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GRDadof3

The State of Downtown Grand Rapids Retail

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You'd think they would have a great nighttime crowd like Yesterdog. Are they open til 3am on Friday and Saturday?

Joe

I couldn't decide whether to post this here or on the restaurant thread, but it does give an idea of the struggles that even downtown eateries are having. Ritz Coney Island is requesting a transfer of a liquor license to help their business. They're only bringing in a 1/3 of the revenue they need to to be viable, and it's all lunchtime crowds. They only get dinner business when there is a "family-oriented" show at the arena.

http://www.grand-rapids.mi.us/meeting.pl?m...amp;type=agenda

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You'd think they would have a great nighttime crowd like Yesterdog. Are they open til 3am on Friday and Saturday?

Joe

ya, but dogs there are expensive.. like $2.50 a dog pfft

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Yet another reason to love DT. You'd never see this at the mall.

pict0013-1.jpg

Not that I wanted to post this picture again, but the deer talk. I was at the corner of Monroe Center and Pearl and that car whizzed by with those deer talking away. I think they may have been moving as if they were animatronic, but I don't know if that's the case because I had a few cocktails. :P

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Not that I wanted to post this picture again, but the deer talk. I was at the corner of Monroe Center and Pearl and that car whizzed by with those deer talking away. I think they may have been moving as if they were animatronic, but I don't know if that's the case because I had a few cocktails. :P

Those things came out a few years ago, as an upsell to the talking "Billy Bass" fish plaque product. There's a switch for motion activated (the head sings a song, with animated ears, lips, and eyes) and another for remote microphone. (Menards at Centerpoint: the employees were horseing around with the display one year.)

This rolling installation has a massive cable running from the front of the car (inside ). When I snapped the pic, things were unplugged and quiet (another passer-by attempted to start 'em up too).

So...what did they say?

Edited by Veloise

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[about Billy Bass] May they all rot in hell.........

Amen, bro!

Google up "Billy Bass hack" to find out how you can make yours sing Led Zepplin songs.

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For the first time in a while I appreciated a letter to the editor in the Press. The letter had touched on an feeling that might have merit -- neglect. This writer perceives himself to be pushed out of downtown, because downtown lacks mass appeal or variety for his tastes. When the writer remarks on the perception of the current patrons of downtown I take notice of the tone. Although, it might be ripe with frustration, it underscores a lack of something downtown. After reading through it, I believe that lack is families -- a real market in this city. I know that some of us on the boards think that families can be a integral market for downtown and those that think they should stay in the neighborhoods and suburbs. I'll start by asking this: What demographics are not adequately served downtown? How can downtown appeal to the markets not currently served?

Here's the the letter:

Downtown unrecognizable

The article on the downtown condo boom stirred in me a mixture of feelings, and none were positive, to be frank ("At home downtown," Press, Aug. 12).

The landscape of downtown has become unrecognizable to me. It has become a playground for the well-heeled, a world of martini bars and chop houses, where people shop at high-end markets and will gladly pay twelve bucks for a bottle of olive oil.

The "empty nesters" and the "young professionals" are the stars of the new downtown. They have the dollars, so naturally, they are coveted and will be catered to. They want the excitement of urban living. But for me, something doesn't ring true.

Living in fortresses with rooftop swimming pools is hardly what I would call experiencing a true urban lifestyle. What I wish is that these people would decide to live at street level and buy homes in the neighborhoods between Bridge and Leonard streets, or in the areas north of the new Medical Mile. I wish we were seeing an influx of young families moving into the city.

The downtown I cherished exists now only in memories. I remember it as a place that offered variety, a place of mass appeal. Times change, I understand that. And no doubt, we're on our way to becoming a "cool city."

But why does it leave me feeling so empty inside?

-- JAMES WILSON/Grand Rapids

Edited by Rizzo

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As always, that's the age old debate over schools. You aren't going to get families living downtown until there are schools that are suitable. Unless you want to send your kids to Christian school, most people do not want to send their kids to GR public. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening in the near future. Downtown Real Estate is expensive per sq. ft. so I don't foresee a mass of families until the schools are "fixed".

I don't think it is all bad to go for the young urban dwellers and empty nesters, build up those tent posts, and then fill in between. You have to start somewhere.

