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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 15, 2014, 9:39 PM
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Warehouse Districts in the 21st Century

Hey all,

I'm doing a research project on Warehouse Districts in 21st Century cities for my grad school program at Tulane. I also think this would be an interesting topic for everyone to discuss as well.

I mainly am trying to find some of the best practices for revitalizing these parts of cities that would fit into this century. Not just seeing them turn into residential uses or arts districts, but back to light industrial uses that are relevant to today. I.e, tech start-up businesses, e-commerce companies like Amazon, small time manufacturing companies, fiber-optics, etc. Many of these districts are close to seaports, railyards, airports, and highways. I'm just trying to think of the types of logistics that need to be considered or design aspects.

I've been looking at some case studies like in Edmonton, Brooklyn, New Orleans, Chattanooga, and Miami. Any suggestions for other cities to look to?
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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 15, 2014, 10:05 PM
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Many of the rust belt cities have warehouse districts, and this use to be the place where manufacturing was the greatest before manufacturing somewhat left. I'd consider studying Detroit, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Flint, Michigan. Some revitalization could possibly occur in these cities. Turning either present or abandoned warehouses into something feasible for the economy and/or personal use.
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Old Posted Feb 16, 2014, 1:37 AM
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In Austin the Warehouse District is one of the main club districts. All the warehouses have been transformed into clubs, restaurants, coffee shops you name it. It's actually an upscale district vs sixth street.
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Old Posted Feb 16, 2014, 2:42 AM
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You can find examples of century old warehouse districts in just about any city that had +100k residents prior to WWII.

In Jax, the Riverside Warehouse District (people call it CoRK Arts District now) is probably worth looking at. You won't find any tech startups in it but has successfully transformed from a 1920s industrial district anchored by a furniture maker, a bottling plant and dairy into one filled with two craft breweries with popular tap rooms, millwork/lumber shops, a large arts complex, and an exotic foods company. The mix of stuff in the warehouses filled with arts stuff is pretty interesting as well. There's +100,000SF of stuff ranging from furniture makers, screen printers to blacksmiths and glass makers.

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/art...t-then-and-now

http://www.metrojacksonville.com/art...-arts-district

Some others I'm familiar with that may be worth checking out include the Channel District (Tampa), Shockoe Bottom (Richmond), the Design District (Miami), Castleberry Hill (Atlanta).

I also second Chris' comment. The Midwest is full of large scale examples in various states. Places like Kansas City, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Omaha, etc. would be great places for a study on warehouse districts.
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Old Posted Feb 16, 2014, 3:11 AM
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Seattle's SoDo district might be an example. South of the stadiums, particularly along First Avenue South, there are a lot of conversions to office, furniture stores, and some tech companies.
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  #6  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2014, 3:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alxx611 View Post
Hey all,

I'm doing a research project on Warehouse Districts in 21st Century cities for my grad school program at Tulane. I also think this would be an interesting topic for everyone to discuss as well.

I mainly am trying to find some of the best practices for revitalizing these parts of cities that would fit into this century. Not just seeing them turn into residential uses or arts districts, but back to light industrial uses that are relevant to today. I.e, tech start-up businesses, e-commerce companies like Amazon, small time manufacturing companies, fiber-optics, etc. Many of these districts are close to seaports, railyards, airports, and highways. I'm just trying to think of the types of logistics that need to be considered or design aspects.

I've been looking at some case studies like in Edmonton, Brooklyn, New Orleans, Chattanooga, and Miami. Any suggestions for other cities to look to?
Take a look at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia.
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  #7  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2014, 9:20 PM
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We have our fair share as well. The Larkin district in Buffalo is a good one in terms of slowly bouncing back.









