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  #341  
Old Posted May 27, 2018, 1:31 PM
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This is from a few days ago.

The BRA submitted a request to MDEQ for $1 Million to support environmental work at the Roosevelt Park development site. They must have had some back and forth communication with MDEQ, because it sounds pretty likely that the city can only expect $162,000 of the $1 million requested. There are a lot of requests going to MDEQ these days for financial assistance with brownfield redevelopments. Still, the grant will be helpful funding for environmental site work, even if it is only a fraction of what was requested.

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Brownfield Authority approves MDEQ funding request for Plaza Roosevelt
City of Grand Rapids Media Release
May 16, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The City of Grand Rapids’ Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) this morning approved submission of a grant application to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). The grant will help pay for the costs of environmental activities at the Plaza Roosevelt project site in the Roosevelt Park neighborhood on the city’s Southwest Side...
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  #342  
Old Posted May 27, 2018, 1:34 PM
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An analysis of some of the reasons why development is not happening as expected along the four-year old Silver BRT line. Just because you build it, doesn't necessarily mean they will come...

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After 4 years, development still slow along GR’s Silver Line bus route
Nick Manes | MiBiz
May 13, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS — The old adage that development follows transit has proven slow to materialize along the Silver Line bus rapid transit (BRT) route through southern Kent County. The Rapid’s enhanced bus line launched roughly four years ago with covered stations, dedicated lanes and traffic signal priority along Division Avenue between Gaines Township and downtown Grand Rapids. Yet in that time, examples of ancillary development associated with the route remain nonexistent...
Meanwhile, the downtown market has become quite successful as a catalyst for spurring surrounding development -

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Market in downtown Grand Rapids brings surrounding area back to life
Crain's Detroit Business | Tom Henderson
May 20, 2018

The Grand Rapids Downtown Market, one of the last economic development projects undertaken by the Grand Action Foundation, has lived up to the name "grand"...While things were already perking up on Wealthy Street when the Downtown Market opened, the area around the market, just south of downtown, had cratered and there wasn't a whiff of gentrification in the air. It was a furniture warehouse and factory district where everything stood empty and forlorn. Roofs were collapsing inward, most windows had long ago been shattered, floors were warped and rotting. Scrappers stole interior pipes and exterior gutters.

The vision Grand Action had was of a market that would feature restaurants, cooking classes, hot food stalls and fresh meat, seafood and produce. But the vision wasn't just a market unto itself, it was of a market sparking commercial development in the surrounding blocks, putting cars back into parking spots and people on sidewalks and in buildings. It has all come to pass. The market — the building is LEED certified gold, one rating down from the highest level of platinum, and all tenants are required to recycle — is thriving, and the surrounding area has come back to life...
City officials are still pushing hard to entice new development throughout Grand Rapids. Just last Monday, the city was granted status as a "Redevelopment Ready Community" - the largest in the state. Meaning that, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the city has all of the parts in play needed to encourage competitive developments. I haven't seen any statistics on whether this certification by the state really impacts the rate or quality of developments in cities, but I suppose it's not hurting anything to have that recognition.

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Grand Rapids aims to attract investors with redevelopment certification
Grand Rapids is now certified as a Redevelopment Ready Community and has the foundation to attract more investment in the city.
WZZM13
May 21, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Grand Rapids is the largest city so far in Michigan to receive certification as a Redevelopment Ready Community. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, an organization that works with local communities to grow the economy, recognized the city on Monday, May 21. The title means the city has the foundation to attract investment after removing barriers to development and improving processes to be more competitive...
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  #343  
Old Posted May 28, 2018, 1:10 PM
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Originally Posted by The ATX View Post
I don't know if it's been publicly announced, but the discussion on U.P. is that it was reduced to 14-stories.
I went to Urban Planet to trace this conversation back to its origins. In short, there is nothing documented that says it is officially 14 stories. This all started with an undocumented comment on reddit from early this year. The only thing mentioned on UP that seems credible (to me) is the mention of an interview with Mayor Bliss early in the year when she said it likely is still happening, but will be shorter than the original 40+ stories. Some more recent comments on UP say that according to someone in the know, the height has not been reduced. Others are saying that 'bids are due' - which doesn't make a lot of sense. So, I don't really think anyone has a clue still, until Hinman says something publicly.

