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SupercityGR

surface lots

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There is a Ellis parking lot on the corner of Pearl and Ottawa. That is a prime location for a new building. Its right in the heart. And the calder plaza doesnt look good from street view. It covers a huge foot print. If the surface lot was filled in and Calder plaza replaced that area would look alot more dense.

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There is a Ellis parking lot on the corner of Pearl and Ottawa. That is a prime location for a new building. Its right in the heart. And the calder plaza doesnt look good from street view. It covers a huge foot print. If the surface lot was filled in and Calder plaza replaced that area would look alot more dense.

There was an attempt years ago that fell through. Here are all the sad details:

http://blog.mlive.com/knapescorner/2008/12/rendering_graveyard_lyon_ottaw.html

medium_LyonOttawa-240.jpg

Seeing this again is almost as sad as seeing the old city hall being torn down. What a lost opportunity.

Edited by GR_Urbanist

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I still hold out a faint hope this will still be built; the design fits the area well. With a large enough tenet or group of tenets, who knows. Why not?

My hope is about as high as seeing a pig fly though.

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it would be nice if something was built but not that. I think that the design looks forced or clumsy or both.

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That would of made a great AT&T tower. I would also love to see a hard rock hotel and cafe.

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That would of made a great AT&T tower. I would also love to see a hard rock hotel and cafe.

only if that means that they put the windows back in their building on fountain and division. and I think the last thing we need is crappy chain restaurant and associated cheesy hotel.

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it would be nice if something was built but not that. I think that the design looks forced or clumsy or both.

I like the bottom floors, I like that they anchor a tower... But that particular tower? Meh. Oh well, it's still more appealing than asphalt.

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only if that means that they put the windows back in their building on fountain and division. and I think the last thing we need is crappy chain restaurant and associated cheesy hotel.

I'm almost positive they removed them for security purposes. (Although their front door, and 2nd set of doors are glass...go figure...)

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I'm almost positive they removed them for security purposes. (Although their front door, and 2nd set of doors are glass...go figure...)

Actually, I always had the understanding that all of the louvers that replaced windows on that (and similar) buildings are intake vents. All of that electronic equipment needs a lot of ventilation to keep it from overheating.

Looking back at Lyon and Ottawa, it was a really awkward design. It's a grab bag of several things at once: Baeux-Arts classical base, streamline Art Deco derived shaft mixed with 1980s reflective glass, then a seemingly floating, yet heavy crown that at once references the Gothic Revival New York Life Building and Post Modern 60 Wall Street. Not to mention this design is pure 1980s/90s, and would look immediately out of date if built today.

Something needs to be built on this site someday, but hopefully someone takes the time to update the design first.

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A building that size could even have been a mix use. Ground floor retail. Offices in the middle and condos/apts in the top floors. So that was a devos/cummings project? Are they asking peoples opinions on there new fulton ionia office building?

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I just couldn't let the discourse below involving another key downtown lot go wasted in its original thread . . . .

Some thoughts on this from "GRsuperCity" and myself over at MLive's GR Blog:

GRsuperCityDecember 07, 2011 at 2:30PM

Grand Rapids is the central hub or west Michigan. Building downtown will not only bring in more jobs to downtown but also create jobs. This would be a positive move to GR and to downtown.

GRSuperCity:

Your insight is in-line with proper urban planning logic. The conservatism of the proposal itself flies in the face of this same logic however. Said another way, with such a small footprint that has such a relatively pricey rate attached to it, the developers - and downtown in general - would maximize their investment to a far greater degree by making their plan capable of vertically containing more rent-paying uses that strengthen the entertainment/housing/retail/office synergy of the Arena District and that attaches itself to the strongest theme of that area - VANANDEL ARENA (i.e. - go in that location with 15 or more stories).

A dynamic example for this would be the analogy of Boston's Back Bay district and its Prudential Center/Copley Place area. With GR's Arena District standing in as our Back Bay, Van Andel Arena would supply the requisite icon structure as Prudential Center provides for Back Bay. In such an analog, the Fulton/Ionia lot of this article along with the Fulton/Ionia/Louis lot and former Michigan National Bank ramp site would provide complimentary footprints to be the sites of a unified three-tower mixed-use high-rise development that could be built over time in multiple phases.

The CWD Real Estate lot (Phase One) would be the analog of Copley Place (One Arena Tower?) with an atrium mall of 20-30 shops NOT FOUND ANYWHERE BETWEEN CHICAGO AND DETROIT on the bottom five floors with appropriate mix of housing/hotel/office space on the upper floors up to 15-40 stories. It would skywalk across Ionia into a Phase Two on the Fulton/Ionia/Louis lot (Two Arena Tower?) that would be an analog to the Shops at Prudential Center and likewise contain another atrium mall of 20-30 shops NOT FOUND ANYWHERE BETWEEN CHICAGO AND DETROIT on the bottom five floors with another appropriate mix of housing/hotel/office space on its upper floors up to 15-30 stories. This second phase, in turn, would skywalk across Louis Street into a Phase Three (Three Arena Tower?) on the former Michigan National Bank ramp site that would be an all-department store analog (Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Dillard’s or Von Maur - all stores that have been looking at GR for since 1998) to the Neiman Marcus multi-story base of Copley Place. A 5-story branch of any of those lurking stores on the bottom five floors of a third tower with another appropriate mix of housing/hotel/office space on its upper floors up to 15-20 stories would round out a MUCH more impactful and super-regional anchor for the Arena District and the crossroads between South Downtown and Monroe Center/Rosa Parks Circle.

