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DetroitMan

Developer trying to convert 3 Grand Rapids schools into apartments

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We had a thread on this topic here.

I really don't understand the neighbors' skepticism about this. That anyone is willing to take on these buildings, to me, is a blessing.

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We had a thread on this topic here.

I really don't understand the neighbors' skepticism about this. That anyone is willing to take on these buildings, to me, is a blessing.

I think the concerns at that a) GR already has a low percentage of land available as green/park space, and b) much of that open space is around schools, and that it might be lost or deemed "private."

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Is it possible to separate the two by dividing the parcel? Buffer the building by a so many feet and draw a line between ownership. Or are the developers more after land than building?

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Is it possible to separate the two by dividing the parcel? Buffer the building by a so many feet and draw a line between ownership. Or are the developers more after land than building?

Someone would still have to maintain the land. Honestly the best person for that might be the developer, who wouldn't let the greenspace go to seed for fear of rents dropping or tenants leaving. The City can approve to proposal contingent on the greenspace being maintained and open to the public.

I'm surprised SWAN didn't show up in force to protest the "density" of the Lexington proposal.

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Plans are going forward, with construction to start over the summer. There will also be a fourth school (Stocking) added to the mix:

http://www.mlive.com...apids_scho.html

Big win for all of those neighborhoods - especially since the green space will become city parks, which IMO was the right decision. I think the addition of Stocking is a huge deal, since it's located at a landmark intersection... Not a spot we want to see blighted.

Apparently SWAN came out in favor of the proposal, but not without some neighbors grumbling...

But Barb Hickedy, who lives near the 45 Lexington Ave. NW site, called the parkland “the carrot to tease the donkey” and win support for the apartments. She fears the apartments will further clog an already-cramped parking situation near her home.

“It’s an invasion into the neighborhood,” she said. “We have a right to peace.”

I've never lived in the West Side, and it's been over a year since I was last in town to see it, but... Between the vacant lots and foreclosures, I can't imagine that neighborhood is even close to a critical mass of density. Oh yeah, and don't forget that building used to be a SCHOOL.

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Glad to see this moving forward! Stocking Elementary is an especially beautiful school building. I hope one of Ojibway Development's first moves is the full restoration of windows; most of the windows on these schools are at least partially covered.

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