Downtown 2010 Plan Idea #2 - Topiary Park Infill
April 16, 2010 4:08 am at 4:08 am #81212
Infill Housing around Topiary Park
Main CU Feature: 12 Ideas Laid Out for Downtown 2010 Strategic Plan
Topiary Park has the potential to be a catalyst for residential infill. While the surrounding neighborhood has several excellent residential streets, the northern and eastern edges of the park are occupied by surface parking lots. To create a true neighborhood around the park, a parking solution should be developed that frees up the surface lots for residential development. This will require a new parking structure as part of the new development or on another nearby site. An influx of residents would help to enliven the existing neighborhood and provide the residents needed to support retail uses and other amenities that are currently lacking.April 16, 2010 2:44 pm at 2:44 pm #361706
I must say… I like this idea a lot:
;)April 16, 2010 9:26 pm at 9:26 pm #361707
This is one issue where we already know what we want to see, but there’s no will to follow through. The same problem of trying to get Motorists and State Auto to give up land is the same and I heard no ideas on how to overcome this. There’s a golden opportunity to fill in the useless “greenspace” where a dumpy apartment building stood at the SE corner of Town and Washington right on the edge of the park. A new, nice apartment building with a commercial space would be a great amenity for an area that already has residents, but is lacking in businesses. So, we have available space that is not being used by Motorists and State Auto for parking, so what’s the deal here? If we can’t get this lot developed there’s no way we’ll get anything done with those lots owned by Motorists and State Auto. There’s plenty of room for a garage on Oak to be built on the condition that surface lots be freed up for development, but that’s going to be awhile.
And whatever happened to the conversion of the Deaf School building offices to apartments?April 17, 2010 4:15 pm at 4:15 pm #361708
Columbusite wrote >>
This is one issue where we already know what we want to see, but there’s no will to follow through. The same problem of trying to get Motorists and State Auto to give up land is the same and I heard no ideas on how to overcome this.
Why do they have to “give up land”? Why can’t they have their own development arm similar to NRI and build this themselves?April 22, 2010 9:08 pm at 9:08 pm #361709
The deadline to submit input on these ideas is April 30th. Here’s a direct link to the survey for this specific idea:
Copying and pasting my thoughts that I’m submitting:
I love the idea of adding dense residential infill to anchor the north end of the Topiary Park. The Motorist Insurance Group currently owns most (if not all) of the land there currently used for employee parking. If their leadership is open-minded, this poses a great opportunity for a public-private partnership where a consolidated parking garage space can not only serve office workers at their headquarters but also residents during non-office-hours and event patrons for nearby events at the CMA or Davis Arts Center. The residential development could be built out by Motorist themselves as a real estate investment arm, similar to NRI’s development of the Arena District around the Nationwide HQ and Grange’s recent expansion in the Brewery District.
The Burnham Square Condos in the Arena District that face McPherson Commons are a perfect example of the type of density that we should expect in a development in this location:April 22, 2010 9:30 pm at 9:30 pm #361710
I think this is probably one of the best initiatives proposed in this plan… or at least it is my favorite of everything brought forward.
The existing residential properties in that area, on Town Street and around the library, have always seemed somewhat isolated but there is so much great stuff there. The architecture is really sweet. The area is adjacent to some of the educational and cultural institutions, the library is awesome, and the topiary park is a treasure.
It would be a huge win.April 30, 2010 12:24 am at 12:24 am #361711
It sounds like what MSI has in mind is creating a public garage for this area that could serve both Motorists employees as well as other uses to free up the room for private development. Interesting stuff…
Keith Myers: Right now that area is in an economic equilibrium, like it or not. The parking that is there is owned by an insurance company that needs it for their daytime use. Short of something interrupting that equilibrium, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to stay like that for awhile. What weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re suggesting is that perhaps the careful insertion of a parking structure could free up some of the surface spaces to allow for development.March 27, 2015 3:11 pm at 3:11 pm #1069163
No real “news” on this yet, per se. But it sounds like something could be in the works…
This month’s Downtown Commission agenda had an item dealing with window replacement at Motorists’ office tower. By itself not very interesting, but there was also a note after which said,
“this is the first phase (albeit a small one) of a massive renovation project dealing with the Motorist’s campus”
Currently, the Motorists “campus” consists of their main office tower, attached parking garage, and numerous surface lots surrounding the topiary park. In my mind at least, a “massive project” dealing with this campus would certainly involve some new construction, and implies impending redevelopment of their surface lots.
If this is the case, IMO now is a perfect time to do it. CML’s main library renovation will be upgrading and better integrating the Topiary Park, CMA’s new wing is about to open nearby, and there’s a strong demand for new residential and commercial space downtown.
Has anyone heard any rumblings or have any wild speculation to add to mine? ;)March 27, 2015 3:49 pm at 3:49 pm #1069164
Has anyone heard any rumblings or have any wild speculation to add to mine? ;)
The Motorists reps hinted at changes to their campus as part of a long-term effort but for now, only the windows in their original concrete hq building (sits behind the tower) are being replaced one floor per side every 6 months. Maybe there will be bigger announcements in a couple years.
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