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Sunday Press has two articles on never buils High rises

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In wake of two new buildings hopefuuly rising up this year, i have been trying to get more information in recent months on buldings that never came to fuition. I have contacted the press, and reminded them that it has been many years since they have reported on the history od downtown proposals. actually i work at the press on weeknds, thus i have the Sunday edition right here at my desk. Chris Knape has written two nice articles about this subject, wit6h pics of the Furnature Capital building, Rainbow Towers( wow was that ugly), Wurzburg and One GR place among others. There is even a pic of what the skyline would look like today, althoguh the scale is a little off on several heights of the buildings. It is still an intresting read, make sure you go out ang gert Sunday's Press

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The only thing that I didn't agree with in these articles is the last quote by Bill Bowling that we are far ahead of cities our size.

What exactly are these cities that we are ahead of? From everywhere that I have visited, we are still playing catch up with our downtown. People have got to stop using Flint as a comparison when promoting our growth.

We have made great strides in the quality of life of downtown, especially with the money donated by the benifactors of our city.

But we are now going through downtown what other cities went through back in the 80's and 90's. And whenever someone points out how we are still a small town in certain ways, the immediate response is we will never be a Chicago. While this would not be a fair comparison, similar sized cities like Madison, Louisville, Jacksonville, Salt Lake City, Norfolk and Nashville are.

Sorry to go on a rant, but this type of thinking is my biggest pet peave when it comes to downtown. Anyone else agree/disagree?

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The only thing that I didn't agree with in these articles is the last quote by Bill Bowling that we are far ahead of cities our size.

What exactly are these cities that we are ahead of? From everywhere that I have visited, we are still playing catch up with our downtown. People have got to stop using Flint as a comparison when promoting our growth.

We have made great strides in the quality of life of downtown, especially with the money donated by the benifactors of our city.

But we are now going through downtown what other cities went through back in the 80's and 90's. And whenever someone points out how we are still a small town in certain ways, the immediate response is we will never be a Chicago. While this would not be a fair comparison, similar sized cities like Madison, Louisville, Jacksonville, Salt Lake City, Norfolk and Nashville are.

Sorry to go on a rant, but this type of thinking is my biggest pet peave when it comes to downtown. Anyone else agree/disagree?

I agree, DT is woefully inadequate, infact when I talked about this article with my parents during lunch they laughed at that quote and said "Compared to who? BFE, Kentucky?" He even said he would go DT more often if there was a Light Rail Train that went from Walker City Hall to the VAA, and other spots DT.

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I agree, DT is woefully inadequate, infact when I talked about this article with my parents during lunch they laughed at that quote and said "Compared to who? BFE, Kentucky?" He even said he would go DT more often if there was a Light Rail Train that went from Walker City Hall to the VAA, and other spots DT.

There is still room for a lot of improvement but all things considered downtown is a much more lively and vibrant place to be than it was 15 - 20 years ago.

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The only thing that I didn't agree with in these articles is the last quote by Bill Bowling that we are far ahead of cities our size.

What exactly are these cities that we are ahead of? From everywhere that I have visited, we are still playing catch up with our downtown. People have got to stop using Flint as a comparison when promoting our growth.

We have made great strides in the quality of life of downtown, especially with the money donated by the benifactors of our city.

But we are now going through downtown what other cities went through back in the 80's and 90's. And whenever someone points out how we are still a small town in certain ways, the immediate response is we will never be a Chicago. While this would not be a fair comparison, similar sized cities like Madison, Louisville, Jacksonville, Salt Lake City, Norfolk and Nashville are.

Sorry to go on a rant, but this type of thinking is my biggest pet peave when it comes to downtown. Anyone else agree/disagree?

I don't think Nashville, Jacksonville and even Salt Lake City are the same size as GR. Madison is smaller, but it's set up more similar to Ann Arbor with a campus right downtown. It's really hard to find a city that is comparatively sized and situated like GR is. Maybe Dayton? But then Dayton is so close to Cincinatti, it is in its shadows. So when Bill Bowling says that we are far ahead of cities our size, I wonder who he's thinking of?

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I don't think Nashville, Jacksonville and even Salt Lake City are the same size as GR. Madison is smaller, but it's set up more similar to Ann Arbor with a campus right downtown. It's really hard to find a city that is comparatively sized and situated like GR is. Maybe Dayton? But then Dayton is so close to Cincinatti, it is in its shadows. So when Bill Bowling says that we are far ahead of cities our size, I wonder who he's thinking of?

Going by the 2000 census metro rankings, we are in line with Jacksonville, Rochester, Oklahoma City, Louisville and Richmond, VA. And while I love Grand Rapids, and am not trying to make us out to be a nowheresville, we are not even close to having a downtown that is developed as those cities listed. What cities would you compare us to?

