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GRDadof3

The 2008 UP - GR Predictions Thread

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Just seems like yesterday when we had our 2007 UP - GR Predictions Thread. Check it out and see what came true and what fell flat.

I'll start for my predictions for 2008 and what we'll see for sure:

Construction Work:

) Commencement of construction and vertical steel on MSU's Med School, with new tower crane

) Vertical steel on the Helen Devos Children's hospital, maybe topping out by 2009 NYE

) Demolition of the Towers Bldg and commencement of the 2nd tower of the pair, new tower crane (4 total on the hill)

) VAI II Stonehenge and possible steelwork underway

) Lemmen Holton Cancer Center Grand Opening

) River House top out and complete glass wall, tower crane will be highest point in Grand Rapids' history

) Front St offices (Plante&Moran) completely closed in and close to completion

) Bicycle Factory vertical, possibly closed in and nearing completion

) Loose Leaf Lofts completion

) ProCare completion

) The Fitzgerald near completion

) Park Row Condo completion

) 65 Monroe Center completion

) Fox Lofts completion with a few units to be sold

) Hauenstein Neuroscience Center near completion, including new parking deck

) Cathedral Square nearing completion

) Late 2008, site work for Cabela's development

) Site work for Village of Orchard Hills

) Airport parking ramp well underway nearing completion

Predictions

) Fulton & Division project closes on land, breaks ground mid to late-2008

) 38 Commerce parking ramp development breaks ground late 2008

) At least two new residential projects (renovations) announced for Heartside

) Millennium Park Amphitheater feasibility study unveiled, campaign begins

) One new (small) residential project announced for the near West Side

) Kendall unveils plans for old GRAM and begin renovations

) University of Michigan formally announces new school for GR, including strategic local partnerships

) New retail/entertainment development announced for Area 4/5

) New Monroe North Hotel breaks ground late 2008

) At least one new Monroe North residential project announced, maybe 2

) 345 State Street kicks off renovations

) Streetcar study unveiled, campaign begins, final alignment settled on

) New riverwalk enhancements unveiled for East riverbank from Fulton to 131

) New rail trail unveiled from Northern end of Canal Street Park to Leonard

) Local residential market sees uptick (barring any unforeseen national disasters)

) Major healthcare partnership announced for VAI, new company to our area

) Israels finishes projects on West Side, announces major (healthcare) tenant bringing 150+ jobs to downtown

) Tall House redesign

) 240 Ionia redesign unveiled

I'll probably think of a few more, but that's a start. :)

Anyone else want to give it a shot? You can even add your Wish Lists or Long Shots.

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Mayors band together to see an extensive plan for a future Ottawa-Kent Transit Authority or an expanded Interurban Transit Partnership. OK Transit, as it will be known, is a transit conglomerate servicing the metro area of Kent and Ottawa Counties. The mayors' campaign brands this Grand Valley Transit service as "OKgo." Mayors develop a plan for the transit link between Holland and Downtown. Spearheading the move is Mayor Heartwell and Mayor McGeehan with other lake shore mayors and leaders adding momentum with their future "plans." Muskegon County appears to be interested in this metro transit deal and looks to join GVMC to help formulate a true metro system.

Look at late spring for something and late fall for things to be serious.

:)

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I'd like to add a couple more:

1) Macatawa will announce what it plans (or doesn't plan) to do with the Custer office Building on Louis & Ottawa. Since this bank has been hit hard lately by fraud and sub-prime mortgages it will be less ambitious than previously expected and the timeline will be longer (unless they abandon any plans and announce the property is up for sale).

2) Grand Action will start to discuss plans for the new Performing Arts Center. I expect this to be a Public/Private development at Market and Fulton (Amway lot) with some office and residential mixed in.

3) Secchia will unveil plans for a casino to anchor the south half of the Market and Fulton ramp, with the footprint for the casino sitting roughly where Charley's Crab is currently located (Charley's Crab will be demolished). His recent purchases along Market will be used for Primary and Overflow parking.

4) Grand Rapids Press will announce a timeline (3-5 years) for vacating its downtown building. Design, Editorial, etc. will remain downtown, maybe as an anchor for a medium-size development.

5) The Catholic Information Center and OAK buildings on Ionia will be purchased by Spectrum, RDV Development or Van Andel Institute for future expansion.

Just wild guesses. Should be fun to see if anything pops up.

Joe

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I predict the a movement, likely grass-roots, will emerge (or build onto the one already involving the proposed park) regarding Azzar and his buildings.

(I heard from the owner of Dirty Beatz that Azzar won't even budge to allow them to hold a one-night party in the much-vacant Keeler building.)

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2008 predictions

Monroe North will see an up-tick in residential developments. However they will be mostly apartments due to continued slump in housing market and home lending upheaval

I'll predict at least a study done on a possible new PAC.

Another developer will try to court the city for the site of the defunct River Grand Project. Though it will not be anywhere as ambitious.

Proposed spin off developments plans to extend Medical Mile east ward well beyond the new Woman's Heath Center currently under construction.

