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joeDowntown

Owner envisions bigger B.O.B.

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joeDowntown    664

Owner envisions bigger B.O.B.

Friday, February 11, 2005

By Jim Harger

The Grand Rapids Press

GRAND RAPIDS -- The B.O.B. could become the proud papa of a performance theater, another restaurant and perhaps even a hotel.

Downtown entertainment luminary Greg Gilmore says he wants to buy a city parking lot for $500,000 so he can expand his popular nightclub and restaurant complex at 20 Monroe Ave. NW.

But city parking commissioners balked at the idea Thursday, saying they wanted to hear more details and talk to neighbors before giving the sale their blessing.

That means the full City Commission will only discuss the possible sale of the parking lot to Gilmore next week. City administrators had hoped to get the commission's approval to sell Gilmore an option on Tuesday.

Gilmore said Thursday he wants to add performance theater with about 1,200 to 1,400 seats, a restaurant and possibly a small "boutique hotel" with fewer than 200 rooms.

It's an idea he has been kicking around for several years, Gilmore said. "We're going to try to bring it to fruition in the next two or three years."

The B.O.B is a former four-story warehouse that Gilmore transformed into an entertainment complex in 1997 to capitalize on the new Van Andel Arena. The name is an acronym for "Big Old Building" and features several restaurants, a dance club and a comedy club.

Gilmore said the performance theater would fill a gap between the DeVos Performance Hall and the facilities at St. Cecelia's Music Society. It also could serve corporate functions, he said.

The hotel would cater to a hipper and younger market than the larger hotels operated by Alticor Inc., he said. No operator has been named for the hotel, which would be oriented toward the nightclub, he said.

Gilmore made a similar pitch to the city in 2002, when he asked that the land be made a tax-free Renaissance Zone. He said his current plans don't require tax-free status to move ahead.

Eric Soucey, the city's real estate manager, said Gilmore's plans "fits exactly with the arts and entertainment vision for the city. It fits to a 'T' the type of thing we're looking for."

Soucey told parking commissioners the city has negotiated a three-year option agreement in which Gilmore would pay $498,818, or $43.91 per square foot, for 25 spaces in the 70-space parking lot.

The sale price would escalate by 3 percent during the second and third year of the option, rising to $529,262, or $46.59 per square foot.

Soucey said they based the sale price on a 2002 appraisal and added 4.5 percent per year to reflect the rising price of downtown real estate.

Parking commissioner David Leonard asked whether the appraisal should be updated before the city strikes a deal with Gilmore. "I think it's important to know how much of a bargain price he's getting," he said.

Commissioner Bob Sullivan, who owns a condominium across the street in Plaza Towers, said part of the acquisition would eliminate seven metered spaces that often are used by Plaza Towers guests. Sullivan also owns the nearby Days Inn motel.

Mike McDaniels, property manager for 50 Monroe Place, an office building next door to the B.O.B., said he also would not want to lose the seven metered spaces to Gilmore's development.

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metrogrkid    20

STOP FARTING AROUND AND DO IT!!!

This is one of those "DUH!!" situations. Just do the d___ thing!! And as far as the boutique hotel, can you say W Hotels or Meridien Hotels or Swissotel? How many cities are in our position of just being able to connect in all of the pieces to become a world-class urban center in a perfect "Lego Set-style" manner? THis is where GR needs to lean back in its "Captain's Chair", say "Engage" and move on to Warp Speed. This is the metro area, after all, that has all of its main power brokers determined to build a modern mass transit rail system from downtown's Central Station out to Ford Airport. DUH!! It's time!! Let's stop playing with all this maddening foot dragging!!!!!!!!! :wacko:

Restaurant, Theater In Gilmore Plan

By Anne Bond Emrich

GRAND RAPIDS — The city's Community Development Committee Tuesday discussed the prospect of selling a piece of an existing city surface lot to pave the way for construction of a mixed-use development that would be connected to The BOB.

