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civitas

Broadway and 1st Condos

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Will the Planning Commission turn it down because it will change the face of the neighborhood? :whistling:

http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ss....xml&coll=6

GRAND RAPIDS -- A pair of young real estate developers say they are close to buying up an entire block on the city's near West Side for a $10 million condominium project -- missing only two parcels owned by a church.

Larry Zeiser and Zack Zalar say they have options to purchase all but two properties on the block bounded by First and Second streets and Broadway and Alabama avenues. The block is directly south of Int. 196.

Their plan is to raze the structures on the block and replace them with 52 town house condominiums that will sell for $219,000 and up.

213139344_690e8d4c24_o.jpg

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"Zeiser, 35, said he is confident they will attract young professionals and empty-nesters who are looking for convenience in their lifestyle."

What makes him think those happenin' young professionals and childfree folks want to settle on the west side?

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"Zeiser, 35, said he is confident they will attract young professionals and empty-nesters who are looking for convenience in their lifestyle."

What makes him think those happenin' young professionals and childfree folks want to settle on the west side?

"In this area, you have bars and restaurants you can walk to, you're two minutes from the freeway and a five-minute cab ride from downtown," said Zeiser, who owns and operates four restaurants and bars on the edges of the downtown area.

I get going to the bars, but I wouldn't want to live a block or 2 away. The big building at Alabama and 1st has been on the market for a long time (over priced) and would be a natural for loft housing - except for the bars.

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If that church was built in 1896 or whatever the article said, what makes the developers think they'll be able to tear it down even if they are able to buy it? I think the development might be more interesting if they had to build around the church anyway, rather than taking up the whole block. I wonder if they'll go ahead if they can't get the whole block though.

-nb

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Will the Planning Commission turn it down because it will change the face of the neighborhood? :whistling:

"I think it's going to be such an asset and plus for the community," said Nola Steketee, executive director for the West Grand Neighborhood Organization.

"Granted, we're displacing about 19 houses, but they're going to bring in about 50 condos," Steketee said. "It's going to be something new and exciting."

Are they playing favorites because this wouldn't necessarily appeal to college students? Wasn't the West Grand Association against the LMD Apts?

Or was your comment in regard to the Bemis Townhomes?

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I wonder if condo's priced at 200k+ could sell on that part of the west side. The near west side, Stocking / Bridge/ Lexington, and all the way to Fulton happens to be my least favorite part of the city. The picture in my head of the bars mentioned are pretty much hole in the wall places that are in rundown buildings. (Monte's and to a lesser extent Stockbridge withstanding) The people who can afford that price range would probabally not frequent those establishments. The picture in my head of the business in that area are quite the same. From my stand point, I don't like to go into a place unless it looks friendly clean and inviting. Am I wrong? That area just seems a little bit gritty for something like this to fly right. But things always change right ?

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If that church was built in 1896 or whatever the article said, what makes the developers think they'll be able to tear it down even if they are able to buy it? I think the development might be more interesting if they had to build around the church anyway, rather than taking up the whole block. I wonder if they'll go ahead if they can't get the whole block though.

-nb

It would be interesting if the developers incorparated the church building into their plans somehow. Maybe the sanctuary could be turned into a community room while other portions of the church building could be converted into some unique lofts. This would keep the HPC off their backs and give the Near Westside a great asset.

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Church

bway-1.jpg

bway-7.jpg

bway-8.jpg

Looking east towards the M-DOT ROW on left, subject area on the right

bway-3.jpg

Existing houses and their front-yard view

bway-5.jpgbway-4.jpg

Looking north (church on left, Union Square visible on the right)

bway-2.jpg

Looking south towards the church

bway-6.jpg

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I wonder if condo's priced at 200k+ could sell on that part of the west side. The near west side, Stocking / Bridge/ Lexington, and all the way to Fulton happens to be my least favorite part of the city. The picture in my head of the bars mentioned are pretty much hole in the wall places that are in rundown buildings. (Monte's and to a lesser extent Stockbridge withstanding) The people who can afford that price range would probabally not frequent those establishments. The picture in my head of the business in that area are quite the same. From my stand point, I don't like to go into a place unless it looks friendly clean and inviting. Am I wrong? That area just seems a little bit gritty for something like this to fly right. But things always change right ?

Since you asked, I believe just the opposite.

Growing up, I've always been told that the best places to eat in Chinatowns, are not exactly the cleanest, or have the best facade on the block. But the food.... OMG the food.

Think about it MJLO, what happens if you draw a six square mile line around the city. What do you capture???

Are you on the bus or not???

-Grid Girl

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Well, in case Larry and Zack read this forum at all: SAVE THE CHURCH! That is an awesome little structure. Even if the current parishioners want to relocate, they could totally incorporate the church into the plans. I've seen a couple of really cool old church/new offices in Ann Arbor, one being the offices of Hobbs+Black Architecture.

It would be sad to lose such a great structure, IMO.

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In Chicago they are converting Churches into condos and nightclubs.

"in gr we convert nightclubs into churches...."

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"In this area, you have bars and restaurants you can walk to, you're two minutes from the freeway and a five-minute cab ride from downtown," said Zeiser, who owns and operates four restaurants and bars on the edges of the downtown area.

...

Two minutes from the freeway?? Maybe if you're walking. And that's maybe a five minute *walk* to City Hall. (If you live that close, why call a cab? Or is this a 3rd shift thing?)

I dunno about the notion of providing convenient housing for bar patrons. And I'm on the save-the-church side too.

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Two minutes from the freeway?? Maybe if you're walking. And that's maybe a five minute *walk* to City Hall. (If you live that close, why call a cab? Or is this a 3rd shift thing?)

