think adding an extra lane to each side would be smart.

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