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GRDadof3

Grand Rapids Wish List 2009

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Might as well start thinking about 2009 and what people would like to see worked on or announced in Grand Rapids for next year.

Assuming everyone wants the economy to stabilize and the Presidential transition to go well, here are some on my list:

) I'd like to hear a couple of more medical developments/partnerships for the Medical Mile

) Definitive plans for Kendall College's redevelopment of the old art museum

) A slew of new businesses moving downtown or into the city, even if they are small or medium-sized

) Redevelopment announced for the Spectrum Childcare site

) A big announcement for a retail anchor at Wealthy and Division

I'm sure I have more, but thought that might be a good start.

Jump right in! :)

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Tempering any thoughts of huge developments, here a few of my wishes:

1. Continued redevelopment of Commerce, including the Heartside Manor building.

2. West side politics finally caving in to progress and the development of several new residential and mixed use developments to support Grand Valley.

3. The downtown GR Press building finally being put out of its misery and the property put up on the market. The "new" staff of the consolidated Booth newspapers moving into leased space closer to the core city (and not out to Walker).

4. More apartments downtown

5. Continued re-development of Wealthy and Cherry Street as well as someone finally buying and redeveloping the old gas station on the corner of Diamond and Lake Dr.

6. More (continued) progress on the Streetcar line and bus route down Wealthy.

7. No baseball stadium downtown (just a personal opinion).

8. Renewed efforts to build on the parking lot almost known as Tall House

9. Timeline and renderings released for Amphitheatre in Millennium Park. Even better, the design rocks. :)

On the non-development front:

1. More bio-tech firms incubating in and around the medical mile.

2. More renewable energy manufacturing in GR.

3. The world to come out of the hellstorm that is the global economy these days

4. Housing market hits bottom and slowly starts to come back.

Reasonably tempered due to current financial woes. :)

Joe

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1. The little storefront almost directly across the street from the Wealthy Street Bakery gets bought up and developed.

2. Plans for the development(s) south of Wealthy go full steam.

3. Someone slaps down the west side Nimbys so all of the projects that keep getting shelved can finally go forward.

4. (Expanding on joeDowntown's #6) Announce streetcar plans that will take the route from Wealthy and Division to Reeds Lake with a connector at Jefferson and Wealthy that will go into DT.

5. Some sort of grocery for those of us that live near Wealthy!

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I like almost every idea posted so far.

There are some "smaller" items that I would love to see completed in 2009 that would help to spruce up downtown:

1. Finish the re-bricking process on Grandville Avenue. There is nothing like pulling up next the the Bistro and watching a Prius get swallowed by one of the big dips in the road.

2. (This appears to be already happening) Replace the dead and broken trees around town. And, out of curiousity, we don't we plant some evergreen downtown?! I would love to see some blue spruce pine trees and some boxwood bushes to add a little green to our overcast winters!

3. How about we add a few more sculptures/art around town to add some more character? Just seems like there are many areas just screaming for a little culture!

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I'd like Azzar to be visited by the ghost of Jacob Marley on the night of Christmas Eve and then after undergoing an Ebenezer Scrooge-worthy transformation, watch him spend 2009 atoning for past misdeeds by doing what is best for the city and the properties upon which he is currently squatting.

:shok:

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2. (This appears to be already happening) Replace the dead and broken trees around town. And, out of curiousity, we don't we plant some evergreen downtown?! I would love to see some blue spruce pine trees and some boxwood bushes to add a little green to our overcast winters!

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2. (This appears to be already happening) Replace the dead and broken trees around town. And, out of curiousity, we don't we plant some evergreen downtown?! I would love to see some blue spruce pine trees and some boxwood bushes to add a little green to our overcast winters!

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I am a computer nerd.. not an urban planning nerd so this is just a guess... BUT..

