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Blue 35 - 35 Oakes - Heartside Manor/Merten Hotel


mgreven

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This is encouraging...these will help make Commerce a nice street. Plus, more apartments downtown are always good!

Apartments could bring new look to Heartside

GRAND RAPIDS -- Two long-awaited redevelopment projects that would bring dozens of apartments to the Heartside area near Van Andel Arena could be under way this fall.





http://www.mlive.com/business/grpress/inde....xml&coll=6

Edited by GRDadof3
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Done. I'll see if I have any photos of this building. It sure will transform that corner if it comes through.

I'm more confident about this one than 61 commerce. Rockford held onto this building for years and I dont think they ever put it up for sale. My guess is they either have a deal with Cooley for student housing similar to the commerce building with Kendal College, or its just going to be a really easy and cheap renovation.

I love the grit of this building. Also, there's no parking; zoning calls for 1 space/unit I think. I wonder what they are planning on doing.

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I love the grit of this building. Also, there's no parking; zoning calls for 1 space/unit I think. I wonder what they are planning on doing.

See the thread about 61 commerce. They own the lot accross the street and plan to make it a parking structure (according to intovb).

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  • 10 months later...
  • 1 year later...

In the Press today, Rockford is trying to get this project going again. This time, they need the HPC and the city to approve the demolition of the old bar across the street (Maxies). The Merten Hotel would be turned into 49 apartments, with ground floor commercial and/or retail. The exterior would pretty much remain as is.

http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/07/old_...nsidered_f.html

I have to imagine Cooley alone would half fill the place, with most of its students coming from out-of-state. In regard to the Gallery on Fulton and 38 Commerce projects, I actually think this project will help those projects, as more and more people will see Commerce Ave as a vibrant/safer place to live.

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I hope this project moves forward (it would definitely take an eyesore away) but I question why they really need to take down a building to do it. We have two new parking ramps going up (the liner building and Gallery on Fulton) plus the new Commerce ramp. Surely, the intended audience (students) are probably going to be ok with walking 1-2 blocks in either direction to get to their car.

It's almost silly how lazy we are these days, and how we continue to try and accomodate that. I think they should start building "Jetson-ian" architecture where every unit has a parking spot IN the unit. Wouldn't want Jane or Elroy to have to walk more than 20 feet to jump in the flying car! :)

Joe

In the Press today, Rockford is trying to get this project going again. This time, they need the HPC and the city to approve the demolition of the old bar across the street (Maxies). The Merten Hotel would be turned into 49 apartments, with ground floor commercial and/or retail. The exterior would pretty much remain as is.

http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/07/old_...nsidered_f.html

I have to imagine Cooley alone would half fill the place, with most of its students coming from out-of-state. In regard to the Gallery on Fulton and 38 Commerce projects, I actually think this project will help those projects, as more and more people will see Commerce Ave as a vibrant/safer place to live.

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I hope this project moves forward (it would definitely take an eyesore away) but I question why they really need to take down a building to do it. We have two new parking ramps going up (the liner building and Gallery on Fulton) plus the new Commerce ramp. Surely, the intended audience (students) are probably going to be ok with walking 1-2 blocks in either direction to get to their car.

It's almost silly how lazy we are these days, and how we continue to try and accomodate that. I think they should start building "Jetson-ian" architecture where every unit has a parking spot IN the unit. Wouldn't want Jane or Elroy to have to walk more than 20 feet to jump in the flying car! :)

Joe

I don't think the argument for potential residents is having to walk, per se, but the issue comes when one is hauling home books, or groceries, or other purchases one needs, especially after being in class all day, or going to school, then to work, then stopping at the store and having to lug things into the house and just being darn tired! Being able to park close to where one lives isn't a vanity and it's more than just a convenience...it saves wear and tear on an already tired being. And yeah, I know, get a cart or something on wheels to haul in 'stuff'...blah, blah, blah. I'm not suggesting it's fine to tear down ANYTHING for parking, just sayin'...

Edited by mejane
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I know what you are saying but I think that student living can be a bit more flexible (heck, if you live on MSU's campus in E. Lansing, your going to walk). I just think it is crazy to tie this whole deal to knocking down a building for parking. I think there will be a plethora of parking in the area in the next few years (actually, if you lived in that building you could walk out the building, go one block west and be in parking Areas 4 and 5).