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I don't think Nashville, Jacksonville and even Salt Lake City are the same size as GR.

Definately not Jacksonville. Jacksonville is the largest land mass city in the United States. It completely covers one county and penetrates into two others.

Can you say sprawl????

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Definately not Jacksonville. Jacksonville is the largest land mass city in the United States. It completely covers one county and penetrates into two others.

Can you say sprawl????

The articles were discussing development of downtown, not land size. If you were to go by land size, we are about the same size as the city of San Francisco. :thumbsup:

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Yah, I would agree with those except Jacksonville. Maybe because it is right on the coast makes it feel different too. I know you travel a lot more than me Prankster, so you'd have a better idea. One thing that I DO find encouraging that other cities wish they had more of is JOB-PRODUCING development downtown like we have coming down the pike right now. And high-paying jobs at that. Many of the cities on this forum for instance have a lot of downtown development, but it's mainly residential and some hospitality/arena/museum type development.

A lot of the other mods around UP keep asking me what's going on in GR that has our forum so popping, and they are envious of all the healthcare development. FWIW.

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The articles were discussing development of downtown, not land size. If you were to go by land size, we are about the same size as the city of San Francisco. :thumbsup:

Understood, but Jacksonville's downtown is as sprawling as the rest of the city.

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I don't think Nashville, Jacksonville and even Salt Lake City are the same size as GR. Madison is smaller, but it's set up more similar to Ann Arbor with a campus right downtown. It's really hard to find a city that is comparatively sized and situated like GR is. Maybe Dayton? But then Dayton is so close to Cincinatti, it is in its shadows. So when Bill Bowling says that we are far ahead of cities our size, I wonder who he's thinking of?

arent we kind of in the shadow of Chicago and Detroit?

Going by the 2000 census metro rankings, we are in line with Jacksonville, Rochester, Oklahoma City, Louisville and Richmond, VA. And while I love Grand Rapids, and am not trying to make us out to be a nowheresville, we are not even close to having a downtown that is developed as those cities listed. What cities would you compare us to?

Des Moines Iowa is what most people compare GR to.

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One thing that I DO find encouraging that other cities wish they had more of is JOB-PRODUCING development downtown like we have coming down the pike right now. And high-paying jobs at that. Many of the cities on this forum for instance have a lot of downtown development, but it's mainly residential and some hospitality/arena/museum type development.

A lot of the other mods around UP keep asking me what's going on in GR that has our forum so popping, and they are envious of all the healthcare development. FWIW.

I agree 100%. And I have a lot of respect for the people that are putting their money into making these projects/jobs happen. It's easy to discuss it in a internet forum, but to take a risk with your own capital is a lot more admirable.

But back to the original intent of the article, we have a lot of catching up to do before we will have a downtown like the other like sized cities.

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But back to the original intent of the article, we have a lot of catching up to do before we will have a downtown like the other like sized cities.

Oh yes, I couldn't agree more. I was thinking when I was in Chicago that a lot of GR's lack of large tall skyscrapers may be due to the preservation efforts that occurred after the Urban Renewal monstrosity at Calder Plaza. Once you get up over 30 - 40 floors, you almost have to create "super-blocks" that would require demolition of entire swaths of areas. And since Fulton and Division is the city center, it would have meant that Heartside, Monroe Center, and the area around Civic Theatre would now be gone.

Look at the proposal in the Press for that ugly "Rainbow Towers". The Press totally got the location wrong on their mocked up downtown. Based on the bordering streets (Northeast corner of Pearl & Monroe), it would have wiped out the Rood Building (Flanagans), and the Goodspeed block where Mojo's is.

Look at this google Satellite Image of the Loop in Chicago. Much of this area have blocks which only contain 2 or 3 buildings tops. That was definitely not always the case. If it hadn't been for the Chicago fire which wiped out much of downtown, would Chicago look like it does today?

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When I was a regular on the other forum, GR was always compared to Omaha, Des Moines, and Dayton. We all have to remember that withtin GR's reaches there is around 300-400,000 people.. The rest of the population is scattered out much father.

I saw the photo chop the Press did, really bad :( Makes me want to go and do one much better.

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The only thing that I didn't agree with in these articles is the last quote by Bill Bowling that we are far ahead of cities our size.

What exactly are these cities that we are ahead of? From everywhere that I have visited, we are still playing catch up with our downtown. People have got to stop using Flint as a comparison when promoting our growth.

We have made great strides in the quality of life of downtown, especially with the money donated by the benifactors of our city.