Developer Greg Gilmore, representing a newly formed company known as 20 Monroe Building Co. LP, is requesting an option agreement on one-third of the westerly portion of the city's surface parking lot at 26 Monroe Ave.

The property is adjacent to The BOB, which is owned by the Gilmore Group.

Gilmore's vision is for a 20,000-square-foot entertainment complex with a 1,200- to 1,400-seat performance theater, family style restaurant and, potentially, a "boutique" hotel of 200 rooms or less on the building's upper floors. He expects to invest at least $3 million toward the project.

"The main goal here is the theater," Gilmore said. "The hotel is still under study."

He's seeking an exclusive, three-year option agreement that would reserve his right to secure the property, which would be combined with existing BOB property to accommodate the project.

Under terms of the agreement discussed last week, Gilmore would get a one-year option on the property and the right to renew it for two successive years. Cost of the option would be adjusted upward over that period of time, from $10,000 the first year to $20,000 the second year and $50,000 the third year.

The option price would be credited toward purchase price of the property if Gilmore closes on the deal.

According to the agreement, if the transaction were to close by Jan. 1, 2006, the sale price would be $498,818, or $43.91 per square foot for the 11,360-square-foot piece of property. The sale price would be $513,813 ($45.23/sq. ft.) if closed by Jan. 1, 2007, and would be $529,262 ($46.59/sq. ft.) if closed by the last day of the option period.

The agreement also calls for the development to be "substantially completed" within three years of closing.

Economic Development Director Susan Shannon said Gilmore wants a three-year option agreement because it would give his company the time necessary to conduct due diligence, undertake site and environmental evaluations, pursue engineering and architectural design work, work through the zoning process, secure financing and line up tenants or partners for the development.

Deputy City Manager Eric DeLong said city staff has been working hand-in-hand with Gilmore for more than 18 months on the proposed development and that the staff is fully confident of Gilmore's ability to pull the project off.

The project would require slight adjustments to Ferry Street right of ways, and Gilmore has agreed to pay "some reasonable costs" associated with doing what's necessary to make the project possible.

Gilmore said there's a potential for some new parking underneath the building but that it would be limited.

Parking Services Director Pam Ritsema said the city would lose an estimated 25 metered spaces in the lot, each of which generates $6,700 in annual revenue. The city would continue to operate the lot for the duration of the option period.

After construction is completed, another seven meters could be installed along an easement that would run between 50 Monroe Place and The BOB, according to the parking department.

Shannon indicated that the loss of the metered spaces could be easily absorbed by several ramps located within a block of the project site.

"This is a good economic project for the city to support," Shannon said. She said the economic development team believes the proposed development would become a downtown destination point that would enhance the vitality of the core city.    BJX

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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joeDowntown    664

I honestly think government folks are WAY to cautious. According to their own sliding scale (this is quoted from the Business Journal):

The city

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snoogit    0

Being careful and super conservative in terms of development here in GR comes with the territory. I honestly think its not just the government, but the majority of the people as well. Most people I meet in GR are afraid of one thing: Change.

Not everyone is, but in my 24 yrs of living here, I'm noticing people in general in Grand Rapids fear change. Which makes me not so surprised voter turnout for the mayor's election was so low. Why people are so afraid to let the Mayor's office grow from a city manager position, to a less beaurecaratic(sp?) official "Mayor" position.

[Rant and prophetic tone time, ignore if you must]

Metro is getting better, but GR has a horrible history of letting the suburbs dictate its own policy. Its high time Grand Rapids takes a stand and says NO to the suburbs, by wrangling them in, and showing them whos the boss. Thrust the rails into their hearts, and while they are bleeding build the giant offices and retail centers to draw their citizenry back into the city. Give people a reason to move back into the city. Drain the suburbs of every smug quaint house, and let them ROT. Erect the condominiums, and apartments suitable for a four person family, Make them affordable enough for anyone to move in. Rebuild the retail sector.