Personally, I think there is an abundance of parking coming on line in that area. I don't think another parking lot is the solution. With that being said, I also want to see the project go through. I just hope they consider another old building being torn down for what I consider to be little or no gain.

Joe

I don't think the argument for potential residents is having to walk, per se, but the issue comes when one is hauling home books, or groceries, or other purchases one needs, especially after being in class all day, or going to school, then to work, then stopping at the store and having to lug things into the house and just being darn tired! Being able to park close to where one lives isn't a vanity and it's more than just a convenience...it saves wear and tear on an already tired being. And yeah, I know, get a cart or something on wheels to haul in 'stuff'...blah, blah, blah. I'm not suggesting it's fine to tear down ANYTHING for parking, just sayin'...
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I wouldn't mind seeing it torn down for a "temporary" parking lot. It would save a step when they need to build a new 10-12 story building on that corner lot for more housing in the future. ;)

I agree. If this is the step that has to be taken, then let the Maxie's building go. It's just NASTY inside anyway. You can see the black mold just looking in the front window. I think if the HPC is letting the building go at Commerce and Weston to make way for 38 Commerce, then they could spare this one.

Here are some pics of it from a few years ago:

206136342_1178f82a1d_b.jpg

206136345_eb529878ab_b.jpg

As far as the parking debate goes, this ain't New York City or Chicago. There is only one mass-transit option right now and it's very limited. Hopson Flats was built to not have any parking, and they have now had to switch gears and provide parking behind Founders. But I believe as more and more people inhabit downtown, and new mass transit options are built, then the lots that are being built now will be temporary.

With this Rockford deal, Commerce Ave gets two eyesores removed (one renovated and one demolished), 70 more residents (which might bring more business to that area, especially the "garage" that Second Story is marketing right up the street), and the last piece of the West side of that block of Commerce completed.

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Parking lot? Forget it.

You want city life, then act like it. Just imagine if these people had to live in a real urban area like NYC.

People and their suburban mindset is what keep holding this city back.

Well, I'll be doing my part when I move back to GR from Chicago in 2 weeks---carless by choice. Already bought my little wheeled grocery pull cart for when I traipse over to Family Fare on E. Fulton, from 207 La Grave Ave. Until someone wisely puts a grocery store/pharmacy right downtown to support and encourage the hoped for burgeoning DT population, it's my only option. I'll take the Fulton bus each way, or just cab it in nasty weather. Walking/busing it to whatever you need is 2nd nature to me. I'll be on my (Citizenbike.com) folding bike with a backpack alot too. I'm going to see how long I can exist in GR w/o a car. So when you people see a devastatingly handsome guy pulling a week's worth of groceries behind him downtown, it should be me! Be sure and honk!

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Well, I'll be doing my part when I move back to GR from Chicago in 2 weeks---carless by choice. Already bought my little wheeled grocery pull cart for when I traipse over to Family Fare on E. Fulton, from 207 La Grave Ave. Until someone wisely puts a grocery store/pharmacy right downtown to support and encourage the hoped for burgeoning DT population, it's my only option. I'll take the Fulton bus each way, or just cab it in nasty weather. Walking/busing it to whatever you need is 2nd nature to me. I'll be on my (Citizenbike.com) folding bike with a backpack alot too. I'm going to see how long I can exist in GR w/o a car. So when you people see a devastatingly handsome guy pulling a week's worth of groceries behind him downtown, it should be me! Be sure and honk!

I've been doing it with little problems since October last year, and that includes frequent trips into the suburbs.

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Parking lot? Forget it.

You want city life, then act like it. Just imagine if these people had to live in a real urban area like NYC.

People and their suburban mindset is what keep holding this city back.

I realize we're talking student parking here, so that may be the difference when visualizing

projects of this type. When picturing a certain vibrancy of urban life there is the tendency of

'seeing' a youthful, young professional component without seeing 'those people' for whom

living in a real urban area like NYC is a daily struggle - people in the AARP category. There is a big

difference in how easily navigable urban life is for students and people in their 30's, than people

in the 50+ range. You'll understand it when you get there...believe me, I NEVER thought things

would ache this much when I got close to 50 and after! So, yes, for students, maybe not so much

parking - but don't verbally punish those folks in the age brackets who love urban living, but need,

not want, a little convenience because it may be some of 'these people' who have the means to support

much of what everyone wants to see downtown.

Edited by mejane
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