But we are now going through downtown what other cities went through back in the 80's and 90's. And whenever someone points out how we are still a small town in certain ways, the immediate response is we will never be a Chicago. While this would not be a fair comparison, similar sized cities like Madison, Louisville, Jacksonville, Salt Lake City, Norfolk and Nashville are.

Sorry to go on a rant, but this type of thinking is my biggest pet peave when it comes to downtown. Anyone else agree/disagree?

I haven't been to any of the cities our size that you mentioned. How are they ahead of GR? Have they completed more projects? Or do they have some type of urban mall? Are their downtowns self sustaining?

What would be the next step for downtown to take to get on par with other successful cities? And what would it take to get ahead of them?

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I haven't been to any of the cities our size that you mentioned. How are they ahead of GR? Have they completed more projects? Or do they have some type of urban mall? Are their downtowns self sustaining?

What would be the next step for downtown to take to get on par with other successful cities? And what would it take to get ahead of them?

It all comes down to proportion. Bigger towers, more workers, more retail, more foot traffic, more large corporate presence.

Again, I am not belittling what we have downtown, but am taking acception with the quote from Mr. Bowling that we are so far ahead of cities our size. This small town way of thinking has got to go if we ever expect downtown to hit its full potential. :thumbsup:

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National Bloggers Association, or N B A.

Oh, and Prankster, you and others have been cheering a valuable point, lets hope when people finally get to see GR with it another highrise people will start to equate GR as up and comming.

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When I was a regular on the other forum, GR was always compared to Omaha, Des Moines, and Dayton. We all have to remember that withtin GR's reaches there is around 300-400,000 people.. The rest of the population is scattered out much father.

I saw the photo chop the Press did, really bad :( Makes me want to go and do one much better.

Your right, the photo chops was very bad. I know that One GR place was going to be around 300 feet, yet it look smaller that Mac Tower which is 228. Also, the original Moch towers proposed at 220 feet wete taller looking tha Bridgewater. The capital furnature building and the Lyon and Ottawa tower were off as well, but at least someone cared enought to try to give us such a vision. A freind of mine who is not into skylines as much as we are, stated that he thought the Gr skyline would look a lot better in five years that what that piture portrayed. He could be right.

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I posted my photo chops last summer, as far as I know my pics were pretty accurate... Maybe I should redux?

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I've figured out that what GR needs is something to happen of national significance. Memphis has the FedEx facility, Nashville has their music scene, Charlotte has BOA and Wachovia, Atlanta has Coke and CNN, Des Moines has Wells Fargo, Indianapolis has NASCAR, and even Omaha has Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett. We can't survive on Amway alone :blush:

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I posted my photo chops last summer, as far as I know my pics were pretty accurate... Maybe I should redux?

That would be great. Sorry abou tthe grammer mistakes in my last post, i need to start proff reading.

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As far as cities to compare GR to I think that Fort Wayne, Des Moines, Dayton, Toledo, Louisville, Lexington (actually a lot larger with a recent anexation of the county), Rochester, Little Rock, Omaha, Hartford, Winston-Salem, and Providence are all similar in size and scope and as far as hight, all of them have taller buildings than GR and over 400', and there are more too

Also I think I remember seeing something at the museum a long time ago of a painting of a bustling downtown GR in the 30s or 40s with the mckay tower and other existing buildings and also new taller towers including the tallest one, a spiral tower in the middle

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As far as cities to compare GR to I think that Fort Wayne, Des Moines, Dayton, Toledo, Louisville, Lexington (actually a lot larger with a recent anexation of the county), Rochester, Little Rock, Omaha, Hartford, Winston-Salem, and Providence are all similar in size and scope and as far as hight, all of them have taller buildings than GR and over 400', and there are more too

Also I think I remember seeing something at the museum a long time ago of a painting of a bustling downtown GR in the 30s or 40s with the mckay tower and other existing buildings and also new taller towers including the tallest one, a spiral tower in the middle

I am pretty sure that the museum pic shows the proposed capital furnature building, which you can also see in yesterday's Biz section of the Press.

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Also I think I remember seeing something at the museum a long time ago of a painting of a bustling downtown GR in the 30s or 40s with the mckay tower and other existing buildings and also new taller towers including the tallest one, a spiral tower in the middle

I think that painting is in the Furniture City exhibit at the Van Andel Museum. I think it was created as advertising/propaganda during the late 20s/early 30s for a furniture exhibition. The artist exaggerated then-current buildings and added larger skyscrapers, as well more and brighter lighting, to make GR seem bigger than it actually was. Not sure if the buildings added were proposed at the time or not.

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My ma's step dad did the restoration work on that art piece. I love that section of town in the museum.

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