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Holland Gateway Charrette USING REGIONAL COLLABORATIONS AND HIDDEN ASSETS FOR URBAN REVITALIZATION April, 2007. West Michigan Regional Urban Design Charrettes. Introduction.

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Holland Gateway Charrette




April, 2007

West Michigan Regional Urban Design Charrettes

  • In 2005, a large area of study involving properties and corridors of mutual concern was the focus of the AIA/WMSA’s first collaborative charrette process involving the City of Holland and Holland Charter Township

This current 2007 Charrette process builds on the 2005 effort by expanding the involvement of City and Township participants while narrowing and intensifying the focus on a critical gateway area linking our two communities.

This charrette process presents a wonderful opportunity for the broader community as it brings together leadership and engaged property owners, businesses, residents, and potential investors from both municipalities in a process that provides for greater understanding of conditions and opportunities for change.
The charrette area has:

Two residential neighborhoods with homes and property in declining condition;

Two older commercial corridors that are in declining condition, are unattractive, and have congested roadways with access challenges; and

An obsolete industrial facility that has recently been sold with approximately 600,000 square feet of enclosed space on 42 acres of property.

The west edge of the study area:

adjacent to Hope College and Downtown Holland, and

is the location of the area’s AMTRAK train station, regional bus service, and soon home to the area’s MAX transit system.

To the east

US-31 and Chicago Drive provide easy access throughout the region.

To the north

the heart of the Macatawa Greenway corridor.

Revitalizing and redefining neighborhoods.

Enhancing corridor character;

Linking neighborhoods and commercial areas with the greenway corridor;

Changing socioeconomic conditions;

Defining community-supportive commercial and civic redevelopment opportunities; and

Revitalizing core community properties.

1. Preserve Urban Centers

2. Design on a Human Scale

3. Create Neighborhood Identity

4. Encourage Mixed-Use Development

5 Provide Choices Of Housing Types

6. Build Vibrant Public Spaces

7. Vary Transportation Options

8. Protect Environmental Resources

9. Conserve Landscapes

Design Matters: As the AIA policy statement expresses, “Architecture and urban design profoundly affect people”. The engagement of the AIA in this process, along with the involvement of other professionals and concerned citizens and property owners, advances the initiative in this gateway area tremendously. It is sincerely hoped that by inspiring this process and by adding visual images and representation, we are inspiring not only interest in this area but in the importance of design in other efforts within our community.Realization

Cyclical Process

“ The visioning process is a logical progression of steps which taken together will establish the future goals and direction for a community.”

Bill Johnson, ASLA; co-founder JJR, Inc.

area facts collected
Area Facts Collected
  • Citizen Open House
  • Wed April 11, 2007
Citizen Open House
  • Key Ideas Offered:
    • Preserve Federal Residential District
    • Programs to improve residences and property
    • Walking Access to Greenway
Citizen Open House
    • Traffic Problems: Chicago Drive, 8th Street & US-31
    • Improve Infrastructure: Sidewalks, Lighting, and Drainage
    • Calm Traffic
    • Improve Aesthetic
    • Add Bike Paths
    • Park for Kids to Play
Citizen Open House
    • Encourage Commercial Development along corridors
    • Hart & Cooley Redevelopment
    • Hope College potential expansion
    • Concerns about specific properties
positive facts
Positive Facts
  • Diversity of Stakeholders with

Strong Anchors:

Hope, Hart, Commercial, Federal, Greenway

Diversity of Physical Environment

Urban Form: Grid

Transitional Area with opportunities and options


Real Estate Opportunities

Redevelopment, Public Private Mix

Arterial Access

US 31, Chicago Drive

Encourage Walk Ride

positive facts18
Positive Facts

Rail Station: Regional Connection


Leverage Existing Assets:

