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mgreven

POLL - Which Division and Fulton Development?

Which one would you most likely see?  

25 members have voted

  1. 1. Which one would you most likely see?

    • Robert Tol's plan (Staging for Park Place, then grocery store)
      0
    • RSC & Associates' plan. (Jazz Club, Bookstore, condos)
      21
    • James Azzar's plan. (Parking Garage)
      0
    • Rockford and Design Plus's plan. (CVS and condos)
      1
    • Division & Fulton's plan. (Office, Condos, Retail)
      3


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There's a similar poll on Grand Rapids's Business Journal's site, but I'm curious what this forum thinks. BTW, I'm new and really enjoy this forum. I've wanted to find something like this for a while.

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There's a similar poll on Grand Rapids's Business Journal's site, but I'm curious what this forum thinks.  BTW, I'm new and really enjoy this forum.  I've wanted to find something like this for a while.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Welcome to the forum mgreven. I am glad you found us and thanks for the compliment.

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welcome, we try to keep things interesting around here - the more people the better!

Welcome to the forum mgreven.  I am glad you found us and thanks for the compliment.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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Intersting thing is that the GRBJ poll seems to really be supporting the (3. Division & Fulton's combination of office, condos and retail) project. The interesting part of this is that it is the largest of them all. Is there are real sea change in Grand Rapids - are people willing to see large developments happen, no matter they impact to street level views.

I hope so. However, I am still very partial to the RSC design as I see it as the best mix for the lot. However, the GRBJ also gives decent wording to Tol's future plans. I am not willing to conced the land to a '?' though even though the short term would bring a large condo development to the area. If he was willing to submit concrete plans for the future I would be more willing to buy into it. I just see the fact that he was part of the process as being very positive in terms of the future if his development.

If all goes well, we could be seeing two decent residential/commerical buildings next to eachother. A major leap forward for the new core of downtown.

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Me too snoogit! :)

Supernova, somebody is stuffing the ballots on the GRBJ site. They have a weekly poll and it usually gets 10-15 votes. I went there and voted one evening there were about 15 votes, most for the RSC development and the rest scattered. The next morning, there were 75 votes for the Fulton/Division project. Somebody seems ambitious about having GRBJ post the results of the poll. ;)

Joe

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The RSC proposal is by far the best and the most urbanely logical plan for this site. Notwithstanding, I am STILL PULLING MY DAMN HAIR OUT that this location - as GROUND ZERO OF THE METRO AREA and as COORDINATES O,O,O,O OF THE METROPOLITAN CARTESIAN NW,SW,NE,SE ADDRESS SYSTEM - does not have a mixed use proposal of more world-class height (at least 20-30 stories) that includes a vertical 3-5 level shopping atrium (inclusive of an 8-12 screen movie theatre), class-A office space, a hotel (to address the remaining downtown need of 1,150 rooms <the new Marriott addresses 350 of the immediately needed 1,500>) and market-rate apartments/condominiums.

Four years ago MBEI (www.mbei.org) put together a proposal with all of these elements called "Metropolitan Center". It was specifically planned for this site and was conceptualized with the thought that this plat would eventually be used for something more useful than dead parking. This proposal was given to the City of Grand Rapids as an intellectual gift from MBEI and was subsequently ignored. Again, the RSC proposal is the only one of the current proposals that approaches the Metro Center concept of MBEI but it just seems to have been put together under the mindset of "let's make something nice but not be too GRAND so that people won't make fun of us for thinking outside the box and on a world-class level . . . . the powerful, ultra-conservative, very vocal, small-town-loving, minority may be watching".

Will someone come forward with some courage and start bringing forth developments that are unabashedly world-class - PLEASE?!!!! (or at least provide MBEI with some major funding to engage such developments ourself which we would do with MUCH glee and pride for our state headquarters city). As I always say, "GR's deserved place in the spotlight of the world's stage has been deferred because of this idiocy long enough". It is downtown GR's destiny to have a skyline of impressive scale and diverse world-class architecture (like the Baby Chicago that we are meant to be) from Wealthy Street north to Leonard, from LaFayette west to GVSU-Robert Pew. There is a silent, progressive-minded, Big City-yearning majority that is waiting to be able to enjoy such a GR while they are still young enough to enjoy it.

