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  #261  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2017, 11:51 PM
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The last reported news article on Grand Rapids's new tallest (aka 10 Ionia) had said construction was possibly more than a year away at the time which was November of 2016.

The whole thing has been approved and the design finalized (though whether or not it's different than what has been shown so far is unknown), but it seemed implied that possibly financing is what would hold the project back. Otherwise no reason has been directly stated on why the project is taking so long.
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  #262  
Old Posted Oct 14, 2017, 3:12 PM
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1. Cornerstone just broke ground on a new academic building geared towards STEM:

Quote:
College building $15.5M STEM center
Justin Dawes | GRBJ
October 10, 2017

A local college is building a $15.5-million center to advance its STEM programs. Cornerstone University will break ground tomorrow on its 29,000-square-foot Center of Science in Technology, with plans to finish construction in time for the start of classes for the 2019 spring semester. The three-story building will be located on the main campus in Grand Rapids, at 1001 E. Beltline Ave. NE, just north of the Hansen Athletic Center. The school said all the money for the project was raised from private donations... 
2. Zimmer Development Co. has broken ground on 'The Alpine' a new student apartment complex, next to GVSU. The same developer recently finished a $22-million student housing project on the same site this summer. That development, called 'The Lodge', is a192-unit apartment complex.

Quote:
Firm building $20M student housing complex
Ehren Wynder | GRBJ
October 12, 2017

A new $20-million student housing complex is underway in the area. Wilmington, North Carolina-based Zimmer Development Company has broken ground on The Alpine in Allendale, next to Grand Valley State University, according to Orion Construction yesterday.  The project, located at 10452 Lodge Dr., will consist of nine three-story buildings with a total of 108 units and 432 beds. The project is slated for completion before the 2018 summer semester and is leasing for next fall. Raleigh, North Carolina-based Planworx Architecture is the project's architect. Grand Rapids-based Orion Construction is the project's contractor...

Last edited by deja vu; Oct 25, 2017 at 1:51 PM.
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  #263  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2017, 1:46 PM
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Update on the former Steelcase Pyramid:

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Data center operator Switch to pay $25 million for Pyramid campus south of Grand Rapids
Nick Manes | MiBiz
Sunday, 22 October 2017

GAINES TOWNSHIP — Technology firm Switch Inc. plans to buy the 700,000-square-foot Pyramid campus that’s home to its data center in southern Kent County, MiBiz has learned. The Las Vegas-based Switch (NYSE: SWCH) detailed the acquisition plans in its Initial Public Offering (IPO) filings with federal regulators. Through a spokesperson, Switch executives confirmed the company’s intent to buy the property but declined further comment. The company, which does business with tech giants Google, Amazon and eBay, opened the West Michigan data center to serve clients on the East Coast. According to the IPO filings, the company in late 2016 notified landlord Norman Pyramid LLC “of its intent to exercise the purchase option pursuant to the lease agreement.” Switch will pay a purchase price of $25 million, less 65 percent of all rent payments to Norman Pyramid. The deal is expected to close on Jan. 1, 2018, according to the IPO documents...
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  #264  
Old Posted Nov 7, 2017, 6:59 PM
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Tower crane going up today at 150 Ottawa Ave. NW.
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  #265  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 3:55 AM
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From a few days ago now...

Quote:
Tax credits approved for downtown GR movie theater project
By Joe LaFurgey | WoodTV 8
November 28, 2017

...Grand Rapids City Commissioners approved $29 million in tax credits for a proposed $100 million downtown development Tuesday. The Brownfield Tax Credits will be spread out over the next 30 years. The Studio C project will include a nine-screen movie theater, residential and hotel complex south of Van Andel Arena. It is expected to create as many as 500 full- and part-time jobs...Construction is set to begin early next year.
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  #266  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2017, 12:42 AM
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May be a new parking structure in downtown GR's future...

