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New Embassy Suites - Monroe North


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“We’ve had issues with a lot of things falling into place for the (Monroe) site,” said Peter Beukema, partner at Suburban Inns."

 

http://mibiz.com/news/real-estate/item/21402-room-to-grow?-hotel-projects-to-add-more-than-700-rooms-across-west-michigan

 

This must be one of the proposed hotel projects considered 'not viable' by the developer of the Waters building.

 

Well that goes along with the rumors that I had heard, that they had trouble going down because of the bedrock and trouble going back into the alley that they tried to have vacated and built on but were rejected. So they have to go up with the parking apparently.

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Lots of activity going on.

Long time reader, first time poster.... I work for Suburban Inns, the parent company building the hotel. This statement is technically correct. They had to "break ground" by May, but won't be doi

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This project developer is seeking another extension of the Renaissance Zone, with these stipulations (from the city):

 

Preliminary plans to the city by July 2015

Final plans to the city by Dec 2015

Commence construction by May 2016

 

They must REALLY believe they can do this, eventually. Since they own the property now, and it doesn't cost the city anything, they may as well extend...

 

Buried in tomorrow's city commission meeting:

 

http://grcity.us/city-clerk/CityCommission/090914epsec.pdf

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Yank it. Enough with this nonsense.

 

I said before that you keep offering extensions, then these guys have no reason to turn over one bucket of dirt. And guess what has happened?

 

There is no hotel in the works. There never has been. If there was such a demand, then this thing would be moving by now.

 

 

Like what good would any demands from the city do now? It just tells the so-called developers that they now have until 2016 to sell the land and bail because the tax credit wont be there anymore to make their years-old (nearing 10) dirt lot appealing to hold on to.

Edited by GR_Urbanist
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So we have Hampton Inn under construction, the Waters/Hilton project, the CWD/wHY proposal, and this. 

 

My guess is the Waters project will go through.  Surprised we have not heard more on the CWD project as they were supposed to present plans this past spring and break ground this fall?  I don't see this Monroe North project getting off the ground, especially if the Waters and CWD hotels move forward.

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So we have Hampton Inn under construction, the Waters/Hilton project, the CWD/wHY proposal, and this. 

 

My guess is the Waters project will go through.  Surprised we have not heard more on the CWD project as they were supposed to present plans this past spring and break ground this fall?  I don't see this Monroe North project getting off the ground, especially if the Waters and CWD hotels move forward.

 

I think I saw a lot of scaffolding on the Waters Building and I know several tenants who have made the move from there to other downtown buildings. I think Waters is happening.

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We got out of there, none too soon!  I would not like trying to do business there while construction is happening.

 

They are clearing out most of the tenants on the top few floors of Waters.  Most or all of the leases had relocation clauses in them, so many of the tenants are probably stuck having to go elsewhere in the building.  It certainly takes a massive amount of relatively inexpensive downtown office space out of play.  I would not be surprised if it pushes a few office users out of downtown, so we'll probably lose some people.  But if the hotel works, that could make things quite interesting... 

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Back to the Monroe North Hotel,   what is the stated reasoning that Suburban Inns need more time for their hotel that has been in planning stages for 7 years?

 

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2014/09/downtown_grand_rapids_hotel_de.html#incart_m-rpt-2

 

“That site’s been very difficult,” said Brian Beukema, president of hotel operator Suburban Inns. “We’re dealing with a site that’s a little small for the overall scope of the project we want to put on there.”

 

Beukema said developers are still working on getting rights to an alley and figuring out how to deal with overhead power lines.

 

Does seem strange that it takes seven years to work these things out. 

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They are clearing out most of the tenants on the top few floors of Waters.  Most or all of the leases had relocation clauses in them, so many of the tenants are probably stuck having to go elsewhere in the building.  It certainly takes a massive amount of relatively inexpensive downtown office space out of play.  I would not be surprised if it pushes a few office users out of downtown, so we'll probably lose some people.  But if the hotel works, that could make things quite interesting... 

 

I believe 99 Monroe has absorbed at least two of the tenants, with another one in the works.

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2014/09/downtown_grand_rapids_hotel_de.html#incart_m-rpt-2

 

“That site’s been very difficult,” said Brian Beukema, president of hotel operator Suburban Inns. “We’re dealing with a site that’s a little small for the overall scope of the project we want to put on there.”

 

Beukema said developers are still working on getting rights to an alley and figuring out how to deal with overhead power lines.

 

Does seem strange that it takes seven years to work these things out. 