Such a three-tower concept in such a tight area – once fully realized – could become a phenomenal southern downtown hub with an incredible density of workers, residents and visitors. I suspect that it would become a spark for the third and fourth waves of Arena District development along West Fulton, Ionia and Commerce Avenues as well as the Area Four & Five Lots behind VanAndel Arena and even up the street at the SE corner of Metropolitan Center at Division and Fulton.

-Metrogrkid December 07, 2011 at 5:59PM

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Not to sound like an ignorant new member of this forum, but why haven't we seen a development like Lyon and Ottawa happen in GR? Even if it was mixed use, it seems like a 25+ floor office tower would do quite well. The Lyon and Ottawa surface lot seems desperate for a tower, and it would be refreshing to add a little depth to the skyline. I get that the river is great real estate, but it makes for a pretty flat skyline.

...And as for the lots near the arena, build a soccer stadium and attract the MLS. (I'm obviously kidding, ... not that I don't have opinions on MLS success in Grand Rapids but that's a different topic altogether.)

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A 25+ storey office tower would usually require a major, large office tenant. Our major, large offices continue to look to the suburbs and exurbs for office space. That's why we haven't had a major office tower development.

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Hey metrogrkid im GRsuperCity from mlive and and skyscrapper page. I tried using that name here but the activation never went through to my email. As far as getting another major tenant, im sure some incentives would lure some people from the burbs.

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"The CWD Real Estate lot (Phase One) would be the analog of Copley Place (One Arena Tower?) with an atrium mall of 20-30 shops NOT FOUND ANYWHERE BETWEEN CHICAGO AND DETROIT on the bottom five floors with appropriate mix of housing/hotel/office space on the upper floors up to 15-40 stories."

Not to sound like a jerk, but is it possible to name 20-30 shops (or a functional equivalent) not found anywhere between Chicago and Detroit?

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"The CWD Real Estate lot (Phase One) would be the analog of Copley Place (One Arena Tower?) with an atrium mall of 20-30 shops NOT FOUND ANYWHERE BETWEEN CHICAGO AND DETROIT on the bottom five floors with appropriate mix of housing/hotel/office space on the upper floors up to 15-40 stories."

Not to sound like a jerk, but is it possible to name 20-30 shops (or a functional equivalent) not found anywhere between Chicago and Detroit?

How about we help with a list! (I was in Chicago last weekend; looks like DT shopping on the Saturday before a big holiday is quite the activity.)

Crate & Barrel

Ghirardelli

Hershey

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I'd rather see places like those ^ out on the street rather than 4 floors up in some building.

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What, are you kidding?

-Nordstrom (a real one)

-Jamba Juice

-Pinkberry

-Bloomingdale's

-Lord and Taylor

-Saks

-ESPNZone and/or Dave & Buster's

-Ikea (granted, they always build out in the 'burbs)

-Whole Foods et al.

Plus, boutique stores of brands not currently available in GR:

-Louis Vuitton

-Burberry

-Bally

-Fendi

-Zara

-D&G

-FCUK

-Prada

-Hermes

-Cartier

-Tiffany

-H&M

-Urban Outfitters

...And plus Veloise's 3 makes 25, right off the top of our heads. I could probably walk about 300 yards from my current location and spot a lot more. Some of those listed above might be in Lansing; I don't know, but I don't care either, I'd rather they be in GR. And saying they are "functional equivalents" of each other isn't fair - brand names actually do matter to people who care about that stuff.**

But that's neither here nor there.

As I previously retorted the last time this was brought up, the reason we don't have these stores isn't because we don't have our own "analog of Copley Place," it's because the market for them isn't in GR yet. You don't build giant spaces first and hope retail stores magically show up. There has to be demand first. Downtown GR is not Back Bay Boston, period. Back Bay is densely populated, and very affluent - exactly what downtown GR is not (but aspires to be). Downtown still needs a lot more residents in general (let alone affluent ones) plus more hotel guests and conventioneers before any large upscale retail space becomes feasible. For now, be content with what we have at Monroe Center.*** It fits the town as it is, and hopefully will grow at pace with downtown's development.

**Except for Jamba for Pinkberry - are there any good smoothie and fro-yo spots downtown? I'd easily pass up the chains for something local.

***Except a supermarket in the vicinity would be nice.

Edited by RegalTDP

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http://www.parsleymg.com/

They have great smoothies. Havnt you guys ever heard if you build it they will come. I still think that lot would make a great mix use. Retail, office and condos. Some height would do great there. As far as the urban mall, that would do a great job at attracting people downtown.

Edited by SupercityGR

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