joeDowntown

More Parking... Ugh!

51 posts in this topic


"Midtown, an entity owned by the children of parking developer Ken Ellis and his wife, Frances, plans to add about 85 parking spaces to an existing lot. Ken Ellis said the 185-space lot will be renovated next summer."

I truly despise the Ellis family and their obsession with demolishing tracts of downtown for their parking lot business.

And Peter Secchia? Thanks for buying these properties, and having the vision to see the potential of using them for the parking of used cars. What would downtown ever do without visionaries like you? Mixed-use structure, renovation? Please! GR desperately needs to keep clearing out all of these old, crusty structures so we can march boldly into a future where everyone can park as close to everything as they want!

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I parked in the Ellis lot behind the old Four Friends -_- this morning for about 3 hours, and it was $12 friggin dollars!!! This ain't Chicago.

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I was driving towards Fulton on Market yesterday and stopped at the light under the S-Curve and was blown away by the wide open vista that now presents itself. I will probably be a chorus of one but I won't be missing that building. Downtown could use a little selective "weeding" - my first two candidates would be the buildings at the SE and NE corners of Division and Fountain. Now before you get all "every building must be saved" on me, hear me out. The next time you're at that intersection, imagine how green space on either side of Fountain would open up the views of St. Marks, Fountain Street Church, The Fitzgerald and Civic Theatre. And here's an idea, how about "fountains" on both sides of "Fountain" Street - what a great gateway to GRCC, the Library and Heritage Hill.

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I was driving towards Fulton on Market yesterday and stopped at the light under the S-Curve and was blown away by the wide open vista that now presents itself. I will probably be a chorus of one but I won't be missing that building. Downtown could use a little selective "weeding" - my first two candidates would be the buildings at the SE and NE corners of Division and Fountain. Now before you get all "every building must be saved" on me, hear me out. The next time you're at that intersection, imagine how green space on either side of Fountain would open up the views of St. Marks, Fountain Street Church, The Fitzgerald and Civic Theatre. And here's an idea, how about "fountains" on both sides of "Fountain" Street - what a great gateway to GRCC, the Library and Heritage Hill.

I would rather have those buildings be used, and add life to the city. one is still being used and the other is owned by some nut who refuses to sell it to people with more vision than money he's demanding for it.

We had some weeding before. It went from 1960 and lasted for 40 years. We lost almost every significant building this town had and replaced them with parking lots, parking structures, and boxes on top of parking structures.

You have to remember that this isnt some European city where an old structure gets removed and replaced with some innovative structure or project.

In GR they get replaced with parking lots!

Parking lots that are not temporary, and will NOT be replaced with anything better, let alone a fountain, For a minimum of 10 years. So instead of a potential B.O.B 2, we get Ellis lot #33, all because the building that was there was just "to far gone".

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the problem is, from a business sense, parking lots are a great investment. much better than a actuall building. at least untill occupancy rates are very high. once demand for downtown office (or living) space increases to the point where you can make more money with a building than a parking lot you should see a rapid conversion to buildings. not that I'm arguing for a lot of parking lots, its just that they make so much money and cost so little to install and maintain. Getting light rail/streetcars/BRT should help because it will decrease the demand for parking and make it a non-performing (asset (or at least decreased performance).

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my first two candidates would be the buildings at the SE and NE corners of Division and Fountain.

NE corner of Division & Fountain is the main AT&T Central Office for the 348 LATA in Michigan. It's not going anywhere. It's actually a nice building (inside and out) for being a 'telephone' building. There is some neat craftsmanship on the outside of the building. Little "Bell" logos carved and painted.

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Edited by grrwymg

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NE corner of Division & Fountain is the main AT&T Central Office for the 348 LATA in Michigan. It's not going anywhere. It's actually a nice building (inside and out) for being a 'telephone' building. There is some neat craftsmanship on the outside of the building. Little "Bell" logos carved and painted.

Thank you for posting. That is a beautiful building. And, the Keeler Building is a great building. If someone can manage to get it out of the hands of the current owner, could be wonderful once again. I'm partial to it because I worked in it from 1967 - 1972. That was back in the day when we had an elevator operator, a news stand and Ande's restaurant!

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I was driving towards Fulton on Market yesterday and stopped at the light under the S-Curve and was blown away by the wide open vista that now presents itself. I will probably be a chorus of one but I won't be missing that building. Downtown could use a little selective "weeding" - my first two candidates would be the buildings at the SE and NE corners of Division and Fountain. Now before you get all "every building must be saved" on me, hear me out. The next time you're at that intersection, imagine how green space on either side of Fountain would open up the views of St. Marks, Fountain Street Church, The Fitzgerald and Civic Theatre. And here's an idea, how about "fountains" on both sides of "Fountain" Street - what a great gateway to GRCC, the Library and Heritage Hill.