I really will not be surprised if it is reduced though.
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  #344  
Old Posted May 29, 2018, 1:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deja vu View Post
I went to Urban Planet to trace this conversation back to its origins. In short, there is nothing documented that says it is officially 14 stories. This all started with an undocumented comment on reddit from early this year. The only thing mentioned on UP that seems credible (to me) is the mention of an interview with Mayor Bliss early in the year when she said it likely is still happening, but will be shorter than the original 40+ stories. Some more recent comments on UP say that according to someone in the know, the height has not been reduced. Others are saying that 'bids are due' - which doesn't make a lot of sense. So, I don't really think anyone has a clue still, until Hinman says something publicly.

I really will not be surprised if it is reduced though.
I really hope it ends up being a significant project, but I doubt it now. The shape of the tower alone due to the site footprint makes it an awesome proposal. There's a running joke in the GR forum on UP that there is a secret 12-story height limit on buildings.
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  #345  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2018, 8:24 PM
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There's a tiny little tidbit of information in the below article. For what it's worth, at least the CEO of Experience GR is confident that the Convention Center will proceed with plans to construct some sort of attached hotel. We will have to wait until the feasibility report is publicly released, which might be later this month, to learn what the official findings actually are.

Quote:
GR hotel rates push upward amid construction boom
Nick Manes | MiBiz
May 26, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS –– New data on hotel rates across the Midwest offered some sobering analysis on the cost of a room in downtown Grand Rapids. A report this month from ChicagoHotels.org found centrally located hotels in Grand Rapids that ranked at least three stars had an average rate of $174, the fifth most-expensive rates behind Cincinnati, Ohio; Madison, Wis.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Fort Wayne, Ind. The findings came as somewhat of a surprise to Doug Small, president and CEO of Experience Grand Rapids, which handles convention and tourism marketing for Kent County. The reason: The report’s data didn’t match with Experience Grand Rapids’ research, which pegged the average rate at $117.63 for a room in Kent County...
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  #346  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2018, 8:45 PM
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This is from almost a month ago now, but the concrete portion of 150 Ottawa (Warner Building) is 'topped out' and transitioning to steel framing now. As mentioned on Urban Planet, glazing is already being installed on the lower levels.

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  #347  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2018, 9:10 PM
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^ I don't even know what that is.


Edit: went back through the history.
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  #348  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2018, 3:42 PM
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I know that I recently mentioned how GR’s Silver Line bus route has yet to trigger the amount of development along its route that was expected. One thing that might be happening though is this new 7-story senior living complex, as part of the bigger Tapestry Square developments, at 427 S. Division St. (and thank you Google Street View for driving by right when the BRT is near the station).

We already knew about this proposal, but now we are learning that the ICCF is seeking a zoning change, from the current 'Traditional Neighborhood-Transitional City Center' to 'Traditional Neighborhood-Transit Oriented Development' which would allow them to build up to seven stories. Seems like a no-brainer, considering that the city wants their transit infrastructure investments to promote denser development along this corridor. If built, 60 percent of the planned 80 - 100 units would be low-income. The rest would be market-rate.