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Resolution calls on GR city commissioners to consider new downtown parking structure
By Nick Manes | MiBiz
December 8, 2017

GRAND RAPIDS — Elected officials in Grand Rapids likely will consider developing and building a new parking structure in the city’s central business district. First Ward City Commissioner Dave Shaffer on Friday morning introduced a resolution instructing city officials to begin analyzing adding to the parking supply in downtown Grand Rapids...

...Discussions are still preliminary. However, the surface parking lot along Ransom Avenue between Fountain and Library Streets and adjacent to the downtown branch of the Grand Rapids Public Library stands as one possible location for a new structured parking deck, according to a city document outlining a variety of possible capital projects. A parking ramp of up to 360 spaces could be built on the site for a cost of between $12.25 million and $15 million with financing coming from either a sale of public bonds or a public-private partnership that could tap into brownfield financing, according to the document. Annual maintenance on the ramp would cost between $820,000 and $1 million. Another $3 million-$4 million could be spent for “green roof” elements...
Concept rendering of the parking deck, on Ransom Avenue, between Fountain and Library Streets (east of the downtown library branch):

Image Source: MiBiz

Last edited by deja vu; Dec 26, 2017 at 8:03 PM.
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  #267  
Old Posted Dec 20, 2017, 11:23 PM
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There's quite a few cranes in GR these days. I don't get a chance to go there as much as I would like, but I had some time after a meeting yesterday to walk around and photograph some recently completed and under-construction projects. I'm not sure if there are any GR-residents left that still frequent this forum, or if they all went over to urbanplanet. It would be great to get more frequent photo updates, and I will continue to try to keep updating here from time to time.

New apartment complex near Knapp St NE and E Beltline Ave NE (behind Meijer):




The Warner Building / Hyatt Place:






Future home of the AC Hotel:




20 Monroe Live (complete):


Arena Place (complete). There's a similar aesthetic among a lot of these apartment projects, with the metal paneling and such:




Rooftop unit, being installed at / near Hopcat, on Ionia:


The lift operator was catching some ZZZ's:


Kendall College / Ferris State Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts Building (complete):


20 Fulton East Apartments (complete):


MSU Research Center (complete):




601 Bond Ave NW:








Embassy Suites Hotel:






Icon on Bond (complete):


The Rowe (complete):




Meanwhile, down the road in Grandville, The Grand Castle project somehow persists. There are a lot of crews on site and a flourish of activities. I am still flummoxed that this is happening - everything about it seems off. The opening date has been delayed numerous times. Most recently, December 15, 2017 was to be the move-in date. They don't look anywhere close to complete yet:






And so the sun sets for now upon this construction update, and this oddity:

Last edited by deja vu; Dec 20, 2017 at 11:42 PM.
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  #268  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2017, 1:17 AM
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Thank you for that update. I have no idea how I haven't heard about The Grand Castle, what an awkward project.
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  #269  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2017, 2:45 AM
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Thanks for the update. It makes me happy to see so much construction activity happening again all across the state. Always had a soft spot for GR.
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  #270  
Old Posted Dec 26, 2017, 7:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DetroitSky View Post
Thank you for that update. I have no idea how I haven't heard about The Grand Castle, what an awkward project.
Yes, awkward in the extreme. It looks so poorly conceived, I can't imagine it ever being fully occupied. We will eventually see. The opening date has been pushed back at least 4 times already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by subterranean View Post
Thanks for the update. It makes me happy to see so much construction activity happening again all across the state. Always had a soft spot for GR.
Me too. I hope that the momentum continues for a while. It sounds like it will. This article gives a good synopsis of the relative strength of SW MI's economy and building boom:

Quote:
Large-scale development to continue in 2018
By Nick Manes | MiBiz
December 24, 2017

