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New Construction and Renovations in the Heartside District

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Surprised it hasn't been bigger news that WMU is pulling Cooley out of downtown Grand Rapids next year. Does anyone know if the lease is up or if WMU plans to retain the buildings for other uses?

Back in the day landing Cooley was considered a major coup for Heartside and the entire DeVos/Rockford Cherry Street Landing initiative.

Here's the announcement: https://www.cooley.edu/news/wmu-cooley-continues-its-strategic-initiatives

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1 hour ago, KCorner said:

Surprised it hasn't been bigger news that WMU is pulling Cooley out of downtown Grand Rapids next year. Does anyone know if the lease is up or if WMU plans to retain the buildings for other uses?

Back in the day landing Cooley was considered a major coup for Heartside and the entire DeVos/Rockford Cherry Street Landing initiative.

Here's the announcement: https://www.cooley.edu/news/wmu-cooley-continues-its-strategic-initiatives

Well that sucks!   Not surprised in this day in age when schools are struggling and Covid-19 is causing so much chaos.   I think Cooley has been struggling for years though, correct?    

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1 hour ago, mpchicago said:

Well that sucks!   Not surprised in this day in age when schools are struggling and Covid-19 is causing so much chaos.   I think Cooley has been struggling for years though, correct?    

Ya, last year they announced plans to close their Auburn Hills campus. They've also struggled with the percentage of grads they have who can't pass the bar exam, so there's accreditation issues they've been trying to tackle. Have a feeling they own the Lansing property but not the GR property, so this is an easier way to cut costs. Who knows, maybe the landlords or WMU have something even better in store for the GR sites?

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Resistance to this one makes no sense to me. This proposed development fills a surface parking lot, preserves and renovates another building, adds affordable housing and, while tall, does not overwhelm the streetscape in this area. It adds to the character and fabric of Heartside, IMO. Here's hoping the September meeting brings better news.

https://mibiz.com/sections/real-estate-development/heartside-gr-housing-development-stalls-after-historic-preservation-commission-deadlocks

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1 hour ago, KCorner said:

Resistance to this one makes no sense to me. This proposed development fills a surface parking lot, preserves and renovates another building, adds affordable housing and, while tall, does not overwhelm the streetscape in this area. It adds to the character and fabric of Heartside, IMO. Here's hoping the September meeting brings better news.

https://mibiz.com/sections/real-estate-development/heartside-gr-housing-development-stalls-after-historic-preservation-commission-deadlocks

Thank you, HPC, for protecting Grand Rapids from the harsh realities of the future.

image.jpeg.909adc6829535fb44a24092ee95b40f2.jpeg

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Quote

Commissioners’ concerns included the proposed building’s height compared to surrounding structures, and that the six-story addition would dwarf the existing three-story historic building on the property.

 

This is seriously the most inappropriate time to care about something like. It is utterly irresponsible and frankly screams out of touch.

Sorry, but screw the "historical-ness" concerns. Anyone that wants to move on a decent development, and has their ducks in a row, ought to be given the green light to get moving. Keep the money and momentum flowing.

The bigger issue is keep Heatside's existing businesses from folding and leaving the place.

Seeing that the vote was 2-2, with two people absent, there is a good chance that sanity will prevail when they revisit the project next month.

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Kind of ridiculous to be concerned about the massing. Vern Berry Place is five stories, this is six. And a 6 story building doesn’t exactly dwarf a 3 story building. Definitely short-sighted. Looks like good infill to me. 

Joe

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21 hours ago, KCorner said:

Ya, last year they announced plans to close their Auburn Hills campus. They've also struggled with the percentage of grads they have who can't pass the bar exam, so there's accreditation issues they've been trying to tackle. Have a feeling they own the Lansing property but not the GR property, so this is an easier way to cut costs. Who knows, maybe the landlords or WMU have something even better in store for the GR sites?

When my office was in the Blue35 building, I was struck by how little activity there was in the Cooley building. Even the library (or at least what I'm assuming was the library, visible on the ground floor) rarely had anyone in it.

