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highwayguy

Redevelopment along 28th Street

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So 28West pretty much looks like a pig with lipstick job so far, just prettying up a strip mall. I heard the CSL Plasma place is terrible as well, so it's nice that they're really drawing in the good business...

Here are the old photos I took from the Spring. Not much has changed since.IMG_5013.thumb.JPG.f270bac93dfa9f26934e554c340bc988.JPGIMG_5034.thumb.JPG.8120d8420e4d755feafab232856be352.JPG

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yeah, that project to create a downtown or whatever is a disaster... just added new entrances to a junky strip mall.... no idea why they are even wasting their time.

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I wanted this project to be successful, but it's becoming clear that they're not able to draw any nice retailers into a lower class city that lacks any kind of identity. They sought to create that identity, but I'm afraid they're 40 years too late.

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4 hours ago, GRLaker said:

I wanted this project to be successful, but it's becoming clear that they're not able to draw any nice retailers into a lower class city that lacks any kind of identity. They sought to create that identity, but I'm afraid they're 40 years too late.

Before you guys get out your pitchforks keep in mind while I am saying this, I am well aware of how "pie in the sky" this is going to sound.

I don't know that the situation is hopeless. That part of Wyoming could definitely benefit from gentrification and redevelopment.  I think it's too soon to say that it could never work.  Wyoming has lower taxes in general, and is the only suburb without a city income tax.  That has to lend some level of attraction.  Basically what they would need to make it successful is a Westside-esque style of redevelopment by a committed developer like Rockford with deep pockets.  Ultimately someone would have to come in with a plan to overhaul the entire property stretch from Rogers Plaza to Studio 28.  I don't believe the vision of the city was for the current crappy stripmalls to remain.  A series of mixed use mid rises 5-10 stories lining either side of the new street layout has the potential to create a little sample of urbanity in what is other wise one of the states most notable bedroom suburbs.  

The region is still growing a strong rate, and attracting new businesses as well.  This growth is mostly suburban infill as it is.  There are almost no new residential or commercial corridors emerging.  Someone with a vision could create an "urban alternative" to downtown, that gave the city feel, but with convenient parking ect.  I know saying that it's highly unlikely is giving too much credit, and we are likely to see the crappy strip malls remain.  I don't think Wyoming has the right type of mindset to compete and incentivize for something like that, but I think that was their general idea.

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13 hours ago, gvsusean said:

yeah, that project to create a downtown or whatever is a disaster... just added new entrances to a junky strip mall.... no idea why they are even wasting their time.

At least they're doing something. You don't have to drive very far (Toledo for instance) to see completely decimated suburbs, not to mention lackluster downtowns. 

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 You could sense the lack of vision from day one with the outdated looking signage and giant strip mall setup.  It's a unique opportunity to create a downtown. And what do all downtowns have in common? Some sort of density.  For this project to be actually successful in the 21st-century in a middle-class suburb, there needs to be even more density, midrise and low income apartments, walkability, outdoor gathering Spaces. Parking ramps not surface lots. Restaurants/bars with outdoor seating.  Just think Hooters, delightfully tacky but cheap fun.  

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Wyoming cannot commit to the idea of having a "center". It's simply little more than a confusing array of incoherent neighborhoods (like Kentwood) that formed what was basically the city of "I-Dont-Want-To-Be-Part-Of-Grand-Rapids" more than this place called "Wyoming". They had a far better shot if the city didnt abandon Burton and move all of their civic structures to 28th street back in the 60s-70s because they thought suburban strips were going to be the future...forever. Wyoming was more upscale back then, so it wasn't a totally goofy thing to be where the money was.

They only made it worse by taking the opportunity to rebuild all of their civic structures back in the late 90s, during the great W. 28th street decline, and not concentrating them in one place to try to build something more civic-oriented. Well they blew that one!

 

Without a civic or cultural heart (because being a Wyoming-er is a meaningless term), you have to hope that people really love discount stores and strip malls enough to call this thing a "downtown". Fat chance.

Edited by GR_Urbanist
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14 hours ago, WMrapids said:

IMG_5013.thumb.JPG.f270bac93dfa9f26934e554c340bc988.JPG

Here is something that annoys me wherever they occur: these faux historic street lights when they appear in a streetscape that isn’t from the era represented by the street light style.  They are all along 28th street in this stretch too.  It just says that the people doing the planning along 28th street have even less aesthetic sense than I do and it doesn’t give me any confidence in their redevelopment plans.

