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civitas

Contemporary Rental Housing

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I saw a contemporary student housing project in Big Rapids today. 4 bedrooms per 2-story (or split-level) townhouse. It seems well occupied and very cost effective construction. At $420 per bedroom ($1,680 per townhouse) I suspect it is profitable. It is located next to a WaMart. http://www.venloplace.com/

Designed by Winkelmann Architects and built by Houseman Construction.

I'm not posting the photos specifically about this development, but am curious in general how others feel about the style. Would contemporary rental housing lease in GR? What do you think of the design/materials?

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Personally I think it looks cheap and ugly, especially the one with the red pickup. ugh, those tiny windows. I'm sure if there were a few (not a lot) in GR though, that they would sell/lease. I'm just not all for the cheap materials it looks like they use to build the ones you posted. Good idea though! :)

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I personally like this type of design. It's popular in Europe and offers very inexpensive lodging for its size. Is it fancy on the exterior? Nope. And that

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It has drive under parking, that's a plus.

Overall, this dosen't work for me. I shouldn't really say anything as I've never experienced this project first hand.

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^^^^^^ Pole Barn?

I absolutely believe that contemporary rental housing would work in GR. Just, not like this.

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It does feel too much like a pole barn to me. Maybe if they used different materials, or at least split up the monotany a little bit it would look a lot better.

I'd also be a little concerned how well this complex aged.

The concept is cool though. It'd be interesting to know how much each building cost to build as opposed to typical apartment dwellings.

Joe

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I saw this project too just a couple of weeks ago. It has the "barn" look probably because it's right near the Meijer in Big Rapids (as civitas mentioned) that also has a barn look to it. I think the concept is good, but with some different color schemes and exterior materials, you could put it in an urban setting.

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What's with the corrugated siding and tiny, horse-barn windows?

If I were a student, I would absolutely refuse "housing" like this...so depression-inducing. It looks like warehouseing.

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The warehouse look seems to come from the flat back surface. It would cost more,

but would look better if that plane were broken up. Also would help, and be more

appealing, if there was access to the outdoors out back, with decking, which would

also break it up a bit.

Parking under? What is that? I wouldn't trust living attached to that many different

people and having all that gasoline under me. If you've ever seen a garage fire,

you'll get that.

I'd like to see the penthouse style that's perched on top of the Union Square

building as a separate housing entity. I love the way it looks, but I simply

hate it on top of that building.

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I dont know why, but they kind of remind me of this.

they are maybe 70% similar, so it would be a good test to see if something could work.

Where these bad boys would really sell?

is in Coopersville.

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The warehouse look seems to come from the flat back surface. It would cost more,

but would look better if that plane were broken up. Also would help, and be more

appealing, if there was access to the outdoors out back, with decking, which would

also break it up a bit.

Parking under? What is that? I wouldn't trust living attached to that many different

people and having all that gasoline under me. If you've ever seen a garage fire,

you'll get that.

I'd like to see the penthouse style that's perched on top of the Union Square

building as a separate housing entity. I love the way it looks, but I simply

hate it on top of that building.

dlpark.jpg

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"Contemporary Rental Housing, Would it lease in GR?"

Without a doubt, yes.

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These "barn" looking things are not cutting the mustard for me. However, something unconventional would work in GR espesially in the core where some modern and advant guard architecture are espected by many urban loft seekers. Out in the 'burbs though more tradtiional styles will still work. Although 'burb apartment/ townhomes need a big improvment in architectual quality above and beyond than the cookie cutter blahness inherent with rentals i.e. installing interior trim in rental units, give each building in the complex its own personality, do something to make the long corridors of large apartment buildings look less like the "Red Rum" hallway in Stephan King's "The Shinning". Little details like that would be a big help in making rental living more appealing.

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yikes, those cruciform windows are horrible, and the rest of details just seem too clunky.

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Fugly.

So, my friend's farm is an example of "contemporary rental housing?" I guess the cows live there, but they don't pay rent.

-nb

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When I first rode by it caught my eye and I turned around to find out what is was. As I approached I first thought incubator warehousing, then office, then I was surprised to find it was housing. I

'm setting up a lunch with the contractor to get some cost data. It looks very effiecient.

I found it lacking detail. There are, for instance, no balconies.

Buy hey, they're students and why should the developer care? :whistling: .

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When I first rode by it caught my eye and I turned around to find out what is was. As I approached I first thought incubator warehousing, then office, then I was surprised to find it was housing. I

'm setting up a lunch with the contractor to get some cost data. It looks very effiecient.

I found it lacking detail. There are, for instance, no balconies.

Buy hey, they're students and why should the developer care? :whistling: .

If there was a dearth on the market, current or future, this might fly. However, it seems like there's a For Rent sign on every block, and places are going vacant for months.

Something like this might serve as a tipping point for landlord dabblers who need to take Rentals 101 from Rockford or Ada community ed courses.

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I'm with Ted that in response to your original question, YES.

I found some contemporary styled multi-family buildings with a little more detail. Obviously, usually the more the detail, the higher the cost.

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I really like this one:

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I'm with Ted that in response to your original question, YES.

I found some contemporary styled multi-family buildings with a little more detail. Obviously, usually the more the detail, the higher the cost.

Good responses so far. Thanks!

Now a little more specific...how do you like this concept? The lower level has inside parking.

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West Elevation

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East Elevation

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North Elevation

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Now THAT is an ugly building! It's popping out in every direction. Way too busy! Almost like they just kept attaching stuff until everyone had a big window and a deck.

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Civitas -

Being a twenty-something that has a great desire to live in an urban setting in the GR area (but unfortunately won't shell out $200k for a condo downtown), I really like that design - this is something that I would put near the top of my list of places to consider living in downtown GR.

I think it would really fit in well along N. Monroe, taking over some of those parking lots on the west side of the road, or even along Michigan Ave or 196 near medical hill...

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Now THAT is an ugly building! It's popping out in every direction. Way too busy! Almost like they just kept attaching stuff until everyone had a big window and a deck.

This is hilarious. We have no happy mediums around here. Every building is either too flat or way too busy. I'm not picking you specifically GR Urbanist.

Civitas -

I like the design for the most part. Good modulation of the facade to give a variety of shadow lines across the building. I don't like the curved, what ever the hell that is on the top. I don't think the composition needs it and half circle elements looked dated to me. Arc's are better looking IMO.

I would also recommend that the colors be bolder. We need some good bold colored architecture around here.

This looks very similar to some urban infill that I saw in Denver a few weeks ago. I will try to get the pictures developed soon. They would be appropriate to post here. Denver is chock full of contemporary urban infill architecture.

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Good responses so far. Thanks!

Now a little more specific...how do you like this concept? The lower level has inside parking.

North Elevation

This is how Icon on Bond should have looked. But that is for another thread. Anyway. At up to $1680 dollars a month to lease a unit in the complex, shown in this thread's original post, is kind of pricey. I can think of many nice houses in Forest Hills, EGR, Cascade, etc. I could easily get into for that kind of monthly payment. So I say if one is planning to pay more than $750 a month and stay in the area for more than 2 to three years, buy a house.

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planning a riverfront apartment complex civitas?

Do you think the Historic Preservation Commission would let me "freshen" the Baker Furniture building? :rofl:

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