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East Beltline Developments


GRDadof3

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Because why fill all that space up with nice buildings and trees, when you can have 40 acres of nice flat asphalt instead? :sick:

Yeah GRDad, get with the freakin' program! Trees just add clutter. Besides its hard to snowplow around them! five acres of ashpalt makes it much easier.

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Speaking of the East Beltline, this kind of development is OK, but a "village" with a main street, rear parking, and residential mixed in is not? <_<

168436708_afb1f1e814.jpg

(proposed retail center where Flowers of the Field sits now)

The design reminds me of that shopping center on East Paris and Cascade where Bonefish Grill is located. Same architects?

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Man, did somebody turn off the snob filter today? All cities with great downtown's have surrounding areas with lifestyle centers, strip malls and (gasp), chain restaurants. The comments lately make it seem like we need 40 story building on one side of the street and camp sites in the deep forest on the other side.

Grow up people, there is more to a city than *JUST* the urban core. New York, Chicago, London and Tokyo all have suburbs...

Joe

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Man, did somebody turn off the snob filter today? All cities with great downtown's have surrounding areas with lifestyle centers, strip malls and (gasp), chain restaurants. The comments lately make it seem like we need 40 story building on one side of the street and camp sites in the deep forest on the other side.

Grow up people, there is more to a city than *JUST* the urban core. New York, Chicago, London and Tokyo all have suburbs...

Joe

I'll take a lifestyle center in this area any day. But the hotel and the strip mall shown above, no thanks. Nothing snobby about not liking those :sick: .

Well planned suburbs are fine with me.

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Man, did somebody turn off the snob filter today? All cities with great downtown's have surrounding areas with lifestyle centers, strip malls and (gasp), chain restaurants. The comments lately make it seem like we need 40 story building on one side of the street and camp sites in the deep forest on the other side.

Grow up people, there is more to a city than *JUST* the urban core. New York, Chicago, London and Tokyo all have suburbs...

Joe

sorry, but i have to disagree with you. i may not be really popular around here, but i think i speak for many when i say this is bogus. how can a group of citizens that is put together to make an area better turn this down? it would be a perfect example of how suburban development should be.

a development like orchard hills may take up a lot of space, but seeing how it will hold all these residential, commercial, and office buildings all on one corner, it will cut down on further development down the beltline, because everything (well, almost everything) will be right on this corner. green space around gr township will be preseved, etc etc. everyone who knows anything about sprawl knows that strip malls and low density developments take up more green space, and medium-high density developments like orchard hills actually promote saving greenspace.

and i agree with you, grdad. grand rapids is going to have its suburbs. i just want them to be smart suburbs.

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I don't think GR township qualifies as a smart suburb. The residents, don't want anything built anywhere ever. So by force and over time, developers get in. And by doing it that way, the township loses a little ground in controlling what goes in. Because the bulk of those residents are so stubborn, and so short sighted, I think it turns around and bites them in the ass! Me personally, I like the drive up the Beltline, towards the 96. I'd love to see it built out. But the more GR Township residents fight. The more developers will sue to get in.

It does boggle my mind when a developer wants to put something that would be considered "responsible" in, and the people in NIMBY township STILL fight it! But to Joes point, I know exactly what he's saying. Some of the comments ive been hearing lately do make it sound like we should have a 40 story condo tower on one side of the road, and a camp ground in the forest accross the street. Well put Joe. I disagree with it in this particular instance sir. But Sprawl and suburbs are a natural part of life, they are nice places and easy to live in. That's why they have such an easier time being successful compared to core cities. Americans always take the easiest route given a choice. Some people make them sound like tent colonies full of lepers!

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I don't think GR township qualifies as a smart suburb. The residents, don't want anything built anywhere ever. So by force and over time, developers get in. And by doing it that way, the township loses a little ground in controlling what goes in. Because the bulk of those residents are so stubborn, and so short sighted, I think it turns around and bites them in the ass! Me personally, I like the drive up the Beltline, towards the 96. I'd love to see it built out. But the more GR Township residents fight. The more developers will sue to get in.

It does boggle my mind when a developer wants to put something that would be considered "responsible" in, and the people in NIMBY township STILL fight it! But to Joes point, I know exactly what he's saying. Some of the comments ive been hearing lately do make it sound like we should have a 40 story condo tower on one side of the road, and a camp ground in the forest accross the street. Well put Joe. I disagree with it in this particular instance sir. But Sprawl and suburbs are a natural part of life, they are nice places and easy to live in. That's why they have such an easier time being successful compared to core cities. Americans always take the easiest route given a choice. Some people make them sound like tent colonies full of lepers!

Let me just start by saying that it's not the GR Township residents who rejected the plan this time, it was a committee made up of Plainfield Township and City of Grand Rapids officials. In fact, I think the Township had pretty much worked out all the kinks with the developer, including adding a whopping 156 townhomes, and were following protocol and presenting it to the Overlay District Committee, where it was rejected.

