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cheshireguy

Skyline Balance

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To me, Grand Rapids' skyline is great for the size of the city and getting much better withthe additions of RiverHouse and the JW. If there were another development to take place (and clue me in if there is something in the works) at around 30-40 stories, where would you like to see it at and why? When you look at the GR skyline from, say, 196 East, you see the Varnum Building (and soon the Riverhouse) on the left, the Amway and the JW in the middle, and the Marriott on the right. It would be great to see another development somewhere in there to provide balance to the skyline and "fill in the gaps". Also, someone blogged about something he/she called "50 Monroe". Anyone know anything about this?

Our city is great

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After studying this issue with a model of downtown it's hard to balance the skyline from all views of the city with one or two buildings. If I had to say it would be JackBBV's (Jack Buchanan's) development on Calder Plaza and the Lyon Tower. Ironically, I mean the two projects together.

Minus the controversy, JackBBV would have had a great skyline piece. The tower was, if I remember correctly, going to be built with a wide foot print when viewed from N/S. The wide building could have bridge the gap between the Hill and the taller buildings along the river. I believe his tower was built out at 400 foot. The Lyon tower would have given balance to northern and southern views. The problem with the Lyon tower is that it was a low height spire. I'm the first person to scream for a spire, but it was just too low for my taste -- although I'll take whatever I can get.

If you take into account the new stuff going on Medical Mile/Michigan St. Hill I think anything in the center core will begin to add balance.

Edited by Rizzo

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Welcome cheshireguy! We've had this discussion a few times, but there are several areas in the "center" of downtown that would make for some nice 30 - 40 story skyline "infill". Just need the market demand for something like that.

5/3's parking lot

Calder Plaza could be reconfigured

Lyon/Ottawa

Ellis lot (old bus statoin)

385507188_671d87f716_o.jpg

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I think the Ellis lot on Division would be a great place for a building. Especially if they could make it mixed use, Office/residential. With Health Hill popping up it seems like it would be a great location for any businesses that may want to locate themselves close to VAI, MSU and Spectrum. It also would be a nice location for law offices. Residential would be good for the influx of new workers (something like the Plaza Towers where you have apartments and condos would be cool).

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I would like to see 25-35 story buildings infill pretty much the same places GRdad pointed out on his illustration. However I'd like to see a 500 - 600 footer built on the parking structure on the north side of 5/3's headquarters to give the skyline a predominate focal point. Come on Uncle Fred or Devos Family, a tower that big would make for a prestigious corporate HQ. :thumbsup: A 500 footer at 50 Monroe would look cool too, but that spot is already spoken for to build something the size of McKay tower at the most. Now I've said this many times before. But let's replace that horrible surface lot at the south west corner of Fulton and Monroe Ave. A couple of 20 - 30 story buildings there would do the trick. A new PAC on that spot would look nice too. Next, I would infill the surface lots around the VAA. with new "old" looking buildings to tie into the character of Heartside. Lastly, some the surface lots over in Westside would get infilled with mix use developments of 3-7 stories in height with higher structure closest to 131.

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Actually, there may be even room for multiple towers in those footprints:

385612717_3fe2316cc0_o.jpg

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I think that it is essential to bring an actually center to dt, I think this could be accomplished by putting a few mid rise towers like McKay around what I consider the center of dt where the new art museum is going up. 50 Monroe will certainly be a key part of creating a center, however it would not serve greatly to integrate the growing pill hill and the wall of river towers. Another option I think would be to put a 20-30 story tower where days inn is to integrate the river, gvsu, the ymca, and the museums, into the city, something eye catching, perhaps the phase II of days inn renovation will accomplish this. Another factor will be the new children hospital spire which might have a drastic effect on the skyline.

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Another location I would like to see something cool would be to tear down the GR Press building and put something there that could tie a lot of things together: Medical hill and downtown, North Monroe with downtown and have Riverhouse not seem so isolated. This is a prime spot and with the Press not having there printing presses there anymore, don't need that kind of structure for offices, they could even keep there headquarters on several floors of a new, tall, mixed-use building on their land!

