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GRDadof3

Can we bring back the downtown regional "mall" discussion?

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Can we bring this back to the forefront? What else would do more to literally SHOCK downtown into continued revitalization than a $200 - $400 Million indoor multi-story mall? One that includes high end retailers that were originally proposed for the lifestyle centers, like a Nordstrom, H&M, UrbanOutfitters, Dillards, Brooks Brothers, Apple, etc.. Think about it. There is no upscale mall in the metro area to compete with (in fact, within 150 miles). And downtown is within 15 minutes of just about anywhere in the metro area, and very accessible from Kalamazoo, Holland, Muskegon, Lansing and even Traverse City.

It could be modeled after Providence Place in Providence, RI (which is 1.4 Million square feet, wouldn't even need to be that big):

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Or MacArthur Center in Norfolk:

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Put it along the riverfront at Market and Fulton, spanning across Market Street over to Grandville, or at Area 4/5. Think of what a boon this would be for the convention center business, as well as for the hotels downtown. Plus, adding 100,000 people a week to downtown, both in the evenings and on weekends, would be astounding!

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Sorry, but this hasn't been talked about in a while, so thought I would reinvigorate the discussion. :) Is there anything we can do as a collective to bring together the right parties that could help make this happen?

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Love it! Do you really want to see a large influx of people downtown? This is what would make it happen. It wouldn't have to be a Rivertown Crossings--no need for yet another Sears, Pennys, Best Buy, etc. Heck, a mall with 20 stores would be great. My concern would be that it would take away from the "Downtown-ness." Instead of walking down the street and going into various different stores, you are inside another large building...complete with another large parking lot. What makes more sense to me is an outdoor mall along the river. Also, it would be cool to find a location that would pull shoppers from the new stores to other DT shopping areas--specifically Monroe center. If it was just an isolated building, I think many people would just go to the mall and leave...completely missing the rest of our beautiful downtown.

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This is one thing GR really needs. Remember the old City Center Mall which is now the Police Dept.? Man, that place was years ahead of it's time. There needs to be something like that but better now.

The weird thing about all the development going on, especially all the condo developments, is there is no infrastructure to support downtown living. There's no grocery stores, no mall, no movie theatre, no drug stores, etc.

A mall with only high end shops is exactly what downtown needs. You can't just have another regular mall, otherwise you compete to much with Rivertown and Woodland. High end shops will bring a different atmosphere to the area. An indoor mall would be fine, but an outdoor mall would be great too. The Eastwood Towne Centre Mall in Lansing is a very cool outside mall with higher end shops. Something like that would be perfect.

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Considering DeVos(?) owns that land over on Market, maybe try to get the idea put through to him? I'd imagine he'd definately have the financial support to get it off the ground, not to mention the appeal it would have for promoting his hotels and convention centers. Also, with the streetcar system potentially running up and down Monroe and the Gerbil Tunnel running through that area, that location would be perfect.

The mall could easily feature a boardwalk food court along the riverfront.

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^ Especially when Rich DeVos had alluded to some "Times Square of Grand Rapids."

Love it! Do you really want to see a large influx of people downtown? This is what would make it happen. It wouldn't have to be a Rivertown Crossings--no need for yet another Sears, Pennys, Best Buy, etc. Heck, a mall with 20 stores would be great. My concern would be that it would take away from the "Downtown-ness." Instead of walking down the street and going into various different stores, you are inside another large building...complete with another large parking lot. What makes more sense to me is an outdoor mall along the river. Also, it would be cool to find a location that would pull shoppers from the new stores to other DT shopping areas--specifically Monroe center. If it was just an isolated building, I think many people would just go to the mall and leave...completely missing the rest of our beautiful downtown.

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Keep the ideas coming guys! I do think that a mall that has a bit of an "outdoor" atmosphere to it would very cool, but it might take up more space. :dontknow: And to finally get something of interest along the riverfront. Maybe one like the Koopgoot in Rotterdam (never been there, but here are some pics):

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Think of all the GVSU students that would want to call downtown "home". Not only to shop at the mall, but for employment too. As someone very eloquently said, build 6 more Hopson Flats and just watch downtown take off.

This would do way more for downtown than another high-rise office building.

I'm starting to realize that Monroe Center definitely has its limitations. It would still serve downtown dinner goers, GRAM visitors, pub crawlers, office worker lunchers, etc.. I don't think this would take away from that. In fact, I think it would draw that many more visitors to GR and downtown that you'd be bound to get some spillovers.

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Think of all the GVSU students that would want to call downtown "home". Not only to shop at the mall, but for employment too. As someone very eloquently said, build 6 more Hopson Flats and just watch downtown take off.

This would do way more for downtown than another high-rise office building.

I'm starting to realize that Monroe Center definitely has its limitations. It would still serve downtown dinner goers, GRAM visitors, pub crawlers, office worker lunchers, etc.. I don't think this would take away from that. In fact, I think it would draw that many more visitors to GR and downtown that you'd be bound to get some spillovers.

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Keep the ideas coming guys! I do think that a mall that has a bit of an "outdoor" atmosphere to it would very cool, but it might take up more space. :dontknow: And to finally get something of interest along the riverfront. Maybe one like the Koopgoot in Rotterdam (never been there, but here are some pics):

Think of all the GVSU students that would want to call downtown "home". Not only to shop at the mall, but for employment too. As someone very eloquently said, build 6 more Hopson Flats and just watch downtown take off.