As a certain queen of Naboo said, " . . . . if this body is not capable of action, I suggest new leadership is needed . . . . I move for a vote of No Confidence in <such continued> leadership . . . . ". We need to start exhibiting a likewise vocal feistiness if we are to get the Grand Rapids we want and pine for NOW. I personally grow tired of waiting . . . .

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hey if we can get funding, I'd be more then willing to gather up architechts and the like to envision a distinct landmark for the center of the city.

Problem is no one has the 2+ million needed to even fathom a plan on that scale for that corner whod be willing to listen.

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I agree Metrokid. Did you guys ever get any renderings done? What were the specifics of the plans?

I would love to see what your organization proposed. I think this forum is starting to have a common and cohesive voice that could keep the city in check. It is frustrating to see the remaining large plots of land go underutilized (although I do like the RSC plan). I was really angry when the county bought the last remaining riverfront property (Amway owns the lot south of Plaza Towers). The county and city should have an obligation to not impede development. It fills their coffers. Yet the County took the last piece of riverfront property, for what? So they can build a 6 story building with a big parking lot in front? (This is just speculation but you know it will happen).

Joe

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hey if we can get funding, I'd be more then willing to gather up architechts and the like to envision a distinct landmark for the center of the city.

Problem is no one has the 2+ million needed to even fathom a plan on that scale for that corner whod be willing to listen.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

SNOOG:

If you are VERY serious, see the new Forum re: METROPOLITAN CENTER (it will be online at 1:30p EST today (33/2205). YOU WILL BE BLOWN AWAY :w00t::silly::D:w00t:

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Me too snoogit! :)

Supernova, somebody is stuffing the ballots on the GRBJ site. They have a weekly poll and it usually gets 10-15 votes. I went there and voted one evening there were about 15 votes, most for the RSC development and the rest scattered. The next morning, there were 75 votes for the Fulton/Division project. Somebody seems ambitious about having GRBJ post the results of the poll. ;)

Joe

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

True. It comes down to bankers and developers, though, and their willingness to take risk. The elite in Grand Rapids tend to be risk aversive. Besides that, they lack vision. They love money so much that they do not want to risk losing what they have, but they do not love it enough to take risk to get more. Ergo, they just sit on it and only move where the return on investment is assured. Hey...they can always fly to a city that has all the things that GR doesn

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SNOOG:

If you are VERY serious, see the new Forum re:  METROPOLITAN CENTER (it will be online at 1:30p EST today (33/2205).  YOU WILL BE BLOWN AWAY  :w00t:  :silly:  :D  :w00t:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

heh, can do

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I agree Metrokid. Did you guys ever get any renderings done? What were the specifics of the plans?

I would love to see what your organization proposed. I think this forum is starting to have a common and cohesive voice that could keep the city in check. It is frustrating to see the remaining large plots of land go underutilized (although I do like the RSC plan). I was really angry when the county bought the last remaining riverfront property (Amway owns the lot south of Plaza Towers). The county and city should have an obligation to not impede development. It fills their coffers. Yet the County took the last piece of riverfront property, for what? So they can build a 6 story building with a big parking lot in front? (This is just speculation but you know it will happen).

Joe

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Joe:

Go to the METROPOLITAN CENTER thread - QUICK!!!!!!!!!

-Metrogrkid

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heh, can do

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No doubt GR need some height and some big city development. Question is if Divison/Fulton is the right place for a 20+ story project. Despite the mess at Mackie's World/GRPD, the Division corridor maintains a lot of historic integrity. Lets line the river w/projects that take the city's development to a new level... in the meantime, lets also remember our city's character and unique quality w/ a good project, (Say NO to CVS!) and good design that supports growth in the area w/out building a white elephant in a district that is only 5 stories or less.

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Rimmer,

I agree with you in some respects but also think that this corner will grow in height whether it is the City Centre Ramp or the lot next to the YWCA (Park Place). My main grievance with the suggested plans is the lack of creativity. I *DO* like the RSC project but I think it is the job of the people who will live in and frequent these establishments to hold the city and the developers to the highest standards. Think higher than what Grand Rapids has seen in the past (even the recent past). We need to look at what Grand Rapids will be in the future.

I think VAI (especially when it is done) and the new Art Museum have done a good job of raising the bar and reaching outside of Grand Rapids' typical aesthetic threshhold. This is what builds landmark buildings (and sometimes, some real crap, but I digress) ;)

Joe

No doubt GR need some height and some big city development.  Question is if Divison/Fulton is the right place for a 20+ story project.  Despite the mess at Mackie's World/GRPD, the Division corridor maintains a lot of historic integrity.  Lets line the river w/projects that take the city's development to a new level... in the meantime, lets also remember our city's character and unique quality w/ a good project, (Say NO to CVS!) and good design that supports growth in the area w/out building a white elephant in a district that is only 5 stories or less.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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Did you read this in the Press tonight?