I would guess there are no evergreens because they block transparency to the sidewalk/storefronts. They're fat at the bottom and very thick where as hardwood trees tend to be a bit taller and very "thin" at the bottom. You can easily line a street with Hardwoods and not "block" views, whereas a row of Blue Spruces virtually blocks all views. Also I personally like the "canopy" effect of hardwoods as opposed to just the space taking up aspects of evergreens at the street level.

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As a planning nerd, I would appreciate the year 'round properties of smallish conifers. Why, they could even be outfitted with light strings!

My wishes:

  • a vital, vibrant business wakes up 136 MC

  • 54 Front gets a WCF-ectomy and some PUD-type work

  • A "First Night" New Year's Eve event rolls in

  • Street performers DT, either a regular event as in Holland, or ad hoc

WCF = Wireless Communications Facility

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I am a computer nerd.. not an urban planning nerd so this is just a guess... BUT..

I would guess there are no evergreens because they block transparency to the sidewalk/storefronts. They're fat at the bottom and very thick where as hardwood trees tend to be a bit taller and very "thin" at the bottom. You can easily line a street with Hardwoods and not "block" views, whereas a row of Blue Spruces virtually blocks all views. Also I personally like the "canopy" effect of hardwoods as opposed to just the space taking up aspects of evergreens at the street level.

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1. More consorted effort to attract retail into DT.

2. Since D&W is aimed as a higher end supermarket, I'd like to see a more affordable Family Fare class grocer in the core to meet the needs of budget minded collage students and urbanites.

3. Approve plans to build the BRT and Streetcar lines and begin construction by mid to late 2009.

4. Replace the surface lot at the corner of Fulton and Market with a major development that would draw people from throughout the region.

5. A 600' signature tower at or near the city and county buildings.

7. Replacing the Monroe Ave. street wall along the west side of the city and county buildings with a liner consisting of Retail, Entertainment, and Restaurants to compliment the convention center. Also add in better access to Calder Plaza from Monroe Ave.

8. Revive Meijer's proposal to replace the 28th st/k'zoo store with a new one.

9. Replace the soon to be closed Studio 28 with a new retail development.

10. Health Hill to continue its construction boom with spin off developments.

11. Rebuild Lake Michigan Drive in westside up to Pearl St. into a nice tree lined boulevard featuring medians, bump outs, and decorative cross walks and sidewalks. The rebuild of Monroe Ave. north of Leonard street serves to as illustration.

12. Do the same to Fulton from Lake Michigan Dr. to GVSU and do the same to Bridge St. up to River House as well.

13. Redevelop Centerpoint Mall to a more viable retail spaces. A power center or life style center would do.

14. Repurpose the dying GM plant in Wyoming to various industrial and commercial uses.

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1. Farmer's market redo.

2. A cool concert venue in a rehabbed building to attract better bands.

3. Personal wind turbines, also placing personal wind turbines on streetlights and telephone poles.

4. Detriot coming out with a vehicle not reliant on a internal combustion engine.

5. Native gardens in public parks.

6. More cool off-beat events downtown.

7. More progress south of Wealthy into Baxter, and up Eastern.

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1. Continue rehabbing Commerce Ave. If that Rockford plan goes through at Oakes & Commerce, and 38 commerce gets rebuilt I'd be thrilled.

2. With the Red Geranium gone, I'd like to see a diner-style restaurant somewhere in the Center City area, this leads into a lot more small business, mom and pop or big retail coming into GR. There's lots of places to open up a Diner, small shops, you name it.

3. Start getting rid of the asphalt sidewalks! They are an eyesore.

edit:

4: Replace the cell tower on 38 Front with a wind turbine.

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Most of the above (+1 to a cool concert venue) and no more break-ins along Wealthy.

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I agree with you on this, PBJ. I would not line them on the streets, not necessarily. However, How about next to some of the parking lots or on the entry way off of 131 in to downtown? How about some more pine trees on the west bank of the Grand River? For that matter, how about planting some boxwood bushes in some of these same areas?

I was not proposing that we stop planting hardwoods; I was suggesting that evergreen could be incorporated in to the mix.

Just an idea!

P.S. I am a computer nerd, too.

