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GRDadof3

More buildings to be torn down in the LaGrave/Sheldon/Cherry St area

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There's an article in yesterday's paper by Jim Harger (can't find it online), that apparently 3 agencies in Heartside are going to combine and create a new TCP Integrated Health Center at a cost of $18 Million, in the parcel bordered by Cherry, Lagrave and Sheldon. Normally good news. The bad news is yet again, existing buildings (which are in pretty good condition) are going to be demolished to make way for the project. Because this area sits in a void between the HH area and Heartside, none of the structures are protected. The three agencies are Cherry Street Health Services, Touchstone Innovare, and Proaction Behavioral Health Alliance.

524929275_168b5a8257.jpg

524929239_332e0a01f5_b.jpg

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&...1&encType=1

The one good design aspect (no renderings are shown) is that it will have two floors of parking underneath the structure, which I would assume will minimize surface lot needs.

What do you guys think of this trend?

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As much as I love that house, I suppose we can't keep every good-looking historic house. But the Perry building.. we don't have many structures like that and I will be VERY sad to see it go.

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I live in the house, in the rear attic apartment. I moved in this past July, arriving from Chicago. I love the apartment and it has a great view of all of downtown. I couldn't believe my eyes when I read the article in the Press yesterday. Damn! I already started looking for another downtown/HH place on Craigslist last night to start getting ideas. Both of these buildings house mostly youngish students/professionals. Touchstone already owns the 2 buildings so I think it'll be a sure thing. :(

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there are oceans of asphalt in the area why cant they fill in those? A**HOLES

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#@!!$%#%# %@$% $^%^^#%&&^*&***#$@@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This area is just flipping hopeless!!! Buildings with real character and soul are likely going to be replaces with an shoddy, cheap-looking, E. Beltline style shack. And it will get approved, because we are so blanking desperate for economic activity that everything is on the table.

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As much as I love that house, I suppose we can't keep every good-looking historic house. But the Perry building.. we don't have many structures like that and I will be VERY sad to see it go.

I love the Perry Apts. The building reminds me of Washington D.C. or Chicago.

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I live in the house, in the rear attic apartment. I moved in this past July, arriving from Chicago. I love the apartment and it has a great view of all of downtown. I couldn't believe my eyes when I read the article in the Press yesterday. Damn! I already started looking for another downtown/HH place on Craigslist last night to start getting ideas. Both of these buildings house mostly youngish students/professionals. Touchstone already owns the 2 buildings so I think it'll be a sure thing. :(

I have a great unit for rent in a historic home in Cherry Hill just a few blocks from there. Drive by and DM me if you want to have a look. 209 Charles Ave. SE

I really hate to see these buildings come down...soon we'll have no historic character left. I thought we'd stopped being so stupid about squandering our history.

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Too bad they can't wrap around these two existing ones. I think that concept could help create an interesting space.

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As someone stated, with all the asphalt around this seems extremely foolish! These buildings are rare examples of what we used to have in this area and I wish they would work around them, not bulldoze them.

Joe

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Too bad they can't wrap around these two existing ones. I think that concept could help create an interesting space.

Yes, as per the civic auditorium. The Perry is particularly unique.

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I don't see why Saint Mary's can't intergrate the project with the homes that are there now im sure it can be done. We keep hearing about how we want walkable neighborhoods and in this case what could be a walkable are being demolished all for the sake of parking. Once structures are gone like this you can't replace them havent we learned anything from the urban renewl of downtown!

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That is totally disgusting. I SURE hope they find a better location.

~John

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If you folks have strong feeling about this what are you prepared to do about it?

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You know, for this response, I am not going to sugarcoat my humble opinion:

BULLSH*T

Such a "sacred" hospital sure has it out for the surrounding neighborhood. Who would have guessed that it wouldn't be the government of the 60s that would be the downfall of downtown neighborhoods, but private institutions years later. And I know that St. Demolish isn't the only hospital with a hostile record toward neighborhoods because Spectrum had its eye on HH at one time. Too bad that St. Demolish is getting away with it now. However, it is damn suprising that this city is not putting up a fight after all the rehabilitation that has occured in the last 15 years. It is SHAMEFUL and if there are ANY St. Mary's or city officials who keep up with Urban Planet, be aware you are not making any friends here. Also, if you want to build a suburb, take your institution and hypocricy and leave downtown GR.

If I was still in GR, I'd be saving up to post my future bail because NO wrecking ball would touch those buildings. I'm in no way scared to have a police record for saving a building.

I do plan on writting and emailing the Mayor about this and if someone feels a better, more productive means is available, please inform me.

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Mayor Heartwell's email:

[email protected]

Historic Preservation Specialist: Rhonda Baker

[email protected]

Do your part and contact these people and others in city government. If enough people complain (take SWAN's strategy for example) and show up to the meetings to air their greviences, it will be harder for them to get approval. Get people talking about that community and how much they love it. Blogging about your disgust on this forum is not going to stop the bulldozers.

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The email that I use for Heartwell is:

[email protected]

~John

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I don't know if any of the agencies are owned by St Mary's, FWIW. As far as doing anything, the structures aren't in a historical district, so contacting the HPC is probably a dead end.

You can always petition the City, but I don't even know if the city is required to "approve" anything, other than the Planning Commission reviewing the project so that it meets the city's master plan (setbacks, greenspace, facades, etc).

If people take action and at least bring it to the City's attention, that'd be great. These agencies might be under the impression that no one cares about those structures.

