Author Topic: 1534 Oak Street - Appropriate for the Neighborhood?  (Read 73778 times)

archiphreak

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Re: 1534 Oak Street - Appropriate for the Neighborhood?
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2010, 09:31:33 AM »
I'm truly disappointed, but not even slightly surprised, that RAP is against this development. RAP, these days, seems to be against any development that does not fit within their carefully crafted little box of architectural features and building elements.  This development would be MORE THAN WELCOME by anyone who actually lives in the neighborhood and gives a damn about good design.  Not to mention the fact that this site has been vacant since the original building was torn down to make way for a residential development that failed to get off the ground more than 3 years ago.  Another example of Riverside and the City cutting of their noses to spite their faces.
I personally would say screw the overlay, especially considering this site doesn't even fall within the historic boundary of the neighborhood.  Lets also not forget about the monstrosity of a building right across the street (the old folks home).  It's, what, 20 stories tall?  Come on.  This development is fresh, new, vibrant, someone said "urban".  Riverside needs this.  Whether you "like" the design is irrelevant.  It's an important step forward for our city and our neighborhood.

cline

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Re: 1534 Oak Street - Appropriate for the Neighborhood?
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2010, 09:32:45 AM »
You can already park in the bottom levels of the 1661 garage.  Its basically additional public parking.  There is no way that 1661 would allow the public to park in the upper levels (behind the gate) where residents park.

Yes, however it's not designated as such.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but there is no legal agreement that requires them to provide 24 hour residental parking to the developers of this project.

I thought I remember when 1661 was being built that they had to provide some sort of available public parking.  You are correct though, it is not signed very well and many do not know that it is legal to park there.  I doubt there is any sort of legal agreement in regards to parking with the developers of this project. 
« Last Edit: September 21, 2010, 09:34:20 AM by cline »

thelakelander

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Re: 1534 Oak Street - Appropriate for the Neighborhood?
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2010, 09:35:28 AM »
I'm probably in the minority but I'm actually fine with the size of the building, considering the surrounding environment.  When I look at that particular area, I see an environment with a mix of structures and uses, which add to the vibrancy and attractiveness of Five Points, imo.  Within a few blocks of the site there are several highrise condo towers, including one that was constructed in the 1920s.  Five Points Theater also has some height to it.  In addition, 1661 Riverside is four or five stories and is right across the street.  I would be more concerned about the size if it were in the middle of residential district but Five Points is a mixed bag of tricks that quite frankly, more density should be encouraged in the future (within the urban transition zone between Margaret and I-95).  Nevertheless, I would have loved to see the developers work with the neighborhood in a manner that all parties felt good about the final outcome.
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dlupercio

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Re: 1534 Oak Street - Appropriate for the Neighborhood?
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2010, 09:36:18 AM »
So does RAP control everyrthing that goes on in that side of town? Would be sad to see this project crash.

Its not really a question of control.  They are the guardians of the neighborhood however.

The City controls the area, and according to the city codes, this structure would not comply with its zoning laws.

RAP would actually like to help the developer get this done so that it does comply, from every conversation Ive had with a RAP person.

What would make it crash is the design groups way of handling it.

well either way i hope they wont deviate from the modern feel of the structure.

cline

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Re: 1534 Oak Street - Appropriate for the Neighborhood?
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2010, 09:49:00 AM »
I'm probably in the minority but I'm actually fine with the size of the building, considering the surrounding environment.  When I look at that particular area, I see an environment with a mix of structures and uses, which add to the vibrancy and attractiveness of Five Points, imo.  Within a few blocks of the site there are several highrise condo towers, including one that was constructed in the 1920s.  Five Points Theater also has some height to it.  In addition, 1661 Riverside is four or five stories and is right across the street.  I would be more concerned about the size if it were in the middle of residential district but Five Points is a mixed bag of tricks that quite frankly, more density should be encouraged in the future (within the urban transition zone between Margaret and I-95).  Nevertheless, I would have loved to see the developers work with the neighborhood in a manner that all parties felt good about the final outcome.