Making its way back: http://larkinsquare.com/larkin-square-photo-gallery/ and http://www.theatlanticcities.com/job...hborhood/4809/
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  #8  
Old Posted Feb 16, 2014, 11:37 PM
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Greenville, South Carolina was once a hub of the textile industry and is home to more than a few old warehouses in and near downtown and the West End. Some have been retrofitted as residential space, but others have been turned into commercial and tech space, and the shell of one by the Reedy River has been preserved as an event venue.
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Old Posted Feb 17, 2014, 3:54 AM
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Winston-Salem is worth looking into. They are great at adaptive reuse projects. They've turned old factories and warehouses, some dating back to the 1830s, into almost anything you can think of. Schools, retail, a distillery, a brewery, a hotel, research labs, offices, government offices, a parking deck, a medical office, and much more. They converted a freight depot into offices. A parts warehouse was converted into a performing arts center two or three years ago. The old Salem Iron Works became a downtown middle school - Going to a school in an old iron works must be awesome! They converted a textile factory into an arts school. An old warehouse was converted into office space for an electric company and a few other businesses. The police evidence storage for Winston-Salem is actually the old B.F. Huntley Furniture Factory! They are currently converting NormalAir Corp's 1966 warehouse into the new City Yard. Recently, the city's museum opened in an old industrial building. The city's visitor's center is an old textile mill, built in the 1880s. The state is considering converting an old industrial building into a state history teacher's training center. A Coca~Cola Bottling Plant is home to a native plants and city archeology research center. I could find many more, but you get the point.

The area you would find most interesting is a place called the IQ District (Innovation Quarter). It's the eastern third of Winston-Salem's downtown. I know you're not interested in residential conversions, so I'll keep it to other uses. This area is attracting thousands of new jobs each year; it's attracting conventions/conferences; the Vice President spoke in one of the building's conference centers recently. It's tech, education, offices, retail, and entertainment. They are even building a streetcar through it.

Some of the noteworthy projects in the IQ District are the conversion of a textile building into an elementary school; A number of old industrial buildings from the 1880s were converted into mixed-use offices and labs with condos on the top floor, during the 1990s. Half of them were lost in a fire in 1998 (while being renovated) though. Also worth noting is the Forsyth Government Center, built over 100 years ago as a warehouse and converted into the county's main office building and meeting center around 2002 or 2003 (Yes, county offices and County Commission meetings are in a renovated industrial building!). The Richardson Romanesque-looking parking deck behind it is obviously an old factory. The Bailey Power Plant, which is being converted into an entertainment/retail/office/conference/innovation center project is a favorite. The smoke stacks for the power plant could become large kaleidoscopes and part of the building will become a dance theatre. There is talk of an art gallery in the power plant too. The old grocery distribution center could become a grocery store and small conference center, operated by the city's Cobblestone Market. Krankies Coffee is ground, roasted, and packed in a former meat packing plant in the IQ District. That meat packing plant is an artist colony, bakery, and live music stage. A glass block building from the 1930s was formerly an engineering center for RJR Nabisco and today is offices and research labs, with ground floor retail spaces. A brick building behind it was once a warehouse, but today is the headquarters for Carolina Liquid Chemistries and also features a conference center, where the Vice President spoke. Across the street is Inmar's new corporate headquarters. Inmar's building was originally home to one giant piece of equipment to convert factory floor scraps into usable product. Biomed Realty Trust converted it into a 4-storey tech office building. Beside that building is a 6-storey tech office building with retail. On the next block is an old warehouse from 1916, being converted into a retail center. The large 6-storey factory building behind that could become the new location for Wake Forest University's School of Medicine. A old castle from the 1880s was a wagon works and today is the headquarters for Black Horse Studios design firm. Winding through the district are former freight rail lines that are becoming an alternative commute project, with bike lanes, walking lanes, and a preserved rail line for future light rail passenger trains. I also love the park made around the foundations of former industrial buildings. Be sure to see the remaining Belgium Block streets from the 1880s and remnants of old streetcar lines from 1889. AURP has said Winston-Salem's tech district is the fastest growing research district/park in the nation.

Also of note: In the IQ District, it's not the city leading it. Developers and research interests are doing it all and going to the extreme of rebuilding the entire street network. The streets they removed had Belgium Blocks under them and they reused them along the sidewalks. Everything on the streetscapes is being replaced, from streetlights to sidewalks, and they are burying the power lines. Also notice they flattened the terrain and daylighted the Bath Waterway, which was piped underground to build an International Railport around 100 years ago. Amazing development, valued in the billions, and toured each year by many cities.
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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2014, 4:09 AM
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In Canada, one of the great ones is the Exchange District in Winnipeg, Manitoba
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  #11  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2014, 4:58 AM
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Great feedback from everyone, thanks a lot. I'll definitely look into all of them. Particularly Winston-Salem's IQ District. I'm curious about the private investment/financing behind that.


Lakelander, I'm curious if the Design District is the same as the Wynnwood District??
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