I had a dream that the GR Press was renovating its HQ so I go with that.

Heartside sees an influx of mix use developments

Out in the burbs...

Gas Prices will shoot beyond $4.00 a gallon by June and gradually rises to just under $5.00 a gallon by Christmas 2008 This and the continuing housing slump slows construction of subdivisions to a crawl.

Meijer finally announces plans to renovate or replace its 28th st. and K'zoo store.

Walmart will propose to enlarge its Cascade store to a supercenter to compete with Meijer @ Caacade

Construction of Cebela's begins

Target announces plans to replace its ageing Alpine store with a new store, possibly a Super Target to be ether located on empty land across 4 mile from Orchard Park Lifestyle center or as one of the Lifestyle center's major anchors.

State Economy finally bottoms out and begins slow recovery lasting 10 - 15 years.

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I hope to finally see some of the damn bicycle lanes (Lake Ave!!) and other steps to make the city more bicycle friendly that the mayor has been promising the last 2 or 3 years. Bicycle trails are nice, but they often don't get you where you want to go. I'm kind of perplexed why millions was spent redoing Wealthy St and yet there still are no bicycle lanes? Seems like that would be a good time to add them.

When I asked him about this at the GR Young Professionals luncheon, he didn't directly answer, commented about the lanes on a section of east Fulton that have been there for quite awhile, and said the new zoning ordinance would increase the city's ability to put them in.

I'd also like to see some bicycle parking at the new super-green art museum that's not a single rack located in the back by the receiving dock.

P.S. Anyone know what the heck is holding up the Lake Ave bicycle lanes? Is the fact that they'd likely have to remove street parking on one side of the street for some sections holding it up? I imagine they'd have to get some neighborhood input on that and study the impact and such and that might be where most of the opposition would come.

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Just seems like yesterday when we had our 2007 UP - GR Predictions Thread. Check it out and see what came true and what fell flat.

) Israels finishes projects on West Side, announces major (healthcare) tenant bringing 150+ jobs to downtown

I'll probably think of a few more, but that's a start. :)

Anyone else want to give it a shot? You can even add your Wish Lists or Long Shots.

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Shoot. For construction I forgot to add a couple:

) Spectrum's Blodgett campus expansion and renovation, $98 Million worth (I wonder what that will do to Lake Drive during construction?)

) Calvin College's new fieldhouse (anyone have recent images?)

) New hotel at the old burned out Knights Inn near 28th and I-96 underway

) New car dealership at Hoffman House site

) New hotel and office buildings in Metro Health Village

) New Kent Co. 63rd District Courthouse underway at the SE corner of Knapp & East Beltline

) Grand Rapids' first "urban lofts in the suburbs" underway at Celadon New Town

) And another junky office building in the Eastern suburbs somewhere :)

Anyone notice that First Companies has started construction on their new development at East Paris and Burton finally?

The Business Journal is reporting that GR is seeing the highest office construction volume in a decade, with positive net absorption.

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We'll have our very own DT church basement-recital hall-social hall family friendly New Year's Eve Grand Finale.

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I predict that 342 Michigan NE will be completed and open by summer 2008 :)

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My Personal 2008 Predictions:

East Hills Business District

  • Reaches 100% occupancy, being one of the only urban business districts in GR at full capacity

  • Due to the districts popularity, an increase of infill development and redevelopment continues to occur in the district. (for example, the sw corner of Cherry & Diamond)

  • Fairmont Square commences and finishes construction

  • Project Rehab announces plans to re-locate programs allowing some of their properties on Cherry to transfer for mixed-use.

East Fulton Business District

[*]Experiences consistent growth

[*]Valley City Linen considers moving their location making way for a larger scale mixed-use development

[*]A developer signs on to the Brikyaat Development Project Plan

[*]The Farmer

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I predict that UP will go the entire year without anyone ever complaining about downtown parking in any thread existing now or created in the coming year.

:wacko:

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I predict that UP will go the entire year without anyone ever complaining about downtown parking in any thread existing now or created in the coming year.

:wacko:

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This will be a slow year for cranes in GR.

Projects that will get off the ground in 2008:

Commerce and Weston Parking Ramp

Helen Devos Children's Hospital (It's just a hole right now)

MSU Med School

Tower 2 of the Christman Development

And thats it.

Anything thats under construction now will be finished (River House, Lemmon Holton, Christman's venture, Mid Towne, Catholic Central's campus expansion, etc.)

I can't see any new buildings being announced, maybe a few renovations of existing buildings for new development, but no new major construction will be announced.

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This will be a slow year for cranes in GR.

Projects that will get off the ground in 2008:

Commerce and Weston Parking Ramp

Helen Devos Children's Hospital (It's just a hole right now)

MSU Med School

Tower 2 of the Christman Development

And thats it.

Anything thats under construction now will be finished (River House, Lemmon Holton, Christman's venture, Mid Towne, Catholic Central's campus expansion, etc.)

I can't see any new buildings being announced, maybe a few renovations of existing buildings for new development, but no new major construction will be announced.