And then as the suburbs are sitting there begging for mercy, shriveling in fear as the giant city trembles, shaking them in their their rotting shells do what was thought impossible. Annex them into your collective, and conquer them once and for all...

[/end rant]

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snoogit    0

I don't know if it is a fear of change as much as it is just being over cautious.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

kind of one and the same isnt it?

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superNOVA    0

No. People don't necessarily fear the change, many even think that change can be good. However, there are not many around here willing to take a major risk.

Every project done here is only done because it has a 99% chance of success. Which means we are usually a bit behind the curve. We need a developer that is willing to stick out his neck every now and then. Not good for business, but it would do the local attitude a whole lot of good.

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joeDowntown    664

Good news! This definitely will help the entertainment district they are trying to build on Fulton near the Arena:

Downtown entertainment mogul Greg Gilmore can proceed with his plans to build a 1,200-seat performance theater next to his B.O.B. nightclub at 20 Monroe Ave. NW.

City commissioners on Tuesday approved a three-year option to sell a city-owned parking lot to Gilmore for $499,000.

Joe

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mgreven    100

Anybody know any construction timeline...I'm so glad that it's being built. A concert facility in GR built with private funds! I think it's a good sign that things are heading in the right direction.

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joeDowntown    664

I contacted Greg Gilmore and he said they didn't even have plans developed. He said it would take a couple of months to get going, so I would not hold my breath on construction happening for atleast a year (or exactly a year if they don't want the price to go up).

Joe

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joeDowntown    664

This kind of gives you a frame of reference for the timeline of the new theatre at the BOB:

According to the agreement with the city, 20 Monroe has three years to put up at least a 20,000-square-foot building on the site and invest a minimum of $3 million into the project. But the Gilmores aren

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GRCentro    56

This kind of gives you a frame of reference for the timeline of the new theatre at the BOB:

QUOTE

According to the agreement with the city, 20 Monroe has three years to put up at least a 20,000-square-foot building on the site and invest a minimum of $3 million into the project. But the Gilmores aren

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GRDadof3    1837

I hate to pull old threads, but the recent talk about the Hard Rock Cafe rumor a couple of years ago got me thinking, maybe Gilmore is courting the House of Blues for this project on the BOB. It makes perfect sense:

Performance Theatre

Attached hotel

Midway between Chicago and Detroit

It could be called "H.O.B. at the B.O.B". :D

Re-read the article again. A "theatre operator"?. I doubt its the Loeks.

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GRDadof3    1837

I hate to harp on this, but a coincidence, I think not :huh:

http://www.thebob.com/

http://www.hob.com/

Performance Theatre

http://www.hob.com/venues/clubvenues/chicago/

Boutique Hotel

http://www.loewshotels.com/hotels/chicago/

That would be quite a coup for GR. Maybe I am drawing too many conclusions, but it sure sounds cool :P

BTW: the "theatre operator" quote is in the GRBJ article in one of the last posts.

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twoshort    8

I hate to harp on this, but a coincidence, I think not :huh:

That would be quite a coup for GR.  Maybe I am drawing too many conclusions, but it sure sounds cool :P

BTW:  the "theatre operator" quote is in the GRBJ article in one of the last posts.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What coincidence/conclusion are you jumping to?

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GRDadof3    1837

What coincidence/conclusion are you jumping to?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That Greg Gilmore is sitting around, thinking about expanding, happens to be in Chicago getting ideas, takes a look at his acronym BOB, looks at the House of Blues acronym, and bingo! Makes a few phone calls, gets them (HOB) to come here and check out his idea, they see he is very successful with his current ventures, they see the arena across the street, they see all of the pub crawlers at night, look at the traffic numbers, concert ticket sales at VAA, profitability at VAA, they toy with the idea, they say "Call us back when you get city approval and have plans drawn up, and we'll talk some more..."

Of course, that is all speculation :P

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