I feel the same way about the faux street lights on Lake Michigan Drive approaching GVSU in Allendale.  That has to be someone trying too hard to make GVSU look like an old historic university.  It just looks foolish for a school started in the late sixties.        
 

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Before everyone starts condemning this project don't forget this is right down the street from the castle.  Obviously it will inhabited by residents without taste which should make this project an instant success.  In fact the more criticism I hear the more optimistic I become.

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I'd just give it time. I mean they still have to tear down Rogers Plaza and have the rest of the Studio 28 parking lot to develop. Isn't this like a 50-year plan? At the same time though, suburbs will be past Dorr at that time.

I guess it's the same thing that happened near Metro. They wanted to make a "village" there brought it was too fake.

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^WMrapids, I think you are on point there. I went back and read the articles related to this project, and the first phases were the installation of the street and revamping of the zoning code to a form based code that would encourage future denser and walkable development to occur. As of last year, there were no developers on board, just the city laying the groundwork, and I don't believe that has changed yet. Either way, I don't think what is being witnessed here is in anyway a done project, but just the beginning of a larger vision.

Edited by andrew.w
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The redevelopment of the Klingmans/rogers department store building is going to be a good shot in the arm for this area as well. Hundreds of workers added to the immediate area. I agree, this is going to take time. No need to throw in the towel. 

Joe

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I think part of the issue is the fanfare with which the city announced the project.  The fancy videos and signage made it look much more imminant and exciting. In reality, they're taking the "if you build it, they will come" approach. 

At this point, any redevelopment is good for this area, no matter the scale. 

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On 8/29/2017 at 11:19 AM, walker said:

Here is something that annoys me wherever they occur: these faux historic street lights when they appear in a streetscape that isn’t from the era represented by the street light style.  They are all along 28th street in this stretch too.  It just says that the people doing the planning along 28th street have even less aesthetic sense than I do and it doesn’t give me any confidence in their redevelopment plans.

I feel the same way about the faux street lights on Lake Michigan Drive approaching GVSU in Allendale.  That has to be someone trying too hard to make GVSU look like an old historic university.  It just looks foolish for a school started in the late sixties.        
 

 

Those "faux historic street lights" are pedestrian-scale lights which direct light closer to the sidewalk instead of the gooseneck lights which look like garbage, are intended for cars, and are typically terrible for improving safety and visibility for the pedestrian. However, in the picture above it looks silly as those are not adjacent to a pedestrian facility.

 

In Allendale, those lights were installed with the intent of improving walkability and safety off-campus (and along M45) as they were installed behind the sidewalk and largely direct light straight down onto the sidewalk. The sidewalk, lighting, boulevard, and landscape project was paid for by MDOT and likely had little to do with GVSU "trying to look like a historic university." Those lights are just good design in a good application, IMO. 

What would you have them install instead? 

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20 hours ago, demhem said:

Those "faux historic street lights" are pedestrian-scale lights which direct light closer to the sidewalk instead of the gooseneck lights which look like garbage, are intended for cars, and are typically terrible for improving safety and visibility for the pedestrian. However, in the picture above it looks silly as those are not adjacent to a pedestrian facility.

 

In Allendale, those lights were installed with the intent of improving walkability and safety off-campus (and along M45) as they were installed behind the sidewalk and largely direct light straight down onto the sidewalk. The sidewalk, lighting, boulevard, and landscape project was paid for by MDOT and likely had little to do with GVSU "trying to look like a historic university." Those lights are just good design in a good application, IMO. 

What would you have them install instead? 

I did a quick Google search of “pedestrian lighting standards” and you are right.  There’s not much available for pedestrian lighting other than what I consider to be light posts retro to the first half of the twentieth century.  The images of the more contemporary looking posts look like they are more site specific and would likely look just as out of place along 28th Street or along Lake Michigan Drive out in the country.

I still don’t like them in Wyoming though; they are premature at best until there is more real development.  Along the length of Rogers Plaza there is not even a sidewalk to illuminate but the lights are there anyway.   (I’m searching for anything here to defend my position.)   :tw_angry:

Edited by walker

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On 9/24/2017 at 7:52 AM, GRDadof3 said:

"The 28 West project is critical to the future success of the City of Wyoming," said Megan Sall, Assistant City Manager for the City of Wyoming.