 

Right. What is expected to change in regards to the alley or the powerlines over the next couple of years? I think it was GR Spring and Stamping who was against the takeover of the alley. That's just heresy though (but isn't that what UrbanPlanet was founded on? :) .

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They must have know the size of the site 7 years ago. Maybe changes should of been made to the design, instead of trying to make the site larger in an urban area 

 

Quite a bit of changes have been made to the design, so I hear. But you do reach a point where the numbers don't add up, and no hotel developer is ever going to build a project like this at a loss. Their bank and investors won't let them.

 

But again, maybe they need more time so that things will change with the utilities. Maybe leases will be up by then? Or maybe the alley might be back on the table in a year or two?

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  • 2 months later...

I had heard that construction in Monroe North was about to "take off." This must've been what they were referring to (in part). Looks like the vacation of the alley will be granted now that there are new owners of GR Spring & Stamping.

 

 

post-2672-0-46246200-1418649604_thumb.jp

 

post-2672-0-26127400-1418649634_thumb.jp

 

Not being able to build onto the alley portion was really constricting the design to where it was infeasible, according to sources. :)

 

Press reported on it back in September.

 

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2014/09/downtown_grand_rapids_hotel_de.html#incart_m-rpt-2

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  • 8 months later...

According to the City Commission agenda next week, this project is still on track/on time, however it appears to have "grown" in scope to include TWO brands/flags. I for one am very excited to hear this. I've been seeing this done more and more in large cities and think that this is a great opportunity to maximize on clientele/options and bring more people to the area (200-300 rooms.) It sounds like (or maybe I'm just hopeful) that the design has changed. 

 

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According to the City Commission agenda next week, this project is still on track/on time, however it appears to have "grown" in scope to include TWO brands/flags. I for one am very excited to hear this. I've been seeing this done more and more in large cities and think that this is a great opportunity to maximize on clientele/options and bring more people to the area (200-300 rooms.) It sounds like (or maybe I'm just hopeful) that the design has changed. 

 

The architect, Gene Kaufman, has been designing hotel buildings in Manhattan where up to three hotel brands share the same building with all hotels having separate elevators, lobbies, and facades.  From the perspective of the customer they are completely separate.   Here’s a link to a NYT article about Mr. Kaufman and his hotels:

Kaufman's Hotels

I’ve stayed in the Staybridge Hotel that’s mentioned in the article a couple of times including for a week about a month ago.  It worked fine for me.  Obviously Grand Rapids doesn’t have the same need to build vertically as does Manhattan, so building tall skinny hotels probably isn’t what they have in mind for North Monroe.   I think it’s an interesting idea anyway, at least for Manhattan.          

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I think that's very interesting indeed.   I am hoping it confirms my suspicions about the Hilton flagship brand changing to Double Tree by the airport.   I suspected Hilton was looking for a more high profile location for the area for it's flagship.  I hope this confirms it.

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I think that's very interesting indeed.   I am hoping it confirms my suspicions about the Hilton flagship brand changing to Double Tree by the airport.   I suspected Hilton was looking for a more high profile location for the area for it's flagship.  I hope this confirms it.

 

According to the City Commission agenda next week, this project is still on track/on time, however it appears to have "grown" in scope to include TWO brands/flags. I for one am very excited to hear this. I've been seeing this done more and more in large cities and think that this is a great opportunity to maximize on clientele/options and bring more people to the area (200-300 rooms.) It sounds like (or maybe I'm just hopeful) that the design has changed. 

 

 

Says new plans will be presented September 17th, with construction commencement May 2016 (which hasn't changed from the last submission I believe). It's still a pretty narrow site relatively speaking for a mid rise or high rise. Will be interesting to see what it looks like. 

In looking at that Gene Kaufman architect's website, I'm a bit concerned as to how the design will come out. 

http://www.gkapc.com/projects/hospitality/

Edited by GRDadof3
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In looking at that Gene Kaufman architect's website, I'm a bit concerned as to how the design will come out. 

 

I probably worded my post poorly.  I didn't mean to imply that Kaufman is the architect for the North Monroe project.  I highly doubt that he is.  GVSUChris's post about multiple brands in the same project just reminded me of what Kaufman has been doing in Manhattan.  I am curious about what their plans will look like.  

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I probably worded my post poorly.  I didn't mean to imply that Kaufman is the architect for the North Monroe project.  I highly doubt that he is.  GVSUChris's post about multiple brands in the same project just reminded me of what Kaufman has been doing in Manhattan.  I am curious about what their plans will look like.  

Ohhh, I gotcha. 

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