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To me, Grand Rapids' skyline is great for the size of the city and getting much better withthe additions of RiverHouse and the JW. If there were another development to take place (and clue me in if there is something in the works) at around 30-40 stories, where would you like to see it at and why? When you look at the GR skyline from, say, 196 East, you see the Varnum Building (and soon the Riverhouse) on the left, the Amway and the JW in the middle, and the Marriott on the right. It would be great to see another development somewhere in there to provide balance to the skyline and "fill in the gaps". Also, someone blogged about something he/she called "50 Monroe". Anyone know anything about this?

Our city is great

A building to replace the washer/dryer or the GR Press HQ would be nice.

There's also a nice parking lot just south of Plaza Towers.

I would love to see 30-40 stories there.

"chesireguy?" Chesire Rocks! :D

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I think the skyline would be very balanced had they built the Lyon & Ottawa tower, the Blue Bridge hotel for the convention center, the taller version of Icon on Bond, maybe something 15-25 stories at Fulton and Market ave., and Increasing the height of the Days Inn. However we would still need to concentrate on getting rid of surface lots...

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A building to replace the washer/dryer or the GR Press HQ would be nice.

There's also a nice parking lot just south of Plaza Towers.

I would love to see 30-40 stories there.

"chesireguy?" Chesire Rocks! :D

The Washer/Dryer?

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Maybe Paramaribo thinks the GR Press HQ looks look like a giant washer and dryer. To me the Press building looks like an oversize NES video game console. Either way, that building is one of the butt ugliest buildings ever built in GR and I'll no doubt be one of the first to jump for joy if that building was demolished to make way for something else.

The Washer/Dryer?
Edited by tamias6

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Maybe Paramaribo thinks the GR Press HQ looks look like a giant washer and dryer. To me the Press building looks like an oversize NES video game console. Either way, that building is one of the butt ugliest buildings ever built in GR and I'll no doubt be one of the first to jump for joy if that building was demolished to make way for something else.

No, 50 Monroe has been referred to as the "washer and dryer", although I haven't heard it used anywhere other than on here about 6 months ago, when civitas posted this old photo:

http://static.flickr.com/36/119850894_cd68b3ce03_o.jpg

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I think the only request i have for the future skyline of Grand Rapids is maybe something besides the color blue. Only the Plaza Towers aren't overlly blue. Maybe something with a red brick or tan color like the Plaza could even out the skyline color wise.

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I think the only request i have for the future skyline of Grand Rapids is maybe something besides the color blue. Only the Plaza Towers aren't overlly blue. Maybe something with a red brick or tan color like the Plaza could even out the skyline color wise.

As long as we continue to get buildings with actual people in them (instead of cars), I'll be happy.

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I agree...Downtown is beginning to look sort of boring with only the blue glass scheme going on (for the most part) so something that is different would be striking just because it has a different "look." Something with a totally different style of Architecture would be cool. I have always liked the McKay tower because of that, it's a classical style building, monumental in stature, and is about the only building of its kind Downtown.

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For me it's gotta be along that Ottawa, Ionia corridor, that was redeveloped back in the 60's to the grand 160' mediocrity that we're going to see there for the coming decades. That is the perfect place to go high, kind of the only place downtown. And yet, we have boxes.

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Pretty much everything around Calder needs to be bulldozed over and rebuilt save the statue itslef. The rest of the city just needs infill on the many parking lots, warehouses, and suburban businesses which dot the landscape.

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Calder Plaza and Government Center should go untouched to preserve its artistic integrity. Everything else is fair game.

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I don't know, not much of a skyline, but I kinda like this one:

pearl_district_large.jpg

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Something like that would good real good along Monroe Ave. between Michigan St. Perl. Well at least one could have one side of this urban canyon on the east side of the road to hide the street wall behind city hall.

I don't know, not much of a skyline, but I kinda like this one:

pearl_district_large.jpg

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If GR can end up like Portland, GRDad, that would be pretty sweet.

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Calder Plaza and Government Center should go untouched to preserve its artistic integrity. Everything else is fair game.

You are more than entitled to your opinion, but there are a fair share of people that would disagree with that, myself included. :thumbsup:

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You are more than entitled to your opinion, but there are a fair share of people that would disagree with that, myself included.

Oh yes, I know people disagree with my opinion and the opinion of hundreds of art scholars and enthusiasts. But there are more than enough places to build in that area without tearing down another City Hall.

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It seems that open plazas are poo-poo to many urban buffs around here. But I will say this anyway. Do what you will to Calder plaza as long as the stabile is given an open space to be displayed properly.

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