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aowwt

An Idea for the Government Center

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I know that a developer tried to get his hands on this land but failed horribly in doing so but I have an idea. Now granted its far fetched and frankly I doubt it would work but here it goes. Downtown.jpg

Now most of everyone here knows what this is. The first think I would do is level the Gray zoned area peice by peice. I would put in there a government access only parking ramp. Ie you need a badge with certification to enter. Essentially it would protect that block. The big yellow building would be a new Federal building. The next building, lime green would be a new state building. The Cyan building would end up being the city center building. The blue building the new county offices. The plaza in front of the city center would host several sucltures including the current ones on top of the government parking ramp. Once all four buildings are built with the ability to build them taller in the future, I would begin the evecuation of the government ramp.

This ramp would be larger than the previous one and go for the entire green area. On top of that would two major hotel towers. Each with access to the convention center. Not sure on the number of rooms but enough so that we can host any type of convention without having to shuttle people from miles around. The parking structure would have an improved design on the east side with the west side being at ground level. This ramp would be a city owned and offer a seperate entrence for the hotels. The ramp would go as far into bedrock as possible without flooding to make sure it can handle the amount of cars needed for visitors of the government center. The ramp roof would have a park feel to it with paths, grass, trees, greenry the works. Purple building in the center of the new city lot would be an additional office building for rent or the such.

The reason I am suggesting seperate parking is that I have served on juries and had to go downtown and found the government center parking area a mess. I would like to see a seperate parking area for those that serving and working in the government areas and the ones that are just visiting. It would be nice to see around 300 reserved parking spots just for the jury pools for both the county courthouse and federal courts. The only issue I can see with a new federal building is wether their is enough setbacks to keep it from getting a terrorist attack. I am not sure what the new standard is but I know they have had new ones since Oklahoma City.

In case you missed it the visitor/hotel parking ramp would have 3 walkways to get to the government buildings. It would save on having pedistrians from getting hurt crossing and allow better traffic handling on those roads. If anybody would like to donate a billion dollars for this project feel free to do so. I think it would be a welcomed addition. I do wonder how tall those government buildings would end up reaching, anybody guess over 15 stories?

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I was reading about one of the hotel chains and I think that one of the hotels could be an Embassy Suites. I like the style I saw from their site from the Detroit - Troy/Auburn Hills one. Maybe go 12 stories or so. Nothing huge but it would make it to look over the devos place and into the grand river.

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The problem I see with this idea is that you are replacing the current elevated government center with another elevated center so people walking along Monroe and the other streets would still be walking along a long blank wall. Why not have the buildings along the outside with street-level retail and have the parking structure hidden in the middle of the block?

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Well thats not a bad idea for the hotel area. You will still need to have a few entrences but thats not too hard to build into it on the west side. As for the new government center I think the buildings need to be so many feet away from the curbs to dissallow any pontential attacks. As for Michigan Ave side I think a few shops along that would be fine but for the most part it will have to be a wall of some sort but hopefully something with a black glass look or something better than that cultured cement look. the south side is not an issue as the old kent bank building is right there. Maybe its the 5/3rd but I still call it the old kent building. If you have any other ideas let me know. I liked that one. BTW any ideas on the other hotel chain that could fit into this.

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I know that a developer tried to get his hands on this land but failed horribly in doing so but I have an idea. Now granted its far fetched and frankly I doubt it would work but here it goes. Downtown.jpg

Now most of everyone here knows what this is. The first think I would do is level the Gray zoned area peice by peice. I would put in there a government access only parking ramp. Ie you need a badge with certification to enter. Essentially it would protect that block. The big yellow building would be a new Federal building. The next building, lime green would be a new state building. The Cyan building would end up being the city center building. The blue building the new county offices. The plaza in front of the city center would host several sucltures including the current ones on top of the government parking ramp. Once all four buildings are built with the ability to build them taller in the future, I would begin the evecuation of the government ramp.

This ramp would be larger than the previous one and go for the entire green area. On top of that would two major hotel towers. Each with access to the convention center. Not sure on the number of rooms but enough so that we can host any type of convention without having to shuttle people from miles around. The parking structure would have an improved design on the east side with the west side being at ground level. This ramp would be a city owned and offer a seperate entrence for the hotels. The ramp would go as far into bedrock as possible without flooding to make sure it can handle the amount of cars needed for visitors of the government center. The ramp roof would have a park feel to it with paths, grass, trees, greenry the works. Purple building in the center of the new city lot would be an additional office building for rent or the such.

