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  #201  
Old Posted Jun 30, 2016, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by subterranean View Post
Very cool! I'm actually a little surprised that more of this hasn't been proposed given the level of success GR has been experiencing in recent years. When I think of similarly sized metros (Omaha, Tulsa, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Raleigh, Louisville, Oklahoma City), GR seems to be lagging in the height department.
I think a major difference between those cities and GR is that the downtown area in those other cities usually have large office buildings. All the tallest buildings in GR are basically residential or hotels.

GR's economy doesn't seem to have companies of size and structure needed for tall office buildings. However, given GR's current pace of economic growth, that could change pretty soon.
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  #202  
Old Posted Jul 1, 2016, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by animatedmartian View Post
I think a major difference between those cities and GR is that the downtown area in those other cities usually have large office buildings. All the tallest buildings in GR are basically residential or hotels.

GR's economy doesn't seem to have companies of size and structure needed for tall office buildings. However, given GR's current pace of economic growth, that could change pretty soon.
You may be right, but I just have a really hard time believing that. West Michigan alone has:

Gordon Food Service - Largest food service distributor in the US

Bissell Inc. - Largest manufacturer of floor care products in North America

Wolverine (and brands) - 5th largest shoe manufacturer in the US, 8th largest shoe manufacturer in the world

Meijer - 8th largest grocery in terms of sales, 26th largest retailer in the US overall (2014).

Steelcase & Herman Miller - Two of the world's largest office furniture manufacturers.

Kellogg's - 12th largest food or beverage manufacturer in the US

Alticor - 26th largest private company in the US

There are probably a lot more than I'm missing. Maybe they are the "wrong" industries.
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  #203  
Old Posted Jul 1, 2016, 2:00 AM
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Originally Posted by subterranean View Post
You may be right, but I just have a really hard time believing that. West Michigan alone has:

Gordon Food Service - Largest food service distributor in the US

Bissell Inc. - Largest manufacturer of floor care products in North America

Wolverine (and brands) - 5th largest shoe manufacturer in the US, 8th largest shoe manufacturer in the world

Meijer - 8th largest grocery in terms of sales, 26th largest retailer in the US overall (2014).

Steelcase & Herman Miller - Two of the world's largest office furniture manufacturers.

Kellogg's - 12th largest food or beverage manufacturer in the US

Alticor - 26th largest private company in the US

There are probably a lot more than I'm missing. Maybe they are the "wrong" industries.
Manufacturing companies don't really seem to need large amounts of office space up until they get to be obnoxiously large or expand into other sectors of the economy. That or they would rather be nearer to their production facilities rather than in a central location of the city.

I think it's part of the reason Detroit has/had an undersized skyline relative to its population peers as well as have relatively spread out business centers even early in the city's growth.

But hey, wealth attracts wealth so GR is bound to eventually attract the sort of companies that you see in downtown locations.
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  #204  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2016, 11:36 PM
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Affordable housing firm gets downtown site once planned for office tower
By Jim Harger. August 05, 2016.



A downtown building site once planned for an office tower is being sold to a developer who specializes in building affordable housing.

LC Companies, an Ann Arbor‐based developer headed by Mike and Bob Jacobson, has placed 12 Weston under contract, according to a news release by Rockford Construction Co.

The site at the southwest corner of Weston Street SW and Division Avenue was purchased two years ago by SIBSCO LLC, a Secchia family holding company, and Mike VanGessel, president and CEO of Rockford Construction.

Two crumbling buildings on the site were demolished in 2014 as SIBSCO and Rockford pursued their plans to build a 12-story office tower on the property.
....

Selling the vacant property to LC Companies for downtown affordable housing was an ideal use for the site, VanGessel said.

"We explored an office building, and thank the Historic Preservation Commission for their work on that concept," VanGessel said. "We always felt affordable housing could be a great use for the site, and market factors make it a stronger and viable option.

"We look forward to the next steps with the Historic Preservation Commission to consider this project and create an important piece of architecture on a crucial downtown corridor."

...

"As downtown Grand Rapids continues to evolve, it's important that we ensure that quality affordable housing is available," said Mike Jacobson. "The development will feature first-floor retail and on‐site parking, and we are currently determining the number of residential units."
http://www.mlive.com/business/west-m...veloper_t.html


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Developers going ahead with $7.4M apartment project after state agency approves tax credits
By Jim Harger. July 29, 2016.