I can attest personally that the Township has added a lot of new residents in the past five years, and has several newer people on the Township board who are little more progressive, and things seem to be changing. In fact, I was very surprised by the results of a recent survey that went out to the residents that asked questions about how residents wanted to see different areas handled: The Grand Rapids Golf Course, Knapp & Beltline, 3 Mile and Beltline, East Beltline North of 4 Mile, and a number of other areas. It was very encouraging, with many people voting for "village type mixed-use" settings in a number of those areas, as opposed to one use, strip malls or just residential on large lots.

One example is the new park land owned by Kent County near Leonard and Crahen. This land could easily have been developed into a luxury residential community, due to its gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside, proximity to Forest Hills Nortern High School, and completely surrounded on 3 sides by some of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Kent County. But, instead it was set aside for greenspace. Here is the latest Master Plan for the site, which they hope to include a Winter Sports Park and recreational lodge. This park would be a County Park open to all Kent County residents, not just Twp residents.

169691234_99b55b19d5_b.jpg

To me, if the residents answered a survey saying this was what they thought would fit on this corner (The "Village" proposal), then isn't that then taxation without representation? <_<

There could be other factors that others more "in the know" might be able to elaborate on, but that's how I see things on this proposal.

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i've always wanted gr township to be annexed, that and parts of wyoming. thats just mostly my greediness-i want grand rapids's population number to go up :-)

grand rapids township would go through some major changes, i think, if it was annexed, due to zoning, etc

i think it would be good for the region, though.

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Last night the Grand Rapids Township Commissioners, voted unanimously (6-0) to allow the lifestyle center to move forward. WITH ALMOST NO DUE DILLIGENCE. This lifestyle center is composed of 500,000 square feet of retail along the Beltline. The development does not meet the ordinance of the township. The submittal did not have a lighting plan, it did not have a traffic study and there was nothing addressed in regards to the road behind the development (Dunnigan). It sailed through the commission meeting, despite over an hour of discussion regarding it, composed mostly of citizens who expressed great concern over the project, including Lynn Rybaut (former GR City Commissioner) and Suzanne Schultz (Planning director at City of Grand Rapids).

At the same meeting, the Garden Park development at the corner of Knapp and Leffingwell went down in flames, by a vote of 3-3. Conversley, the Garden Park development had a lighting plan, a landscape plan and a traffic study. It was a total of 19 acres!!!!!

It also went through 4 months of scrutiny at planning workshops!!!! It was approved by the planning commission a few months ago 4-3. This development is MIXED USE and has under 10,000 square feet of retail!! It also has a variety of residential typologies that are integrated into a walk-able neighborhood. It is smart growth.

This kind of political process is why many townships, including GR township, need to be seriously reevaluated. They clearly are out of control. There is no smart planning, smart growth or sustainable activity happening there.

These commissioners have failed their constituents.

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Last night the Grand Rapids Township Commissioners, voted unanimously (6-0) to allow the lifestyle center to move forward. WITH ALMOST NO DUE DILLIGENCE. This lifestyle center is composed of 500,000 square feet of retail along the Beltline. The development does not meet the ordinance of the township. The submittal did not have a lighting plan, it did not have a traffic study and there was nothing addressed in regards to the road behind the development (Dunnigan). It sailed through the commission meeting, despite over an hour of discussion regarding it, composed mostly of citizens who expressed great concern over the project, including Lynn Rybaut (former GR City Commissioner) and Suzanne Schultz (Planning director at City of Grand Rapids).

At the same meeting, the Garden Park development at the corner of Knapp and Leffingwell went down in flames, by a vote of 3-3. Conversley, the Garden Park development had a lighting plan, a landscape plan and a traffic study. It was a total of 19 acres!!!!!

It also went through 4 months of scrutiny at planning workshops!!!! It was approved by the planning commission a few months ago 4-3. This development is MIXED USE and has under 10,000 square feet of retail!! It also has a variety of residential typologies that are integrated into a walk-able neighborhood. It is smart growth.

This kind of political process is why many townships, including GR township, need to be seriously reevaluated. They clearly are out of control. There is no smart planning, smart growth or sustainable activity happening there.

These commissioners have failed their constituents.

Was this action to amend the zoning ordinance language to allow for the consideration of the shopping center rezoning, or did they actually approve the rezoing of the land last night.

I thought it was 390,000 SF of retail.

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ONE OF TWO DEVELOPMENTS APPROVED

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP -- The Township Board voted Tuesday on two highly scrutinized retail and residential projects. It voted unanimously in favor of the Village of Orchard Hills, to be built at the southeast corner of Three Mile Road and the East Beltline. It's to be the first lifestyle center development in West Michigan, with open-air streets and outdoor gathering spaces.