Joe

For the first time in a while I appreciated a letter to the editor in the Press. The letter had touched on an feeling that might have merit -- neglect. This writer perceives himself to be pushed out of downtown, because downtown lacks mass appeal or variety for his tastes. When the writer remarks on the perception of the current patrons of downtown I take notice of the tone. Although, it might be ripe with frustration, it underscores a lack of something downtown. After reading through it, I believe that lack is families -- a real market in this city. I know that some of us on the boards think that families can be a integral market for downtown and those that think they should stay in the neighborhoods and suburbs. I'll start by asking this: What demographics are not adequately served downtown? How can downtown appeal to the markets not currently served?

Here's the the letter:

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That's a fine answer for living in downtown, but what about downtown as an experience? Where do families and others excluding the social groups mentioned in the Letter to the editor fit in? I don't know how to answer these questions.

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That's a fine answer for living in downtown, but what about downtown as an experience? Where do families and others excluding the social groups mentioned in the Letter to the editor fit in? I don't know how to answer these questions.

I never have a shortage of things to do with my children downtown. From the parks, museums, arena events, kid friendly dining (TGIF, Dog Pit, Blake's Turkey, etc.), there is a lot of things to do as a family if you know where to look. Maybe the question isn't what is their for families to do downtown, but how to educate families on what is already down there.

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Exactly, "if you know where to look." You're a downtown proponent, so you know what you need to know to keep you and your family busy. The question is probably right, but it also brings me to KIAS.

I keep thinking that this KIAS is about spreading the word in the city neighborhoods and not the overall region. Then you have an increasing voice among the city neighborhoods that they're not getting much of the lime light. It was even thrown around during the Mayoral bickering. Is this translating to lack of patronizing by the city's residents? I get the sense that KIAS is just about spreading the downtown word to people that already know it exists -- which is my perception of course.

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Noticed some kind of women's (consignment, maybe) clothing store in the basement of 5 Lyon the other day. That's where Javasphere was for a very short time...had mannequins and signs out front that hopefully would bring people in. A little off the retail path though - maybe going after college students.

Speaking of Javasphere...by the time that I noticed it was there, it was gone. Same thing with the gallery on Monroe Center. There are other places like that that I've seen around town. What's up with that? Do these people think that they can just open doors and be profitable? I'd figure that if I opened a business I'd plan on a minimum of a year to be losing money until I'm more established. Oh well, hope this one lasts! At least Schuler's is going for a minimum 3 years! (hopefully WAY longer than that..they'll get a lot of my $$!)

Edited by mgreven

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I don't think it is all bad to go for the young urban dwellers and empty nesters, build up those tent posts, and then fill in between. You have to start somewhere.

Exactly! If downtown had been this way for the last twenty years, then this guy's letter would have more merit. Someone else mentioned that we are going through a transformation. "Rich people" are often viewed as a good place to start when trying to revitalize the central city. Just because DT is a certain way now, it doesn't mean that is what it is going to be forever, or that is what the city wants its downtown to be.

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Go right to pages 12 - 14. Jay Fowler is the best DDA Director ever! :)

DDA E-Packet for Sept. 12 Meeting

Maybe with some of the heavy hitters picking up this initiative, things will start to roll.

Well, that looks like a nice start.

Not too many specifics, but "Work towards developing infill property, especially along Ionia Avenue and Cherry Street" sounds promising.

I also like "Develop an initial merchandising plan - list desired retail targets, by business type and location." Let the pining for Trader Joe's and Apple stores begin.

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Go right to pages 12 - 14. Jay Fowler is the best DDA Director ever! :)

DDA E-Packet for Sept. 12 Meeting

Maybe with some of the heavy hitters picking up this initiative, things will start to roll.

I like this part: "...hire a new p/t temp employee for four months..."

Maybe the heavy hitters could fund that up to f/t and perm.

[CIM, as they say in HR postings]

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I like this part: "...hire a new p/t temp employee for four months..."

Somebody from UP would be perfect for the job. Maybe the DRTF could get involved with this person as well...??...

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Somebody from UP would be perfect for the job. Maybe the DRTF could get involved with this person as well...??...

It would have to be somebody willing to work p/t for four months.

[now a mortgage-ee, no can do]

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It would have to be somebody willing to work p/t for four months.

[now a mortgage-ee, no can do]

Jay already has someone lined up for the position. He didn't say who, but anyone we know?

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Floral tour on parts of Fulton. (It sure is hard to get DT in time to have enough daylight to take good pics these days. I might have mentioned this before...I really do not care for the office environment on 28th Street.)

By One Trick Pony

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I am a big fan of this waving wheat grass stuff

pict0017-2.jpg

These median planters are looking especially good this year. I am hopeful that they don't soon start to sprout icky silt fencing for the winter. (That stuff should come in pretty colors or prints.)

pict0019.jpg

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