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New Construction and Renovations in the Heartside District

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I also noticed that the old Alma Latina building that is being renovated has all new windows on the side :thumbsup:

Living right next door I've noticed what I'm guessing to be a realtor showing the building several times over the last couple months. Friday morning there was a contractor's truck parked out back and this morning I noticed a new very large black dumpster directly behind the building. Seems as though someone is finally doing something here. thumbsup.gif

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Yup, they're definitely working on the old Alma Latina bar. Pinnacle construction has a couple trucks out back. There's also an electrician's truck and an elevator truck. Both back doors are open and demo sounds can be heard including breaking glass - too dark to see what's going on. Anyone got the scoop?

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Yup, they're definitely working on the old Alma Latina bar. Pinnacle construction has a couple trucks out back. There's also an electrician's truck and an elevator truck. Both back doors are open and demo sounds can be heard including breaking glass - too dark to see what's going on. Anyone got the scoop?

I know at one time the Monte's/O'Tooles crew was looking at it (although I thought it fell through). I also know they have plans to open another bar/restaurant this fall someplace d/t.. maybe this is it?

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I went by River City Slim's today and they had the doors propped open. It looks like they are merely DAYS from opening, as it looked like all the fixtures and decorations were up on the walls.

Chris Knape also has an update on the new blues and Cajun New Orleans inspired bar in his blog today.

He also checked out Rockford the other day too.

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Almost topped out:

1149137929_80cb943e9d_b.jpg

And a recap of what the final product will look like:

Ramp.jpg

Does anyone know who has dibs on this parking ramp? It's apparently mostly sold out already?

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I went by River City Slim's today and they had the doors propped open. It looks like they are merely DAYS from opening, as it looked like all the fixtures and decorations were up on the walls.

Yeah, this place is set to open September 10.

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The spaces in the ramp are "dibbed" by Cooley and WMU mostly. I know we were trying to get some spots for the Institute employees. I cannot WAIT for that thing to open. The most asked question I get from guests coming into Douglas J is "where do I park?". People don't like to hear that there is plenty of parking if you don't mind walking a couple of blocks.

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That's a parking ramp? WOAH! Good job! :) I think what really helped throw me off is the stairwells.

Grand Rapids should encourage more retail on the first level of its new parking garages. Still, this one looks very classy.

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Wow! Blank wall alert! I hope this is not the final product on this side of the ramp. :o:sick:

1367066459_6ab70b835d_b.jpg

edit: I see decorative details along the top of the top panels, so this might be it.

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^Good grief! First Icon on Bond. Then the back side of the JA building. Now this?! Is there a contest among designers and builders to see who can build the biggest blankest wall in GR?

Edited by tamias6

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Maybe they anticipate a taller building on the site nextdoor (which BTW now I'm confused because I thought that the EQ3 building in the foreground was on Commerce - Obviously it's not.). Or maybe it is just so parking ramp users don't have to look at said building's roof? :dontknow:

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Maybe they anticipate a taller building on the site nextdoor (which BTW now I'm confused because I thought that the EQ3 building in the foreground was on Commerce - Obviously it's not.). Or maybe it is just so parking ramp users don't have to look at said building's roof? :dontknow:

I would say the EQ3 building's roof is one of the most attractive in Heartside. Plus, I thought about that too andrew, but it would probably take an act of congress to tear down the "EQ3 building" and replace it due to its location in the Heartside Historic District. I think it was either cost cutting (concrete panels cheaper than the glass wall on the Commerce side). Considering this is the most expensive parking ramp in the city's history, it doesn't make a lot of sense.

edit again: it doesn't look like glass wall on the other two sides, it just looks like it's open air with railings (except in the elevator/stairs areas). :huh:

Ramp.jpg

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If the west side of the ramp is up against the property line, which I assume it is to maximize parking on site, there must be a fire wall separation with the property next to it. Any windows in that wall would have to be fire rated, which is rather expensive.

While you say it would be tough to demo the EQ3 building and build something taller, the zoning ordinances don't consider things like historic districts or the unlikely chance of that happening and require that fire seperation...