Apart from the lack of activity, we're not losing much of value:

Quote

In 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the district court's dismissal of a class action lawsuit by Cooley graduates who sued over the school's allegedly deceptive post-graduate employment data. In the ruling, the court held that although the graduates' complaint showed that the statistics on which they relied were objectively untrue, their reliance on the statistics was unreasonable. Judge Quist noted that "it would be unreasonable for Plaintiffs to rely on two bare-bones statistics in deciding to attend a bottom-tier law school with the lowest admission standards in the country."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Michigan_University_Cooley_Law_School#Ranking_and_reputation

 

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Cooley-GR has only 100 students enrolled right now, compared to 700 a decade ago.  Lots of economic reasons for the surge in enrollment during the great recession, and lots of reasons law school enrollment has trended down since.  But, especially at a school like Cooley, there is a lot more information/education for prospective students on job prospects and bar passage rates.  At $45K/year tuition,  that is a disastrous (and non-dischargeable) investment for the overwhelming majority of students.

 

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3 hours ago, discgrab21 said:

Cooley-GR has only 100 students enrolled right now, compared to 700 a decade ago.  Lots of economic reasons for the surge in enrollment during the great recession, and lots of reasons law school enrollment has trended down since.  But, especially at a school like Cooley, there is a lot more information/education for prospective students on job prospects and bar passage rates.  At $45K/year tuition,  that is a disastrous (and non-dischargeable) investment for the overwhelming majority of students.

 

I'd love to see WMU take it over (even though Cooley was part of WMU) and build a bigger campus downtown. Otherwise, it's a cool building. I'm sure it won't sit empty long (after we figure out the whole COVID thing of course).

Joe

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On 8/21/2020 at 2:34 PM, joeDowntown said:

I'd love to see WMU take it over (even though Cooley was part of WMU) and build a bigger campus downtown. Otherwise, it's a cool building. I'm sure it won't sit empty long (after we figure out the whole COVID thing of course).

Joe

I could possibly see WMU taking it over but agreed, not until Covid is in the rear-view mirror. 

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1 hour ago, MJLO said:

Karl Chew is back.  He's at least known for getting things done. 

Agreed. It'll be interesting to see what the building looks like. Some of his buildings aren't going to age well. I hope the design fits in with the rest of the historic buildings in the neighborhood.

Joe

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23 minutes ago, joeDowntown said:

Agreed. It'll be interesting to see what the building looks like. Some of his buildings aren't going to age well. I hope the design fits in with the rest of the historic buildings in the neighborhood.

Joe

Something.ABCCF8B5-AF91-48C1-93DF-174D8E562AE7.thumb.jpeg.6a1a89aa16bc69f8e81e250eb5c3330a.jpeg
 

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16 hours ago, BLUESCRUBS said:

Well hopefully this will clean up the huge tent city that has formed over the last few months. 

https://www.woodtv.com/news/grand-rapids/homeless-for-the-holidays-tent-city-growing-in-grand-rapids/

The 50 bed overflow in the old Purple East will only be for men, that leaves a lot of women out in the cold. I know it's a liability but what's the harm in letting the tents stay until more shelters can open back up? 

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Yeah, I don’t understand Bluescrubs comment.
 

It’s not a normal time and I hope the city/citizens are throwing their resources at helping these people out. 

Joe

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20 minutes ago, joeDowntown said:

Yeah, I don’t understand Bluescrubs comment.
 

It’s not a normal time and I hope the city/citizens are throwing their resources at helping these people out. 

Joe

Implying that these folks will have some where to go and not be out in the cold.

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6 hours ago, BLUESCRUBS said:

Implying that these folks will have some where to go and not be out in the cold.

Ah, ok. I was confused since the project obviously has some serious hurdles, won't be done for a while. :)

Joe

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The building behind Degage that was talked about being demolished back in 2019 (for expansion) is in the process of coming down. Yesterday it was about 1/2  demolished.

 

Screenshot_2018-12-05-22-20-01.thumb.jpg

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