Tower cranes constructing offices, hotels and apartments dot the skyline in and around downtown Grand Rapids. While many of those cranes will remain on their respective sites in the central business district and the North Monroe corridor well into 2018, construction and development sources say more cranes could be on the way, given the right circumstances...large real estate development projects remain in the pipeline in Grand Rapids’ downtown, into peripheral neighborhoods and around the broader West Michigan region. According to data from Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., the value of completed construction projects, projects under construction and proposed developments totals about $750 million, just in the downtown or adjacent areas. That includes about 1,350 housing units, 794 hotel rooms, 169,130 square feet of commercial space and almost 3,500 parking spaces...
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  #271  
Old Posted Dec 26, 2017, 7:45 PM
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The City Commission rejected Commissioner Shaffe's resolution to begin an assessment for the proposed ramp at Ransom Avenue, between Fountain and Library Streets. They did this on the grounds that MobileGR had not had a chance to weigh-in on the idea yet. But two days later, on 12/14, the board of MobileGR unanimously approved a motion to request that the City begin exploring the possibility of constructing the new parking structure.

So, with this procedural hiccup out of the way, in all likelyhood the City Commission will now approve the process to begin assessing the actual vs. perceived need for a new ramp, which could take a while. Among other things, they will need to factor in how much new downtown parking is coming online through new private-sector projects (which could apparenty equate to as much as 91% of the capacity of the proposed library ramp). Downtown parking is estimated to be at 95% capacity currently.

Quote:
Downtown parking ramp discussion clears MobileGR
Nick Manes | MiBiz
Decemer 17, 2017

..Now that the MobileGR board passed the measure, city commissioners will likely begin the lengthy process of assessing the need for a new ramp, potentially identifying a development partner and determining whether the city would need to dispose of municipal assets, such as a surface parking lot. The process of getting a new parking structure built –– whether on the library site or elsewhere –– would likely take years, Naramore said. The cost of a new ramp on the library site is estimated at between $12.25 million and $15 million, with annual maintenance costing between $820,000 and $1 million. The city’s current monthly parking supply, largely targeted at daily commuters, stands at about 95 percent occupied, leading many in the business community to call for additional supply...
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  #272  
Old Posted Dec 27, 2017, 5:57 PM
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In October, the City selected a proposal for 201 Market Street. Flaherty & Collins Properties beat out Rockford Construction and REDICO with a proposal that features four buildings constructed in three phases and lots of open recreation space along the riverfront. The process is now in a 4 - 6 month due diligence phase. Meanwhile, MLive / The Grand Rapids Press obtained renderings of the proposal through a FOIA request.

Quote:
See the 201 Market proposal that won over officials - and those they rejected
Amy Biolchini | MLive
December 27, 2017

...The evaluation committee liked the proposal from Indianapolis-based developer Flaherty and Collins the best due to the proposed residential development for a range of income levels, and the large areas dedicated to public green space and open space. This proposal from Flaherty & Collins includes four buildings, which would be built in three phases. Three of the buildings would line Market Avenue, leaving space for a riverfront plaza and park along the Grand. Overall, the site would include a grocery store, luxury hotel, multiple mixed-use residential and retail buildings, a riverfront plaza and walkway along the Grand. The developer is proposing extending Williams, Goodrich and Bartlett streets across Market Street to allow for access for bikes, cars and pedestrians. A new east-west street would be built through the middle of the site – Shore Drive – to allow for access to the river-facing hotel. Two of the buildings would also include 64 units set aside as affordable options for families – with rents capped between 30 and 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI)...







Images Source: MLive | Courtesy Flaherty & Collins Properties

The Rockford Construction proposal, while less compelling, is not technically off the table yet. That proposal is centered around a new outdoor soccer stadium, several mixed use buildings, and a new pedestrian bridge:


Image Source: MLive | Courtesy Rockford Construction
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  #273  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2018, 11:07 PM
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New renderings out today for the Studio Park project that will be south of Van Andel Arena. These renderings are focused on the 164-room hotel portion of the development, which will be a Canopy by Hilton.

Quote:
Downtown GR Developers Reveal Plans for Studio Park Hotel
24 Hour News 8 Staff
January 3, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A hotel billed as the first of its kind in Michigan will soon take shape in downtown Grand Rapids. Developers Wednesday announced plans for a Canopy by Hilton hotel. The 164-room hotel will be located next to the Studio Park project’s piazza, which will host events throughout the year...









