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joeDowntown

Alticor Unwraps Downtown Hotel

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More pictures of the Grand Rapids Downtown Marriott

Looking east across river [daytime] -

alticor2.jpg

Looking east across river [night] -

alticor1.jpg

Looking south from Pearl Street [former Israels building] -

alticor3.jpg

Site plan -

alticor4.jpg

Joe

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The HOK design is definately a more unique building. I do like the design they chose, however, and I think it will be a nice addition to the city. I do have one complaint though.

Why the lack of windows? This facade would look much better with some more windows.

ahweb_3.jpg

1107259676-alticor.jpg

Hotel Flythrough Video:

http://www.wzzm13.com/includes/buildasx.as...zzm/open/ad.wmv

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Honestly, due to zoning, I believe they will have to have more windows on the part of the building you are talking about (which is good). I believe the zoning laws require 60% of the first floor to be windows. That is the only part I don't like about this design. I hope they are continuing to tweak it or it does not seem very pedestrian friendly which is the whole goal of downtown Grand Rapids.

Joe

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That is good news, because right now that portion of the hotel looks like a fortress! It reminds me too much of those berms that used to be in front of the Renaissance Center in Detroit.

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The fly-by video of the hotel gave a great perspective. One thing to note is that one of the buildings in the video (right before going inside the hotel) does not exist. This is the parking ramp that they are building separately. If the video is any indication it looks as if this could be a mixed use ramp with retail on the ground level and possibly offices up above. That is great. They recently did retail in one of the other ramps downtown and it is a great success in my opinion. It makes a parking ramp less imposing and makes the city more walkable.

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I very much enjoy the tower, but I agree with everyone else on this board about the front. Isn't the "portman stack" front entrance pretty well-discredited by this point in history?

I'll have to write the planning board and remind them to be cautious around large brick walls. Anyone else who lives in the area and has an opinion about the front end of the structure, I recommend you do the same.

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Alticor hotel faces first challenges

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

By Jim Harger

The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS -- Stella Royce says she will not mind if the occasional helicopter lands outside the fourth-floor window of her downtown condominium.

The Forslund Building resident said she and her husband, Chuck, also won't mind the 24-story Marriott hotel that Alticor Corp. plans to build next door over the next two years.

"We know it's going to be a little uncomfortable for a while. But we think, in the end, it's going to be worth it," Royce said. "I think it's for the good of the city."

Such comments are music to Bert Crandell's ears. He is the Alticor executive in charge of getting the 340-room hotel project off the ground.

The project faces two political hurdles this week.

Today, the City Commission was expected to set a March 29 hearing on the Downtown Development Authority's proposal to spend up to $5 million to upgrade streets and sidewalks along Campau Avenue and the Louis Campau Promenade.

On Thursday, the city's Planning Commission will consider Alticor's request to place a "helistop" on the hotel.

The city's noise ordinance requires Planning Commission approval of any helicopter landing area within 300 feet of a residence. A helistop only allows landings of no more than three minutes, unlike a heliport, where helicopters can park and re-fuel.

No more than 15 landings and takeoffs are allowed per month, and no more than two landings and takeoffs are allowed per day at a helistop.

Crandell said a helistop could be used to shuttle dignitaries to and from the hotel without creating traffic problems. Alticor's helicopters would fall well within the decibel levels in the city's noise ordinance, he said.

The helistop would be on the roof of the hotel's banquet hall, Crandell said.

"It's a big roof and a good place for it," he said.

J. Patrick Scripps, a resident of nearby Plaza Towers, said he opposes the helistop, even though his condo faces away from the hotel.

"They're noisy and they kick up a lot of dust," he said. "I've been at Spectrum Health when they come in."

The Planning Commission also will decide whether the former Israel's furniture store building at 226 Pearl St. NW can be demolished to make way for the hotel.

Last week, the city's Historic Preservation Commission issued an advisory opinion that the 106-year-old building does not have enough historical or architectural significance to warrant its preservation.

The planners also will be asked to approve two skywalk connections to parking ramps for the hotel.

The plans being reviewed by the City Commission today will set in motion the DDA's proposal to re-configure the Louis Campau Promenade to become part of the hotel's main entrance.

As part of those plans, the DDA also would rebuild the pedestrian access to the Grand River and find a new home for the monument celebrating Grand Rapids' pioneering role in dental fluoridation.

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