Windmill Island, Greenway, Hope College

Neighborhoods: Livability Community, Diversity Greenway

area negative facts
Area Negative Facts
  • Real Estate Risk/Exposure/
  • Transitional Risks
  • Vehicular/Pedestrian Mix-Dangerous
  • Crossings
  • 8th/Chicago Drive Convergence
  • Navigational Confusion
  • Billboards
  • Commercial Railroad Spurs
  • No Greenway Connection from Chicago Drive
  • Conflict of Commercial vs. Natural
  • Residential Decline
  • Future Commercial in Federal
  • Zoning Contributes to decline
  • Residential Pedestrian Infrastructure
  • Chicago Drive is Ugly
area needs
Area Needs
  • Student Housing
  • Mid Range Housing-Quality Affordable Housing
  • Gateways: City/Township, Downtown, Hope College, Highways
  • Civic Facilities such as school, church & playgrounds
  • Community Gathering
  • Nature/Outdoor Recreation
  • Sense of Place
  • Part of a neighborhood
  • Part of a larger community
what are the hidden assets
What Are the Hidden Assets?
  • Greenway
  • Urban Infrastructure – Grids
  • Adequate Street Capacity
  • Neighborhoods
  • Hope College
  • Downtown Connection
  • Communities with a Collaborative Spirit
  • Strong History of Private-Public Partnership
  • 42 Ac. site available for redevelopment within a Mile of the CBD
  • Smaller available commercial properties to complement
  • Established Business in the area.
  • Easy Access to a major State Highway
area goals
Area Goals
  • Transportation – Add & Diversify
  • Build on existing bus service with expanded high density service (BRT or Trolley)
  • Non-Motorized, Rail, Paths
  • Pedestrian Scale/Walkability
  • Chicago Drive/8th Street Enhancement
  • Aesthetics, Crossings, Linkage
  • Level of Service
  • Fairbanks (North) Enhancement
  • Determine best use
  • Leverage and connect to Greenway

Area Goals

  • Development: New and Appropriate
  • Synergistic, Compatible, Connected
  • Federal District Enhancement
  • Improve infrastructure, infill, and amenities
  • Redesign for Vehicle Access
  • Greenway Connections
  • Visual, Residential, Physical, Accessible
  • 8th/Chicago Convergence
  • N/S Linkage-Resolve Conflicted Interchange
  • Branding the Gateway (District)
  • Downtown Connection, Marketing, Way-finding
uncovering concepts
Uncovering Concepts

#1 Hart and Cooley – Industry Closing

Industrial Reuse?

Renovate and Reuse for Mixed-Uses

Minor League – West Coast Baseball

#2 Federal Area – Tired Neighborhood

Residential Rebirth-Infill and Renovation

Infrastructure Redefinition

Neighborhood Protection

Walkable Access Outside Neighborhood

#3 Fairbanks Area

Redefine Land Use Plan

Fairbanks/8th Street Intersection

Hering Property Solution

Mixed Use Recipe

#4 8th Street - Russ’ to Lincoln

Traffic Calming

Land Use Compatibility

Urban Form






Area Ideas

Consolidation of Study Areas #1 and #2

Hart/Cooley – Federal District

Access – Shift Chicago Drive Corridor

New “Northern Entrance” Provides New Access

“Straightens 8th Street into Linear Shopping

New Opportunity for Bus Rapid Transit

Protects and Separates Residences

Boulevard Chicago Drive, 8th, and Clover

Improves Access to “New” Hart & Cooley

area ideas
Area Ideas

Consolidation of Study Areas #3 and #4

Fairbanks and East8th Street

Chicago Drive must be redefined

Extend and Integrate retail/commercial

Develop a Signature Building

Need to have Buildings Define edges

Celebrate a Mixed Use Approach

Direct Natural Drainage into Greenway

Create an Auto Village

Open Hering Building for adaptive Reuse

Develop Connections to Greenway

Approach 1:

Keep heavy traffic on Chicago Drive elongate roundabout

Fairbanks separate and distinct from Federal .

Approach 2:

Federal relates more to 8th Street corridor

Heavy traffic-Clover to 8th Street

Roundabouts at Clover/Chicago Dr/8th to Clover

Chicago Drive becomes more calmed

Neighborhood retail

Link Fairbanks Federal to the Greenway

Refine 8th Street Character

Study Area Approach

transit ideas
Transit Ideas


Link E. 8th Street with core of downtown

Regular / frequent service

Distinctive, inviting, fun, vehicles

Connect activity nodes and parking nodes

Utilize the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) concept

next steps
Next Steps
  • Organization
    • Joint Committee to review results, defineprocedural next steps:
    • Take to full Planning Commission’s
    • Post on Websites (City, Township, WMSA, AIA)
    • Take to property owners in informationalfeedback session
    • Where consensus on broad vision, get intimate with detail.
    • Neighborhood/Owner involvement

Next Steps

  • Clarify / Gain Consensus on Vision
    • Neighborhood Enhancement
    • Emphasis on the Pedestrian
    • Integration of the Greenway
    • Vehicular Corridor Improvements
    • Foster / Support Appropriate Development

Next Steps

  • Implementation Tools
    • Land Use and Zoning Revisions
    • Holland Township to adopt stricter regulations
    • Program Development – Assistance and Regulation
      • Seek grants for redevelopment assistance
    • Economic Incentives
    • Public/Private Leadership, Promotion, and Facilitation