Images Source: Wood TV
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  #274  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2018, 7:11 PM
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Has anyone else ever heard of this? I never knew it existed and just stumbled upon it today. There were apparently plans in the 1950's to create an Architecture theme park in Grand Rapids, called 'Homestyle Center' (not the catchiest name ever). It was to be built on land now occupied by Frederik Meijer Gardens, and it could have included home designs by Paul Rudolph, Alden Dow, George Nelson, and Buckminster Fuller.

The plan was cancelled, but Tim Hills, a mid-century furniture restorer at Kalamazoo-based Trystcraft, has resurrected part of it (in a digital way). Using found plans for the Paul Rudolph house, he created a 3D model with renderings and video. There's a pretty cool website about the history of the visionary park and the artist's process of bringing life to the house:

Quote:
Rendering Paul Rudolph's 1956 Lost Design
By Tim Hills | Trystcraft

Imagine an architectural theme park made up of incredible homes designed by George Nelson, Paul Rudolph, Alden Dow and Buckminster Fuller. In 1956, that dream nearly became a reality. Naturally, we were intrigued. Read on to learn more about this project, and stay tuned to see how we bring one of the homes to life...


Image Source: Trystcraft.com, Courtesy Grand Rapids Public Library

Video Link
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  #275  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2018, 8:15 PM
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Two new affordable housing-related developments are taking shape in the city -

The first will be at 449 Bridge St NW, on the site of the former Red Lion restaurant. The five story structure will include 44 apartments and a first floor restaurant, at a cost of $9.5 million total. Ann Arbor-based 3 Mission Partners is the developer, and Concept Design is the Architect. This one already has a special land use approval from the Planning Commission and the DDA, and it will go before the BRA later this month for review, before going before the full City Commission for final approval. Demo should begin in late spring if all goes well.

Quote:
Former Red Lion restaurant site will be $9.5M housing project
Jim Harger | MLive
January 11, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - The former Red Lion restaurant - closed since 2004 - will be torn down and replaced with a five-story building that includes a ground-floor restaurant and 44 affordable apartments, according to its developers. Located between the New Holland Brewing Co. and Meijer Inc.'s new "small concept" grocery store, the $9.5 million project at 449 Bridge Street NW would eliminate a blighted parking lot and building in the center of the city's fastest growing entertainment district...




Images Source: MLive, Rendering Courtesy of Concept Design
The second, Midtown CityZen, recently broke ground along the Medical Mile, at 637 Michigan Street NE. The site formally had three homes and a church that were demolished last fall. This one will be four stories with 44 units, and it will also have a ground floor restaurant. The developer, Third Coast Development, was also behind Mid Towne Village, a 200,000 SF mixed-use project at 555 Michigan Street NE. Completion is scheduled for Fall of this year, which seems a bit ambitious.

Quote:
Construction begins on 'affordable' housing project on Medical Mile
Jim Harger | MLive
January 10, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - Construction has begun on Midtown CityZen, an apartment complex that will bring 44 affordable apartments to the Medical Mile on Michigan Street NE. Third Coast Development said the four-story apartment building will include a ground-floor restaurant that is expected to open in the fall of 2018...




Images Source: MLive
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  #276  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2018, 2:44 AM
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This does not surprise me in the least. While there are no public details, I think it's already been documented that there have been safety violations on this job site.