... and so when it stays a flea market?  Then what?  Here's hoping something comes of this.  I never could figure out why they shuttered and then tore down a perfectly good movie theater... because you know what would be great here?  A movie theater.

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1 hour ago, x99 said:

"The 28 West project is critical to the future success of the City of Wyoming," said Megan Sall, Assistant City Manager for the City of Wyoming.

... and so when it stays a flea market?  Then what?  Here's hoping something comes of this.  I never could figure out why they shuttered and then tore down a perfectly good movie theater... because you know what would be great here?  A movie theater.

Studio 28 wasn't making Loeks as much money as their other theaters. Add to that they were having problems with violence on and around the property, so they decided to shut down.

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Studio 28 closed because its attendance had dropped by nearly 75% in its final decade (and the building was also in poor condition). Even if the population has recovered from the recession, you'd be looking at a 6-8 screen theater (at best) on the site, and that's assuming the Celebration downtown doesn't leach any business. It's not possible without a massive increase in Wyoming's density.

Edited by getemngo

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5 hours ago, getemngo said:

Studio 28 closed because its attendance had dropped by nearly 75% in its final decade (and the building was also in poor condition). Even if the population has recovered from the recession, you'd be looking at a 6-8 screen theater (at best) on the site, and that's assuming the Celebration downtown doesn't leach any business. It's not possible without a massive increase in Wyoming's density.

This area never lost population during the recession, especially not Wyoming or Grandville.  Nor did it have anything to do with Studio 28's decline.  The emergence of the commercial corridors on Rivertown Pkwy and the EBL lead to the decline and demise of Studio 28.  28th St in Wyoming went from a regional commercial retail destination to a neighborhood destination.   A location shift in retail habits, along with shifting demographics in Northern Wyoming.

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3 hours ago, MJLO said:

This area never lost population during the recession, especially not Wyoming or Grandville.  Nor did it have anything to do with Studio 28's decline.  The emergence of the commercial corridors on Rivertown Pkwy and the EBL lead to the decline and demise of Studio 28.  28th St in Wyoming went from a regional commercial retail destination to a neighborhood destination.   A location shift in retail habits, along with shifting demographics in Northern Wyoming.

Yes, it was Loeks' own expansion throughout the last decade that did it.  By 2008 (technically before the recession) they had opened the Gaines Township location and bought the two mall Cinemarks.   At that point, they no longer had any competition in all of southern metro GR.  To keep Studio 28 open would be to cannibalize their own market.  That being said, after the closure, the recession did make any reinvestment in that area impossible afterward.

Maybe if 28 West really takes off they can lure in a different chain than Loeks.  Not impossible, but a big "if."

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1 hour ago, RegalTDP said:

Yes, it was Loeks' own expansion throughout the last decade that did it.  By 2008 (technically before the recession) they had opened the Gaines Township location and bought the two mall Cinemarks.   At that point, they no longer had any competition in all of southern metro GR.  To keep Studio 28 open would be to cannibalize their own market.  That being said, after the closure, the recession did make any reinvestment in that area impossible afterward.

Maybe if 28 West really takes off they can lure in a different chain than Loeks.  Not impossible, but a big "if."

Yeah I did not like when they took over the Cinemark's. Too little competition leads to overpriced and lagging in modern movie theater amenities. 

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On 6/27/2016 at 3:09 PM, WMrapids said:

Here's the final plan (link).

image.jpeg

If you look at Page 41, all of the buildings in yellow are being demolished. Roger's Mansion and part of Roger's Lane Elementary is included, being replaced by you guessed it... parking lots...image.jpeg

Later, the entire school will be demolished.image.jpeg

I hope this isn't in stone since the Roger family sold the mansion. The least they could do is move the mansion again.

Just a bump. Does anyone know if this is still the current plan?

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On 5/20/2019 at 10:32 PM, WMrapids said:

Just a bump. Does anyone know if this is still the current plan?

That is not very close to the current site plan. I'm honestly surprised Wyoming doesn't have an update available somewhere.

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19 hours ago, elcelc said:

That is not very close to the current site plan. I'm honestly surprised Wyoming doesn't have an update available somewhere.

The City is working on a new City-wide Master Plan, so there may be one associated with that.

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