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New projects in East Hills


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Parking in the area has never been a major issue as many people simply use the lot around the ICCF which is empty after 5pm or the lot across from Gaia which is unsued most of the time outside of weekend brunch. On top of that, we have lots of on-street paking that is free and never packed outside the evenings. Most folks are great about walking as the area is so nice to wander through. All of the businesses in the area seem to love the pedestrain traffic.

So the Brewery losing a dozen or so spaces wont even be noticed, and the in-fill will be most welcome.

That's not what I'm hearing from the East Hills Council of Neighbors. There's apparently a lot of concern about parking from the business owners. Some are even advocating that the city step in and come up with a parking plan. Even the idea of putting up a parking ramp next to ICCF has been bandied about. Not sure how serious that is.

The truth is is that Cherry Street has become what every shopping district wants to become: a destination. Problem is, most of the visitors are coming in from other areas not within walking distance (EGR, etc.), so they want a place to park. Interestingly, on street parking is apparently available on Lake Drive by the school, but people perceive it as too far from Cherry Street.

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Bland.  Orion's building on Fulton and Carlton is a lot better.  At least they added a few little decorative touches to that one.  On this one, the roofline is boring and the whole product is somewhat

My husband and I opened Books & Mortar and sold it to one of our employees, Jenny. We had always wanted to move into that space if it ever was for sale, and so it has been exciting to see Jenny be

I'm impressed to see this church and the "parsonage" next door get some serious love.  Glad they were able to save this building!  They were dropping in a new cupola today. https://www.mlive.com/

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That's not what I'm hearing from the East Hills Council of Neighbors. There's apparently a lot of concern about parking from the business owners. Some are even advocating that the city step in and come up with a parking plan. Even the idea of putting up a parking ramp next to ICCF has been bandied about. Not sure how serious that is.

The truth is is that Cherry Street has become what every shopping district wants to become: a destination. Problem is, most of the visitors are coming in from other areas not within walking distance (EGR, etc.), so they want a place to park. Interestingly, on street parking is apparently available on Lake Drive by the school, but people perceive it as too far from Cherry Street.

Geesh, the suburban mentality of some retailers and visitors over here!

There are tons of places to park that are within easy reach of any part of East Hills after less than a two-minute walk! We dont need parking ramps, meters or a "plan". The fact that some people think they have to park on the main strip in order to feel like they are in East Hills, and not on one of the many other streets around here is sad.

You would think that this would be the first place that understood that with all the talk of being green.

Edited by GR_Urbanist
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Geesh, the suburban mentality of some retailers and visitors over here!

There are tons of places to park that are within easy reach of any part of East Hills after less than a two-minute walk! We dont need parking ramps, meters or a "plan". The fact that some people think they have to park on the main strip in order to feel like they are in East Hills, and not on one of the many other streets around here is sad.

You would think that this would be the first place that understood that with all the talk of being green.

That's life. Trying to fight it or berating people is a losing battle. If business owners are getting feedback from customers that there's "no place to park," then business owners get worried. It doesn't mean tear down blocks of buildings and build parking lots, but it does mean that the issue should be addressed.

In fact, I had a meeting in East Hills around lunchtime today, and ended up parking a couple of blocks away and had to walk. To be honest, it was a PITA. The sidewalks are a mess, tree branches everywhere, snow and hail. I don't know who in their right mind would find that a pleasurable experience.

There are a lot of businesses adopting green practices, and the city is trying, but most consumers in Grand Rapids aren't really "green" at all.

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Losing the parking for Vivant is a big deal, plus the parking lot behind Green Well next to ICCF has always been close to full whenever I've been there. Also, it's my guess there's a number of women who won't be happy not having parking close by.

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I thought the new building was going in front of the Brewery's patio and thus no parking was going to be lost?

In terms of parking availability, it has never taken me more than 45 seconds to find a parking spot. Parking availability is not a problem. The perception of parking is the problem here and will continue to be in any place transitioning from suburbanism to urbanism. This tension is nearly universal in all neighborhoods transitioning into "Main Streets" as well as near all emerging downtowns.

Women's perception of safety is certainly an issue, but can best be addressed by adding more density and eyes on the street. My wife and I have talked about this topic at length. She would much rather walk a block or two along streets bustling with people versus the more conveniently located but desolate parking lot.

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I grew up in "East Hills" (a term we never used when I lived there) back in the late 1950s and 60s. As a small child until I was 10, I wandered all around there, including of course, walking to Congress School. To me, the neighborhood from Paddock to the school down Lake Drive and Cherry, Diamond over to Fulton, was big and the walks long. Now of course, I go there, and it seems everything shrunk, but obviously I'm the one who got big. I have to laugh if anyone who even has to park on Paddock Street thinks walking over to the Green Well or the other business around there is a long haul. I don't feel vulnerable walking in that area along Lake Drive or Cherry, at least not during "business hours". And I'm a woman.

Why is it, people will walk for miles back and forth through a mall the size of Woodland, but outside, even one or two blocks is "far"?

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I thought the new building was going in front of the Brewery's patio and thus no parking was going to be lost?

This was my main question really.... The sushi joint is to go in the now-dirt lot in front of Vivant.

I thought the next article hinted that the lot next to vivant would go too for a building altogether different than the sushi shop.

In terms of nearby, urbanized destination shopping/dining districts, EGR has a parking deck. Even with that, we have people complaining about lack of parking on-street. It's the nature of our auto-centric culture whether you agree with it or not. I would imagine losing a parking lot, even one marked for customers of Vivant only, is going to cause consternation among business owners (justified or otherwise).

