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mgreven

Parking and Development

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Wow! Jack Hoffman's statement is interesting and bold:

Hoffman acknowledges it isn't cheap to replace surface lots with parking ramps. Businesses that look for a "suburban model" with cheap surface parking lots "aren't going to be very happy downtown," he said.

"Some people think the city has an obligation to provide cheap parking. I respectfully disagree," said Hoffman. "Will there be people who don't want to participate in the downtown experience? Maybe there are."

Come from a position of strength. Can't be everything to everybody.

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The interesting thing about that point of strength - is the fact that we have a suburban population that REALLY loves their cars and is skeptical of mass transit working for them. These are the same people developers will want to "experience" their new downtown creations.

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I've never minded paying for parking downtown, but ask me to pay for a long distance phone call, then I am bothered.

Get rid of the surface lots

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The interesting thing about that point of strength - is the fact that we have a suburban population that REALLY loves their cars and is skeptical of mass transit working for them. These are the same people developers will want to "experience" their new downtown creations.

If you reduce parking, people would start to like public transportation alot more I think. :) I don't go into downtown often, but the only time I've had trouble finding parking is for the fireworks. And even then if you park close it can be a pain to get out after the fireworks. So that gives me little incentive to use public transportation.

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I can't say I'm the biggest fan of paying for parking. I wish there was a lot on the edge of town within walking distance to the core city with cheap rates because I would definitely use it. Seeing how I'm currently a student at GVSU, I have a parking permit and usually park across the river in their lot and just walk over the river.

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I'm glad we have someone working for the city who is that pro-development. Here's a question though. What does cause a company to locate in a downtown area with all the potential "negatives?" Why did Blue Cross move downtown? Why would someone move an office downtown and pay tons of money for their employees to park? (The article mentioned a company who saved over $50k just moving from dowtown to heartside. Who knows how much he still pays.) They could build on cheaper land in the suburbs and pay nothing for parking.

Does downtown start to look less attractive if parking is a challenge? Just curious.

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Why did Blue Cross move downtown?

Two words.............Renaissance Zone

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I'm glad we have someone working for the city who is that pro-development. Here's a question though. What does cause a company to locate in a downtown area with all the potential "negatives?" Why did Blue Cross move downtown? Why would someone move an office downtown and pay tons of money for their employees to park? (The article mentioned a company who saved over $50k just moving from dowtown to heartside. Who knows how much he still pays.) They could build on cheaper land in the suburbs and pay nothing for parking.

Does downtown start to look less attractive if parking is a challenge? Just curious.

He is probably paying that much again, if the article is correct that he was paying for ramp space before.

So it was costing him somewhere around $100,000 a year to be downtown. On a 10 year lease, a million dollars. Add city payroll tax on that and GR especially downtown gets pricey.

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I'm glad we have someone working for the city who is that pro-development. Here's a question though. What does cause a company to locate in a downtown area with all the potential "negatives?" Why did Blue Cross move downtown? Why would someone move an office downtown and pay tons of money for their employees to park? (The article mentioned a company who saved over $50k just moving from dowtown to heartside. Who knows how much he still pays.) They could build on cheaper land in the suburbs and pay nothing for parking.

Does downtown start to look less attractive if parking is a challenge? Just curious.

It already is a challenge. There are certain intangibles about locating downtown though: prestige, proximity to other businesses, convenience (downtown as the center of Kent County certainly makes for shorter average commutes for your workers), and many other reasons. As the owner of Mill Steel (or Lean Logistics?) said about investing in 50 Monroe: "Downtown is THE place to do business".

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It already is a challenge. There are certain intangibles about locating downtown though: prestige, proximity to other businesses, convenience (downtown as the center of Kent County certainly makes for shorter average commutes for your workers), and many other reasons. As the owner of Mill Steel (or Lean Logistics?) said about investing in 50 Monroe: "Downtown is THE place to do business".

I agree. It is becoming much "cooler" to people to work downtown. :shades: Where I work we have had some open houses and some people come in and say "This is soooo cool! I wish I worked downtown!"

With a place like Blue Cross, didn't they have several locations that they consolidated? I think many suburban areas are getting pretty expensive nowadays, and if a company has a bunch of smaller locations in the burbs, it may become cheaper to move downtown in one building. But also, blue cross got tons of incentive to move from the city so it might not really apply in this case.

