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metrogrkid

Another Downtown GR Super Mixed-Use Footprint?

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Let me just start by saying - WOW!! I was just coming out of the north lot entrance of Fifth Third Center during lunch today and slowly found myself looking up to the Chase Bank Building. Beyond that, I was drwan to the old ITP Transit Center (now a surface lot) and just beyond that to Spectrum and GRCC.

All of a sudden, I realized that there are underground ramps and tunnels that connect Monroe Avenue to Ionia Avenue via traversing underneath Calder Plaza/Fifth Third's Ottawa Avenue level and underneath Chase Bank. Next it hit me that with extending the underground precedent beneath Ionia to the old Transit Center lot and then underneath North Division to Spectrum Health/GRCC, you would have the basis for a show-stopping undeground mixed-use network like The Hazelton Lanes in Toronto that would connect together all of the above existing venues PLUS create the opportunity to add major high-rise mixed use developments on top of the atrium connectors that would sprout from the old Transit Center site and the Calder Plaza/Fifth Third ramp site. A final skywalk connector from the Calder Plaza level into DeVos Place and its upcoming Monroe Avenue station for the Streetrail system would be the final coup de grace of this mixed-use corridor.

What stuck me most about this development concept was that it 1] would strengthen the interconnection between the Hillside District and the riverfront/Devos Place and 2] it would create two enormous opportunities for major atrium-anchored high-rise towers with residential, office, entertainment and UPSCALE DESTINATION RETAIL (for the convention visitors & regional shoppers) / HIP URBAN RETAIL (for GR's 30,000 downtown college students) on the two most high-profile lots in the CBD: Calder/Fifth Third & the old Transit Center lot.

Of course, the ramps would have to be minimized (yay!! - GO TRANSIT!!) and the current narrow tunnels would have to be removed and replaced by 150-foot wide versions capable of housing shops, services and entertainment destinations (that would give us our own "Underground Atlanta" vibe with the more chic presentation of the Toronto Hazleton Lanes).

Such a scenario - one would think - would be a gigantic WIN for the city, downtown residents/students, downtown visitors and for the stakeholders who control the combined real estate assets of this corridor.

WEIGH IN GR URBANPLANETEERS ^_^

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... underground ramps and tunnels ...extending the underground precedent beneath Ionia to the old Transit Center lot and then underneath North Division to Spectrum Health/GRCC, you would have the basis for a show-stopping undeground mixed-use network ...that would connect together all of the above existing venues PLUS create the opportunity to add major high-rise mixed use developments on top of the atrium connectors that would sprout from the old Transit Center site and the Calder Plaza/Fifth Third ramp site. A final skywalk connector from the Calder Plaza level into DeVos Place and its upcoming Monroe Avenue station for the Streetrail system would be the final coup de grace of this mixed-use corridor.

What stuck me most about this development concept was that it 1] would strengthen the interconnection between the Hillside District and the riverfront/Devos Place and 2] it would create two enormous opportunities for major atrium-anchored high-rise towers with residential, office, entertainment and UPSCALE DESTINATION RETAIL (for the convention visitors & regional shoppers) / HIP URBAN RETAIL (for GR's 30,000 downtown college students) on the two most high-profile lots in the CBD: Calder/Fifth Third & the old Transit Center lot.

...the current narrow tunnels would have to be removed and replaced by 150-foot wide versions capable of housing shops, services and entertainment destinations (that would give us our own "Underground Atlanta" vibe with the more chic presentation of the Toronto Hazleton Lanes)....

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Of course, the ramps would have to be minimized (yay!! - GO TRANSIT!!) and the current narrow tunnels would have to be removed and replaced by 150-foot wide versions capable of housing shops, services and entertainment destinations (that would give us our own "Underground Atlanta" vibe with the more chic presentation of the Toronto Hazleton Lanes).

WEIGH IN GR URBANPLANETEERS ^_^

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