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GRDadof3

New apartments proposed for Seward/West Side

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A new 24 unit townhouse project is being proposed for the West side of Seward Ave near GVSU, between California and Veto. Apparently SWAN (South West Area Neighbors) has come out against this project. Eesh.

http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ss....xml&coll=6

GRAND RAPIDS -- A proposed apartment complex aimed at college students is reviving a long-standing debate about the future of the city's near West Side.

Developer Jeff Boorsma wants to build a 24-unit townhouse project on the west side of Seward Avenue NW, across the street from Grand Valley State University's downtown campus.

Boorsma, who would raze seven houses he owns between Veto and California streets, says the project would meet a growing demand for student housing. Leaders of the South West

Association of Neighbors disagree. They say Boorsma's project would bring more transient residents to a neighborhood fighting to keep its single-family homes intact.

"We just want to see something that will benefit the neighborhood and not just one individual," said Corinne Thomasma, a community organizer for SWAN.

The dispute will find its way to City Hall this summer. Boorsma must get his property rezoned to allow for higher density housing. He also must get the city to sell him a 3-foot by 44-foot strip of land that sits in the middle of his project.

I could, in some respects, understand the opposition to the larger/more dense development that was planned for LMD/Seward, but this?

There's a nice render in the Press's hard copy, but for now you just get this:

2596918572_63f0698c92_o.jpg

Git er dun! :)

Edit: OK, you can have this:

2597023658_5e89706c4d.jpg

Lott3Metz is the architect.

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I say we build it. There's no reason to block development along Seward, there's already a parking lot on the other side. Sound to me like SWAN has a case of the NIMBYs.

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I can understand their reluctance for transient housing. But if done correctly, this should add some new construction to a neighborhood that is very run down and tired looking. What they also have to realize is that with the housing market in the dumps for the forseeable future, single family homes would be a dog on the market for a long time and be a further drag on the neighborhood.

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For some reason, projects in this area have a hard time getting off the ground. "Transient residents"? Couldn't you also call them educated young professionals?

Since I worked in this area in the mid 90's, I have seen the area go downhill, not stabilize. I think SWAN needs to realize that they are right next to a thriving University and it is time for change. And it seems to me like the change is definitely for the better.

Joe

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The existing subject properties are rental units; presumably they already house "transient residents."

At a campus, students enroll, matriculate, graduate...and another crop rolls in. This is a continuous process, and it is the nature of the higher education land use immediately east of the parcels in question.

Having nice, new, attractive, well designed connected townhomes would seem to be a higher and better use than the present SF homes converted to student rentals.

[former NW side resident]

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Plus, the design looks quite a bit more robust than Cedar Village Apartments at MSU or Knollwood at Western. SWAN's dream of the West Side becoming an East Grand Rapids or Alger Heights are quite naive at best and dangerous at worst (as the area continues to spriral downhill). The West Side needs to embrace a new demographic, much like MANY near downtown districts are doing around the country and in GR.

BTW: I like the design quite a bit. I like how it's a mix of styles on the outer ends than the middle portion. Makes it look like multiple developments. And if that one around the corner ever gets going, that would make quite a (good) change to that area.

Perhaps Ted can post a better quality rendering. :whistling:

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Makes you wonder what may be in store if streetcars ever venture into the West Side.

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Here's a handlebar survey, pedalling south from Bridge.

First, a vacant lot.

seward01.jpg

seward02.jpg

seward03.jpg

seward04.jpg

seward05.jpg

seward06.jpg

seward07.jpg

seward08.jpg

seward09.jpg

seward10.jpg

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Perhaps Ted can post a better quality rendering. :whistling:

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I'm disappointed Daddy...I would have thought that you would have been able to score a hi-def one by now. It seems your powers of information gathering do have their limits...Chris Knape can rest easy, for tonight at least.

I'll try to post something next time I'm at the office.

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Perhaps Ted can post a better quality rendering. :whistling:

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I like it. Is it three separate buildings, or how does that middle section fit in? I also agree with the above posts about this being a net improvement for the neighborhood. It's not a bad neighborhood in the scary sense, but it is pretty run down. I'm sure there are plenty of houses on the west side that are worth preserving, but these aren't them.

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I suppose the question for the members of SWAN is this: What enhances their property value more, this or the existing structures?

You know... from all of the zoo hullabaloo to this, when someone mentions the southwest side, I picture Garth from Wayne's World deadpanning, "We fear change."

garth.jpg

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This project is also on the docket for this Thursday. If you'd like to see this get built, you might try to set aside some time to make it to the PC meeting (one of the last on the agenda, so probably after 4:00 PM Thursday, July 10th at the Development Center 1120 Monroe Ave NW).

2652954515_b5e150d61e_o.jpg

East elevation from the E-packet:

2653778308_8ef49761d8_o.jpg

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"It feels like it's going to be a ghetto" - Gabriel Works

:rofl:

that was supposed to be a joke, right?

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They denied this and let Supermer-crapo get built just north of there?? Are you kidding me?

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They denied this and let Supermer-crapo get built just north of there?? Are you kidding me?

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"It feels like it's going to be a ghetto" - Gabriel Works

:rofl:

that was supposed to be a joke, right?

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I think that area now is about as close to "ghetto" as you can get. It's like a "ghett" waiting for the "o" to fall. :) This project would be an enhancement.

Wasn't Gabriel Works the one who also said that mid to high-rises at Knapp and the East Beltline would also be "ghetto"?

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I honestly do not believe they even know what they would OK for that area, short of single family homes. But what they obviously fail to realize is that a developer cannot make money on that, with the cost of property down there.

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She also said that the neon tubes around the top of the BOB were signs, and that the word "BOAT" and "GOLF" shining in light on DeVos Place was the equivalent of "Light Pollution".

Don't know her personally but she seems to say some pretty dumb things.

Joe

Wasn't Gabriel Works the one who also said that mid to high-rises at Knapp and the East Beltline would also be "ghetto"?

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