Construction should start in early 2017 on a 36-unit apartment project on the southeast corner of Leonard Street and Alpine Avenue NW, according to Third Coast Development and its partner, Lansing-based PK Development Group.

The project, dubbed Leo & Alpine, will use low income housing tax credits worth $562,466 per year for 10 years to help finance the $7.4 million project, according to a news release on Friday, July 29.

The tax credits, on which the project hinged, were approved earlier this month by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. The credits are used by developers as a financing tool for housing projects aimed at low and moderate income residents.

The developers said 28 of the 36 units will be classified as affordable housing. Leo & Alpine will have six studio apartments, 24 one-bedroom units and six two-bedroom apartments aimed at downtown employees and their families.

The corner currently is occupied by two-story building with a pawn shop and cell phone store that will be demolished. A house and garage south of the property housing will be demolished to provide enough parking for the new development.

....
http://www.mlive.com/business/west-m...d_with_74.html


Quote:
$10M project would bring affordable family housing to the West Side



Dwelling Place Inc. is proposing to build 50 to 75 affordable rental units aimed at families living in the Harrison Park neighborhood on Grand Rapids' lower West Side.

The $10 million housing initiative is aimed at improving housing conditions for lower income residents who are being squeezed out by higher rents and redevelopment, said Chris Bennett, director of housing and community development for Dwelling Place.

"These aren't aimed at new people coming into the neighborhood," Bennett said. "These are for people who are living on the West Side who are looking for better housing."

Unlike many new market-rate rental properties featuring mostly one and two-bedroom units, the Dwelling Place units will include mostly three-bedroom flats and townhouses aimed at families, Bennett said.

The project is aimed at families whose children are enrolled in the "Challenge Scholarship" program at Harrison Park Elementary School and Westwood Middle School, Bennett said

...
http://www.mlive.com/business/west-m...ng_afford.html
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  #205  
Old Posted Aug 7, 2016, 11:44 PM
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Also, an update on these projects.








http://www.mlive.com/business/west-m..._developm.html
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  #206  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2016, 3:31 PM
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Quote:
New renderings show how 40-story building would look in Grand Rapids' skyline

By Matt Vande Bunte. August 16, 2016.









New renderings of what would be the tallest building in Grand Rapids put the proposed tower at 10 Ionia Ave. NW in the context of the city's existing skyline, in advance of continued deliberations by the Historic Preservation Commission.

So how tall is 420 feet?

About four times the height of the neighboring historic building at 50 Louis Ave. SW.

Nearly three times as high as the UICA building across Fulton Street. And more than double the height of the First Community Bank building a bit north on Ionia Avenue.

Portage-based Hinman Co. is proposing a 40-story building with 120-140 hotel rooms on the first 10 floors and 255 market-rate apartments on upper floors. At its proposed height, the building would eclipse River House Condominiums as the tallest in Grand Rapids.

The city board in July signed off on the building's height, but wants more detail on its design. The vacant property on Fulton east of Van Andel Arena is part of the Heartside historic district that's entirely south of Fulton, except for 10 Ionia and 50 Louis.

The Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission is scheduled to review plans again at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, at the city's Development Center, 1120 Monroe Ave. NW.
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapi...ow_much_h.html
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  #207  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2016, 2:51 PM
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More projects in Grand Rapids! The city is a boom town.

http://www.wzzm13.com/money/business...ward/334897309
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  #208  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2016, 2:56 AM
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So this project ended up being only half of the previous reported height unfortunately. However the beer garden got an upgrade.

The concert venue is set to open February 1st while the apartments and beer garden are expected to come online by spring time.







http://www.mlive.com/business/west-m...venue_nea.html
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  #209  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2017, 6:29 PM
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Seems like opportune conditions to incentive transit use.

Quote:
By the numbers: Downtown Grand Rapids' 95 percent full parking system
By Amy Biolchini MLive Grand Rapids. February 15, 2017.



Amidst rising concerns about the crunch on employee parking in downtown Grand Rapids, a major real estate firm has released its first-ever parking study to help businesses navigate public and private lots - and alternative transit options for workers.

Colliers International released a guide this week that took data from the city's Mobile GR department - the new name for the parking commission - and from Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.