Parking structure needed

As much as developers want to lay claim to the corner of Fulton and Division, it is the wrong course of action to do anything other than construct a new parking structure.

Of course, developers want to build on it in a manner that will make them money. It won't be as profitable to put up a parking lot. But in the long run, a parking structure will be profitable for more people. It will help the merchants and restaurants near it. It will provide more parking for the arena, children's museum, public library and other things within walking distance.

I'm a mom and church librarian. I don't claim to have expertise in urban planning. But, common sense tells me if Grand Rapids wants to attract people downtown, good, safe and ample parking should be a priority.

SARAH ELZINGA/Grandville

--------------------------------------------------

Now, I go downtown relatively often for concerts, sports, musicals, dinner, etc. I have always found a spot on the street within at least two blocks of the venue for free. If I wanted to park closer and pay, there were always lots of spots in the parking garages. Why do people think there is no parking downtown? Do they expect to park at the door of everything? It's a city, not a strip mall. Walking a couple blocks downtown is half the fun for me.

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I've only seen parking problems at the Community College ramps. There was always a long line at Lyon, and on Bostwick. But i've never had a problem at the other parking ramps at any time during the day.

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I read that same piece regarding parking in the GR Press Editorials and wanted to SCREAM!!! Such a mindset is why I often lament when people say, " . . . . can we be sure to include local retailers, architects, etc.". Fact of the matter is, outside of this UrbanPlanet-Grand Rapids forum, most GR-based "forward-thinking" results in suffocatingly small and oppresively boring ideas - THE HALLMARK OF THE "GOOD OLD DAYS" OF GRAND RAPIDS and the reality that drove and continues to drive our "creative class" of young folks out of here on the first thing smoking. But back to the parking thing . . . .

That woman obviously has NEVER traveled to a major metro area or if so never got out of her car to experience how a major metro downtown works. Parking ramps DO NOT grow a world-class downtown. As a matter of fact, the premier second-tier cities of today (Seattle, Atlanta, Boston, Minneapolis, etc.) increased the housing densities and parallel mass-transit use by gradually curbing the construction of parking ramps as the popularity of the respective downtowns increased. This effect was possible because, after the initial wave of urban investment that got people excited about the possibilites of these downtowns (where GR is RIGHT NOW), people did not have to be enticed any longer by the presence of "convenient car parking" (i.e. - the densities and urban popularities became such that people were going to live downtown because they wanted to regardless and with parking at that point being inconvenient, mass transit then became viable and attractive).

GR has never ever thought in the mindset of actually guiding and generating demand (for world-class downtown retail, housing, entertainment, etc.) through time-tested urban-planning practices that have created the aforementioned premier second-tier cities - they have always foolishly waited passively for it to randomly occur. The upcoming METRO CENTER Charrette and project will be this collective body's opportunity to wield this pro-active urban development model for the first time here. Let parking ramps and oppressive boredom be damned.

-metrogrkid

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I read that same piece regarding parking in the GR Press Editorials and wanted to SCREAM!!!  Such a mindset is why I often lament when people say, " . . . . can we be sure to include local retailers, architects, etc.".  Fact of the matter is, outside of this UrbanPlanet-Grand Rapids forum, most GR-based "forward-thinking" results in suffocatingly small and oppresively boring ideas - THE HALLMARK OF THE "GOOD OLD DAYS" OF GRAND RAPIDS and the reality that drove and continues to drive our "creative class" of young folks out of here on the first thing smoking.  But back to the parking thing . . . .

That woman obviously has NEVER traveled to a major metro area or if so never got out of her car to experience how a major metro downtown works.  Parking ramps DO NOT grow a world-class downtown.  As a matter of fact, the premier second-tier cities of today (Seattle, Atlanta, Boston, Minneapolis, etc.) increased the housing densities and parallel mass-transit use by gradually curbing the construction of parking ramps as the popularity of the respective downtowns increased.  This effect was possible because, after the initial wave of urban investment that got people excited about the possibilites of these downtowns (where GR is RIGHT NOW), people did not have to be enticed any longer by the presence of "convenient car parking" (i.e. - the densities and urban popularities became such that people were going to live downtown because they wanted to regardless and with parking at that point being inconvenient, mass transit then became viable and attractive).

