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n_wasmiller

New Walgreens Development at Michigan and Fuller

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According to the Grand Rapids Press, Spartan Stores plans to build a two-story, 40,000-square-foot D&W Fresh Market at the NW corner of Michigan Street and Fuller Avenue. The store would be similar to a Whole Foods and could open as soon as the spring of 2009. Construction would start in the spring. The store will replace the Duthler's Foods store currently operating on the site.

This is great news for the region. We've needed a store like this for years and the fact that it is in the city is a bonus. Wish it could be a little closer to downtown, but overall this is great.

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The article also mentions it will be a two-story store, and "the closest thing to a Whole Foods" according to Mayor Heartwell. No link on the Press' website yet, other than Heartwell's mention in a speech yesterday. The hard copy of the Press has a rendering on the inside fold of the paper. Hard to tell if this will be "urban format" or not.

Duthler Foods will relocate to the Madison area.

Edit: article is up.

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Wow...it looks as if Spartan beat Meijer to the punch. I think being 'supermarket' sized rather than 'supercenter' sized made it a lot easier for Spartan to commit to a project such as this.

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It's also huge that they're doing this without tax breaks. Maybe this is a sign of eminent critical mass.

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The article mentions serving downtown, but I also think this Fresh Market location is better than the 28th St store. It will not only draw a lot of people from 28th/Beltline going Northwest, but may also draw a lot of Northeasterners and Northwesterners who avoid 28th like the plague. I may be optimistic, but I think it will be difficult to find a parking spot when this store opens (2009 I believe it said).

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This is good news all around. Duthler's anchors Madison, and Michigan gets a nice grocery store. I actually thought the Duthler location was a perfect spot when people were having the Whole Foods / Trader Joe's Discussion.

This location has had an interesting little local history going from a Meijer > various local grocery's > D&W/Spartan.

Joe

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What do you all think about the chances for doing a proper urban design here? Building right up to the street and having the main entrance face the street? I know they're going to need some sort of parking lot still so it seems a bit unlikely. Could on-street parking work on Michigan and Fuller?

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It might be difficult with Sheldon Cleaners in the parking lot. It would be cool though if they could pull it off.

Joe

What do you all think about the chances for doing a proper urban design here? Building right up to the street and having the main entrance face the street? I know they're going to need some sort of parking lot still so it seems a bit unlikely. Could on-street parking work on Michigan and Fuller?

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I would love it fronting the street. Is it possible to stick parking in the back?

Street frontage would make this A+. If not, without tax breaks I think its still an A deal for the city. This will be great.

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What do you all think about the chances for doing a proper urban design here? Building right up to the street and having the main entrance face the street? I know they're going to need some sort of parking lot still so it seems a bit unlikely. Could on-street parking work on Michigan and Fuller?

On-street parking in that area would be a virtually impossible task. Parking will be difficult as it is (I can see this being a huge draw), and people that live in the area right now (myself included :) will really appreciate this store. What's to happen to the Family Fare that's a mile away on Fulton? Status quo? (I would have to assume the target customer would be very different...)

A couple of other thoughts on things that could(?) be affected by this:

Any residential (i.e. condo's or apartments) going up within walking distance?

Any thoughts on ensuring easy-access for busses going to / from downtown? I am thinking busses already have a route that goes in front of it and down Michigan Ave to downtown...

Maybe making too much of just one grocery store, but it is nice uptick for this area!

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That site couldn't be more convoluted, but it does appear that the back NW portion of the parking lot is not well used, so rear and side parking might actually make better use of the land.

Not a great option, but frontage along Michigan:

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Maybe the best possible layout as far as street frontage:

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The new Zoning Code designates this areas as a TBA - Traditional Business Area, and stipulates the following guidelines for building placement:

1. Encourages the location of new buildings to anchor corners and screen parking at important street intersections;

2. Ensures that new buildings relate well to each other, existing buildings and the abutting street;

3. Maintains or creates a continuous street wall that contributes to the unique character of the Zone District;

4. Organizes out-lot development on larger parcels to improve visual and functional coherence;

5. Encourages parking located to the side and rear of main buildings;

6. Consolidates driveways on primary streets and encourages vehicular access from secondary streets; and

7. Provides adequate sidewalk space for pedestrian access and comfort.

It also shows on the chart that the maximum setback from a major street without on-street parking is 17'. Minimum greenspace is 20% (I'm guessing they will seek a waiver on this).

Required Building Line (RBL). The following RBL requirements shall be utilized to ensure consistent building placement from public streets, reinforce Neighborhood Classification designations, recognize the appropriate positioning of varying land uses within a Zone District, permit access to the subject site from the public right-of-way, and provide property owners greater flexibility in the maximum use of a constrained site than would otherwise be possible with a minimum setback requirement.

1. Established Setback. The RBL shall be consistent with the established dimension of existing main buildings fronting on the same block and in the same Zone District, except where existing buildings are setback more than twenty (20) feet from the public right-of-way. The requirements for RBLs do not apply to the MCN-C or MON-C Districts.

2. RBL. If no uniform setback has been established, an RBL shall be provided for all new structures, measured from the back of the street curb without regard to the location of the lot line. The RBL defined in Table 5.6.07.A. shall be met. This RBL provision applies only to the first twenty (20) feet of building height. Above twenty (20) feet, buildings may be built out to the lot line. Columns shall not be placed in the sidewalk area to support the building above the twenty (20) foot height.

