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50 Monroe to get de-skinned?


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1 minute ago, GVSUChris said:

I just keep telling myself: "hey, the parking lot is still there for something *great* down the road..." 

Yep, and the fact that they really did nothing with the facade on that parking lot side leaves me with hope that something may happen down the road. 

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I'm very curious about this process. They seem to just be removing each corner of the three original buildings. 

I agree. That would be a great spot for a 12 story tower.

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15 hours ago, Floyd_Z said:

It's a great spot for a 12 story tower....

:tw_smirk: one of a few remaining open spots for that a new tallest would work perfectly....here’s to hoping it’s a 40+ story tower there!

Edited by GR8scott
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1 hour ago, GR8scott said:

:tw_smirk: one of a few remaining open spots for that a new tallest would work perfectly....here’s to hoping it’s a 40+ story tower there!

By the time that happens our jokes will be that only 40 story buildings happen in GR and we'll all be mildly annoyed. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Looks like the hotel has their grand opening today:

New 130-room AC Hotel by Marriott opens in Grand Rapids

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GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Visitors now have another hotel to stay at in downtown Grand Rapids.

A grand opening is being held this morning for a 130-room AC Hotel by Marriott at 50 Monroe Ave. NW. Built inside a restored 127-year-old building that formerly housed a TGI Fridays and offices, the seven-story hotel has a sleek lobby, with dark-tiled floors, hardwood walls and an Art Deco inspired bar.

 

I had a few questions I hope wen're already answered (I'd skimmed the early part of the thread).  First, is 50 Monroe the 127 years old one?  I've seen a whole lot of different numbers tossed around for the age of the three(ish) structures.  Also, anyone know the particular name of this building when it was completed and the history of its operation until it was skinned over and connected with 37 Ottawa?

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Looks nice! "Already nearly at capacity"  I can't believe the mid-week hotel prices

It'd be interesting to see what zip codes are being used by visitors... business?  Pleasure?  In-state?  Conventions?  Concerts?  Family? Anyone have any info on this???

image.thumb.png.4e7116803b35ef97c5a43f839732f7f6.png

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3 hours ago, HavingAhoot said:

Looks nice! "Already nearly at capacity"  I can't believe the mid-week hotel prices

It'd be interesting to see what zip codes are being used by visitors... business?  Pleasure?  In-state?  Conventions?  Concerts?  Family? Anyone have any info on this???

Hotel traffic is almost exclusively driven by business and convention/conference's.  Grand Rapids is not nearly enough of a destination for leisure traffic to create the level of demand we see downtown.   Though  busy concert venues , and other entertainment events help.    Downtown hotel occupancy and prices have been at these levels for at least the last 5-6 years.  No other industry has to immediately react to market conditions the way hotels do.  If downtown hotels were overpriced, they would have to adjust to the dozens of suburban hotels 5-10 miles in every direction that are $60-$100 cheaper.  The fact that they don't have to is telling(or the fact that lower tier suburban hotels can charge what they do).  Downtown room shortages have been common for a while.  In my previous role our suppliers would travel into Grand Rapids for meetings . It was a common theme for them to have to settle for a hotel in the suburbs because downtown was full.  They were always asking why GR was so busy. 

Look at the record breaking economic growth in the area since 2010.  Travel centric corporations, and the type of industries that are headquartered here create the bulk of this demand.  Manufacturing is very travel heavy.  Meijer is twice the size it was 10 years ago.  Spectrum is three times the size it was, and 90% of its business happens downtown.  Spartan purchased a Fortune 500 company in 2014 and moved it's operations here. There are several other firms in the area that do business downtown as well.   Combine this with the aggressive convention arm and we have a fully functioning hotel market.   

I feel like there is a disconnect between our perception's as urban planeteers, and the reality of our hospitality market .  It seems in our heads we think we are still a lower tier Midwestern market where a hotel is a high risk, and built in hopes of bringing people downtown.   It's pretty clear that over the last 10 years GR has moved up a tier.  Grand Rapids isn't Chicago(last minute mid-week rooms start over $300) ,  but it's  not Fort Wayne, or Toledo, or Akron either.

 

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7 hours ago, Lmichigan said:

Looks like the hotel has their grand opening today:

New 130-room AC Hotel by Marriott opens in Grand Rapids

I had a few questions I hope wen're already answered (I'd skimmed the early part of the thread).  First, is 50 Monroe the 127 years old one?  I've seen a whole lot of different numbers tossed around for the age of the three(ish) structures.  Also, anyone know the particular name of this building when it was completed and the history of its operation until it was skinned over and connected with 37 Ottawa?

