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suydam

East Grand Rapids - Lakewood Hills

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The Lakewood Hills apartments in "downtown" East Grand Rapids have been trying to win approval for a tear-down-and-rebuild for several years.

It would appear they're on the brink of winning city approval.

Their new plan would raise the height of their buildings from their current 3-stories of 1960s glory, to 4-5 stories of "urban architecture with a traditional yet contemporary look." (I didn't make that up).

The big plus is that a sidewalk from Gaslight directly to the lake would be created, which would simplify pedestrian access to the lake. Given the popularity of walking in EGR, I consider that a plus I guess. Not sure about higher buildings near the lake, it's not like EGR has sprawl problems, it's denser than Kentwood, Wyoming and Walker (the other old/inner-ring suburb-cities).

Here's what the old buildings look like: http://tinyurl.com/lakewoodegr

Here's the Cadence article about the new plans.

http://www.mlive.com/cadenceadvance/index.ssf/2010/05/egr_sets_public_meeting_on_lak.html

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Elevations start on page 10 and site plan is on pages 13 and 14: May 17th Agenda

I'm not getting the "urban" part; the new buildings are located about where the existing ones are, just in more of a straight line instead of snaking. Traditional yet contemporary seems to mean in the style of the GVSU Pew campus. It's nice to see some of the trees saved. My first thought after looking at the Google Street View was that it was going to be a shame to loose all of those trees.

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Location, location, location - if priced right, I can't imagine this being anything but successful. The design is not offensive - and the connecting sidewalk from Gaslight to the lake is a big plus . Don't see a downside to this one.

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I like it overall. Faux-traditional styling usually doesn't look very good, but I don't find this particularly offensive. The current buildings aren't anything special, but they're not hideous either. This seems like a lateral move to me. I like the idea of putting at least some of the parking underground. I don't see how increased density is anything but a good thing.

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Agreed. I think they look pretty good and it is definitely a desirable area that would help the businesses on Wealthy St.

Joe

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I could be way off but didn't this whole rebuild thing really take off back when Jade Pig or whoever planned to build a somewhat tall apartment building as part of their redevelopment in the EGR downtown area? The new apartments would have lake views and this Lakewood Hills owner apparently didn't like losing his position as the apartments with views of Reeds Lake so he wanted to build higher to block the views? Like I said, I could be way off. I just seem to remember thinking the logic for the rebuild seemed a bit petulant.

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Wingbert,

I remember the same thing. However, it looks like Lakewood may actually beat the Derby to the finish line (I imagine Apartments are a much easier sell at this point).

Joe

I could be way off but didn't this whole rebuild thing really take off back when Jade Pig or whoever planned to build a somewhat tall apartment building as part of their redevelopment in the EGR downtown area? The new apartments would have lake views and this Lakewood Hills owner apparently didn't like losing his position as the apartments with views of Reeds Lake so he wanted to build higher to block the views? Like I said, I could be way off. I just seem to remember thinking the logic for the rebuild seemed a bit petulant.

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I could be way off but didn't this whole rebuild thing really take off back when Jade Pig or whoever planned to build a somewhat tall apartment building as part of their redevelopment in the EGR downtown area? The new apartments would have lake views and this Lakewood Hills owner apparently didn't like losing his position as the apartments with views of Reeds Lake so he wanted to build higher to block the views? Like I said, I could be way off. I just seem to remember thinking the logic for the rebuild seemed a bit petulant.

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I recall something like that... though it should be noted Derby was supposed to be condos (owned units) while Lakewood is and apparently will remain apartments (rented units).

I don't know that the Jade Pig condos will ever get off the ground. There's a townhouse project on Bagley that looked really promising and is now struggling as well. They were going to tearn down a series of 6 houses and replace them with 13? 16? something like that, condos. Condo projects have clearly stalled in EGR.

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I'm surprised that housing projects are struggling in the Gaslight village area of EGR. To me, that's about as good as it gets in terms of a walkable, traditional neighborhood with stores and services and even open space and parks nearby and short drives to other key areas of town. You could walk to the hospital if you had to! Is it the housing market in general? The fact that that type of lifestyle still hasn't "caught on " in the GR area? Are would-be buyers stuck in homes they can't sell? Seems to be a great place for baby boomers/empty nesters and young professionals to live (and families with kids shouldn't feel out of place, either.

In many other cities, neighborhoods like Gaslight Village would be commanding premium pricing for housing and the backlog of demand would be huge. I don't get it.

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I'm surprised that housing projects are struggling in the Gaslight village area of EGR. To me, that's about as good as it gets in terms of a walkable, traditional neighborhood with stores and services and even open space and parks nearby and short drives to other key areas of town. You could walk to the hospital if you had to! Is it the housing market in general? The fact that that type of lifestyle still hasn't "caught on " in the GR area? Are would-be buyers stuck in homes they can't sell? Seems to be a great place for baby boomers/empty nesters and young professionals to live (and families with kids shouldn't feel out of place, either.

In many other cities, neighborhoods like Gaslight Village would be commanding premium pricing for housing and the backlog of demand would be huge. I don't get it.

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I recall something like that... though it should be noted Derby was supposed to be condos (owned units) while Lakewood is and apparently will remain apartments (rented units).

I don't know that the Jade Pig condos will ever get off the ground. There's a townhouse project on Bagley that looked really promising and is now struggling as well. They were going to tearn down a series of 6 houses and replace them with 13? 16? something like that, condos. Condo projects have clearly stalled in EGR.

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As a PUD does the Derby have the ability to start construction whenever the economy gets better? Is there a time limit to when they have to start construction?

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Am I the only one who thinks these designs are absolutely hideous? I've been wanting these apartments to rebuild for a while now and I didn't even know that this was actually in the works until now. I'm sorely disappointed in these. I like the look of the current buildings much much better compared to these. I think the flat roof style of the current buildings fits with the area much better. I think something with a more modern look with lots of glass would be better. The views of the lake and park from these buildings are great so why not take advantage of it.

I always thought something like this would be great. Maybe not that tall, but more this style.

3885476.jpg

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Personally, I don't think the new design is hideous. On the other hand, I'd love to see something like the image you posted. :thumbsup:

Joe

Am I the only one who thinks these designs are absolutely hideous? I've been wanting these apartments to rebuild for a while now and I didn't even know that this was actually in the works until now. I'm sorely disappointed in these. I like the look of the current buildings much much better compared to these. I think the flat roof style of the current buildings fits with the area much better. I think something with a more modern look with lots of glass would be better. The views of the lake and park from these buildings are great so why not take advantage of it.

I always thought something like this would be great. Maybe not that tall, but more this style.

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The photo I posted is of a Condo development in Minneapolis that is directly across from a lake, pretty much exactly the same situation as Lakewood Hills. I think they did a much better job of taking advantage of the views with that style of a building.

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