Developers Robert B. Aikens & Associates and local BDR Development will proceed with the project, which will feature 388,000-square-feet of retail, including a department store, grocery and bookstore and about 50 national retailers, as well as 156 condominium units along the west side of Dunnigan Avenue.

But the board tied 3-3 -- with Clerk Janice Hulbert on vacation -- on Mosaic Properties' Garden Park project, proposed for the north side of Knapp Street east of Leffingwell Avenue. Developer Brad Rottschafer was hoping to place a traditional neighborhood development at the site, which would have included 138 residential units, including live-work units, condominiums and other residential styles. Because of the tie vote, the rezoning for the project was not approved.

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The Village of Orchard Hills was approved last night by the Grand Rapids Township board. With the project apparently moving forward now maybe some renderings or a site plan are due? Can't seem to dig up a website on the developers.

Village Website

Another similar development by the same developer:

Village of Rochester Hills

I am definitely disappointed to see Garden Park get voted down. It doesn't make sense.

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It is too bad that Garden Park did not get approved, it would have been a good project, and I am not saying that simply because I am involved with it. Mosaic Properties has a great deal of money and time (and heart) invested in this endeavor and I believe that they had very good intentions to do a marquee type project. A project that would have been a very good example of how to do a project of this type.

The biggest thing is the apparent inequity of the whole process. There was absolute scrutiny of the Garden Park Project with numerous workshops, studies and extensive due dilligence by the developer. Every single detail was worked out from the most minute to the biggest. The architecture is all designed. The plan is complete. The engineering is complete. The number and size of all parking spaces is defined. Every last inch of park space is calculated. All I's are dotted and T's crossed. This project has been in the works for over 1 year, just to get to this point. It is only 19 acres of mostly residential!!

I have nothing against the lifestyle center in general. But the shear fact that it does not seem to have gone through the same process is assinine. Expecially considering its size, the amount of traffic it may generate (again no traffic study) and the future development that it may generate along the Beltline.

It has 1,000 freaking parking spaces (Meijer at Knapp's corner has 500). This alone needs some scrutiny!

Democracy in action.

It also is questionable whether or not it meets the intent of the overlay district that was an agreed upon document by the people of the city, the people of the township, city planning, township planning and the various commissions.

This appears to be nothing more than a pissing match initiated by a rouge township that trying to prove a point. I doubt that it is over.

As an aside, there is still another lifestyle center moving ahead on the corner of Knapp and Beltline across from Celebration Village. This one, however, is in the city of Grand Rapids.

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I am definitely disappointed to see Garden Park get voted down. It doesn't make sense.

Trustee Chris Afendoulis voted in favor of the Village project, but against the Garden Park site. He said Rottschafer's plan is beautiful but too dense, and commercial uses should be kept to established corridors.

"This Township Board and this township has fought to keep commercial development to a very specific area," Afendoulis said.

About 10,400-square-foot in retail space would have been developed along Knapp Street to serve the project, which drew objections from nearby residents and some board members.

-

http://www.mlive.com/search/index.ssf?/bas...?NEG&coll=6

sounds like they are committed to sprawl. its sad, really... :(

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Just a detail to your bigger point GR Town Planner, but the Meijer at Knapp's Corner has 1,200 parking spaces.

What role did you play in the Garden Park project?

Nederveld did the architecture, through design development, all of the town planning, the civil engineering and the surveying. I personally was involved with the architecture and the planning.

During all of the dialogue thrown around about this project, I had heard that there were 500 spaces associated with the meijers. Unfortunately I did not verify those facts, one of the few times I have not cross checked data.

The point still stands, 1000 parking spaces and very little scrutiny. Not very sound planning by the people who have been appointed to be stewards of the future for the township.

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There are some other avenues being explored at this time. It is not dead yet.

Annexation is always an option, but you better be sure you have the votes for approval in GR first.

Before all that trouble however, I might suggest this approach. First, I think the township's attorney would agree that a tie vote on a motion to approve is a bit of a problem. It wasn't approved, but it wasn't denied either. You should ask the township to undo the last vote. I think you may need someone who voted "no" to make such a motion.

Then have them table the matter indefinately while you try to understand what they objected to and to mitigate those objections. Maybe they would consider appointing a subcommittee to work with you. Maybe with a little time they could understand the merits of the plan.

The interest to develop this land isn't going away and Brad is an excellent developer. The township would be well advised to find a mutually acceptable solution with this developer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There's a sign up on the site on the Beltline now stating "Opening Spring 2008", and I hear Rockford Development has a big siteplan in their offices downtown showing "signed" tenants. I wasn't there (just hearing secondhand) so I don't know who is on there.

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  • GRDadof3 changed the title to East Beltline Developments

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