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New Construction and Renovations in the Heartside District


MJLO

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  • 2 months later...

Saw this poster about this meeting tomorrow posted over on Reddit:

59e4cd78c81ab_PekichParkmeeting.thumb.jpg.d6ad0f388f7bc395b74e8a3b4e4ab677.jpg..

Kind of fuzzy, here's what it says as best as I can read:

Heartside’s South Division Corridor has unique challenges in supporting quality of life and opportunities for those who live, work and play in Heartside.  Specifically, Pekich Park has been identified as a major concern and a place that does not serve the needs of surrounding residents, business owners or visitors.  In order to better understand the contributing issues and develop achievable steps to address these concerns, the city and its partners are facilitating a community discussion surrounding Pekich Park.   The first step was a survey conducted in July and August to gain initial feedback and help us shape the upcoming discussion.  As a next step we invite you to join us October 17th to learn, share your ideas, and discuss potential solutions for Pekich Park. This meeting is being held in conjunction with the Heartside Neighborhood Association Meeting.  Food and drinks will be provided.  

Sort of the city's version of the old lunch and learns. 

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  • 2 months later...
  • 9 months later...

I see that there's a for lease sign on the window at Iron. The fact that no one mentioned this yet is probably part of the reason they're going out of business: no foot traffic. 

We had service there once on the patio that was deplorable, but another time we went the service was fine. Food was OK...   That space just seems to be cursed. 

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27 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

I see that there's a for lease sign on the window at Iron. The fact that no one mentioned this yet is probably part of the reason they're going out of business: no foot traffic. 

We had service there once on the patio that was deplorable, but another time we went the service was fine. Food was OK...   That space just seems to be cursed. 

Closed last March, apparently: https://www.grbj.com/articles/90317-downtown-restaurant-closes

Guess no one noticed until now.

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I worked in that building up until this past summer. Hardly anyone went to Iron, even though it was downstairs. Food and service was unremarkable for the price.

I think that space won't work well until the theater is done. Perhaps there will then be enough foot traffic down Ottawa to make something work.

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8 minutes ago, organsnyder said:

I worked in that building up until this past summer. Hardly anyone went to Iron, even though it was downstairs. Food and service was unremarkable for the price.

I think that space won't work well until the theater is done. Perhaps there will then be enough foot traffic down Ottawa to make something work.

That spot was always plagued by how big it was. I thought for sure when they renovated the space and greatly reduced the square footage it would help break the curse. But everyone I talked to was unimpressed with the food, which is a bummer because Chris Perkey's other restaurant, Osteria Rossa, is quite good.

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2 hours ago, Pattmost20 said:

That spot was always plagued by how big it was. I thought for sure when they renovated the space and greatly reduced the square footage it would help break the curse. But everyone I talked to was unimpressed with the food, which is a bummer because Chris Perkey's other restaurant, Osteria Rossa, is quite good.

Yes, Osteria Rossa is definitely good. For both lunch and dinner. But having the right mix of management and staff can be a huge factor. I've noticed too that the really good wait staff and bartenders move around a lot in GR. 

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  • 1 month later...
52 minutes ago, EastownLeo said:

Calvin College has sold the Ladies Literary club and how it is becoming an Event Space/Wedding venue  Now called "The Lit"

 

What a beautiful building it is.  I only recall being inside once, probably some 20 to 25 years ago for a chamber concert.   I specifically recall falling asleep during the event.  :tw_sleeping:

740px-LadiesLiteraryClubGrandRapidsMI.jpg

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3 hours ago, mpchicago said:

What a beautiful building it is.  I only recall being inside once, probably some 20 to 25 years ago for a chamber concert.   I specifically recall falling asleep during the event.  :tw_sleeping:

740px-LadiesLiteraryClubGrandRapidsMI.jpg

Probably because the  building has no air-conditioning. :) I was at a lecture there and it got so warm I had to leave.  I was working with a group looking at it and the cost to put in A/C was astronomical. $300,000 maybe? 

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7 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

Probably because the  building has no air-conditioning. :) I was at a lecture there and it got so warm I had to leave.  I was working with a group looking at it and the cost to put in A/C was astronomical. $300,000 maybe? 

Same reason they vacated the space two(?) ArtPrize's ago after showing only one or two of the planned lineup of films. Still a little (read: lot) bitter about making the trek out from the burbs with an older relative only to find the place closed with no indication of what happened.

Edited by ZAP!
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  • 5 weeks later...