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If the west side of the ramp is up against the property line, which I assume it is to maximize parking on site, there must be a fire wall separation with the property next to it. Any windows in that wall would have to be fire rated, which is rather expensive.

While you say it would be tough to demo the EQ3 building and build something taller, the zoning ordinances don't consider things like historic districts or the unlikely chance of that happening and require that fire seperation...

Regardless of height? If someone built a 20 story tower there, they'd have to have a fire wall running all the way up the West side?

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The only way to avoid that is to step the building back from the property line at least 30', 15' in some instances. So yes.... if there was a 20 story building in place of the parking garage, there would be a required fire wall on the west side of the property.

This is just going off the top of my head, so it may not be completely accurate

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The only way to avoid that is to step the building back from the property line at least 30', 15' in some instances. So yes.... if there was a 20 story building in place of the parking garage, there would be a required fire wall on the west side of the property.

This is just going off the top of my head, so it may not be completely accurate

OK, regardless of the details of the ordinance, doesn't it seem like they would have chosen a more decorative finish for that side of the building that would still meet the requirements, rather than flat concrete panels? Even the West side of Cooley looks much better than this. Take a look at it from the area where Cherry comes out from under the 131 overpass heading East. It stands out like a big fat black (gray) eye. :mellow: And before anyone compares it to the GRAM, the GRAM's concrete sections are not so massive. At least add some horizontal and/or vertical separation. Sheesh, common sense people (not you jbr12).

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OK, regardless of the details of the ordinance, doesn't it seem like they would have chosen a more decorative finish for that side of the building that would still meet the requirements, rather than flat concrete panels? Even the West side of Cooley looks much better than this. Take a look at it from the area where Cherry comes out from under the 131 overpass heading East. It stands out like a big fat black (gray) eye. :mellow: And before anyone compares it to the GRAM, the GRAM's concrete sections are not so massive. At least add some horizontal and/or vertical separation. Sheesh, common sense people (not you jbr12).

From the rendering, it looks like they may at least paint it beige instead of leaving it gray. With it being City owned and several people can see it from the business 131 ramp and possibly even the s-curve, maybe a sign or banners can/will be displayed there :dontknow:

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ya i see this thing everyday and wonder the the hell is going on. that was very deceptive of the designers/developer/city to show us this image of a rather beautiful ramp but not show us this hideous wall. its dissapointing and a black-eye for the neighborhood (its one of the tallest buildings over here, just shy of the globe)

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Do you really expect developers/designers/etc to show the not so appealing sides of a building? Creating renderings takes a lot of time and a lot of money. I'm amazed a computer generated rendering was even produced for this parking ramp. I have worked on countless projects where no type of rendering was ever completed.

I agree that the 'blank' wall isn't the nicest thing, but thats the result of building tall in areas that don't have much height unfortunately

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From the rendering, it looks like they may at least paint it beige instead of leaving it gray. With it being City owned and several people can see it from the business 131 ramp and possibly even the s-curve, maybe a sign or banners can/will be displayed there :dontknow:

Heartside does have a history of mural painting on the side of the buildings, maybe they are doing something with this area. Painted advertisements aren't always bad either and can add some character. A blank wall would be pretty bad though.

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Not to go too far off OT, but does anyone have information regarding the buildings at Weston SW and Division? The buildings look vacant and seem to be subsiding badly. Is there any future activity for them?

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Not to go too far off OT, but does anyone have information regarding the buildings at Weston SW and Division? The buildings look vacant and seem to be subsiding badly. Is there any future activity for them?

I've wondered the same thing. The building right at the corner of Weston and Division looks to be leaning quite severely, though I've always wondered if it's an optical illusion due to the grade of the street.

A mural would be awesome on that parking ramp!

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Isn't there an alley there? I guess if the alley isn't 15' wide then they still need a firewall. But why? It's a parking ramp. It's made out of concrete and there's nothing other than cars that might burn in it. It seems like open walls would have been just fine.

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