BTW, I almost never side with the too tall/too modern/doesn't address the surrounding area arguments, but the Tupelo just seems like such a clear example of why these things are important.
I'm with you. That building, due to its scale, is of central importance to the street and at this point it looks like it is going to be an art-less and very bulky failure. It looks extremely cheap and generic. Compare it to the LEED-Platinum Shaver Green affordable apartments going up on MLK -- well, there is no comparison, actually. Of course, I don't know the fine points of the financial realities and choices faced by each developer (Shaver Green is state subsidized to a significant extent). But the firm that designed Shaver Green obviously did a bang-up job designing a quality building within whatever constraints were handed to them. Sera did not, though who knows what Trammell-Crow demanded of them.
I'll take some pics this weekend. One thing I noticed riding by earlier today was that the backside of the development looks much better -- more townhouse-style, with bioswales, alternating colors, and pitched roofs.