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DeVos Building Renovation for Spout and Windquest


DwntwnGeo

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A quote from the Mlive.com article:

"The building, 201 Monroe Ave. NW, is the last of many late 19th and early 20th century commercial buildings that once lined Monroe between Lyon and Michigan streets. It is one of a handful that remain in that area of downtown from before the 1960s Urban Renewal era.

"We'll try to work hard to capture the historical character and nature of the building as best we can," Hoekstra said.

Hoekstra said the renovation will return the building to Class A office space with retail or some other pedestrian-friendly use on the ground floor."

It will be nice to have something on the ground floor of this building. As the article says, it has a lot of foot traffic.

The complete article can be read on Mlive.com here:

Devos's announce plans to renovate River City Building

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Does anyone know if there was once a taller building to the north? I've noticed the crown of the building does not wrap around that side of the building.

I also had no idea this building wasn't in use. The article made it sound like it's been pretty much empty since Devos bought it.

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Yes! I was just in downtown Kzoo the other day (after not having been there in probably 10 years) and I couldn't believe how many small older buildings like the River City Building have been renovated since I was there last, and brought back to life with ground-floor retail. In that category, they are leaps and bounds ahead of GR. Dwntwn Kzoo looks even more exciting than downtown A2.

Another UP forumer highlights much of that work very nicely here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/umleroi/page2/

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Yes! I was just in downtown Kzoo the other day (after not having been there in probably 10 years) and I couldn't believe how many small older buildings like the River City Building have been renovated since I was there last, and brought back to life with ground-floor retail. In that category, they are leaps and bounds ahead of GR. Dwntwn Kzoo looks even more exciting than downtown A2.

Another UP forumer highlights much of that work very nicely here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/umleroi/page2/

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Like Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo benefits from an incredibly strong philanthropic base. It might even be stronger if you look at $ vs. population. Jon and Ronda Stryker are both billionaires but their city is about a quarter the size... it's easier to affect change with that equation in place. Bill Richardson (I think is his name) is also involved in Stryker money I think. He runs the Greenleaf Trust that bought the Radisson. It's a very similar turnaround (only they don't have city income tax).
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Bill Johnston is who you're thinking of. He's Ronda Stryker's husband.

Kalamazoo also has John Brown, the retired Stryker CEO, who's listed as one of the world's richest men thanks to his large Stryker holdings.

The Upjohn family is still pretty well off too. Then there's the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, which is larger than the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.

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It's gotta be a huge benefit too to have that resident student base downtown. It seems like suburban Kzoo residents have a better perception of Downtown Kzoo, than suburban GR ressies do. That also has to help Kzoo's downtown retail.

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Really? When were elevated commuter trains proposed for the area, around the time this building was built? Too bad that never happened, I'd love to be able to take a train home to Muskegon for the weekend and not have to worry about driving anywhere.
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I just don't see the value of investing money in an old building on Monroe that is landlocked and doesn't have any onsite parking. Wouldn't it be better to just let it sit empty and see what happens around it and then perhaps knock it down once neglect has taken its toll?

...Oh wait, you said River City Building. I thought you were talking about Olds Manor.

:scared:

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I just don't see the value of investing money in an old building on Monroe that is landlocked and doesn't have any onsite parking. Wouldn't it be better to just let it sit empty and see what happens around it and then perhaps knock it down once neglect has taken its toll?

...Oh wait, you said River City Building. I thought you were talking about Olds Manor.

:scared:

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I just don't see the value of investing money in an old building on Monroe that is landlocked and doesn't have any onsite parking. Wouldn't it be better to just let it sit empty and see what happens around it and then perhaps knock it down once neglect has taken its toll?
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In a way, isn't this exactly what happened with the River City Building? Didn't it sit empty while the DeVos Place was built around it? Didn't the renovation of this building come only after the completion of the land surrounding it?

Couldn't the same principal be applied to Olds Manor? Who's to say that in time Olds Manor won't be restored or used in some way. DeVos just said that (in his opinion) it was not as good at the Pantlind. It wasn't like he asked for a demo permit the day after he bought it.

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