Quote:
Agency seeks 7-story zoning for senior housing in Grand Rapids
Amy Biolchini | MLive
June 03, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- A nonprofit housing agency would like to construct a building up to seven stories tall for senior housing on a vacant lot at Division and Wealthy in Grand Rapids. The project is one of the last large-scale investments by the Inner City Christian Federation (ICCF) in the Tapestry Square neighborhood. ICCF began its work in the Tapestry Square neighborhood 20 years ago, purchasing and redeveloping almost four blighted city blocks...
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  #349  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2018, 1:19 AM
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The freshly painted parking lot off Monroe for the new home of Movies in the Park looks terrible, in my opinion. This all comes off as a thinly-veiled guise by the city to not lose their grant funding that supported the purchase of the lot for future connections to the Grand River in the first place. Public reaction to the shift from movies in an actually park with grass and hills and shade to movies in a parking lot next to the highway with zero shade or grass has been mostly negative. Videos at each of the links below:

Quote:
Parking lot painted before Movies on Monroe
Wood TV8 News Staff
June 04, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Workers on Monday covered a downtown Grand Rapids parking lot in blue paint in preparation for an annual outdoor movie series. About 250 gallons of "cool blue" paint now cover the 55,000-square-foot lot off Monroe Avenue near I-196. Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc., which is organizing the Movies on Monroe series, said the paint serves aesthetic and practical purposes...
Quote:
Why GR outdoor movies are moving to parking lot
Heather Walker | WoodTV8
May 17, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As soon as it was announced Wednesday that the annual Movies in the Park series in Grand Rapids was moving to a parking lot, complaints started flowing in. Many didn’t understand the reason for the move. The parking lot at 555 Monroe Ave. NW near I-196 where the newly renamed Movies on Monroe will be shown this summer doesn't appear to be a relaxing location. "Nope, nope," downtown resident Jeanette Tibstra said. "The parking lot is dirty. There is broken glass and garbage laying around."...
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  #350  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2018, 7:27 PM
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So take a chair....
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  #351  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2018, 3:07 PM
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Originally Posted by The Best Forumer View Post
So take a chair....
Not sure if you were being sarcastic or not. But even with a chair, I think the change in environment is just a huge downgrade - humans usually want to feel closer to nature, right? Especially when trying to relax. Sitting in a chair on a painted parking lot doesn't really achieve that. The traffic noise alone generated by the adjacent 196 should have been an instant 'no-go' for DGRI. Even with the below artistic 'upgrades' factored in...which just seem haphazard...the lack of trees, shade, soft surfaces, etc. all detract from the experience...The artwork helps a little I guess, but still feels like lipstick on a pig, in my opinion. I'm generally supportive of everything DGRI does for the city, but this just seems weak.

Quote:
25 artists transform parking lot with murals for Movies on Monroe
Amy Biolchini | MLive
June 08, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- An empty parking lot along the Grand River has been transformed with brightly colored murals and street art as it becomes the new home of a popular, free summer movie series in downtown Grand Rapids...The parking lot has been transformed in the past week, as the entire surface has been painted a bright blue. More than 25 artists have painted murals on the surface...
The decorative entry to the parking lot -


"Yarn-bombing" of existing parking lot posts / bollards -

Source: MLive | Casey Sykes
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  #352  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2018, 3:14 PM
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Construction started this past week for the Canopy by Hilton portion of the Studio Park development.

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Firm building $43M Hilton brand hotel downtown
Justin Dawes | GRBJ
May 31, 2018

Construction on a new $43-million hotel in downtown Grand Rapids is beginning this week. A 155-room Canopy by Hilton will be built at 131 Ionia Ave. SW, adjacent to the piazza in the pending Studio Park project. The full Studio Park project will occupy former city parking lots 4 and 5 south of Van Andel Arena. The estimated opening date of the 124,000-square-foot hotel is spring 2020...
Reminder of how this thing will look when finished -



Source: WoodTV8 | Courtesy Renderings
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  #353  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2018, 3:33 PM
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A revised site plan was presented on Thursday for the new Veterans Home additions, planned near 3 Mile Road NE and North Monroe Avenue NE. The previous site plan was reworked due to conflicts with existing wetlands. Now everything has been shifted further north, closer to Lamberton Street NE, and concentrated around the existing Veterans facilities. Under this new plan, demolition of several existing buildings will be required, including the Rankin building, a chapel, and part of the existing Home for Veterans structure. Not clear if these structures would have remained if the original positioning of new buildings was approved. The style and overall massing of the new construction did not really change at all. There will still be four new residential buildings, with 32 units each.