Edited by suydam
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This was my main question really.... The sushi joint is to go in the now-dirt lot in front of Vivant.

I thought the next article hinted that the lot next to vivant would go too for a building altogether different than the sushi shop.

In terms of nearby, urbanized destination shopping/dining districts, EGR has a parking deck. Even with that, we have people complaining about lack of parking on-street. It's the nature of our auto-centric culture whether you agree with it or not. I would imagine losing a parking lot, even one marked for customers of Vivant only, is going to cause consternation among business owners (justified or otherwise).

The concern, as I've heard, is that the two new businesses will create demand for more parking, that is in short supply now (at peak times). If the sushi place does well, at any given time it might add 15 - 20 "cars" of people eating there (although I'm guessing 15 - 20 couples, maybe more, don't know the size of the sushi place). Another 20 cars would probably easily fill the ICCF lot on the West Side of the building.

I'm only the messenger, and hearing this from neighborhood people.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The back wall for the new sushi shop is already up. It honestly looks like they did it in 24 hours because it wasnt there a couple of days ago. :shok:

I hope it turns out nice. I already miss the look of the complete Brewery from the street.

Oh I also happened to see at the Larry B. Woods bunker a couple of guys looking over the exterior of the building, and I think looking at or making notes. The door to the interior was open, So they must really be giving the place a going over. Not sure if it means anything though.

Edited by GR_Urbanist
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I sure hope it does. That building need TLC, ASAP. :)

Joe

Oh I also happened to see at the Larry B. Woods bunker a couple of guys looking over the exterior of the building, and I think looking at or making notes. The door to the interior was open, So they must really be giving the place a going over. Not sure if it means anything though.

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  • 1 month later...

The new sushi shop is really coming along. The windows all look to have been installed as of today. Very nice modern exterior made up of a deep brown wood planks that run horizontal along the length. This place is going to look really slick. Didn't get any photos yet.

Here is a photo from yesterday.

Honestly though, the lower part of the building isnt really working well with the rest of the structure. I wonder if they just plain ran out of money and had to go with those bricks?

They could have at least matched them up with the red ones next to the building.

post-3465-0-46104200-1340727351_thumb.jp

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I was taking some shots (while standing on the public right of way) of the sushi restaurant today and some dude bro came out and asked me if he "could help me?," and "what are you going to use the photos for?" Seriously... I was going to say "I'm posting them online where I'll make buckets of cash!" but that would be a lie.

So these pictures are dedicated to Mr. Concerned Homeland Security Guy. Kind of cool how the patio of the sushi place sort of melds into the Brewery Vivant patio area. And yes, WTF with the gray brick? I wonder if the wrong color got ordered and they slapped them up anyway?

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Can't believe you didn't take any photos of the beautiful (sarcasm) east end. This project is so close to being really awesome, but the non-matching brick and the east end of the building make me not LOVE it...

Also, did you spot the hideous suburban brick facade that went up on the building where Hopscotch was? There was already a visible crack down the corner of it and it can't have been up more than a couple of months. It looks like it belongs on a strip mall on the East Beltline...

Lastly, I was surprised how much I like the intimate little alley-like space this building creates on the Vivant patio. If they can grow some vines up the rear wall, paint a mural, or rig up some kind of trellis, it could be a really awesome little space.

Edited by fotoman311
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Can't believe you didn't take any photos of the beautiful (sarcasm) east end. This project is so close to being really awesome, but the non-matching brick and the east end of the building make me not LOVE it...

Also, did you spot the hideous suburban brick facade that went up on the building where Hopscotch was? There was already a visible crack down the corner of it and it can't have been up more than a couple of months. It looks like it belongs on a strip mall on the East Beltline...

Lastly, I was surprised how much I like the intimate little alley-like space this building creates on the Vivant patio. If they can grow some vines up the rear wall, paint a mural, or rig up some kind of trellis, it could be a really awesome little space.

No, I didn't check it out yet. It has created a cool court area. You won't really be able to tell where the sushi patio ends and the Vivant patio begins.

Love the design. Hate the overly tinted glass -- should have been clear glass to add vibrancy to the streetscape.

Noticed that too. Although it was a really really sunny day and that may have made the glass look more tinted.

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  • 1 month later...

So I'm walking by the parking lot across from the former Larry B. Woods bunker and saw that the lot has been blocked with concrete blocks on both ends. The lot had been used as parking for places like Gaia for years even though the lot technically belonged to the Woods-Bunker, which was a former bank before.

The sign on the top of the building still lists it as being for sale with no sold sign, so it looks like Woods has pulled the plug on the use of the lot and it will now be as useless as the building he owns across the street, unless there is something else going on.

Edited by GR_Urbanist
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  • 2 months later...

They're working on the old funeral home house connected to Vivant. Heard it will be a home furnishings store.

Heard of another couple things in the works for Cherry Street, too. Fun times.

On a side note, it was weird to see an Ellis parking sign outside of Grove last night that said "VALET PARKING $10".

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They're working on the old funeral home house connected to Vivant. Heard it will be a home furnishings store.

Heard of another couple things in the works for Cherry Street, too. Fun times.

On a side note, it was weird to see an Ellis parking sign outside of Grove last night that said "VALET PARKING $10".

Yowza! Must be nice to have a ton of money to pay someone to park your car. :shades:

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