ericdriver

Rowe Hotel- Olds Manor

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I also love this building, especially the details. I hope it can be saved. Not only would apartments/hotel/condos be cool, but there could be a bunch of retail on the first floor.

So DeVos is just holding on to the building until the post office moves? What would it take for the post office to move? If a they received a private offer to pay for the move (similar to the Market Riverfront property), would they take it? It seems like they could open it up to bids sometime in the future. This is such a critical piece of property, if it get redeveloped it could turn the whole area around.

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I also love this building, especially the details. I hope it can be saved. Not only would apartments/hotel/condos be cool, but there could be a bunch of retail on the first floor.

So DeVos is just holding on to the building until the post office moves? What would it take for the post office to move? If a they received a private offer to pay for the move (similar to the Market Riverfront property), would they take it? It seems like they could open it up to bids sometime in the future. This is such a critical piece of property, if it get redeveloped it could turn the whole area around.

I don't think they'd be authorized to take it. I seem to remember either a discussion here or an article maybe in the Business Journal that it requires an act of congress (literally) to move a post office operation.

Here's my take: the post office site is so large that I can see an apartment project in the Rowe, AND a hotel/mixed-use project on the post office site someday. The Rowe Hotel is only about 1/6th or 1/8th of that total site:

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&...8&encType=1

This "waiting for another move somewhere else" reminds me of the Front St warehouse that Devries owns, where they are waiting for GVSU to grow or expand or whatever before they do something.

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Well, whichever DeVos owns it, Rich or Dick, it is a deplorable act to let it fall apart to meet their ultimate goal of tearing down a beloved landmark, one we can not afford to lose. Even Azzar keeps his properties water and weather-tight.

Really? Sure it's an old building, but a beloved landmark?

EDIT: Did anyone else not realize how big the post office was until that map? Wow.

Edited by twoshort

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I think you have the wrong DeVos. I think Richard DeVos Senior is the owner.

Point of clarification: it's Rich DV who owns it. Dad Amway, not "I wanna be gov."

from an earlier post of mine in this thread

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Really? Sure it's an old building, but a beloved landmark?

EDIT: Did anyone else not realize how big the post office was until that map? Wow.

That's my thought too. It's huge! The post office is so large that it could definitely be redeveloped in the future, even if the Rowe was already put to reuse.

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Back in the day the Rowe was second only to the Pantlind for luxury. Kennedy stayed there while campaigning, and it has quite a lot of history to it. If you think about it, what other old, undeveloped building in GR has more detail? Remember, once it's gone there is no turning back (just like that big, old and ugly city hall building that was standing in the way of "progress").

Joe

Really? Sure it's an old building, but a beloved landmark?

EDIT: Did anyone else not realize how big the post office was until that map? Wow.

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I don't think they'd be authorized to take it. I seem to remember either a discussion here or an article maybe in the Business Journal that it requires an act of congress (literally) to move a post office operation.

Ok.. so I'm an information nerd...

From my research it takes an act of the Board of Govenors of the United States Postal Service, an 11 member committee, 9 of which are Presidentially appointed and senate confirmed. The 9 then select the Postmaster General, who then appoints a Deputy General. This committee is responsible amongst other things:

"The Board directs the exercise of the powers of the Postal Service, directs and controls its expenditures, reviews its practices, conducts long-range planning, and sets policies on all postal matters. The Board takes up matters such as service standards, capital investments and facilities projects exceeding $25 million. It also approves officer compensation."

More information you ask?

Wikipedia on the USPS

"The Boards" website

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The owners are presumed to sit on this property until the USPS moves? Is it really likely to move anyway; who is heading this effort? If no one is heading the effort to move the USPS, then I would find it odd that Rowe's owners are sitting on the property waiting for nothing.

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Back in the day the Rowe was second only to the Pantlind for luxury. Kennedy stayed there while campaigning, and it has quite a lot of history to it. If you think about it, what other old, undeveloped building in GR has more detail? Remember, once it's gone there is no turning back (just like that big, old and ugly city hall building that was standing in the way of "progress").

Joe

I'm not saying tear it down, but outside of this board I don't think a lot of people are sitting around chatting about how beloved the building is.

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With that being said, outside of a few dozen people with vision, Grand Rapids in the early 1990's was just another dumpy midwest city past its prime...