I dunno about the notion of providing convenient housing for bar patrons. And I'm on the save-the-church side too.

Why go through the trouble of calling a cab to go to a DT eatery when you can go to your two-stall garage and drive there. What do these guys think that this is NYC where you can hail a cab from the corner? :lol:

Oh, this isn’t housing for bar patrons. Remember, these are "young professionals". When they get drunk, they must do something creative and hip so the drunkenness is somehow OK.

Can you imagine if some developer wanted to build low cost apartments and said that one of the benefits of living there is that it's near bars? The howls of protest would be atomic!

Im totally for saving the church also. What type of developer with a brain thinks you can go into any older part of a city and just demolish an 100 year old church for condos? I hope the present congregation does not leave. Why should they? Its not like any new residents are just going to melt at the sight of people attending a church service. And im sure this development isnt going to go under without this property.

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The is no way they will let anyone tear down St Mary's. It is one of the oldest churches in town.

About the development. It will never be a success until someone can buy the entire neighborhood and rebuild it. There is no way someone is going to drop $200,000+ on a condo when there is a meth house right next door and their cars get broken into daily. Just won't work.

In ten years, maybe.

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I don't want my friends and family moving from this neighborhood for the latest fad. The West side is character dependent on middle class lunch pailers, not young professionals on the latest fad... Since when was GR neighborhoods deemed "cool" enough to drop a couple 100 grand?

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......

About the development. It will never be a success until someone can buy the entire neighborhood and rebuild it. There is no way someone is going to drop $200,000+ on a condo when there is a meth house right next door and their cars get broken into daily. Just won't work.

In ten years, maybe.

I don't want my friends and family moving from this neighborhood for the latest fad. The West side is character dependent on middle class lunch pailers, not young professionals on the latest fad... Since when was GR neighborhoods deemed "cool" enough to drop a couple 100 grand?

Where is your vision people??? The best cities have mixed-income neighborhoods.

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My wife's great grandparents lived near 5th and Broadway and attended that church when it was a Swedish congregation. We went to visit after our church service this morning and met the priest and a number of the Latvians who attend.

We were given a tour of the building. It is beautiful, but is in need of very expensive repairs that the church cannot afford. It sounded to me that it would likely be sold and then likely demolished. The brick apartment building to the south of the church has been condemned by the city.

My wife wants to attend a service there next Sunday in memory of her great grandparents. I'll bring my camera for some inside photos.

I agree that the church should be retained if at all possible.

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The is no way they will let anyone tear down St Mary's. It is one of the oldest churches in town.

About the development. It will never be a success until someone can buy the entire neighborhood and rebuild it. There is no way someone is going to drop $200,000+ on a condo when there is a meth house right next door and their cars get broken into daily. Just won't work.

It's not St Mary's, it's Our Lady of Aglona. And it appears they are attempting to buy the whole block. The only thing left will be St. Mary's to the East, about 6 or 7 houses to the South which probably won't be around much longer based on their condition (and then Bridge Street), a big parking lot to the West, and a highway ROW green area to the North.

Boy, such negativity in this thread for the West Side.

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A thought just occured to me, all of these new residential projects and renovations are being marketed towards young single profesionals, and empty nesters. Do any of you think that the reason the cities population growth is stagnant to declining is because all of the home structures in the city are being fill with one person instead of whole families? Is there truly a way to market city life to families? It would seem that you would see significant, and sustainable growth If it were whole families moving into town vs. Just people who can afford to pay an arm and a leg for a condo and then go party on the weekend. How do you compete against the suburbs?

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It's not St Mary's, it's Our Lady of Aglona. And it appears they are attempting to buy the whole block. The only thing left will be St. Mary's to the East, about 6 or 7 houses to the South which probably won't be around much longer based on their condition (and then Bridge Street), a big parking lot to the West, and a highway ROW green area to the North. ...

And the cell tower (over my right shoulder at 2nd & Seward).

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Well it's a good way to get people into GR from other cities. They will come here as singles, get married here, and eventually raise a family here (some of them.) But as for DT vs Suburb, you're right, it probably isn't helping too much.

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I agree. Buy the church and incorporate it into the plans. I think a church would make one hell of a loft!

I think if they do end up buying it, they'll have a fight on their hands if they want to rip it down.

Joe

Well, in case Larry and Zack read this forum at all: SAVE THE CHURCH! That is an awesome little structure. Even if the current parishioners want to relocate, they could totally incorporate the church into the plans. I've seen a couple of really cool old church/new offices in Ann Arbor, one being the offices of Hobbs+Black Architecture.

It would be sad to lose such a great structure, IMO.

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About the development. It will never be a success until someone can buy the entire neighborhood and rebuild it.

:huh: Do you honestly think the west side is THAT bad? sheesh..

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Every neighborhood has a starting point for change. Due to the postwar flight to the suburbs, our central city neighborhoods entered the era of decline. Today, there are still areas in need of revitalization, especially the areas that are locked in by the highways. But one thing that will never change is location. As our downtown prospers, the surrounding neighborhoods need to as well. We cannot have a healthy downtown, without having healthy neighborhoods.

Seriously, please think before you bash any central city neighborhood in this city as a "bad place" for development.

-central city living

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I think that if they could use the church in their plans, it would be an amazing asset to the project and could help bring up all the values. Renovated Fire Houses, Churches, Police Stations, and other municipal buildings with historic architecture characteristics have immense value if they are done up right.

As for the slamming the neighborhood, it shows how much the perception of a neighborhood can influence the potential sale. If someone on here slams a neighborhood, while it does not help the issue, it does raise alarms. In realistic terms, a person needs to ask themselves if they would be willing to move there at this point in time

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