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I don't think we have a guarantee that it will be built yet, and the approval processes may not give us a crane until 2009. When did they expect groundbreaking for that project?

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I don't think we have a guarantee that it will be built yet, and the approval processes may not give us a crane until 2009. When did they expect groundbreaking for that project?

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I appreciate Grid Girl's list.

On this list, I see many small scale projects, like vacant storefronts being turned into viable storefronts, and I feel that these small scale initiatives are much more realistic both today and as we move into the future.

Many items on this list seem very realistic because of their scale and their location.

I honestly have to believe that the days are over of large scale greenfield single family residential projects. They won't be happening in 08, 09 or anytime in the near future. As a result of this market correction, we really need to ask ourselves if we will begin to see other larger scale endeavors slow down. Is the housing market a canary in the coal mine? Do we really believe that two lifestyle centers, at the scale that is being proposed, will be built...in the next few years? I think that is overly optimistic. Maybe part of one.

I think opportunities for large scale retail and spec office will most likely become contracted.

I think that we will still see maintained construction levels of the medical hill stuff and completion of the towers that are under construction and maybe the beginning of a few more towers downtown, but by and large, we will be seeing projects at a very different scale.

The economics of most things will change, by change I mean a general contraction - driven by $3.50+/gallon gas by spring, ratcheting up in the summer to the $4+ mark and possible gas shortages, along with ongoing foreclosures, dropping house values - particularly in the burbs, more job losses and general instability.

That may all sound dismal, but the things that are happening at a small scale, locally based that lead to continued reinvigorating of the cities will help us keep this region from dipping too far.

Oh, and Rich Rodriguez and Wolverine football team will surprise people this year and beat little brother yet again.

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I appreciate Grid Girl's list.

On this list, I see many small scale projects, like vacant storefronts being turned into viable storefronts, and I feel that these small scale initiatives are much more realistic both today and as we move into the future.

Many items on this list seem very realistic because of their scale and their location.

I honestly have to believe that the days are over of large scale greenfield single family residential projects. They won't be happening in 08, 09 or anytime in the near future. As a result of this market correction, we really need to ask ourselves if we will begin to see other larger scale endeavors slow down. Is the housing market a canary in the coal mine? Do we really believe that two lifestyle centers, at the scale that is being proposed, will be built...in the next few years? I think that is overly optimistic. Maybe part of one.

I think opportunities for large scale retail and spec office will most likely become contracted.

I think that we will still see maintained construction levels of the medical hill stuff and completion of the towers that are under construction and maybe the beginning of a few more towers downtown, but by and large, we will be seeing projects at a very different scale.

The economics of most things will change, by change I mean a general contraction - driven by $3.50+/gallon gas by spring, ratcheting up in the summer to the $4+ mark and possible gas shortages, along with ongoing foreclosures, dropping house values - particularly in the burbs, more job losses and general instability.

That may all sound dismal, but the things that are happening at a small scale, locally based that lead to continued reinvigorating of the cities will help us keep this region from dipping too far.

Oh, and Rich Rodriguez and Wolverine football team will surprise people this year and beat little brother yet again.

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The housing crunch and gas prices would be a problem. But in the long term , 15-20 years down the road, would these snags prove to be bit of a benefit for the urban core since these problems esp. gas prices would force a population shift back into the core to shorten commute times and have better access to public transit? Even if the housing crunch continues and people would not be able to buy a house or condo, there are still apartments.

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Yes

But it is getting from where we are today to that point, when the benefit to the urban core really manifests itself. Our urban core is in very good shape, relative to others and I think that it can survive whatever bumpy road we are in for.

Yesterday Bosgraff homes issued a press statement saying they were going into "hibernation". I understand that Eastbrook is pulling back as well. Nationally, Levitt Brothers, a national production builder, declared bankruptcy in November and their projects are not being completed, even homes that are near completion.

The housing market is also having issues with too much product for sale and not enough buyers as well as the loss of perceived value of the houses (across the board), and the financing debacles (from people who evidently do not understand ARMs).

As far as the retail issues, my understanding is that the lifestyle center on the Beltline still does not have any tenants signed. They were scheduled to break ground in October, but with no tenants - that did not happen. And realistically the metro area can probably support only one of these and Walker has the bigger fish, allegedly.

There will still be winners in this scenario and that will be the urban areas, but I highly doubt that it will all be rosey. Our economy is changing and this change will not be easy or pleasant.

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I talked to a friend that is a real estate agent, and while she took it on the chin last spring-summer, she said she is incredibly busy right now. She had 5 homes closing the week after Christmas and said she is seeing a lot of action from people moving into Grand Rapids. I don't know if this indicative of anything, but even she seemed surprised at how well her business was doing (and she said it has been steady since late fall).

In the long run, I think one thing GR will benefit from is the fact that our housing prices never went out of whack, and while a lot of homebuilders are hurting, we didn't have the mega-builders dumping huge inventory into the market (in fact, we weren't growing fast enough for Pulte). This may actually be to our benefit and help us pull out of the slump faster.

Joe

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