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Easton Gateway

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Viewing 15 posts - 76 through 90 (of 260 total)
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  • #513053

    jbcmh81
    Participant

    I also was just reading an article from Charlottle about how rail projects have plenty of opposition, and the mayor basically stated that the city is running out of room to annex and spread, so if it doesn’t build up its core, there are going to be significant problems coming soon.

    #513054

    jbcmh81
    Participant

    InnerCore said:

    I posted it because its a national report from a highly reputable source that highlights my points of what national investors and developers are doing.

    Does every project need to follow these trends, of course not. But the problem is here don’t have ANY projects following these trends in the suburbs. You seem to keep associating high density with urban and low density with suburbs. Whereas in other places they are building more dense and mixed use in the suburbs. Name one place where we are doing that here.

    Really? Not a single suburb has any plans or development projects under way to densify and create more mixed-use environments? So what about Dublin? Grandview? UA? I’ve read that Grove City is trying to densify its downtown areas by adding more residents/retail/office space and even Hilliard has a proposed project near Cemetery Road for a multi-story development. This one project at Easton does not mean that there are not urban design projects going on in other parts of the city/metro.

    The only thing I have seen are the plans for Dublin. And from the way it sounds you’ve already got a builder ready to begin and ignore those plans.

    You just said there were not “ANY projects” going on anywhere that fit these new patterns, and then you remember to mention Dublin. Maybe you should figure out what’s actually going on around the city/metro before you make silly claims.

    I have no idea what you mean with the builder reference.

    Let’s face it, Easton is the most popular suburban destination in all of Columbus. If we can’t get local developers to bring mixed use, more dense, walkable neighrborhoods to Easton then its pretty much not going to happy to any of our suburbs any time soon.

    I’ve made this point before, but many of these projects you keep highlighting in comparsion to Easton came years after Easton was built. Easton was one of the first large-scale town center developments, so if it missed the mark on some things, that’s probably why. It’s easy to point out projects that came later and that just improved on other designs. It’s not particularly an honest criticism, though.

    Easton is not going to build another town center right next to the existing one. Should the design of the adjacent development be better? Absolutely. We are in agreement about that. But your usual indictment of all things Columbus because of it remains absurd.

    Here is what they have been building over the last few years in a suburb of Charlotte:

    [img]http://ddr.com/property/assets/A30477_SiteAerialImage.jpg[/img]

    Here’s a shot down the street:

    [img]http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000xd3JK5gYgOs/s/750/750/BIRKDALE-VILLAGE-UPDATE001.jpg[/img]

    Were talking about outside of the city, suburban development. And that has been there for years. This is the type of design that should’ve been at Easton. Water under the bridge, OK. But you’d think they’d at least recognize the mistakes going forward.

    Meanwhile here they’re talking about outlet malls and this horrible project.

    So start a development company and build better… or run for city government and promote better design… or attend more meetings of existing government and just become a vocal lobbyist… or move to Charlotte.

    #513055

    johnwirtz
    Participant

    I think this is an interesting way to do big box retail:
    http://goo.gl/maps/65Z55

    It’s in a street grid that’s interconnected to nearby transit and residential development. The stores front streets. There are sidewalks and crosswalks through the parking lot. There’s even angled parking in front of the stores (no “fire lane?”).

    The streetview makes it look even better than the aerial:
    http://goo.gl/maps/YDYqo

    If you have to do suburban big box, this is a good way to do it.

    #513056

    InnerCore
    Participant

    MFRONE said:
    The project only seems horrible to a dozen people posting here. I can bet there are thousands of people thrilled with any shopping area that brings another Costco and Whole Foods to Columbus.

    The issue isn’t the tenants, it’s the design. Here are what some other communities are doing…

    Responding to community complaints, the owner of the Westfield Topanga and Promenade malls has revamped plans for a third retail and dining complex in Warner Center, boasting to have designed “one of the nicest-looking Costcos anybody has ever seen.”

    Tree lined sidewalks, buildings pushed up to the main street with the parking in real, architectural details, etc. With this type of layout you could add residential or comeback and add it later. Whereas no one is going to want to live anywhere near this sea of parking lots.

    Now look at this chart:

    The ratio of going from the mall/strip scenrio here to even the lowest level mixed use is 6 times greater. I’d rather go to the developers and subsidize the better mixed use development. Even if it took you a few years to break even you would be getting 6 times the tax revenue in perpetuity.

    #513057

    columbusmike
    Participant

    I think we’re forgetting that these big shopping centers aren’t exactly the best places for residential. We need to scale back the size of these centers, or scale up the residential, if we want a quality mixed use developments in the suburbs.

    #513058

    InnerCore
    Participant

    jbcmh81 said:
    So start a development company and build better… or run for city government and promote better design… or attend more meetings of existing government and just become a vocal lobbyist… or move to Charlotte.

    I did: Innercore

    My background was in construction and finance and my partner has his own architecture practice and is currently working on the tallest residential tower south of Manhattan. We started out doing some consulting work and are now focused on developing smaller scale midrise buildings with smaller units and no parking to provide an affordable option to young professions getting priced out of the area.

    We’ve contemplated trying to develop here. It’s a challenge because it’s hard to raise equity in Columbus. You can go to investors all over and ask for money to develop in Miami but when you tell them Columbus they’re not interested. Pretty much the sentiment that I highlighted in the reports. We’ll continue to try however due to my desire to see better form and function in my hometown.

