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  #21  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 5:26 AM
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Originally Posted by alps View Post
Red - nothing announced to my knowledge, or functioning parking lots associated with hotels, hospitals, groceries, etc.
The WDCL is planning to develop the Cunard lot south of Bishop's Landing in another year or so.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 5:39 AM
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Great thread. I personally think all blight should be highlighted, including parking garages.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 5:48 AM
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Unfortunately, those have about no chance if any of ever getting torn down and replaced. Cities would rather tear down beautiful art deco scrapers than one of their beloved parking garages.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 6:07 AM
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Cities don't tear things down, developers do. Generally.

A parking garage can be hideous and still make money. Most owners aren't going to tear down $10,000,000 in value so they can spend $30,000,000 and end up with a $40,000,000 building. They'd rather tear down $1,000,000 in value and make the extra $9,000,000.

An art deco skyscraper might be decrepit and below code. Getting it up to code and to where it's marketable might not be worth the cost/risk/profit equation. Once property taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc., are considered, it's easy for a building to be worth less in place than the land would be worth as a blank slate.

No easy answers here. Unless your city can draw high rents, in which case the math might (might) change to the positive.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 6:18 AM
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I know all that but it's just a shame and in cities like Tulsa and Houston it's very much a part of reality that parking garages are much more profitable than some 90 year old building that's been abandoned since 1980, which would cost a fortune to rehab etc etc.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 8:55 AM
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Originally Posted by photolitherland View Post
^
I know all that but it's just a shame and in cities like Tulsa and Houston it's very much a part of reality that parking garages are much more profitable than some 90 year old building that's been abandoned since 1980, which would cost a fortune to rehab etc etc.
I'm waiting for a supertall to be built on that lot just northeast of Wells Fargo Plaza in Houston. Isn't that where the Bank of the Southwest Tower was supposed to be built?
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  #27  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 11:08 AM
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One thing that stands out to me is that some of these cities appear to be surrounded by a a large band of parking lots, except for Portland, which seems to be evenly dispersed. The cities in Canada aren't so bad. Looking forward to more.
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  #28  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 1:59 PM
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Originally Posted by fflint View Post
I don't think these are depressing at all.

Consider: areas delineated in red are large downtown parcels that can be inexpensively redeveloped (no tear-down costs) without requiring new infastructure from scratch, are within walking/biking distance of goods and services, and upon completion the new residents/workers/shoppers etc. won't likely tax existing transit systems too much.
Rather than depressing, I'd say it's more frustrating. Just like the thread about big box stores, you see all of these worlds of potential in a downtown like Houston, and then can't figure out why people aren't clamoring to invest in it. We should be having places like City Target here... it would be FAR cheaper to build on an empty downtown surface lot than the money that companies are spending to build these stores in other American cities. Yet no one wants to even dip their toe in the pool.
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  #29  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 2:14 PM
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What a shame about Tulsa, because a lot of the surviving stuff is flat-out amazing.

* *

I don't think it's necessary to nitpick over individual lots that have or might be developed. He's just going with the maps as Google has them. Whether a block or three is off, we sill get the picture.

Looking forward to more. I think doing smaller cities like Little Rock is interesting, because those are often the hardest hit.
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  #30  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 2:28 PM
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Surface parking lots are not all going to disappear soon.

However, they can be less detracting from the urban environment. Chicago and Australian cities do a good job of dressing them up a bit with bushes or fences. The effect is an appearance of less holes in the streetscape.
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  #31  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 2:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photolitherland View Post
^
Unfortunately, those have about no chance if any of ever getting torn down and replaced. Cities would rather tear down beautiful art deco scrapers than one of their beloved parking garages.
not all structured parking is created equal. a well designed parking garage with ground floor, street facing retail is light years better for the urban streetscape than a surface parking lot. granted, we historically have seen horrendous, atrociously bad design for structured parking, but some of the recent ones here in chicago have been better in the sense that there is at least an architect that is trying to create something more interesting than the bland, banal, street-killing garages of old.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 2:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
not all structured parking is created equal. a well designed parking garage with ground floor, street facing retail is light years better for the urban streetscape than a surface parking lot. granted, we historically have seen horrendous, atrociously bad design for structured parking, but some of the recent ones here in chicago have been better in the sense that there is at least an architect that is trying to create something more interesting than the bland, banal, street-killing garages of old.
Yeah, this one in my town of Oakville, ON looks pretty alright imo.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...73.86,,0,-8.16
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  #33  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 3:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Thundertubs View Post
I don't think it's necessary to nitpick over individual lots that have or might be developed. He's just going with the maps as Google has them. Whether a block or three is off, we sill get the picture.
But if a dozen lots have projects started since the photo was taken, that would be worth noting. (I'm not referring to any city posted yet...but some google images are several years old, and would have missed both the end of the last boom and the start of the current resurgence in some cities.)
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  #34  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 4:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samne View Post
Surface parking lots are not all going to disappear soon.

