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AlexPKeaton

Great American Sports Complex

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I'm surprised nobody has posted this yet:

http://www.hollandsentinel.com/stories/121...071213004.shtml

And their website:

http://www.gascsports.com/

My understanding is that if this concept succeeds they want to build more of these around the country. The article sort of downplays it, but this is intended to draw people from much further out than just West Michigan.

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This seems like a pretty cool concept. It would definitley help out the area. Although I do wish it were closer to GR. Why not take this concept and put it near the new Orchard Park development. That would make the area a powerhouse for tourists and retailers. This would probably be difficult because it says they have been studying this for 3 years. it just seems like an odd location, maybe they chose this because of the proximity to Lake Michigan? Would this really draw people from all over the midwest or the state?

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I think being near Lake Michigan is part of it. And if this thing really does draw from as far as Chicago, Detroit, and Indianapolis I don't think proximity to Grand Rapids is that important to them.

If you look at the site plan you can see the one hold-out parcel where the owner just refused to sell. They're building the retention ponds all around him.

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I could see this thing taking off if they were able to land some major sports camps... I'm talking camps with at least 500 campers a session.

I went to the University of Michigan Football Camp when I was in High School and there were like 1,500 kids... It was incredible (and pricey) and I'm sure the kids and coaches that came from around the country spent a good chunk of change in the surrounding Ann Arbor businesses

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It was incredible (and pricey) and I'm sure the kids and coaches that came from around the country spent a good chunk of change in the surrounding Ann Arbor businesses

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Seems like a really odd project to me. Maybe it's just because I've never heard of anything like it before. I'm guessing that's all prime farm land the complex will sit on? All of the people could do some serious damage to nearby Kirk Park.

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In reading the responses so far, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks this is a HORRIBLE place to build a 1.3 Million square foot (according to the developer) sports, entertainment and retail complex.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&amp...494141&z=10

What "study" told them to put such a high-intensity development out in the middle of nowhere? Why wouldn't they locate it closer to existing amenities (in either Grand Haven, Muskegon, Holland, or GR)?

The Press' report on the story makes it sound like Port Sheldon is not so hip on the idea:

http://www.mlive.com/business/grpress/inde....xml&coll=6

This is the same township that pretty much single-handedly defeated the 31 bypass plan because it would cause sprawl and mow down farmland.

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There used to be a complex somewhat similar to that here in GR area. I cannot remember what it was called, but it was housed in an old refrigeration warehouse that can be seen from 196 when driving east past the jail (it is grey color as it is a cement building about 30ish feet tall). It is on the right hand side (with jail on the left) somewhere around there. If you get off at the East Beltline and head south there is a road you turn right on and it is a short jog down.

They used to house volleyball and basket ball, they allways had huge camps and tournaments, I think through AAU (whatever that meant). My sister would do it, they had all kinds of stuff there. I will find out what it is called and let you know.

The facility was just indoor basket ball and volley ball, they could support gymnastics, baseball, and golf I think.

They have long since closed to my knowledge.

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Yeah, I've ridden my bike past that building and wondered what it was. This proposal is on a whole difference scale though.

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MVP Fieldhouse behind the Cascade meijer is similar. It was built last year and has 5 full basketball/volleyball courts. One of their target markets is tournaments.

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There used to be a complex somewhat similar to that here in GR area. I cannot remember what it was called, but it was housed in an old refrigeration warehouse that can be seen from 196 when driving east past the jail (it is grey color as it is a cement building about 30ish feet tall). It is on the right hand side (with jail on the left) somewhere around there. If you get off at the East Beltline and head south there is a road you turn right on and it is a short jog down.

They used to house volleyball and basket ball, they allways had huge camps and tournaments, I think through AAU (whatever that meant). My sister would do it, they had all kinds of stuff there. I will find out what it is called and let you know.

The facility was just indoor basket ball and volley ball, they could support gymnastics, baseball, and golf I think.

They have long since closed to my knowledge.

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Proposed Sports Complex Draws Raves:

Residents of this rural residential community are giving a thumbs-up to a proposed 113-acre, $60 million to $100 million amateur sports complex along U.S. 31. "We play in Texas at the Dallas Cup and the complex there doesn't even come close to this. And it will generate $7 million during that one tournament. If you want to talk about economic boosts for the area, this would be enormous," said West, president of the 1,000-member West Michigan Fire Jrs. soccer league.

