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The State of Downtown Grand Rapids Retail


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7 hours ago, mpchicago said:

 

" The Finnley" a micro-hotel is planned for 65 Monroe Center, kitty-corner from where RDV plans a 32 unit boutique hotel at the Morton.    The DDA just approved a small grant for the project.  Looks like only minor improvement to the exterior mainly involving the stairs, sidewalk and light-well along Ionia.   The building could use a new skin all together. 

https://mibiz.com/sections/real-estate-development/developer-plans-micro-hotel-on-monroe-center

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Or even better, the old skin, which was large slabs of soapstone. Can’t believe anyone thought that was a good idea. Ugh. 
 

I like the idea of a very small boutique hotel. 
 

joe

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Yes, they are giving a valid reason for the failure of the business, at least to some, but the backlash is also there because they are giving a reason for closing while ignoring their own faults.  Pas

Interesting article:  The Next Big Challenge for Small Downtowns An excerpt which isn't specifically about GR but hits close to home - "Civic centers, government hubs, tourism and entertainment d

Since this place seems less hostile, hyperbolic and knee-jerky than every other site on the entire internet, I'll throw my 2 cents here. Original Propaganda owner: Kudos to your concept and produ

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12 hours ago, joeDowntown said:

Or even better, the old skin, which was large slabs of soapstone. Can’t believe anyone thought that was a good idea. Ugh.

Agreed. This reminds me of the temporary walls put up at malls and airports while storefronts are under construction.

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19 hours ago, joeDowntown said:

Or even better, the old skin, which was large slabs of soapstone. Can’t believe anyone thought that was a good idea. Ugh. 
 

I like the idea of a very small boutique hotel. 
 

joe

The developer is Bradley Veneklase who ran sales for the Boardwalk and Union Square with the developer John Rooks.  I'll see if I can find out if they're going to replace the exterior material. 

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18 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

The developer is Bradley Veneklase who ran sales for the Boardwalk and Union Square with the developer John Rooks.  I'll see if I can find out if they're going to replace the exterior material. 

He’s a developer now? I know him, good friends with his brother.

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On 2/13/2020 at 5:44 PM, GRDadof3 said:

The developer is Bradley Veneklase who ran sales for the Boardwalk and Union Square with the developer John Rooks.  I'll see if I can find out if they're going to replace the exterior material. 

Sounds like some of the panels have been replaced and they're planning to do more after new windows go in. 

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47 minutes ago, ctpgr34 said:

Saw this on 20 E Fulton, it's a bit blurry, don't take pics and drive!!

20200303_082351.jpg

I noticed that too about a month ago. It doesn't look like there's a lot of activity going on inside the space though. Their website still says 'coming soon' for the GR location. 

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4 hours ago, thebeerqueer said:

I noticed that too about a month ago. It doesn't look like there's a lot of activity going on inside the space though. Their website still says 'coming soon' for the GR location. 

Sounds like they are being a little pokē.

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On 1/28/2020 at 12:10 PM, jthrasher said:

I can't like this enough!  Richard has been a friend for a long time and I can't wait to see what this brings to downtown.   It's awesome to see the city acknowledging downtown retail needs help and creating this position. 

What is there to like about tax dollars being wasted on a new government position created to do precisely what the new GR employee seemed to fail in doing them self?  This has to be some kind of joke. 

There are plenty of commercial real estate brokers who already work on retail full-time, are far more qualified, and have sufficient financial incentive to fill vacancies.  If downtown retail "needs help" it's because the zoning is overly restrictive, there's too much supply,  or the rental rates are too high for the demand.  If any of these businesses need grants or other government subsidies to be profitable then they shouldn't be in business to begin with.

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1 hour ago, Dutch said:

What is there to like about tax dollars being wasted on a new government position created to do precisely what the new GR employee seemed to fail in doing them self?  This has to be some kind of joke. 

There are plenty of commercial real estate brokers who already work on retail full-time, are far more qualified, and have sufficient financial incentive to fill vacancies.  If downtown retail "needs help" it's because the zoning is overly restrictive, there's too much supply,  or the rental rates are too high for the demand.  If any of these businesses need grants or other government subsidies to be profitable then they shouldn't be in business to begin with.

You pay taxes to DGRI?  Which GR employee failed at doing what "them self"?  Which zoning is too restrictive?

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21 hours ago, Dutch said:

What is there to like about tax dollars being wasted on a new government position created to do precisely what the new GR employee seemed to fail in doing them self?  This has to be some kind of joke. 

There are plenty of commercial real estate brokers who already work on retail full-time, are far more qualified, and have sufficient financial incentive to fill vacancies.  If downtown retail "needs help" it's because the zoning is overly restrictive, there's too much supply,  or the rental rates are too high for the demand.  If any of these businesses need grants or other government subsidies to be profitable then they shouldn't be in business to begin with.

this is... not a good take...

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On 3/4/2020 at 6:45 PM, Dutch said:

What is there to like about tax dollars being wasted on a new government position created to do precisely what the new GR employee seemed to fail in doing them self?  This has to be some kind of joke. 

There are plenty of commercial real estate brokers who already work on retail full-time, are far more qualified, and have sufficient financial incentive to fill vacancies.  If downtown retail "needs help" it's because the zoning is overly restrictive, there's too much supply,  or the rental rates are too high for the demand.  If any of these businesses need grants or other government subsidies to be profitable then they shouldn't be in business to begin with.

Wow, this is a bit harsh. From what I understand, the closing of the App Gallery was because of things that were outside of his control (ownership of the building). And just because someone "fails" at a retail venture doesn't mean they don't understand the needs of retailers. Quite the contrary. Every retail venture needs help to get started, whether it be investors, family, lenders or simply just people willing to take a risk on them. DGRI sees those incentives as investments. 

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This video might help to clarify a few things....  

 

 

App will be working in collaboration with commercial real estate brokers, not in sprite of them.   DGRI is mainly funded by businesses in the central business district, not city of GR property or income taxes, so unless you have a business downtown, your tax dollars have nothing to do with it.  It's kind of a "high tide raises all ships" thing, which for dowtown makes sense.

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1 hour ago, thebeerqueer said:

That really stinks...however, does their post on FB seem confusing?  They were all ready to open with protection precautions in place but the "universe had other plans for the location".  Was it vandalism they couldn't recover from?  Lose their lease?  Such a hard time for small businesses - especially right there.

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Its probably not the start for retail/restaurant closures, especially in DT.  I agree with their FB post being confusing... in normal times I'd read it as they got bought out/lease ended and something new was coming in to replace it. Now... I mean, how do you plan when the next 6-12 months is still so much in the air.

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Interesting. That's the one industry (groceries) that is weathering the storm through COVID-19. I'm surprised they didn't become a bit of a savior for DT residents, but I would imagine a store that size probably doesn't have the resources to integrate with the Shipt/Doordash/Instacart's of the world.

Joe

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