Lucky's definitely contributes to the problem, but what is a good long term solution for Division?  I'm working in the area almost everyday and there are always ambulances for people who have OD'ed or cops arresting for open containers or fights.  There's literal crap and trash all around the corridor and during the warmer months heartside park is just a haven for the homeless.  I feel bad for the people with mental illness or drug addiction and especially the vets, but a lot of homeless relocate to GR because of the numerous shelters.  Are they enabling?

There are more empty ground floor retail units than occupied in the area.  Even Ionia south of Cherry.

San Fran and Seattle have much larger problems, but there are other cities like SLC and Boston that are trying to get people permanent housing and jobs.  Division has a lot of potential.  People and mentioned moving the shelters further down S. Division, but I don't think that's a real solution, just kind of a band-aid.

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33 minutes ago, joeDowntown said:

Seems like the “fix” is a multi-pronged, maybe impossible, issue  

To “fix” Division (and I’m being hypothetical here, black and white, non humanitarian), it would be as “simple” as moving the shelters. If you could magically move the shelters somewhere else, I think Division would see *instant* redevelopment. The speed of transformation would be shocking.  

To “fix” the problem altogether, I think you would be looking at the way we treat mental health, veterans, drug/alcohol addiction, homelessness in America. Unfortunately, I don’t think people have the stomach or compassion to fix it. :(

Joe

Great post Joe.  

Admittedly I have fantasized what it would be like if the shelters were relocated.  In the end I've pretty much concluded it would be the very essence of all that is bad with gentrification.  If those with power in this town looked to relocate those shelters away from the Heartside,  my guess would be political chaos at minimum.  There's no guarantee that the bulk of the people who use those facilities would follow them anyway.

I think it's just an issue we are going to live with as part of our culture.  The limited experience I have with it tells me it can never be truly fixed.  Some human can be helped, some can rise above circumstances.  Some human beings have just become too broken to function within the societal system laid out for survival.

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12 minutes ago, MJLO said:

Great post Joe.  

. . .  If those with power in this town looked to relocate those shelters away from the Heartside,  my guess would be political chaos at minimum.  There's no guarantee that the bulk of the people who use those facilities would follow them anyway.

That's pretty much what the powers did in the sixties.  Before the sixties urban renewal, the missions and the flop houses and the cheap bars and the people we now call homeless were situated on lower Monroe (roughly Michigan and Monroe) and along Bridge Street near the river.  They moved on to where they are now.  Don’t know who moved first, the homeless or the missions.

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The biggest problem is that we attract too many homeless people from outside of GR. Lots of towns will hand Greyhound tickets to their homeless and send them here because they know these services will just not ask questions.

So I'm pretty much of the mind of separating these places far away from each other so that maybe they will be more oriented towards helping the people that lost their homes in GR and not as a place to take care of other town's problems. Frankly I think there needs to be some tough standards put on these services that far too often just wash their hands of the mess S. Division has turned into. Virtually all of the momentum down that street from the past 14 years has been lost. Businesses seem to cant wait to get out of there.

Will the homeless follow them to new parts of town? The ones that want to engage in the programs that they offer will. Many others that had no roots here will head to a new city. The criminals that prey on the homeless will no longer have the easy access that S. Division offers. The numbers will definitely make it more of a surety that businesses will move back in.

If DT GR continues to grow and develop, we cannot have the problems that San Fransisco, and Seattle show up here, and hope it just works out. Sooner or later this is going to have to be seriously dealt with.

Edited by GR_Urbanist
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To push the homeless further down Division is needed, but it's only a bandaid. It will most definitely lead to more development in that area, rather than continue on with the development donut hole in the heart of the city. It will lead to businesses returning to the area and housing to be built. However, it's not going to fix the issues at-hand: Mental health disorders, addictions, lack of job training, etc. Investment into expansion of mental health services and job training will be the true fix. We can't just push them down the street and push the ignore button again.

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14 hours ago, Floyd_Z said:

Lucky's definitely contributes to the problem, but what is a good long term solution for Division?  I'm working in the area almost everyday and there are always ambulances for people who have OD'ed or cops arresting for open containers or fights.  There's literal crap and trash all around the corridor and during the warmer months heartside park is just a haven for the homeless.  I feel bad for the people with mental illness or drug addiction and especially the vets, but a lot of homeless relocate to GR because of the numerous shelters.  Are they enabling?

Where is the next-closest liquor store?  That's the real question to be dealt with.  The party store at Franklin and Division?   Is there really an issue though with other areas relocating homeless people to Grand Rapids?  If so, I believe there is a tried and true solution to that:  

Okay, perhaps not.

Edited by x99
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