The Division/Fountain street intersection is one of the few remaining old and real "canyons" of downtown GR. Why would you want to get rid of that for a green space? Indeed, that whole intersection looks more dense and urban than most DT intersections. All of the buildings have mass and bulk and density and many floors, and (hopefully) working/shopping people on all those floors. What else would you tear down for a fountain?

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Indeed, it is a beaut. I would love to see it get redeveloped someday, but I'm sure it would not be in AT&T's best interest to move out. I agree on the Keeler Building too, it needs to be saved.

Joe

NE corner of Division & Fountain is the main AT&T Central Office for the 348 LATA in Michigan. It's not going anywhere. It's actually a nice building (inside and out) for being a 'telephone' building. There is some neat craftsmanship on the outside of the building. Little "Bell" logos carved and painted.

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Save em both. I agree with others that it's one of the few historic "canyons" left in Grand Rapids, the way cities used to be built.

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Indeed, it is a beaut. I would love to see it get redeveloped someday, but I'm sure it would not be in AT&T's best interest to move out. I agree on the Keeler Building too, it needs to be saved.

Joe

The logistics for AT&T to move out would be next to impossible. If anything they'll need to expand the space they're in before they'd move out.

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There's also already a pocket park, plaza, and fountain behind the Bell Telephone building. It would be better to select an area lacking park space for one. If you really want to see more fountains on Fountain Street, there's some blank wall action going on along the Fountain Street side of the Keeler. How about installing some roman fountains like the one at GRCC along the wall?

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Does anyone else see this sale as a big blow to the possibility of light rail in downtown GR? I mean, why would a prominent businessman sell land that is projected to be right on the route of a system that is suppose to generate tons of spinoff development?

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Ummmmm, I think you have the story wrong. Peter Secchia PURCHASED the property, then demo'd the building that was there and turned it into parking. Seems like he's planning for 4-5 years from now when the street rail is moving forward.

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Ummmmm, I think you have the story wrong. Peter Secchia PURCHASED the property, then demo'd the building that was there and turned it into parking. Seems like he's planning for 4-5 years from now when the street rail is moving forward.

But then he sold it to the Ellis parking family last week (according to the article linked in the first post). Why would he want to sell something that would be worth WAY more when a street car system is in place? Unless there isn't going to be a streetcar system in the near future... (I hope I'm wrong here)

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Ummmmm, I think you have the story wrong. Peter Secchia PURCHASED the property, then demo'd the building that was there and turned it into parking. Seems like he's planning for 4-5 years from now when the street rail is moving forward.

Or he will hold it until he he can make an astonomical profit on the land, like he did with the MSU school. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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But then he sold it to the Ellis parking family last week (according to the article linked in the first post). Why would he want to sell something that would be worth WAY more when a street car system is in place? Unless there isn't going to be a streetcar system in the near future... (I hope I'm wrong here)

Personally I think it was a blocking move by Secchia. Plus, he's not a parking operator, so he figures he'll turn it over to the Ellis family and let them make money on it for at least a few years (2012 is the earliest the streetcar will be running).

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Several people have asked me what's going on with the lot across from Bistro Bella Vita. I'm not sure, but it appears that Midtown Investment Trust now owns all this land (they are part of the Ellis clan). And based on this entry by Chris last year, it appears to just be parking.

http://www.mlive.com/grpress/business/inde...trust_buys.html

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Imagine if Grand Action approached Midtown with a feasibility study on using the site for the year-round market... I wonder if it's possible to sell them on that idea?

The Ellises would make more money, since more people would be parking in all their lots surrounding it.

Edited by RegalTDP

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Imagine if Grand Action approached Midtown with a feasibility study on using the site for the year-round market... I wonder if it's possible to sell them on that idea?

The Ellises would make more money, since more people would be parking in all their lots surrounding it.

Chris' article did mention just 85 parking spaces. I'd say that entire parcel is a lot more than 85 parking spaces...

That would be an excellent spot for a market. Market on Market (MOM) or MAOMA. Someone I know with a nice view of that lot says there's an awful lot of infrastructure going in for a surface lot.

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Chris' article did mention just 85 parking spaces. I'd say that entire parcel is a lot more than 85 parking spaces...

That would be an excellent spot for a market. Market on Market (MOM) or MAOMA. Someone I know with a nice view of that lot says there's an awful lot of infrastructure going in for a surface lot.

You could probably get a nice view of that lot from the skywalk as well. I wonder what they are building there. Any way to sniff that out through building permits, planning stuff, etc?

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Well, in going by today I saw concrete on the site. Curb. So I'm still leaning on the assumption it will all be parking.

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Well, in going by today I saw concrete on the site. Curb. So I'm still leaning on the assumption it will all be parking.

I saw curbs too tonight. Looks like it's just parking.

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