Quote:
State safety inspectors investigating Grand Castle construction site
Jim Harger | MLive
January 12, 2018

GRANDVILLE, MI - The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) confirmed it is investigating Grand Castle apartments, a $40 million construction project that has been plagued with construction delays. MIOSA spokesman Pardeep Toor declined to offer specifics on Friday, Jan. 12, saying he could not comment on an open investigation. The 15-story project, which originally was to have been completed in the summer of 2017, is being built near the intersection of Int. 196 and 28th Street SW...
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  #277  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2018, 2:36 PM
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^ Related to above, here's a little more context on GR's current public housing strategies:

Quote:
4 affordable housing strategies Grand Rapids is tackling first
Amy Biolchini | MLive
January 8, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - After months of discussion and review, four strategies aimed at addressing affordable housing issues in Grand Rapids appear to be moving forward. The city commission will host a public hearing on the strategies at its 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9, meeting on the ninth floor of city hall. The four strategies are among 11 that the commission has been reviewing since November, and were identified by the city manager as the steps that could be most easily addressed first. City staff are referring to the package of potential policies as "Housing NOW..."
The city wants to begin construction on the infrastructure to support its second, planned BRT route, from GVSU to the Medical Mile. Work on the proposed 13 mile route, referred to as the Laker Line, is being held up at the Federal level. The city has been waiting for a $56.4 million grant that was approved under the Obama Administration. They have tried contacting the current director of the FTA and received no response. The Rapid's first BRT route, the Silver Line, opened in 2013.

Quote:
$56.4M in Laker Line funding tied up in 'bureaucratic logjam'
Amy Biolchini | MLive
January 8, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - The fate of The Rapid's second bus rapid transit line is in the hands of a federal agency. Funding for the 13-mile-long Laker Line was authorized in President Barack Obama's last budget for fiscal 2017 - but The Rapid has yet to see any of the $56.4 million it was promised...


Photo of The Rapid's first BRT route - the Silver Line, from August 27, 2015, courtesy Neil Blake | MLive
Creston Brewery, located in a funky art deco structure at 1504 Plainfield Ave. NE, is expanding by remodeling the vacant, 5,000 SF second floor of its current building into a new event space. The small brewery has been quite successful since it opened a year and a half ago. The space that will become the new banquet hall looks pretty neat - has anyone ever been here?

Creston Brewery adding venue space for weddings, concerts and yoga classes
Shandra Martinze | MLive
January 10, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- By spring, Creston Brewery will have a big space that can be used for weddings, concerts and even yoga classes. A little over a year after opening, the popular brewery, at 1504 Plainfield Ave., in the Creston Business District is expanding. The four month construction project will turn a vacant 5,000-square-foot second floor space into a banquet hall began this week...


Image Source: MLive, Courtesy Creston Brewery
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  #278  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2018, 4:17 PM
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A pretty detailed article about rising real estate costs and neighborhood trends throughout Grand rapids, worth a read:

Quote:
The state of Grand Rapids housing costs: A 10-year review
Marjorie Steele | Secondwave Media
January 18, 2018

“The rent is too damn high” is a common sentiment here in Grand Rapids, a city which, thanks to a strong creative and progressive culture, has been keenly sensitive to the impending fate of its beloved and historically very affordable residential neighborhoods. At the core of this sentiment is gentrification. It’s coming—or it’s here, depending on who you talk to—and whether spiking housing costs are truly happening or not, our community’s fear of them is tangible.

Placing speculations aside, how exactly has Grand Rapids’ housing market fared over the last ten years, and what’s changed?

...
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  #279  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2018, 7:11 AM
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Has there been any news in the past few months about 10 Ionia?
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  #280  
Old Posted Jan 24, 2018, 2:50 PM
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Quote:
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Has there been any news in the past few months about 10 Ionia?
Still nothing that I have heard or seen.


A milestone has been reached at Orion's Warner building, with concrete pours beginning for what will be the parking deck portion of the tower:

Quote:
Concrete poured at two-tower project in Grand Rapids
WZZM
January 18, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Builders reached a big milestone Thursday, Jan. 18 in the construction of a 14-story, two-tower development in downtown Grand Rapids. Crews from Orion Construction began pouring the concrete for what will be the parking deck at the Warner Building. That's located at 150 Ottawa, not far from the Kent county courthouse. Construction began last year and should be finished by the summer of 2019. The rough start to winter presented a challenge, but the project is still on schedule...
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