The following figures describe downtown's parking situation:

17,606: parking spaces downtown in lots and ramps, 38.4 percent of which are owned by the city

1,800: on-street parking spaces, which have an average stay of 1.05 hours

$132: average cost of monthly parking permit in Grand Rapids

130: monthly parking lot permits available from the city

95: percent of Grand Rapids' monthly parking permits for employees that are spoken for

$47: cost of unlimited monthly Rapid bus pass

6: percent of people working downtown Grand Rapids (both residents and non-residents) that don't use a car to get to work

3: recently proposed developments downtown that would impact parking, including Warner Tower, which would be built on a surface parking lot but include seven stories of parking deck; Studio C!, which would be built on 300 spaces of city parking lot but would include a 900-space parking deck; and Hinman Tower, which is proposed for a triangle-shaped surface parking lot but has not proposed parking



...
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapi...own_grand.html
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  #210  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2017, 4:11 PM
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I hear this got final approval back in November, but I haven't heard anything more.

If this were built today in Portland, it would be the 5th tallest. Not bad. It would be 15th in Detroit.

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  #211  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2017, 5:19 AM
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All I could find was this MiBiz article, which might be what you already saw:

Proposed Hinman Co. 40-story tower receives city approval
Written by  Nick Manes
Thursday, 03 November 2016 11:30

Quote:
GRAND RAPIDS — The proposal to build Grand Rapids’ tallest tower has cleared its last major hurdle.

Members of the Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) voted 5-2 in favor of allowing Portage-based The Hinman Co. to move forward with its plans to build an approximately 40-story hotel and apartment tower at 10 Ionia Ave. NW.

It wasn’t immediately clear when construction would begin at the wedge-shaped site near the three-way intersection of Fulton and Louis Streets and Ionia Avenue.

Rhonda Baker, a city staff liaison for the HPC, told MiBiz that given the scope of the project she anticipates groundbreaking could be more than a year out.
Executives with The Hinman Co. did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment and it’s not clear whether the developers will seek state incentives.

As MiBiz previously reported, the HPC had already approved the building’s height of 418 feet. But given the site’s location within a historic district, issues of design and materials remained as sticking points.

“The developers were pleased with the final design and so were the commissioners,” Baker said.
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  #212  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2017, 2:54 PM
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Michigan's hot spot is Kent County, Census shows

Michigan's hot spot is Kent County, Census shows
John Wisely, Detroit Free Press , WZZM
March 23, 2017

With the new census data out for 2016, there's been a lot of discussion across the forum related to county-wide population changes. Here's GR's lot: Kent County, home of Grand Rapids, was Michigan's fastest-growing county between 2015 and 2016. The county's population was recorded at 642,173 in 2016, an increase of about 40,000 people from 2010.


Image Source: MLive

Quote:
When it comes to population growth in Michigan, the west is the best, according to estimates released today  by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Of Michigan's 83 counties, Kent County, home of Grand Rapids, was the fastest-growing one between 2015 and 2016, adding 6,078 people, a 1% gain. Washtenaw County was the next highest, adding 3,862, also a 1% gain. Oakland County came in third, adding 3,696. Macomb County grew by 3,223. Wayne County continued a population decline, albeit at a slower rate. Wayne lost 7,696 people between 2015 and 2016 and has lost 65,849 people — about the population of Taylor — since 2010, according to the estimates.

"Kent grew the fastest. I think Kent is a real magnet," said demographer Kurt Metzger, who shared his analysis with the Free Press. "The economy is just really strong on the west side of the state."

Kent County Administrator Daryl Delabbio said Grand Rapids has a growing medical sector with Michigan State University's Medical School and the Van Andel Institute. And Grand Valley State University, Cornerstone University, Calvin College and Aquinas College also have helped fuel the growth. The annual ArtPrize competition, which displays art across Grand Rapids, drew about 400,000 visitors over 16 days last fall, and Grand Rapids' designation as Beer City because of all the craft brew made there also has boosted its tourism industry.

"I think it's a combination of a high quality of life and economic opportunities," Delabbio said.

The figures come from estimates done annually by the U.S. Census Bureau. The data released today goes down only to the county level. Population estimates for cities, villages and townships are expected to be released later in the year. Overall, 48 Michigan counties had population declines; 35 counties grew, Metzger said.

"We're still not attracting and retaining people in their child-bearing years," he said.
Link to the full article here.
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