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New Embassy Suites - Monroe North


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Are we seriously debating that teeny tiny patch of lawn? GVSU has a pretty nice lawn and it is still within my "urban tolerance level". Seems like a very stupid debate to me.

It's a nice looking building with a good purpose and ground level transparency (almost every we wish for). Am I missing something here?

Joe

Hey, if they can get this thing off the ground, I will personally go and trample any grass that is planted, if that will make people happy. :rolleyes:

If Moch is saying 90 days to break ground on his hotel (but I'm guessing that's contingent on how much of Icon is closed by then), he probably means Spring 2008. So it will be interesting to see if both get launched, or either (fingers crossed that the North Monroe breaks ground).

YankeeFan is right. There needs to be at least 3 tower cranes downtown at all times. The MSU med school will provide one, and this project another, so we need a third to slide in after the current ones are taken down. :shades:

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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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Not saying that Moch's hotel is bad (in fact it could be worse), but compare that to the one that's being proposed on Monroe... I sure don't see any ground level retail in Moch's plan which is a big thing for me. Out of the two, I want to see the Monroe hotel green-lit first.

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One more grass comment...

I think it has to do with people's perceptions of urban spaces that they need to be completely paved over. It reminds of recent arguments regarding Hart Plaza in Detroit. People kept arguing that grassy plains have no place in the middle of city.

I totally disagree with this attitude. While I do believe that "open-space" has little if no place in the middle of a city adding the occasional green strip here and there without creating new setbacks or breaking up urban blocks, i.e. berms, (especially in retail corridors) is a positive step in new thinking about urban spaces.

I think this point is best made from the standpoints of 1. permeability and 2. man and nature.

Don't you think we've done enough to pave paradise and put up a parking lot? Living in the built environment doesn't have to mean living in the paved environment. Besides, overpaving is bad for the environment in many ways including exacerbating the heat island effect. And in terms of man and nature, I don't see why we shouldn't try to maximize nature in urban settings without compromising the vitality of density.

In terms of this strip of grass, why not hold off on paving it until necessity absolutely requires it?

-Enough of that from my corner though...

Edited by tracer1138
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Not saying that Moch's hotel is bad (in fact it could be worse), but compare that to the one that's being proposed on Monroe... I sure don't see any ground level retail in Moch's plan which is a big thing for me. Out of the two, I want to see the Monroe hotel green-lit first.

The Moch's hotel has been through site plan review and is good to go, at least as far as Planning is concerned.

We did get them to put ground-level retail in, which will be a coffee shop and a small cafe/deli, with direct public access.

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The Moch's hotel has been through site plan review and is good to go, at least as far as Planning is concerned.

We did get them to put ground-level retail in, which will be a coffee shop and a small cafe/deli, with direct public access.

Sweet! I then admitt my error. :blush: It makes me feel good though knowing that both will be great additions to the neighborhood.

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university001.jpg

I just wanted to add a few of my thoughts regarding "urban green space." I remember visiting Toronto and thinking how beautiful University Avenue was with its big sleek modern buildings contrasted with the green and natural forms of the gracefull trees, flowers, and grass areas. Granted...I do not say turn the city into a park...but allowing some small areas for the natural forms of plants (even larger ones...like trees) adds life to an otherwise sterile urban environment, and creates a wonderful contrast with the rigid forms of buildings.

I am not a fan of plain lawns...but well thought out landscaping here or there creates little pockets of color and life...so...don't be afraid of a little "green."

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Beukema's were at the Monroe North Business Association meeting on Friday to talk about their hotel plans. They said a couple of things I hadn't heard before such as the rooftop restaurant they want will be designed for the middle class instead of the upper class like most rooftop restaurants are. He called it an upper-end sports bar. Also the resturant will be served by an elevator in the lobby so outside patrons don't have to pass through the hotel portion of the building. Also, they said they are still on track for a late spring groundbreaking with an 18 month construction period. After the meeting I talked to Brian Beukema about the blank wall on the North side of the building. He told me that the rendering was just preliminary and he garaunteed that wall will not be blank when the building is built. He also told me the alley through that block was to be vacated to give them alittle more room in the back of the property.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Some more details and an update from MiBiz

It sounds like things are still moving along swiftly, with a flagship announcement planned for late January (which is only about a month away) and planned ground-breaking in late Spring. The big question mark is who will take up the ground-floor retail space IMO.

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Some more details and an update from MiBiz

It sounds like things are still moving along swiftly, with a flagship announcement planned for late January (which is only about a month away) and planned ground-breaking in late Spring. The big question mark is who will take up the ground-floor retail space IMO.

I think if I were going to stay here in GR, this would be a great place to stay. Also, I would have considered a place like this for my wedding reception. I think they should do pretty decent business hosting those if they have a nice space.

Also, since when is 36th and I-196 18 miles from downtown? It's not more than 11.

I'll probably go to the restaurant on the top floor, if it has decent food and beer and is non-smoking.

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The city is setting a public hearing date of Feb. 5th to review the Brownfield application on this project. I don't foresee there being any issues in that regard. Also mentions that the project is now estimated at $37.2 Million, up from a previous estimate of $28 Million (maybe they're allowing some value engineering "wiggle room" :) ).

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

http://blog.mlive.com/knapescorner/2008/02...ard_spiral.html

Interesting. So is it that Ren Zones don't work for everyone but Grand Rapids, or is it just that Grand Rapids isn't the norm?

Joe

I think what Chris misses is that redevelopment has dropped off in the Ren Zones, because they are getting close to expiring. It doesn't create that much of an investment incentive if the Ren Zone starts phasing out in a few years, so businesses aren't taking advantage of them as much. And I think that's what the city and the hotel developers were trying to convey to the State. I don't think the state is saying that GR's Ren Zones were unsuccessful. How could they? We've had more Ren Zone redevelopment than any other area in the state, with $hundreds of millions invested.

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Sorry if I missed the date, but when is that? And will it take a while to go through the state or is it a pretty quick process? I'm getting very excited to see this thing built.

I think the State takes a while, but the developers' last update was that they were still on track for a late Spring ground breaking with 18 months construction. Late Spring probably means mid to late Summer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry if I missed the date, but when is that? And will it take a while to go through the state or is it a pretty quick process? I'm getting very excited to see this thing built.

The hearing must have gone well. They are set to be approved at the Feb. 19th city commission meeting. THEN on to the state. Eesh, these things take a long time.

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  • GRDadof3 changed the title to New Embassy Suites - Monroe North

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