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tamias6

The perfect shopping experience.

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Strip malls, Big Boxes, Power centers, Mega Malls, and Life Style Centers. UP is filled with chorus of forumers that love to tongue hack these places to death for the urban sprawl they bring on. However, unless the price of gas suddenly shot up to $1,000 a gallon and stayed there, these places are not going to go away any time soon. But they can be developed in a much smarter way than just a giant box in the middle of an asphalt sea. So let's play a game here. You are a forward thinking developer wanting to build a large regional retail development somewhere in the GR area. You have deep pockets so money is no object, with in reason of course. With IKEA and 4 other major retailers as your anchors, a 20 screen movie theater including an IMAX theater, along with 300 tenants signed up, you know this is going to be a huge regional power house that would make Woodland Mall and River Town Crossings look like an old granny's yard sale in comparison. But any other developer would make this shopper's paradise into sprawl-topia as usual and get criticized by the folks on UP. But this is your development and you like to buck the trend. So pick your location and build your development. Do so in text, Sketchup, chicken scratching notebook paper, anything to get your ideas out in the open.

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"You are a forward thinking developer wanting to build a large regional retail development..."

That strikes me as an oxymoron.

This area already has all the retail it can stomach. The problem is, it's unevenly distributed.

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Don't want to sound flippant, but if I was a forward-thinking developer, I'd reconsider building another mega-structered, land-raping, retail eye-sore, and put my thoughts into increased website development and land conservancy. I'd stop the insanity. Yep, that's what I'd do.

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If I had money falling out of my pockets, I'd first go buy all the riverfront properties in suburban Kent County. I'd then invest it in a comprehensive (and environmentally sensitive) mass transit system (given that your scenario pegs gas at 1000/gal) and carefully design this system to connect every resident and visitor to this county-wide system of riverfront recreational opportunities.

Oh... and I'd also pay the best lawyers in the world to finally rescind the horrifically impenetrable free-reign the mining industry seems to have over land-use.

Oh... and I'd pay to have all the ugly stormwater retention "pits" we've created in the past few years converted to rain gardens and other, more aesthetically pleasing methods of filtering and re-using rain water.

Oh... and I'd pay the Feds to outlaw the unauthorized use of the term "mixed-use".

(still thinking...)

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I may be wrong, but I believe IKEA prefers free-standing structures for their stores as

opposed to being connected to a mall, but somebody convince them to come here, anyway!

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I have to say that it saddens me somewhat at the proposed "mega-development" in Walker. Heaven forbid we leave parcels of undeveloped land simply that . . . undeveloped. But the almighty dollar speaks louder than land conservancy I suppose.

Aren't there any vacant properties downtown where Cabela's or Ikea could move in to, renovate and create continued progress in the City? Think outside the box!

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I have to say that it saddens me somewhat at the proposed "mega-development" in Walker. Heaven forbid we leave parcels of undeveloped land simply that . . . undeveloped. But the almighty dollar speaks louder than land conservancy I suppose.

Aren't there any vacant properties downtown where Cabela's or Ikea could move in to, renovate and create continued progress in the City? Think outside the box!

Maybe in 20-30 years the new development will be "undeveloping property" bringing it back to the natural, trying to re-balance the ecosystem?! Knocking down the superfluous mega stores and bringing the property back to greenfields. That's thinking outside the box.

Re-using already developed property that's vacant or under utilitzed should be required before authorizing another mega this or that on greenspace/farm land. When we're all in our 90's we'll say "I can remember when you could drive from GR to the Lake and actually see open fields."

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I may be wrong, but I believe IKEA prefers free-standing structures for their stores as

opposed to being connected to a mall, but somebody convince them to come here, anyway!

I've never set foot in one until I moved here and I was blown away by all the stuff for 9.99. Literally, it was a mess of Swedish named wares. I like the setups and the attention to environmentally friendly stuff -- although half of what we bought from there is bending, warping, shattered etc.. and will eventually end up in a landfill in three more months. My girlfriend is in denial and insists on shopping, I've been there 15 times in the last month or so! It's maddening, and if I don't do what she wants I get hit with a knickknack she bought at IKEA. I tell her she get's what she pays for and apparently people will drive 400 miles for that same reason. I rode the elevator three floors, then applied for a management position -- went on my marry way.

Tell you the truth I didn't know what IKEA was until UP - GR.

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although half of what we bought from there is bending, warping, shattered etc.. and will eventually end up in a landfill in three more months.

I always felt that Ikea was the Scandinavian K-mart. Not that there's anything wrong with that ...

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And don't ever try to buy something from IKEA via phone that isn't on their web site. They not only are incapable of serving that kind of request, they literally are abusive if you try to go that route. Their bottom line? You can travel to their store or buy from the limited list available on-line. That's it. Otherwise you are SOL and they'll boldly tell you exactly that.

Price/design/value wise, it really does seem like a strange euro version of the Martha Stewart aisle at KMart or the Michael Graves aisle at Target.

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i would build a good looking outdoor/indoor retail development downtown.

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Maybe in 20-30 years the new development will be "undeveloping property" bringing it back to the natural, trying to re-balance the ecosystem?! Knocking down the superfluous mega stores and bringing the property back to greenfields. That's thinking outside the box.

That's already "the new development" in progressive cities around the world. West Michigan is neither progressive or wordly. Discuss. ;)

The Greening of Brussels: http://tinyurl.com/ybc9n8

The Greening of South Bronx: http://tinyurl.com/yexrbb

The Greening of Kuala Lumpur: http://tinyurl.com/yzx49w

The Greening of Peking: http://tinyurl.com/ydbv62

...and so on...

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That's already "the new development" in progressive cities around the world. West Michigan is neither progressive or wordly. Discuss. ;)

The Greening of Brussels: http://tinyurl.com/ybc9n8

The Greening of South Bronx: http://tinyurl.com/yexrbb

The Greening of Kuala Lumpur: http://tinyurl.com/yzx49w

The Greening of Peking: http://tinyurl.com/ydbv62

...and so on...

Sounds like some of the ideas in the linked articles could would well in GR in places like the butterworth landfill. Maybe converting the old Lear plant on Alpine Ave. into somthing would be visionary.

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I do 99.9% of my shopping on the internet. Saves time, it's delivered to my door (or to my place of employment), and if it doesn't fit, I can ship it back. Shipping charges are actually lower when you consider gas prices, driving time, and shopping time that's involved w/shopping in person. Plus I don't have to put up with rude salespeople or shoppers. Or drivers.

:)

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I do 99.9% of my shopping on the internet. Saves time, it's delivered to my door (or to my place of employment), and if it doesn't fit, I can ship it back. Shipping charges are actually lower when you consider gas prices, driving time, and shopping time that's involved w/shopping in person. Plus I don't have to put up with rude salespeople or shoppers. Or drivers.

:)

Call me old fashion. But I'm more of a tactile person. I have to see and touch a product live and in person as I make perchasing decisions. I use the internet only when I can't find what I'm looking for at local brick and mortar.

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