3. Maximum RBL. New structures shall be located within three (3) feet of the established minimum uniform setback. If no uniform setback has been established, in no case shall the building line be further back than ten (10) feet from the RBL for all new structures. This maximum setback provision shall not apply to residential structures, to the residential portion of multi-use structures, nor to any level of the building above the second story.

4. Exceptions.

a. Where a lot line abuts three (3) or more streets, the RBL provisions shall apply to only two (2) streets.

b. Additions to existing structures and portions of new structures in residential use shall be exempt from the RBL provisions.

c. Administrative Departure. An Administrative Departure may permit an adjustment in the established RBL up to ten (10) feet to accommodate individual site conditions, such as mature trees, topography, or other similar physical conditions.

Building Elements Table.

1. Purpose. The intent of these requirements is to promote mixed-use development and rehabilitation that shall:

a. Establish a development pattern in which new buildings and building modifications enhance the character of the existing built environment;

b. Increase fa

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I think it's a fabulous location for this store, it's going to draw people from all sides of the city. Yes parking will be tight, but I think its been proven that if you have a quality product, people will figure it out. I'm positive that many people will walk or take the bus #13. This might be just what's needed for some of the warehouses on Fuller, south of Michigan to have a new use.

In fact, one of my 2008 predictions for Michigan Street:

"Michigan Street area between Union and Plymouth: Larger scale urban retail stores - urban grocery stores"

Woop, woop! ~TripleG

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This is all well and good but it still doesn't completely solve the issue of a downtown grocery store for all the new residents that are living and will be living right downtown.

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That site couldn't be more convoluted, but it does appear that the back NW portion of the parking lot is not well used, so rear and side parking might actually make better use of the land.

Isn't the former Buddy's Pizza and Dogs (and former BK) on Fuller going to part of the D&W development as well? I know they recently closed and I believe a sign on their door said they sold to make way for a new development.

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The long term implications of Spartan doing a D&W flagship store on that location are wonderful. Other retailers will be keeping an eye on this new store. If it works out other retailers may follow. So we could have Medical Mile and then an Urban Retail Mile which would be great for adding to the city's tax revenue while sparking revitalization in the area.

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Par75,

I was thinking the same thing and then realized that the traintrack run between that development and the old BK building.

Joe

Isn't the former Buddy's Pizza and Dogs (and former BK) on Fuller going to part of the D&W development as well? I know they recently closed and I believe a sign on their door said they sold to make way for a new development.

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This is so exciting! I wish it was opening tomorrow!

I already think i live in the coolest hood in grand rapids, with the farmers market, the community gardens and the dog park. A gourmet store will make it so much harder to leave.

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This is all well and good but it still doesn't completely solve the issue of a downtown grocery store for all the new residents that are living and will be living right downtown.

No, but it's definitely a step in the right direction. If you live downtown or near downtown, at least you won't have to go to Alpine, Beltline or 28th for a decent grocery store.

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This is all well and good but it still doesn't completely solve the issue of a downtown grocery store for all the new residents that are living and will be living right downtown.

And for those of us in the Wealthy street area, we STILL have to get in our cars and drive to this place. Not that this isn't a great thing to happen compared to what is there now, however it is honestly just another commuter grocery on a 5 lane throughway. :dontknow:

I just hope the designers create something that actually is an asset to the area and not some ugly block with gaudy signage.

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...This location has had an interesting little local history going from a Meijer > various local grocery's > D&W/Spartan.

Joe

The current building was not only originally a Meijer store but it also housed the Meijer main offices and warehouse. It seems to me it also included a railroad siding on the north side. It doesn

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Ah, that's right....the tracks do run between the two sites. I wonder what will come of the Buddy's/BK space then? :dontknow:

Par75,

I was thinking the same thing and then realized that the traintrack run between that development and the old BK building.

Joe

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And for those of us in the Wealthy street area, we STILL have to get in our cars and drive to this place. Not that this isn't a great thing to happen compared to what is there now, however it is honestly just another commuter grocery on a 5 lane throughway. :dontknow:

I just hope the designers create something that actually is an asset to the area and not some ugly block with gaudy signage.

The problem with walking with grocery stores is that nobody will want to carry a cart full of food back to thier house. The thing could be a block away but I wouldn't walk because it just isn't practical to carry 50 pounds of grocerys with 6 bottles of wine very far. If I need one thing there is a deli market just a block away that I'll walk to. I don't want to go to a grocery store in that case. but I don't go there to buy groceries for the next week or to either.

I guess that if you could steal a cart then it wouldn't be a big deal to walk with my groceries.

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The problem with walking with grocery stores is that nobody will want to carry a cart full of food back to thier house. The thing could be a block away but I wouldn't walk because it just isn't practical to carry 50 pounds of grocerys with 6 bottles of wine very far. If I need one thing there is a deli market just a block away that I'll walk to. I don't want to go to a grocery store in that case. but I don't go there to buy groceries for the next week or to either.

I guess that if you could steal a cart then it wouldn't be a big deal to walk with my groceries.

Here's an article about a multitude of folding grocery/utility carts that are available in all sizes and styles:

http://www.grist.org/advice/ask/2005/08/01...arts/index.html

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