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New Construction and Renovations in the Heartside District

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So the pocket park will go on the north side. Does that mean the south side is still a buildable lot?

Joe

Owned by the tire guys (according to accesskent).

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So the pocket park will go on the north side. Does that mean the south side is still a buildable lot?

Joe

I vote for a parking lot.

Edited by RegalTDP

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Nice! What are those four "blocks" (very technical term) in the pocket park area? They look somewhat decorative.

Joe

Couple more views of the Cherry St realignment work.

file0031.jpg

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I would think that location would be for the bus shelter but the low concrete pillers don't look like they are for a bus shelter. ??? With the speed of this project, I'm sure we will know soon enough.

Jeff, do you have access to any renderings for this project?

~John

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I would think that location would be for the bus shelter but the low concrete pillers don't look like they are for a bus shelter. ...

Saw the plans briefly while at City Hall (and I left in '05). Seems like it's a gateway or pedestal or sense-of-place type of deal.

ETA: Found this:

http://www.grand-rapids.mi.us/index.pl?pag...cument_id=10703

The realignment of Cherry to the south also allows for the construction of a neighborhood pocket park on the northwest corner of Cherry and Division. The park will be located directly in front of the Division Avenue Streetscape mural. The Cherry Street Pocket Park provides a unique public space in the Heartside area featuring a covered bus shelter, irrigated landscaping, fountain, planters, and interpretive signage that includes information about the history of both the mural and the misalignment/realignment of Cherry St.

Edited by Veloise

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Thanks for the super cool renditions, Jeff. It looks like this is going to be an awesome little park right near my pad.

~John

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When I ran into the boss recently, I asked about these. He said the fountain is not going to happen (no one can agree on who'd handle the maintenance).

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Plus, who would replenish the urinal cakes?! :) J/K.

I'd love to see a fountain. The park looks really nice. When I heard pocket park, I thought grass, a few trees and a bench.

Joe

When I ran into the boss recently, I asked about these. He said the fountain is not going to happen (no one can agree on who'd handle the maintenance).

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Plus, who would replenish the urinal cakes?! :) J/K.

I'd love to see a fountain. The park looks really nice. When I heard pocket park, I thought grass, a few trees and a bench.

Joe

Fountains in Michigan are an expensive proposition with very limited usage and plenty of maintenance hassles. I'd rather see something, like a sculpture (or ArtPrize venue) that can be enjoyed year round without the maintenance hassles than a fountain that's turned on 5 months or less out of the year. Empty fountains in winter, fall and spring are depressing magnets for trash.

From a green standpoint, the power and water used in a fountain isn't really an efficient use of resources.

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I love how the pocket park is designed around the mural. Excellent, excellent design work. Perhaps it will be a great place for an event kiosk or one of the GR-historic-people-scupltures.

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I love how the pocket park is designed around the mural. Excellent, excellent design work. Perhaps it will be a great place for an event kiosk or one of the GR-historic-people-scupltures.

I also appreciate the way that the design picks up the circular motif and principle axis originated in the mural, however I keep thinking that the new entrance arch feature is going to get in the way of viewing the mural the way it was meant to be seen. One look at the mural and you can tell by its perspective that it is not really meant to be viewed straight on. The intended vantage point is from somewhere in the middle of the Cherry/Division intersection. it looks like the little pavilion is going to encroach on the center streetscape panel from that angle.

With that said, I am grateful that something is being done to improve that area and I am impressed by the level of design and thought has gone into this pocket park. I will withhold final judgment until it is completed.

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With that said, I am grateful that something is being done to improve that area and I am impressed by the level of design and thought has gone into this pocket park. I will withhold final judgment until it is completed.

I don't think you are allowed to display this kind of rationality and restraint in internet forums! :P:P:P

:good:

At least, that is the impression that I get sometimes.

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Just drove the re-aligned Cherry Street @ Division for the first time. Ultimately, it's a very bad urban solution to a non-problem. The whole endeavor was a big mistake.

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Just drove the re-aligned Cherry Street @ Division for the first time. Ultimately, it's a very bad urban solution to a non-problem. The whole endeavor was a big mistake.

Ted, would you mind elaborating on "bad urban solution"? Is it the curve, the pocket park, the way that the road lopped off an irregular section of the lot to the south, or something I am not catching on too? Just curious (especially as a non-local who probably won't experience it in person for several more months).

Edited by [email protected]

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Just drove the re-aligned Cherry Street @ Division for the first time. Ultimately, it's a very bad urban solution to a non-problem. The whole endeavor was a big mistake.

Okay my chain has been pulled with this statement!

"non-problem"? I live and work in the area and know that the intersection was dangerous for pedestrians and difficult for bus's and other vehicles turning left onto Division Ave. Aligning the street allowed for the option of having a pocket park where Heartside people can hang out in stead of in front of store fronts. It also makes the area look nicer and more inviting. I have sat there on a nice sunny day and it is a very enjoyable little park. I would say it is well worth the money that was spent on aligning a dangerous interesection, creating a beautiful little park and improving the Heartside Neighborhood.

Is doing nothing a good urban solution? How is aligning a street and adding a BEAUTIFUL pocket park that fits right in with the mural a bad urban solution? I just can't figure it.

~John

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I was on one of the committees that worked on this project in the conception phase. Initially, I was very excited about the project. As time went by my attitude changed.

Changed in part by one of our design meetings where some City Staff's breathless, desperate support for the project had me feeling a little queasy. I asked some questions to try to discern why the project was so critical to our neighborhood and I received platitudes and vagaries in return. Then I asked - in an effort to understand the import - if the realignment of Cherry was so important then would we then be talking about realigning Weston as well? Of course not, that would be silly I was told.

Changed primarily by the idea of a city with declining tax rolls and a continual budget crisis spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees and land acquisition to permanently remove a prime piece of buildable, tax revenue generating real estate from the tax rolls in return for a small park and a street that will only cost us money to maintain as time goes by - it is absurd.

I was told many times about the horrific dangers of the intersection; but when I asked, in return, for the statistics showing the injuries, the deaths, and the accidents in for the intersection compared to others downtown and City wide I discovered that it really wasn't any more dangerous than any other intersection downtown - and much, much safer than almost any intersection on 28th Street. It remains a fact that in any city the most dangerous thing that any of us do is drive our cars.

It's true that cars, trucks, and buses had trouble making that turn. But, that was as much about the disrepair of the street itself as it was the intersection. And, furthermore, trucks and buses going slower around urban corners makes it safer for everyone on the sidewalk and the street. It's true that the current arrangement allows for much faster vehicle cornering but that only makes it more dangerous for a pedestrian.

I'm glad you like the space, John. I hope it's well used and I hope the neighborhood keeps it up. But the neighborhood doesn't need more parks. The neighborhood needs more for profit, mixed use development. And, the City took away a great development site that's never coming back - that's bad urbanism.

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I wondered where you'd go with this, but you have a convincing argument (especially when you brought up realigning Cherry/Weston).

Unfortunately (and I want to note up front that I will get pulverized by this comment), I think Degage Ministries and Guiding Light Mission would make this a hard piece of land to get financing on even if it were large in size. [No need to respond to this portion as I know some will be mad at this statement].

It does seem like they would have held off on the park and street re-alignment until the city's cash flow were a little better, but I'd never be a good city official (as indicated by my statement above). ;)

Joe

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