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How many public and private parking ramps does GR have and how large are they? Also, are there still a lot of surface lots downtown?

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How many public and private parking ramps does GR have and how large are they? Also, are there still a lot of surface lots downtown?

too dang many and yes, although several might have buildings going up on them in the next year or 2

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I agree. It is becoming much "cooler" to people to work downtown. :shades: Where I work we have had some open houses and some people come in and say "This is soooo cool! I wish I worked downtown!"

With a place like Blue Cross, didn't they have several locations that they consolidated? I think many suburban areas are getting pretty expensive nowadays, and if a company has a bunch of smaller locations in the burbs, it may become cheaper to move downtown in one building. But also, blue cross got tons of incentive to move from the city so it might not really apply in this case.

Yes, Torgo, your building is pretty cool! :thumbsup:

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I agree. It is becoming much "cooler" to people to work downtown. :shades: Where I work we have had some open houses and some people come in and say "This is soooo cool! I wish I worked downtown!"

My mortgage guy doesn't even have a good view (although it is relatively high up) and when we left I said those exact words :) .

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I have always seen surface lots as an eyesore and an impediment to density in a downtown area, but have always thought (and the article does too) that market forces would determine that the land would not always be parking; that they would be there only until something better comes along. I have to say thought the GR will reach the point where all the good, close surface lots will be turned into buildings, which need parking for their users and it will reach a point where it is simply too far for most people to walk. Then something else has to be done. I look at one of my favorite cities, Portland, OR, where they have a trolley, lightrail, and bus system all mingled together with free fares in the core area, not to mention pedestrian and bicycle alternatives. So, in order for a downtown to work, the parking can't just be moved further away or made into ramps, but must be eliminated by means of alternative transportation and a change in people's mindsets.

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^Well said...

It is my understanding that a task force may soon be sponsored by Kent County to take this issue of mass transit head on with a full-scale study of the benefits of building a modern system. That is if you voice your support as a concerned citizen of Kent County. The task force seems to be fronted by Roger Morgan, the chair of Commissioners for Kent County.

Sometime this week I will be sending a letter to Mr. Morgan. If you have any interest in the goings with rapid transit or just want to tell a leader in the community that you urge support in these potential efforts, please do.

Contact:

Roger Morgan (Chair)

Address: http://www.accesskent.com/YourGovernment/B...s.htm#District3

Phone: (616) 866-4264

Email: [email protected]

Also make sure to contact your representative in the County Government by locating your district:

http://www.accesskent.com/YourGovernment/B...s.htm#District3

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On the subject of parking, there are two lots that come to mind that could be better served as a ramp ILO surface parking, and could help ignite rejuvenation in those areas. These two lots on Division:

124685868_7c357af86c_o.jpg

Even if just one were turned into a ramp, the other could be redeveloped as mixed-use. Either one could help serve parking needs for the Keeler and Kendall Buildings, Monroe Center parking issues, and maybe even serve Morton House. Just a thought. Maybe someone at the City will see this.

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Maybe someone at the City will see this.

Are you seeing this Grand Rapids city people!?!?! GRDad is ASKING FOR PARKING RAMPS. TAKE ADVANTAGE! :P

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Are you seeing this Grand Rapids city people!?!?! GRDad is ASKING FOR PARKING RAMPS. TAKE ADVANTAGE! :P

And torgo is trying his hardest to bite his tongue! :D

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And torgo is trying his hardest to bite his tongue! :D

Why? You don't think it's legitimate Andy? :dontknow:

Both the Kendall and Keeler will sit FOREVER like they are without a parking solution. Until flying cars are invented...

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A parking ramp attached to the Keeler building could also serve Civic Theater, throw in a couple of delicious restaurants on the corner as street-level retail, and you have the perfect dinner and theater rocklock combo.

rocklock!.jpg

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^^Yo, dude.. I think "they" already invented flying cars.

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A parking ramp attached to the Keeler building could also serve Civic Theater, throw in a couple of delicious restaurants on the corner as street-level retail, and you have the perfect dinner and theater rocklock combo.

See, now you've got it Greedo :D I would bet it would also fill all the retail bays in the ground floor of Keeler as well. :shades: Sometimes a little sacrifice can pay off big-time.

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