Agreed.  It will contribute to the surrounding built environment a lot more than the current vacant lot.  Although, Jax does seem to have a thing for vacant lots.

JAM

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Re: 1534 Oak Street - Appropriate for the Neighborhood?
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2010, 09:51:07 AM »
No, RAP does not control everything in that goes on the neighborhood.  It has, though, acted as a community voice to express concerns and look out for the neighborhood.  People call RAP all the time to express concerns and ask for help, including about this project.  Architects and neighbors to this property have contacted RAP and asked that RAP express the concerns it has. It's a role RAP has played since the 1970's. It's not that the developers should work with RAP because it's "RAP."  Developers should work with RAP because it is a voice for the community.  For this particular project RAP has a group of 6 people (including architects, a lawyer, and a planner) reviewing the plans and proposed PUD language, plus input from the RAP board.  RAP also arranged to have the developer meet with a local architect at the site to explain how the building's mass and scale could be improved to fit in with the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, while the developer has acquieced to the conditions imposed by the Planning Department, the only comments voluntarily adopted from what RAP suggested is no internal illumination on signs (which is what the code requires) and taking language out of the PUD that would have allowed the possibility of a retention pond.

It WOULD be a shame to not have the project go through.  But it would also be a shame to get a poorly designed building in such a vibrant part of the neighborhood.  Development is not bad.  It just needs to be well designed.

Steve

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Re: 1534 Oak Street - Appropriate for the Neighborhood?
« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2010, 09:54:51 AM »
Furthermore, RAP isn't against the modern feel of the building.  It's outside the historic district, so it's fine that the developer went modern on this.  I personally am fine with that aspect of modernism.

The main thing RAP is pushing is parking.  Parking is a huge concern over there.  Personally, I avoid the Larry's over there because I can't stand parking three blocks away to spend 5 minutes in a building to pick up a 7 dollar sandwich.

Steve

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Re: 1534 Oak Street - Appropriate for the Neighborhood?
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2010, 10:02:15 AM »
I'm truly disappointed, but not even slightly surprised, that RAP is against this development. RAP, these days, seems to be against any development that does not fit within their carefully crafted little box of architectural features and building elements.

Please find me a quote from RAP saying they oppose it because it is modern.

This development would be MORE THAN WELCOME by anyone who actually lives in the neighborhood and gives a damn about good design.

I live four blocks from the site, and I think the building is ugly as hell.  I welcome the restaraunt however.

Not to mention the fact that this site has been vacant since the original building was torn down to make way for a residential development that failed to get off the ground more than 3 years ago.  Another example of Riverside and the City cutting of their noses to spite their faces.

This is an odd argument.  You're essentially saying that anything is better than a vacant lot.  This argument left us with Berkman Plaza and the Adam's Mark Hotel (now Hyatt).  Yes, a building is better than a vacant lot, but can't we have something designed well too?

I personally would say screw the overlay, especially considering this site doesn't even fall within the historic boundary of the neighborhood.

Ummm - we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

Lets also not forget about the monstrosity of a building right across the street (the old folks home).  It's, what, 20 stories tall?

Again, because Berkman Plaza was allowed to build a crap building, that means that anyone can build a crap building?

Come on.  This development is fresh, new, vibrant, someone said "urban".  Riverside needs this.  Whether you "like" the design is irrelevant.  It's an important step forward for our city and our neighborhood.

I don't think Riverside "needs" this.  Riverside seems to be doing just fine.  With that said, I believe that a restaraunt is better for the neighborhood than a vacant lot.  I also don't think RAP is opposed to a development there.  For example, if the design was the same, just didn't have the two floors of residential/office, I think this would have already been approved.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2010, 10:21:54 AM by Steve »

cline

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Re: 1534 Oak Street - Appropriate for the Neighborhood?
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2010, 10:03:48 AM »
According to the excerpts of the overlay that Lake highlighted, parking requirements for retail and service establishments in contributing structures shall be zero.  Wouldn't this building be considered a contributing structure and therefore not required to provide parking?