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1. Increased dedication to farmland preservation.

2. BRT project put on the fast track.

3. Additional BRT projects put in the pipeline.

4. More downtown retail.

5. Cabelas decides to pull out of Walker, and move to Wyoming.

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they could do something like an austrian pine. those have canopy (sort of) with not too much down low.the bark provides a lot of visual interest as well.

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1. Increased dedication to farmland preservation.

2. BRT project put on the fast track.

3. Additional BRT projects put in the pipeline.

4. More downtown retail.

5. Cabelas decides to pull out of Walker, and move to Wyoming.

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Austrian Pines wouldn't really work. They are non native and there are boers that love to eat them. Every one I see has sap cascading down the side due to them.

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I don't know if you need to limit your choices to native vegetation although it should be compatible. When I lived in grand blanc there were a bunch of austrian pines near my house and they did just fine. no boers or sap at all.

I'm no tree expert and those were just an example of a tree that might work. I'm sure that there are others out there that I don't know about.

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I don't know if you need to limit your choices to native vegetation although it should be compatible. When I lived in grand blanc there were a bunch of austrian pines near my house and they did just fine. no boers or sap at all.

I'm no tree expert and those were just an example of a tree that might work. I'm sure that there are others out there that I don't know about.

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1. I'd like to see the Rapid finally help out the bar crowds by running til 2am on Friday and Saturday nights. There's been a lot of times when a handful of friends want to go to the bar together and no one wants to drive. Eventually someone volunteers and at the end of the night you have the drive, walk or cab debate. WHY NOT TAKE THE BUS HOME?

2. A Quizno's open past 6pm...

3. A pool hall in the empty building on the SW corner of Commerce/Weston. Its a big open space and probably has a ridiculously high rent but its right between all the bars on Ionia and Division and providesan additional form of nightlife entertainment that isn't yelling over music in the bar to your friends. Plus it might give a few minors a place to go although I prefer when parents drop them off at skelletones.

4. The ficticious movie theatre we read about a year or two ago.

5. An annual event/holiday for those guys that Grand Action hires to sweep up, water plants and make downtown look nice.

6. A bike shop. There is a good deal of bike culture here although it has to hibernate in the winter. Maybe they could even rent bikes to tourists but at least sell bikes, parts and provide another sub-culture downtown.

7. Something to finally happen with the JA building on fulton/division. And for what its worth I say tear it down. Some people say "its art deco, we need to preserve it!". To that I say "great, then we'll give you the one curved piece of steel above the doorway on the corner and one of the windows" since there really isn't much worth saving. We need BiGGER, BETTER and NEW right there.

8. A renovation of that red 4 story building next to Reynolds and Sons. I hear it has a ton of fire damage, that the price is high and the owner is rich so he doesn't need to sell because he is holding out for the high end buyer aka no one.

9. $400-$1000/mo apartments.

10. JOBS upon freaking JOBS. No one wants to put time and effort into this city if they don't plan on staying. I'd be starting a business if I wasn't moving for grad school and eventually a career.

11. BONUS* = some project designed by a well known architect. Not exactly Maya Lin's Rosa Parks Circle or SOM's City-Hall-Mies Van der Rohe rip-off, but more Gehry, Calatrava, at least something current etc. I know those guys are busy in major cities but something by someone that really grabs people would be nice.

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Ahh the 2009 wishlist - here we goes...

(In no particular order)

Bicycle lanes - shouldn't cost that much to paint them and I think it's time already that we got a little progressive with accommidating other modes of transportation besides cars, trucks, and suv's (CAN I GET AN AMEN?!) :lol:

Start planning or working on streetscape enhancements downtown again - preferrably along Michigan, Fulton, Monroe, Division (north of Fulton). I saw this on another thread - but we could use some medians that cut out for left turn lanes. I'm sure some of this is already in planning phases already.

Whole Foods (it's about time!)

Market/Fulton - Need I say more? Put something there already!

And do something with the river - it's boring looking.

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