Joe

I'm not saying tear it down, but outside of this board I don't think a lot of people are sitting around chatting about how beloved the building is.

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TwoShort:

I will speak for myself then. I love that building. I think the gargoyles are some of the most interesting in the city. It is a grand old building that should be treasured and could be a prominent landmark. It is historic in an area where all other historic structures were torn down. It stands out and renovated would be a jewel for GR. It is a survivor and I hate to see it neglected into oblivion after all this time.

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TwoShort:

I will speak for myself then. I love that building. I think the gargoyles are some of the most interesting in the city. It is a grand old building that should be treasured and could be a prominent landmark. It is historic in an area where all other historic structures were torn down. It stands out and renovated would be a jewel for GR. It is a survivor and I hate to see it neglected into oblivion after all this time.

As a tenant of the mailboxes next door, I will agree. Every time I go get my mail, or wait at the traffic light, or go past, I slow down to appreciate it. We have plenty of tall sleek shiny buildings, and we need a share of Pantlinds and Mackays to balance them out.

The USPS lot is badly designed and retrofitted (look at all the signs warning about cross traffic, don't park here, and so on). Ironically, OM is already a "liner building" and just needs a "filling" to bring it back.

Maybe USPS could build a new facility on the Press parcel.

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Ok, I give up. I've been searching for pics that Dad posted on UP for a while now and I can't seem to find them. They are of historic building facades that were saved (or the entire buildings) by a new, modern building being built as infill behind them. Being that the Rowe has such a small footprint and is already designed as a virtual liner building, it would be awesome if the future developer incorporated the new building into the Rowe. Would you care to be creative Dad and paintshop such an idea? :whistling:

Edited by d8alterego

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Ok, I give up. I've been searching for pics that Dad posted on UP for a while now and I can't seem to find them. They are of historic building facades that were saved (or the entire buildings) by a new, modern building being built as infill behind them. Being that the Rowe has such a small footprint and is already designed as a virtual liner building, it would be awesome if the future developer encorporated the new building into the Rowe. Would you care to be creative Dad and paintshop such an idea? :whistling:

Check post #132 in this thread.

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Check post #132 in this thread.

Nice find Avocado! I wasn't even sure where they were (although I knew they were after the D.C. visit).

Here are a few others that dgreco posted in the Photos section in the main forum:

DSC_0210border.jpg

DSC_0227border.jpg

I know they don't look at all like the Rowe, but it's amazing what some creative ingenuity can accomplish.

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About i'd say almost 10 years ago now Olds Manor was used as a Retirement Home for the elderly and my Grandpa lived there up until it was closed down. Even then the interior of that building needed significant repairs, there were constantly problems with every type of system in that building from water, to electric. The last year that it was open as a retirement home the top two floors of the building were considered safety hazards and made off limits permanently.

The way I see it is if the building was in that condition 10 years ago while it was trying to be kept up, i'd hate to see what it would like now 10 years later with no attempt at maitaining it.

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From what I've heard, Rockford has been in there and gutted the building since it was 'Olds Manor'. The interiors may have been in disrepair, but I'd bet its an old concrete tank of a building and the bones of it is still in good shape

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And after all that searching, I find out it was under my own nose. Just my luck. This is the pic of Dad's that I wanted to repost because it is my favorite one to show how something like this could work for the Rowe (granted the newer part would probably be facing the river or at an angle):

1250054936_3d11d0052b_b.jpg

By the way, I do remeber some floors with lights on at night at the Rowe. I'm assuming that was Rockford making sure the roof hadn't caved in. Thus there must be some sort of preservation going on.

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I hope this ends up in the first article GRDad is talking about for some other publication. We need to rally 'round the Rowe.

I love the small older buildings that we have and we need to protect them with all of our might. Having been to a couple of boom cities in the US and overseas that are knocking everything down and building new, it really sterilizes the city. We need to covet our past as much as possible.

I think it is the same reason people love European cities. Even though most of them were obliterated in World War II, they didn't discard the old and build a bunch of schlock. They restored the old.

Joe

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I hope this ends up in the first article GRDad is talking about for some other publication. We need to rally 'round the Rowe.

Give me a date and a time, and I'll be there.

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