Smith said six outdoor playing fields would be built along with a five-block commercial district housing up to 350,000-square-feet of retail stores and restaurants. The facility also might have a hotel where traveling players and their families could stay.

http://blog.mlive.com/grpress/2008/01/prop...plex_draws.html

This thing's back in the news again. I agree it would be a great economic boost, but still think this is a poor location. Port Sheldon is in the middle of no where and 350,000 square feet of retail does seem like a lot even for soccer moms. I can see if they wanted it near the lakeshore, but why not Holland, Grand Haven, or Muskegon? Else there's always Grand Rapids with a lot more attractions. :thumbsup:

This quote did make me laugh though: Township resident and soccer league president Brock West said a sports complex as proposed "could put Port Sheldon on the sports map."

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Where are they going to get the money to build this thing. It seems that this would be hit or miss, with the location and sheer size of it, and 100 million dollars seems pretty steep in this kind of market.

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I'm having horrible visions of a collection of pole-barns and big box retailers out in the middle of nowhere. I don't agree with the location at all. The concept is fascinating, but it seems like the positive spillover effects of this thing will fall on a very small population in a small area. The potential for positive spin-off development will be completely diluted by it's location and, if it has any effect on development, will just encourage further spreading out. Why can't we concentrate our attractions? It's like placing two genius at opposite ends of a huge warehouse, nothing much comes of it, put them close together, as at a small table on the other hand, you might get some awesome results - synergy.

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There was an article about this in MiBiz, and I was surprised to see MiBiz ask them the same questions about the location:

Field of Dreams (Second Story)

But why build in Port Sheldon and not farther inland, closer to Grand Rapids? Smith said they’ve been asked that question quite often, but their study assured them the project was still feasible along the lakeshore. He said he believes strongly in placing the facility close to a site that is already a destination.

Roach, the director of athletics for Holland High School, expects the complex to draw 500,000-750,000 visitors per year not only from West Michigan, but from Chicago, Detroit and a six-state area in the Midwest.

Smith said many sports facilities are placed in existing structures in industrial complexes and just aren’t properly planned. GASC would offer them a chance to get it right from the beginning and cater to more than just one sport.

Port Sheldon Township is already a destination? And it doesn't have to be in an old industrial complex. How about at least putting it adjacent to an area that is already developed, with infrastructure in place already, instead of an island in the middle of nowhere.

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Port Sheldon Township is already a destination? And it doesn't have to be in an old industrial complex. How about at least putting it adjacent to an area that is already developed, with infrastructure in place already, instead of an island in the middle of nowhere.

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Soccer Coach, HS Athletic Director Receive Promotions

Now heralded as demographic, economic development experts

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I agree it would be a great economic boost, but still think this is a poor location. Port Sheldon is in the middle of no where and 350,000 square feet of retail does seem like a lot even for soccer moms.

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I'm having horrible visions of a collection of pole-barns and big box retailers out in the middle of nowhere.

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Is there any chance there's enough land / available land downtown or near-downtown GR? Piece together RiverGrand property and the Devos lot nearby? Land near, around, or in Millenium Park? Perhaps far-fetched, but I can't imagine that there isn't room for the Meijer SportsPlex or Rapid City Sports Mecca (brought to you by Alticor, Steelcase, etc., etc.,etc.) No need to build hotels that way, and we all know there's room for more retail downtown.

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So the retail has already been scaled down?

The real answer to all of this is that these guys don't want this to be a Grand Rapids project/success story. They want it to be a lakeshore one.

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Then put it by Holland, Grand Haven, Saugatuck, Douglas or even South Haven. Put it by SOMETHING!

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Based on the plans, it doesn't look like there will be big box retailers as part of this development.

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Well looking at yahoo maps. Going from the new M-231 interchange at Lake Michigan Drive to sports complex is only about 10 minutes away. Considering that US 31 will in the next 20 years be using the future 231 roadway I see that is not a bad location. I guess they didnt want to get too close to the 120th Ave Coridor in fear that West Olive would kill the development. In anycase it looks pretty good in that regard. Since 231 goes only north from Lake Michigan Drive it wont be used by a lot of travelers to this place except to go into Grand rapids and the points east. But considering that M-231 is about 5 years down the road its not too bad of an idea. Plus it could help keep development away from that new freeway.

About 231 is that it will initally be a two lane (one each direction) from Nunica to Lake Michigan Dr. It will be around the 120th ave coridor. It will also have enough space when built to go to full 4 lanes. It will also be fully controlled roadway. hence no driveways and since that section was never to have any interchanges it will be a straight shot to 96 or 45 depending on your direction. I firmly believe that the next section of this freeway will be from eastern edge of zeeland to just north holland at us 31. the final section will link those to sections and build it completely out to 4 lanes.

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