Quote:
Quickly revamped plans for new Home for Veterans shown to neighbors
John Tunison | MLive
June 07, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Revamped plans for a new Grand Rapids Home for Veterans -- redrawn because of a wetlands issue -- seem to agree with most nearby neighbors. Officials with the Michgan Veterans Affairs Agency and TowerPinkster Architects unveiled new drawings Thursday, June 7 at a community forum at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans chapel. The new plans shift new construction to the north end of the veterans home property on North Monroe Avenue at Lamberton Street NE, instead of the south end...
The original siting, which had the new residences on the south end of the site, near 3 Mile Road NE. The existing veterans home facilities are partially cut off on the top of this view -

Source: MLive | Courtesy MVAA

The newly submitted site plan, which shifts everything north and nestles it around the existing Veterans Home facilities -

Source: MLive | Courtesy MVAA
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  #354  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2018, 1:34 PM
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Grand Rapids' Development Center page has an updated status for 10 NW Ionia Ave. As of June 5, Hinman has applied to the Historic Preservation Commission for review of a proposed 13-story building. Down from the initially-boasted 40 - 42 floors.
So...yeah. This is sufficient evidence in my mind to close the book on any dream of a new tall / tallest at this site. It could still be good infill though at 13 stories.
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  #355  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2018, 2:39 PM
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The new renderings for 10 Ionia are out, representing a significant reduction in height, but a closer alignment with the historical district that it is within. The reduction is from 418 feet tall (42 stories) down to 162 feet tall (13 stories). The market-rate apartment portion (255 units) of the proposal has been scrapped, and only the hotel portion (140 rooms) remains. The hotel brand is yet to be publicly announced. The reduction in height is a disappoint, but the rest of the design remains essentially unchanged.

Quote:
Plans for 42-story tower downtown Grand Rapids shrink to 13 stories
Amy Biolchini | MLive
June 14, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- A developer has dramatically changed plans for what would have been the tallest building in Grand Rapids. Instead of a 42-story tower at 10 Ionia NW, the Hinman Company has now drafted plans for a 13-story building at the site, according to public filings with the city's Historic Preservation Commission.

"We continue to be committed to developing a great project on the 10 Ionia site. Many factors impact the potential development of any property and 10 Ionia is no different," Hinman Company President Roger Hinman said in a statement...
The revised renderings below, by Hinman's go-to firm, Yamasaki -












Source: MLive | Courtesy Yamasaki Architecture-Planning-Engineering.

Updated elevations from the amended application packet to the HPC -






Source: Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission | Courtesy Yamasaki Architecture-Planning-Engineering

It is much closer in scale now to what was previously there. The Rindge Building, a boot and shoe factory constructed in the 1890's and demolished in the 1970's, depicted below -


Source: MLive | Courtesy Grand Rapids Public Library


Source: Grand Rapids Historical Commission

Last edited by deja vu; Jun 17, 2018 at 2:55 PM.
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  #356  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2018, 4:09 PM
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Damn, I like it actually, the facade looks much better now, but reducing the height so dramatically is downright criminal.

I guess the triangle shape didn't make for a good skyscraper anyway.
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  #357  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2018, 10:57 AM
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The site wasn't the problem. The problem as the developer himself conceded was that too many residential units have come onto the market in the last few years for him to justify the risk of building so many more at once.
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  #358  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2018, 4:19 AM
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Hinman's no slouch. They were methodical in hedging their bets on this one. Maybe they'll have better luck with a new tallest in Kalamazoo. Hinman's been sitting on a large vacant lot on South Burdick Street for quite a while...
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  #359  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2018, 5:24 AM
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Sometimes I forget that there isn’t unlimited demand even when it feels like there is just that. Pretty disappointed, but it’s still a nice looking concept.
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  #360  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2018, 7:49 AM
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Height wise, this is a disappointment. However I personally like this updated design better. I hope GR continues growing so we can potentially see a new tallest rising soon.
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