JAM

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Re: 1534 Oak Street - Appropriate for the Neighborhood?
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2010, 10:08:40 AM »
Archiphreak -- If you "screw the overlay" then the project definately could not be built. The city's current zoning is designed for suburban areas, with large set backs and large parking requirements.  This project would need to provide 74 parking spaces if the Overlay wasn't there.  Under the Overlay, they will only be required to provide 19 parking spaces (a 75% reduction).  The overlay was designed to not only protect the look and feel of the neighborhood, but to also allow developers to build in-fill projects with the same scale, density, and set backs as the surrounding neighborhood without the need for zoning deviations and PUD's.  It's good thing for developers to have the overlay because it relaxes a lot of the zoning requirements applicable to the rest of the city.

Alas, they don't even want to meet those relaxed requirements. . .  

thelakelander

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Re: 1534 Oak Street - Appropriate for the Neighborhood?
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2010, 10:09:18 AM »
The main thing RAP is pushing is parking.  Parking is a huge concern over there.  Personally, I avoid the Larry's over there because I can't stand parking three blocks away to spend 5 minutes in a building to pick up a 7 dollar sandwich.

Sounds like RAP needs to aggressively jump on the streetcar support train. ;)

Is the developer proposing to reconstruct Oak Street similar to what 1661 Riverside and Riverside Square did on Margaret Street?  That would be a nice compromise that would add spaces in the immediate area.

From the outside looking in, ultimately the market will most likely dictate that whatever goes on the upper floors will need some number of dedicated spaces before leased or purchased by the end user.  This can probably be handled either through working out some agreement with 1661 Riverside next door or rebuilding Oak Street to accommodate more parking.

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rainfrog

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Re: 1534 Oak Street - Appropriate for the Neighborhood?
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2010, 10:10:13 AM »
My biggest beef is with how it addresses the corner. The angle from which it will be most prominent will just be a razor sharp wall pointing at you. Not inviting AT ALL. And that should be a huge deal. An uninviting slab is not a neighborhood improvement. Now picture it empty. The best architecture is what looks good even when it's boarded up (just a strange rule of thumb I like to use :P ...but there is wisdom in considering use is not as static as stone).

In some cultures, sharp corners on a building are like pointing weapons at your neighbors. Plus, just about any pre-WWII building on a sharp corner would have addressed it with a facade (however narrow) and often even an entrance, rather than just a meeting of walls. Corners are friggin' important. People used to know that! All you have to do for an example is go up the street to the corner of Margaret & Dellwood. PERFECT example, and on the same street:
Click here for Google Street View

Look how much more inviting that is.

JAM

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Re: 1534 Oak Street - Appropriate for the Neighborhood?
« Reply #27 on: September 21, 2010, 10:16:12 AM »
According to the excerpts of the overlay that Lake highlighted, parking requirements for retail and service establishments in contributing structures shall be zero.  Wouldn't this building be considered a contributing structure and therefore not required to provide parking?

Contributing structures are historic to the neighborhood.  At least 50 years old at the time the historic distric was surveyed.  So, no, it won't be "contributing."  

iluvolives

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Re: 1534 Oak Street - Appropriate for the Neighborhood?
« Reply #28 on: September 21, 2010, 10:16:25 AM »
So does RAP control everyrthing that goes on in that side of town? Would be sad to see this project crash.

Its not really a question of control.  They are the guardians of the neighborhood however.

The City controls the area, and according to the city codes, this structure would not comply with its zoning laws.

RAP would actually like to help the developer get this done so that it does comply, from every conversation Ive had with a RAP person.

What would make it crash is the design groups way of handling it.

well either way i hope they wont deviate from the modern feel of the structure.

I don't think anyone has expressed concern about the fact that it's a modern design- it's more an issue of scale.

Steve

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Re: 1534 Oak Street - Appropriate for the Neighborhood?
« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2010, 10:23:13 AM »
According to the excerpts of the overlay that Lake highlighted, parking requirements for retail and service establishments in contributing structures shall be zero.  Wouldn't this building be considered a contributing structure and therefore not required to provide parking?

JAM answered the contributing part.  I also don't think the parking is as much of an issue with the restaraunt portion as with the residential/office portion.