However, they can be less detracting from the urban environment. Chicago and Australian cities do a good job of dressing them up a bit with bushes or fences. The effect is an appearance of less holes in the streetscape.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention this one. A number of downtown surface lots in Portland are now lined with food carts, which in a sense reconnects surface lots in with the urban environment. A few parking lots are practically lined with food carts on all sides, making the block feel like a variety of food options with some parking you don't really notice in the middle of it. Actually since our food cart craze took off, I have found myself not wanting some surface lots to be redeveloped because I would hate to lose some of the cart culture Portland has created for itself.
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  #35  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 6:38 PM
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Ok, the Tulsa map is from March 2010, so not much has changed there since then.

The Dallas map is from Apr 2011, so its basically the same now.

Little Rock is from Jan 2011, also, nothing has happened since then downtown.

Houston is from March 2011, and nothing has changed since.

Denver is from June 2010.

Portland is from August 2010 and I cant imagine that Denver or Portland has changed much from a year ago, and these are all well after the boom.


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Last edited by photoLith; Jun 3, 2011 at 7:35 PM.
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  #36  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 7:38 PM
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Solid green should say "subject to proposal"; any parking within dashed green lines isn't yet usable for parking as those are construction sites.


Downtown Port Arthur (north half of Thunder Bay). There is a major waterfront redevelopment going on. The green boxes north of the rail line is the preferred site for a new multiplex. It would encompass that entire block and the side street to the left of it (which is obscured by red and green lines). The least preferred option for the multiplex is the tip of the peninsula in the southwest corner of this map. (No road access, a $100M road infrastructure project would have to take place, adding to the $120M multiplex and parkade design for that site; the downtown location costs only $80M.)


Downtown Fort William (south half of Thunder Bay). We're building a courthouse north of downtown and a government building south of it.

In both cores at this time, there is enough parking to meet demand but it is placed too far from the facilities it serves, so people complain there isn't enough of it. By 2014, when all the developments are complete or significantly underway, there will be a parking deficit of about 500 in either core. More parkades are being considered, and underground parking is pretty much a must in any new large development.
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  #37  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 7:39 PM
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Nothing new, but the amount of surface parking lots that many US cities have is ridiculous.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 8:09 PM
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While several major city downtowns have many a parking lots that compose a rather large portion of the district, and in turn, illustrate a rather desolate feeling about that city, in reality, it just stands as a testament to the potential that city has. Especially cities like Dallas and Houston, where these major cities are world players with a horrible downtown unworthy of comparison to its peers, both domestic and global.

And I can definitely attest to that desolate feeling; while the vibrant and active Discovery Green is great for people-watching, etc, take a stroll to Minute Maid Park and its a sea of parking lots...

But while at the present time, these cities might not "shine", you can bet that their futures are much, much brighter than established cities with great downtowns already, like Philadelphia, for example (Worth noting though that their history can never be brought back).

Luckily, for Houston, not all is lost, and we've retained at least some of our history.


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  #39  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 8:10 PM
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Check this thread for inspiration:The most annoying parking lot thread
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  #40  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2011, 8:15 PM
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Washington, DC:

Red means a normal private lot that could be redeveloped some day.
Purple means a government or institutional lot that will probably remain a parking lot forever.
Orange means one of two specific lots I want to explain. The larger of the two (the HUGE one right in the middle) was only temporary, and isn't there anymore. It was the location of the city's old convention center, which was torn down a few years ago and is now being redeveloped. The smaller orange parcel (to the right) is being redeveloped as a WalMart with apartments on top.
The Yellow triangle is the NoMa area, which used to be industrial and is now being redeveloped as an extension of downtown.

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Last edited by Cirrus; Jun 3, 2011 at 9:10 PM.
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