The reason I am suggesting seperate parking is that I have served on juries and had to go downtown and found the government center parking area a mess. I would like to see a seperate parking area for those that serving and working in the government areas and the ones that are just visiting. It would be nice to see around 300 reserved parking spots just for the jury pools for both the county courthouse and federal courts. The only issue I can see with a new federal building is wether their is enough setbacks to keep it from getting a terrorist attack. I am not sure what the new standard is but I know they have had new ones since Oklahoma City.

In case you missed it the visitor/hotel parking ramp would have 3 walkways to get to the government buildings. It would save on having pedistrians from getting hurt crossing and allow better traffic handling on those roads. If anybody would like to donate a billion dollars for this project feel free to do so. I think it would be a welcomed addition. I do wonder how tall those government buildings would end up reaching, anybody guess over 15 stories?

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As far as I know the Calder Plaza area just has the city building and the federal building on top of the government parking ramp. Across the street their is 3 owners going from the county court house, County/city of GR, and State of Michigan. There is just 4 buildings so unless one address is on Ionia its all government buildings. If the 4th building is a private office building then that would be moved to the new office building across the street that would sit between the two hotels. In any case I was thinking about the Monroe Ave side and I think 4 restraunts or so would work nice in that area. One thing I would want to make sure of is that there is a dedicated unload/load right turn lane on Monroe northbound. Along with that is a left turn lane but I do believe there is one. What I would do though is set it up with restraunt - hotel ramp entrence - restraunt - public ramp entrence - restraunt - hotel ramp entrence - restraunt. I would have plan to put the number of spaces for each hotel in each ramp for them to equal the number of suites in each hotel. The rest would be for the public to use including for the restraunts. Just to remind you guys the Ionia side of the hotel plot would be on level ground with no raising of the land and be coated with grass and made more into a park setting.

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I understand what you mean about the setbacks for the government buildings, but what I was talking about is the current Calder Plaza. Buildings up to the street give the feeling of density, and street level shops make an area more appealing to pedestrians. I'm not saying get rid of the parking, but put it in the middle with street access through a couple tunnels.

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Okay I just happened to look at maps.live.com for this area and I see exactly what would need to be done. First is a left turn lane would need to be extended all the way down Monroe Ave. Then I would add a right turn/unloading/loading lane on the north bound side. Next my idea of 3 entrences and 4 shops/restraunts would work. On Michigan it would be a corner restraunt type of place. I would suggest at least one be zoned for Quick Service and the rest be sit down restraunts.

I would suggest no more 250 suites total for each hotel. I would also suggest a nice set back and maybe two arch style buildings instead of ovals. Most of the ground cover should be grass and maybe have it in the documnation of around 75% green space. The arch style buildings would have the inside of each arch facing each other. It would also allow it to house the elevators and stairwells. I figure 15 suites on each level would allow around 15 story buildings or 160 or so feet.

But getting back to the land itself. The new Hotel land would be 664 feet from Michigan St to Old Kent Bank then 449 feet from Ottawa to Monroe. That would provide 3 sets of garage entrences of 30 feet and 4 store fronts of around 140 feet. How deep I would go is up to future developer but I dont think 100 feet would be unreasonable. In fact going with 100 would allow you to have 2 seperate lots on the ground floor between ramp enterences. The cost of purchasing those would be around 1 million for the half size and 2 for the full sized. Most quick service is looking at 7,000 square feet so it would be reasonable. As for the land between Ottawa and Ionia, well somehow I missed a property owner. The two buildings next to the county courthouse well those would cost any future developer at least 25 million if not more to purchase for the city, county and state governments. The building next to the state building is owned by the county. That land is around 750 feet by 200 feet. So given that I could see the building go to 10 stories along with the state building. The County and city building should be smaller given that they are not as large but who knows.

As for the new office building for the hotel plot I was looking at the current buildings and uhm I think a 15 story office building would be needed but maybe it could be an octogan instead of the current squares or curves. In anycase I think my idea of at least a billion for this development alone would be needed. Hopefully they could get some money from the feds to build the new buildings. As for state, county, and city buildings well cost could only be sumplemented by eliminating property taxes on the hotels and commericial ground level properties for a 10 year or 20 year period. Of course this is all conjecture and what not but I think the current appearences of those buildings added with the awesome looking courthouse that stretch of land needs a face lift bad!

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