Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

GRDadof3

Baker Furniture to close GR facilities

32 posts in this topic

Baker cuts its ties to Grand Rapids

Although it means 80 job cuts, apparently it does not come as a surprise after Baker closed in Holland in 2004. They're old factory has already been converted to a mixed-use complex.

Real estate developers say the Grand Rapids riverfront site makes an potentially attractive residential development. The factory and headquarters on Monroe Avenue at Ann Street sits directly on the Grand River. GRPress

There is also an old rail bridge that crosses the Grand at that point.

post-2672-1150856014_thumb.jpg

post-2672-1150856014_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Baker cuts its ties to Grand Rapids

Although it means 80 job cuts, apparently it does not come as a surprise after Baker closed in Holland in 2004. They're old factory has already been converted to a mixed-use complex.

Real estate developers say the Grand Rapids riverfront site makes an potentially attractive residential development. The factory and headquarters on Monroe Avenue at Ann Street sits directly on the Grand River. GRPress

There is also an old rail bridge that crosses the Grand at that point.

post-2672-1150856014_thumb.jpg

I wonder what type of development will go on the building site? I remember when I have driven by thinking about what could go onto the site. I wonder if more appartments could go there, or if Residential would be better? I don't know if small business/studio shops would do well there, but I am not very familiar with the Monroe North area along the River front. I am sorry to hear of the lost of businesss, but excited about what "new" type of develpement would move into there. I wonder if it will be like what they did with Boardwalk?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is also an old rail bridge that crosses the Grand at that point.

Does anyone know if that old rail bridge is still in use? If I remember it appeared to be elevated and not at ground level, so it couldn't be converted to a walkway? Maybe a possible rail transit stop? Alright, my mind is wondering too far in the future :rofl:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just biking at Riverside Park last week and thought how nice it would be if the riverside trail was added between Ann St. and connect to the City park just south of Leonard.

It would be nice if this property could be cleaned up.

Wow, just think if they re-paved Monroe too!!

Does anyone know if that old rail bridge is still in use? If I remember it appeared to be elevated and not at ground level, so it couldn't be converted to a walkway? Maybe a possible rail transit stop? Alright, my mind is wondering too far in the future :rofl:

A light rail transit stop would be great. I drive that way often and have never seen a train.

We need a train cam set up to monitor the traffic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The building is a little far north of the current hot spot for development north of downtown, but being right on the river maybe it'll just push the boundary north! Whenever I went by that thing I thought it could be as cool as the Boardwalk.

-nb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had a home in the Creston Heights area for 20 years. A 2 unit home. Many years ago as the Baker building became increasingly vacant, It seemed that it would become a ideal part of the development that had made the Waterworks(berkey/gay?) a residental place to live. I'm excited for the possibilities here. As Waterworks becomes a condo project, hopefully some will move to this new/old facility. It's only a mile and a half from downtown!

Our current neighborhood is full of down-an-outers at this time. The rage overheard nightly as pedestrians walk to Tilly's for their 1 dollar beers is unsettling at best. This building is in-fact perhaps the "best of the bunch". It's right on the river! The only old factory to be situated along the mighty banks! Hell yes! Here's hoping that it's developed sooner than later!

The entire Creston Heights district is prime for a good rehab. Many homes have been butchered into multi-family residences, however the general housing stock appears to be good. Growth along lower Plainfield

(think: Sazerak, Gradens Crossing, The new gilmore thing at the old Plainfield library(forgive my spelling here and there) create hope for the future. Investors take note!

H

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aside from dying Steelcase, is there any other furniture manufacturing left in Grand Rapids? What is the main industry in town now, is it spectrum? Has a sevice economy completely taken over the manufacturing base?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steelcase isn't even dying. Aparently the office furniture industry is doing well for itself... I think Baker is closing because their "high end" products aren't in demand anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


They closed this facility because they wanted to consolidate their HQ and their manufacturing facilities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is going to be the next cool place to live. Count on it. Someone keep their eye on the Beckerings and Mr. Rooks.

Its funny because I drove by this place a week ago and thought how cool it would be as condos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just biking at Riverside Park last week and thought how nice it would be if the riverside trail was added between Ann St. and connect to the City park just south of Leonard.

It would be nice if this property could be cleaned up.

Wow, just think if they re-paved Monroe too!!

My thoughts EXACTLY!! The White Pine Trail to Riverside Park then what? A really bad street in need of repaving... :angry: I think everytime I run past there that it would be so cool to convert that building into condos and extend the trail all the way to canal street park. Plus, put a park where the fire hydrants are stored (across from Clearwater Place). Why does the city use riverfront to store maintenance stuff?

(apart from selling it later for $35 million) :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plus, put a park where the fire hydrants are stored (across from Clearwater Place). Why does the city use riverfront to store maintenance stuff?

(apart from selling it later for $35 million) :)

I get angry when I think of and see spare fire hydrants being stored on riverfront property like this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My thoughts EXACTLY!! The White Pine Trail to Riverside Park then what?

The plan has been for a while to connect it through the city to Millennium Park.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only two wood furniture makers in town are Kindel and Hekman, and even they're shrinking. And even North Carolina is going to go through some suffering soon as much of this stuff is being replaced by Asian knockoffs. You're hard pressed to find real USA Made furniture in any stores around here anymore.

But like you guys, I LOVE that warehouse and have thought of residential there for a long time. You could even add on to it in that huge parking lot on Monroe and make a beautiful courtyard similar to Berkey & Gay.

Go Creston and Monroe North!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't remember but is there enough room between the factory and the river to put a bike trail?

How could we find out if those railroad tracks are currently used? Just really curious now...

I wonder which rail company owns that line?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


The only two wood furniture makers in town are Kindel and Hekman, and even they're shrinking.

Shrinking indeed......The plant on Butterworth is up for sale.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't remember but is there enough room between the factory and the river to put a bike trail?

How could we find out if those railroad tracks are currently used? Just really curious now...

I wonder which rail company owns that line?

Baker does not own to the river. The City owns the RR right-of-way all the way to Riverside Park.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is going to be the next cool place to live. Count on it. Someone keep their eye on the Beckerings and Mr. Rooks.

Its funny because I drove by this place a week ago and thought how cool it would be as condos.

Is Beckering even a player anymore? I thought he left the area in shame? I know his son Chris is selling properties around town.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is Beckering even a player anymore? I thought he left the area in shame? I know his son Chris is selling properties around town.

I dunno, I was just throwing the name out there based on their past experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is Beckering even a player anymore? I thought he left the area in shame? I know his son Chris is selling properties around town.

If you mean by retiring to Florida, then yes, he has left the area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is Beckering even a player anymore?

I think one of the two sons still runs Pioneer Construction, doesn't he? I think his office is/was in the Boardwalk. I don't think elder Beckering left "in shame", though.

edit: oops, maybe so. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you mean by retiring to Florida, then yes, he has left the area.

Sorry my bad, must have been a different Beckering that had several scandals that basically caused him to leave the area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I think we've gotten the picture GRObserver. Let's not make this a mud-slinging site.

I think snoogit posted details at one time that rail line that runs across the river there and up through NE GR.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think one of the two sons still runs Pioneer Construction, doesn't he?

I believe his Son-in-law runs it. Does a good job according to some people I know in the industry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back on subject.

Here are a few pictures of the Baker furniture building from this evening.

The crotch of the building on the East side.

IMGP0254.jpg

and again

IMGP0255.jpg

The West side of the building near some loading docks.

IMGP0258.jpg

The South side of the building.

IMGP0260.jpg

From across the river.

IMGP0262.jpg

IMGP0262-1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.