Haven't been able to find clear dates myself, only that 37 Ottawa was the first one built in 1887, which would put it at 132 years old.  Have never seen a date for 50 Monroe's construction, but maybe it was 127 years ago (1892)?  I don't know.

37 Ottawa, I think, started as Grand Rapids Refrigerator Co. and it expanded to all three buildings.  Sometime before 1911 it became the Leonard Exhibition Building (probably still owned by Charles Leonard, who founded GR Refrigerator) and was used for furniture exhibitions.  GR Refrigerator (which would later merge with Kelvinator) moved down to Clyde Park and built a bigger factory.  Sometime after that 50 Monroe's name was changed to "Helmer Building" and it turned into an office building.  That's the best I can come up with.

Edited by RegalTDP
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4 hours ago, RegalTDP said:

Haven't been able to find clear dates myself, only that 37 Ottawa was the first one built in 1887, which would put it at 132 years old.  Have never seen a date for 50 Monroe's construction, but maybe it was 127 years ago (1892)?  I don't know.

37 Ottawa, I think, started as Grand Rapids Refrigerator Co. and it expanded to all three buildings.  Sometime before 1911 it became the Leonard Exhibition Building (probably still owned by Charles Leonard, who founded GR Refrigerator) and was used for furniture exhibitions.  GR Refrigerator (which would later merge with Kelvinator) moved down to Clyde Park and built a bigger factory.  Sometime after that 50 Monroe's name was changed to "Helmer Building" and it turned into an office building.  That's the best I can come up with.

Thanks.  Though from the old pictures, the Helmer Building was one of the two (the slightly taller one)  at 37 Ottawa.  Was just kind of curious who or what 50 Monroe was originally built for before it was taken over by the Grand Rapids Refrigerator Co.

In any event, I love what they did with the complex.  I love to see these "de-skinnings."  They recently completed one in Bay City of the Crapo Building, and you look at it and by our standards you wonder why the heck they ever covered it. lol

2-2.jpg?format=1000w

Legacy+Exterior+finished.jpg?format=1500

https://www.jeniferacosta.com/legacy

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2 hours ago, Lmichigan said:

Thanks.  Though from the old pictures, the Helmer Building was one of the two (the slightly taller one)  at 37 Ottawa.  Was just kind of curious who or what 50 Monroe was originally built for before it was taken over by the Grand Rapids Refrigerator Co.

In any event, I love what they did with the complex.  I love to see these "de-skinnings."  They recently completed one in Bay City of the Crapo Building, and you look at it and by our standards you wonder why the heck they ever covered it. lol

2-2.jpg?format=1000w

Legacy+Exterior+finished.jpg?format=1500

https://www.jeniferacosta.com/legacy

After WWII and with mass suburnization of the U.S., everything was heading into "modern design" and "jet/space age," even household appliances and cars (with the big wings). Neo-classical architecture and anything with a European flair was flatly rejected as the "old America" and we were now heading into the "new America." Pure hubris and it was hard to compete against modern suburban shopping malls back then. To be on a city council back in the 60's and be up against that mass exodus not only geographically but architecturally must have been pretty heart-breaking. It's why Urban Renewal came about (ie the federal government subsidized erasure of block and blocks of old neo-classical architecture). 

I was actually driving through Lowell Michigan today and I was shocked to realize how many blocks of the old school architecture had escaped the wrecking ball. Of all of the towns of its size in Michigan, I'm hard-pressed to think of another fully intact downtown main street of that size and mass (some of the buildings are 3 or 4 stories tall). I think of the other old county seats (or largest cities in the county) like Marshall, Charlotte, Owosso,  Grand Ledge, Bellaire, Newaygo, Howell, Cadillac, Hastings or numerous other large small towns and I don't think their downtowns are quite as impressive. 

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9 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

After WWII and with mass suburnization of the U.S., everything was heading into "modern design" and "jet/space age," even household appliances and cars (with the big wings). Neo-classical architecture and anything with a European flair was flatly rejected as the "old America" and we were now heading into the "new America." Pure hubris and it was hard to compete against modern suburban shopping malls back then. To be on a city council back in the 60's and be up against that mass exodus not only geographically but architecturally must have been pretty heart-breaking. It's why Urban Renewal came about (ie the federal government subsidized erasure of block and blocks of old neo-classical architecture). 