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Does anyone know how many units the Perry (and the adjacent house) have, and how much the typical rent is?

Joe

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Its really sad to see these will get bulldozed and I will defeintly be writing down to city Hall regarding this matter. Its understanable St. Mary's has to expand but to knock down historic homes everytime they expand I think is uncalled for. How many houses does that leave in that Neighborhood now? I have a feeling the whole area will be turned into Saint Mary's Campus void of any life and lots and lots of parking.

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Its really sad to see these will get bulldozed and I will defeintly be writing down to city Hall regarding this matter. Its understanable St. Mary's has to expand but to knock down historic homes everytime they expand I think is uncalled for. How many houses does that leave in that Neighborhood now? I have a feeling the whole area will be turned into Saint Mary's Campus void of any life and lots and lots of parking.

One more time, it's not St Mary's who is doing the project.

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Its really sad to see these will get bulldozed and I will defeintly be writing down to city Hall regarding this matter. Its understanable St. Mary's has to expand but to knock down historic homes everytime they expand I think is uncalled for. How many houses does that leave in that Neighborhood now? I have a feeling the whole area will be turned into Saint Mary's Campus void of any life and lots and lots of parking.

look at the map. the area can hardly be called a neighborhood, and is pretty much a sea of parking already.

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Does anyone know how many units the Perry (and the adjacent house) have, and how much the typical rent is?

Joe

The Perry has 16 units. 8 are quite large 1 bedrooms, with interestingly laid-out floorplans. The House, called Cherry Tree Court Apartments, has 7 units. Rents, I think, vary from $475 to $575 with all utilities included (maybe studios are a little less depending on size, I don't know). There are a number of studios, of course. We all pay rent to Touchstone Innovare. The buildings are managed ( recently, and more or less) by Grubb/Ellis-Paramount. My rear 3rd floor attic apartment in the house has great unobstructed views ( southwest to northeast---everything from the water treatment "smokestack" along Market and beyond all the way to GVSU Medical on Michigan St.) and rents for $575, all included. Small and cozy and a great way to save more $ for a downtown condo. And yes, the buildings are already in a sea of parking lots. A number of Aveda, Cooley students. I'm an RN. The 2 buildings reminded me of a very little slice of Chicago, which is why I chose it. It's got the density of Chicago----in a very, very tiny spot. BTW, I'm hoping to see some form of communication on my door or in my mailbox this coming week about "things".

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I don't know if any of the agencies are owned by St Mary's, FWIW. As far as doing anything, the structures aren't in a historical district, so contacting the HPC is probably a dead end.

You can always petition the City, but I don't even know if the city is required to "approve" anything, other than the Planning Commission reviewing the project so that it meets the city's master plan (setbacks, greenspace, facades, etc).

If people take action and at least bring it to the City's attention, that'd be great. These agencies might be under the impression that no one cares about those structures.

Here's the Mlive article: http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/ind...h_center_w.html

The three non-profits that are attempting to consolidate provide mental health and other health services to primarily low-income people. I imagine that it was cheaper for them to buy up these properties and tear them down than to buy one of St. Mary's "precious" surface lots. It's pretty pathetic.

Anyhow, all three non-profits of course have boards that run them, as well as a fair amount of staff. I've tried to find contact info for some below. I think it goes without saying that if you do email someone, be very civil. Being hostile will not get your opinion taken seriously. You must have the Java platform installed for the State's .tif file viewer to work on the first Touchstone link.

Touchstone Innovare:

http://www.dleg.state.mi.us/bcs_corp/image...#48;0000504.tif

http://www.ti-gr.com/About_Ti/contacts.htm

Cherry Street Health Services:

Fact sheet listing staff and board: http://www.mpca.net/files/2009%20Directory...ry%20Street.pdf, unfortunately, there are no contacts for the board.

website: http://www.cherryhealth.org

Proaction Behavioral Health Alliance:

http://www.proactionalliance.org/leadership.php

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Wasn't there a master plan for this neighborhood? Was that just St. Mary's plan or the church's or both? It seems like preservation of what little is left would be part of that along with infill on those awful surface lots. I wouldn't be too excited about 2 floors of parking either. I would take that to mean either one underground floor and one at surface level, or one at surface level and one on the second floor. Either way the streetscape is destroyed.

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Everyone who has a strong opinion about the demolition of these two structures needs to write or email a letter to the planning commissioners, the city commissioners and the planning director. Flood them with letters. Once this project gets put on the meeting agenda, go the the meeting and voice your concerns. It should be on at least one meeting agenda at some point in time.

Ground your concerns in pragmatic arguments, not on opinion. A number of arguments in regards to saving these buildings can be made:

Discuss sustainability and the simple fact that the most "green" brick is the one already in place. Tearing down these buildings makes no sense in regards to the city's alleged mantra of being the "greenest" place. This can be researched at a number of websites as there is more and more information linking preservation with sustainability.

Discuss the city's expressed desire to attract and retain millenials - who want the kind of urbanism and sense of place that these buildings represent, not to mention the price point of the apartments and their location.

Discuss how preservation is a HUGE job creator and economic development tool. This information is available at the Michigan Historic Preservation Network website.

Ask the question about how these existing buildings reinforce the city's award winning master plan and how removing them potentially does not. This looks to be part of the "downtown" on the future land use map.

By becoming and remaining vigilant with this kind of stuff you will have a voice. Remember the people who are making these decisions need to be kept in line and it is going to take a grassroots mandate to force them to look at other alternatives...they will not do it on their own.

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