This would do way more for downtown than another high-rise office building.

I'm starting to realize that Monroe Center definitely has its limitations. It would still serve downtown dinner goers, GRAM visitors, pub crawlers, office worker lunchers, etc.. I don't think this would take away from that. In fact, I think it would draw that many more visitors to GR and downtown that you'd be bound to get some spillovers.

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This is one thing GR really needs. Remember the old City Center Mall which is now the Police Dept.? Man, that place was years ahead of it's time. There needs to be something like that but better now.

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In the context of the Fulton & Market property, this post from Knape was pretty interesting. Somehow I don't get the feeling that a PAC center instills "Times Square" of Grand Rapids. Nor Do I think that a note about it being "the best piece of undeveloped land in downtown" lends itself to that use. Considering that, I think were looking at something a little more glitsy than a performance center. Or does that fit in with a typical PAC?

What do you think?

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I hate to bring it up, but it seems the number one reason you keep hearing about NOT having a mall or other retail downtown is the lack of convienient, free parking. As much as a lot of people here hate the idea of more parking, the fact remains if they can park it, they will come. Therefore, in order for a mall to be successful, there will have to be large parking structures integrated into or connected to the mall. Another element will have to be some form of mass transit to get people from other parking areas and the suburbs to the mall. Maybe validated parking would help defray the cost for the shoppers.

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Certainly NOT years ahead of its time - but consistent with what had been happening in cities like Chicago for several years where there was no place to go but up. And I'm not speaking of the obvious tower malls, but smaller neighborhood places where 4-5 story buildings had been rehabbed into vertical shopping malls - smothing I became very familiar with and enjoyed in the smaller Chicago neighborhoods back in the early to mid 80's.

This is EXACTLY what downtown retail needs - destination shopping that will naturally spill out onto the streets and into the smaller, locally owned specialty shops.

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what I meant about being before it's time was the IDEA of the City Center, not the mall itself. The mall never succeeded because there wasn't enough traffic downtown.

Now, with the arena, DeVos Place, and all the condo developments, there will be the traffic to support a mall.

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Perhaps this is the sort of thing that was going to make up the "mystery development"?

I really like the pics, GRDad. I would definitely prefer a mall that ties into it's surroundings and encourages people to explore the surrounding shops, restaurants, and attractions. I'm thinking it'd have to have some sort of farmer's market element to it! Mass transit, bike lanes/bike storage facility, and multiple entrances could be tied in so as to encourage locals to avoid driving. What I would hate: a giant, windowless box with a 5000 car parking garage next door. It would be awful to have something that people could quickly access from the highway without having to really encounter other things in DT. If we're going to bring people in, lets keep them for the day/weekend!

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...What I would hate: a giant, windowless box with a 5000 car parking garage next door. ...

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I would definitely prefer a mall that ties into it's surroundings and encourages people to explore the surrounding shops, restaurants, and attractions. I'm thinking it'd have to have some sort of farmer's market element to it! Mass transit, bike lanes/bike storage facility, and multiple entrances could be tied in so as to encourage locals to avoid driving. What I would hate: a giant, windowless box with a 5000 car parking garage next door. It would be awful to have something that people could quickly access from the highway without having to really encounter other things in DT. If we're going to bring people in, lets keep them for the day/weekend!

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I think if this was to be done, GR should really take a look at some other successful midwestern malls since many thrive in similar climates and economic conditions.

Circle Center in Indianapolis and, to a smaller scale extent, Tower Place in Cincinnati (actually located all within the Carew Tower skyscraper).

I know there are more but those area all I can remember for now.

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I always liked the waterfall tower in Chicago, that was a cool, though small mall.

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Why, that sounds almost like a casino.

And speaking of casinos, anyone have access to some of their siting and demographic data? They surely don't just plop one down wherever there's a huge tract of land upon which the first Americans once walked. I'd like to compare a "this is a good place for gaming" choice with "this is where some upscale retail and shop-ertainment would work."

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Here is some economic demographics for Grand Rapids:

<a href="http://www.hellograndrapids.com/Economic.cfm" target="_blank">http://www.hellograndrapids.com/Economic.cfm</a>

It looks like the average citizen in GR makes between $15,000 and $75,000. Of course, this is just the city. IMO I think most customers of a high-end mall would be from the east side (EGR, Ada, Cascade, etc).

Not sure if this really answers the question...

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If it were done right this could be really good. Retailers want other retailers nearby, so a mall-like development that could guarantee heavy foot traffic because would be a big selling point. To do this right the stores on the outer edges would have to have entrances to the street, and upper level stores would need windows. As others have mentioned this couldn't just be another windowless box or it would be no different than a suburban mall. Parking would surely need to be included, but perhaps it could be wrapped in the center of the mall so it's not visible from the street. And a giant office and condo tower could be built over the parking to complete the scene because a 3-5 story mall taking up that much land just isn't that interesting to look at. Perhaps there could be two towers, one at each end of the development.

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I think if this was to be done, GR should really take a look at some other successful midwestern malls since many thrive in similar climates and economic conditions.

Circle Center in Indianapolis and, to a smaller scale extent, Tower Place in Cincinnati (actually located all within the Carew Tower skyscraper).

I know there are more but those area all I can remember for now.

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i like th eidea of an outdoor mall but how about having the stores have 2 entrances an indoor one and one on the river... the river entrances could be open over the summer.

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