GR has never ever thought in the mindset of actually guiding and generating demand (for world-class downtown retail, housing, entertainment, etc.) through time-tested urban-planning practices that have created the aforementioned premier second-tier cities - they have always foolishly waited passively for it to randomly occur.  The upcoming METRO CENTER Charrette and project will be this collective body's opportunity to wield this pro-active urban development model for the first time here.  Let parking ramps and oppressive boredom be damned.

-metrogrkid

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'll pelt random food objects at the planning commission if they decide to put a ramp there.

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To attract more people, downtown needs more parking ramps? I don't know what common sense that woman is using, but mine tells me that no one celebrates a city for its blue-ribbon parking structures. Cities are commended, however, for well-designed mass transit and pedestrian-friendly streets.

We need more reasons to get people out of their cars and on their feet, walking through downtown. We need small businesses: one-of-kind retail stores, specialty restaurants, a hot-spot entertainment district... We need street-level action, not more stagnent parking.

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I laughed when I read this. There is a brand new, beautifully built ramp 3 blocks down from the Children's Museum on Monroe Center with 60 minutes free parking and a indoor walkway that takes you right to the street level (and had a $7 max parking fee). If you gave that kind of parking service to someone in a larger city they'd pass out. ;)

People like this need to get out and walk a LITTLE (Studies say it is actually good for you). I also have children and have no problem hiking a couple of blocks to go somewhere. It gives me more time to bore my 4 year old daughter about how cool the architecture is. :)

Joe

To attract more people, downtown needs more parking ramps?  I don't know what common sense that woman is using, but mine tells me that no one celebrates a city for its blue-ribbon parking structures.  Cities are commended, however, for well-designed mass transit and pedestrian-friendly streets.

We need more reasons to get people out of their cars and on their feet, walking through downtown.  We need small businesses: one-of-kind retail stores, specialty restaurants, a hot-spot entertainment district...  We need street-level action, not more stagnent parking.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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We'll see how this turns out.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Panel looks at 3 firms for City Centre site

GRAND RAPIDS -- A committee of city leaders and downtown property owners has chosen to interview three of the five developers who submitted plans to redevelop the site of the former City Centre parking ramp.

Those being asked for interviews during April are:

The partnership of Rockford Cos. and Design Plus of Grand Rapids, which is proposing a CVS drugstore on the Division and Fulton corner with a five-story condominium building to the west along Fulton and Commerce. 

   

RSC Associates of Chicago and Second Story Properties of Grand Rapids, with a plan that calls for a jazz club, bookstore, pool hall and cafe at the Division/Fulton corner with a 11-story condominium tower on the western end of the site.

Division and Fulton LLC of Cascade Township, an undisclosed group that envisions a larger footprint eight-plus story building with commercial office space, condominiums and ground floor retail space.

The committee will not interview East Grand Rapids businessman James Azzar, who proposed a parking ramp to serve redevelopment plans at two vacant buildings he owns, or Grand Rapids commercial real estate agent Robert Tol, who proposed using the land as a staging area for another condominium tower he is planning and developing it as a mixed-use site later.

"The Tol and Azzar proposals were not complete enough or didn't have the specifics about the redevelopment or were too far off," said Susan Shannon, economic development director for the city.

The interviews will take place at closed meetings of the project review committee.

Mayor George Heartwell, city commissioners Lynn Rabaut and Robert Dean, Parking Commission member Jack Hoffman, Downtown Development Authority member David Cassard and Richard Craig and Joseph Niewiek, who own properties near the lot are on the committee.

Shannon said some form of recommendation should be presented to the City Commission by the end of April.

Despite the decision about who to interview, and the plan to choose a recommended buyer or rank the proposals in order of preference for the City Commission, the public can be excluded from the interviews because no deliberation is taking place, said Dick Wendt, an attorney who represents the city.

The committee, appointed by Shannon, also lacks a quorum of a public body, Wendt said.

"The rationale is that they are nothing more and nothing less than an evaluation team," Wendt said. "They are not going to make a decision, nor are they deliberating toward a decision."

Wendt said the full City Commission will have the chance to interview all of the developers if it wants to or reject any recommendation by the group.

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We'll see how this turns out.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

soundsto me like they don't want another parking ramp. This is a good sign.

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