I was actually driving through Lowell Michigan today and I was shocked to realize how many blocks of the old school architecture had escaped the wrecking ball. Of all of the towns of its size in Michigan, I'm hard-pressed to think of another fully intact downtown main street of that size and mass (some of the buildings are 3 or 4 stories tall). I think of the other old county seats (or largest cities in the county) like Marshall, Charlotte, Owosso,  Grand Ledge, Bellaire, Newaygo, Howell, Cadillac, Hastings or numerous other large small towns and I don't think their downtowns are quite as impressive. 

I've come across quite a few others with fairly intact Downtowns. Mainstee and Mason come to mind.

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22 minutes ago, tSlater said:

I've come across quite a few others with fairly intact Downtowns. Mainstee and Mason come to mind.

I've been vacationing up just north of Manistee for my entire life. I still am shocked when I drive down River Street and see how many gorgeous old buildings are intact. 

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36 minutes ago, tSlater said:

I've come across quite a few others with fairly intact Downtowns. Mainstee and Mason come to mind.

Good call!  And Marquette and Traverse City are others. 

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On 6/3/2019 at 9:18 PM, GRDadof3 said:

After WWII and with mass suburnization of the U.S., everything was heading into "modern design" and "jet/space age," even household appliances and cars (with the big wings). Neo-classical architecture and anything with a European flair was flatly rejected as the "old America" and we were now heading into the "new America." Pure hubris and it was hard to compete against modern suburban shopping malls back then. To be on a city council back in the 60's and be up against that mass exodus not only geographically but architecturally must have been pretty heart-breaking. It's why Urban Renewal came about (ie the federal government subsidized erasure of block and blocks of old neo-classical architecture). 

I was actually driving through Lowell Michigan today and I was shocked to realize how many blocks of the old school architecture had escaped the wrecking ball. Of all of the towns of its size in Michigan, I'm hard-pressed to think of another fully intact downtown main street of that size and mass (some of the buildings are 3 or 4 stories tall). I think of the other old county seats (or largest cities in the county) like Marshall, Charlotte, Owosso,  Grand Ledge, Bellaire, Newaygo, Howell, Cadillac, Hastings or numerous other large small towns and I don't think their downtowns are quite as impressive. 

Can't speak to the others, but Marshall certainly is. A cut above Lowell even.

downtown+marshall.jpg

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  • 2 months later...

Davenport University is apparently moving out of it's digs at 45 Ottawa, the old Bixby Office Supply, right next to the newly renovated 37 Ottawa/50 Monroe.    They are moving to 200 Ottawa, an office building owned by Dan DeVos, across from Calder Plaza.  Wonder what the future holds for 45 Ottawa?  Not sure of the University owns that building or was leasing?  

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2019/08/davenport-moving-professional-development-programs-to-new-grand-rapids-location.html

dt-50monroe-old5-overview.jpg

Edited by mpchicago
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22 minutes ago, mpchicago said:

Davenport University is apparently moving out of it's digs at 45 Ottawa, the old Bixby Office Supply, right next to the newly renovated 37 Ottawa/50 Monroe.    They are moving to 200 Ottawa, an office building owned by Dan DeVos, across from Calder Plaza.  Wonder what the future holds for 45 Ottawa?  Not sure of the University owns that building or was leasing?  

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2019/08/davenport-moving-professional-development-programs-to-new-grand-rapids-location.html

dt-50monroe-old5-overview.jpg

I'd have to believe the land is more valuable than the building. Hopefully something large goes there.

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9 minutes ago, ironyisadeadscene said:

I'd have to believe the land is more valuable than the building. Hopefully something large goes there.

If Davenport is in fact completely vacating the building, and it's on the market, I would think CWD would scoop it up.  it would be easier for them to develop the whole parcel from Ottawa to Monroe.

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1 hour ago, ironyisadeadscene said:

Stop that! It's so true.

But I look at the apartment towers they keep building in Ann Arbor and how they really add to the streetscape and foot traffic and it's something to strive for in that area

If you look at the size of the area, I think it could easily be two buildings (if Rockford decided to develop on parcel, CWD the other). I also think we're going to see start seeing bigger buildings in the core. I think Orion underestimated the Warner Tower and easily could have built 4-5 more floors on spec,  and filled them before they finished. 

Joe

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I was wondering when Davenport would move out of the building.  I think if CWD developed it they would be smart to put a lot of parking below whatever they developed on top of it.  They could connect it to their newly renovated building and make it much easier for AC hotel valets. 

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2 hours ago, Floyd_Z said:

I was wondering when Davenport would move out of the building.  I think if CWD developed it they would be smart to put a lot of parking below whatever they developed on top of it.  They could connect it to their newly renovated building and make it much easier for AC hotel valets. 

CWD will not let AHC touch that lot, sadly.

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