    I have no desire at all to live in Charlotte. They’re comparable in size and while they’re are currently developing smarter there, my family is here. I just think they are making a lot of moves that will put them in a better position than Columbus in the future, hence the faster growth. I could rattle of a half of dozen other cities that are doing the same. This isn’t about wanting to live somewhere, its about recognizing the best practices for development. If I higlighted a project being built in Dublin to show how a project at Easton could be better then you wouldn’t really have a problem. But to me developing the best projects that make it easiest to live the lifestyle most people want to live is the goal for me, not fist pumping everything about my hometown. Cities like Charlotte, Austin, Denver, etc. are usually the ones that come up the most because those are the cities with the most development to learn from. If I lived in Toledo I’m sure I could use a lot of examples of how Columbus is revitalizing their Midwest downtown. And you clearly would have a problem with that, but somehow referencing anything non Columbus you do.

    #513059
    Steve
    Steve
    Participant

    So what do we do/who do we contact to vocalize our concerns for the developments?

    If anyone is willing to start a petition or something, I would be more than happy to sign it. Is it too late for that?

    Regardless, it might be worth it to bring up our desire for more stringent building/land use requirements to the mayor.

    Having legislation in place to require healthy use of land would benefit everyone.

    If anyone has any suggestions for doing so, please message me. I am going to talk to the mayor about it.

    #513060

    InnerCore
    Participant

    stephentszuter said:
    So what do we do/who do we contact to vocalize our concerns for the developments?

    If anyone is willing to start a petition or something, I would be more than happy to sign it. Is it too late for that?

    Regardless, it might be worth it to bring up our desire for more stringent building/land use requirements to the mayor.

    Having legislation in place to require healthy use of land would benefit everyone.

    If anyone has any suggestions for doing so, please message me. I am going to talk to the mayor about it.

    I’m not familiar with the local politics but there should be some type of zoning review board. The way I have seen it in most cities even if a developer proposes something that is allowed by zoning, the commissioners still have to approve it. We get screwed with this all the time. We draw up an 12 story building that is allowed under zoning and then all the local residents come in and complain. So to appease them and get approval we agree to build 10 stories instead.

    When they are having these meetings which are public the more people there voicing concerns the better. After all these are the same constituents that vote for the commissioners. You always get a few wackos that just hate everything. But when you get people that come in with legitimate views and constructive criticism then it makes it hard for the commissioners to ignore them.

    #513061
    Steve
    Steve
    Participant

    InnerCore said:
    I’m not familiar with the local politics but there should be some type of zoning review board. The way I have seen it in most cities even if a developer proposes something that is allowed by zoning, the commissioners still have to approve it. We get screwed with this all the time. We draw up an 12 story building that is allowed under zoning and then all the local residents come in and complain. So to appease them and get approval we agree to build 10 stories instead.

    When they are having these meetings which are public the more people there voicing concerns the better. After all these are the same constituents that vote for the commissioners. You always get a few wackos that just hate everything. But when you get people that come in with legitimate views and constructive criticism then it makes it hard for the commissioners to ignore them.

    Are they local commission meetings, as in neighborhood-by-neighborhood? Or are they city-wide commissions?

    I would like to start attending these. (The only issue with this is that they most likely hold these during working hours? Or are they on the weekends?)

    #513062

    jbcmh81
    Participant

    InnerCore said:
    I did: Innercore

    My background was in construction and finance and my partner has his own architecture practice and is currently working on the tallest residential tower south of Manhattan. We started out doing some consulting work and are now focused on developing smaller scale midrise buildings with smaller units and no parking to provide an affordable option to young professions getting priced out of the area.

    We’ve contemplated trying to develop here. It’s a challenge because it’s hard to raise equity in Columbus. You can go to investors all over and ask for money to develop in Miami but when you tell them Columbus they’re not interested. Pretty much the sentiment that I highlighted in the reports. We’ll continue to try however due to my desire to see better form and function in my hometown.

    I have no desire at all to live in Charlotte. They’re comparable in size and while they’re are currently developing smarter there, my family is here. I just think they are making a lot of moves that will put them in a better position than Columbus in the future, hence the faster growth. I could rattle of a half of dozen other cities that are doing the same. This isn’t about wanting to live somewhere, its about recognizing the best practices for development. If I higlighted a project being built in Dublin to show how a project at Easton could be better then you wouldn’t really have a problem. But to me developing the best projects that make it easiest to live the lifestyle most people want to live is the goal for me, not fist pumping everything about my hometown. Cities like Charlotte, Austin, Denver, etc. are usually the ones that come up the most because those are the cities with the most development to learn from. If I lived in Toledo I’m sure I could use a lot of examples of how Columbus is revitalizing their Midwest downtown. And you clearly would have a problem with that, but somehow referencing anything non Columbus you do.

    I think we’ve already been over why we disagree so often. It’s just clear that you have very little respect for Columbus in general and it permeates every viewpoint. I can’t imagine this helps when you’re going to investors to try to sell a city you don’t think is much worth the effort. I don’t imagine those people are stupid, so if you don’t believe it, why should they?

    #513063

    labi
    Participant

    stephentszuter said:
    Are they local commission meetings, as in neighborhood-by-neighborhood? Or are they city-wide commissions?

    I would like to start attending these. (The only issue with this is that they most likely hold these during working hours? Or are they on the weekends?)

    Our city council members are all elected at large (i.e., they are supposed to represent the entire city, not a specific section of it). City Council is in turn advised by a series of neighborhood commissions – for example, my neighborhood’s is the University Area Commission (UAC). The opinions of these commissions are taken into consideration by City Council, but do not have to be followed by Council.

    I don’t know if all commissions are organized the same way, but the UAC has committees that deal with zoning, planning, etc. The UAC’s zoning committee reviews all projects that require zoning variances, but does not review projects that comply with given zoning requirements. The planning committee generally focuses on looking forward into some distant future (e.g., planning for the process of planning the next city-sponsored neighborhood plan) (repetition intended), rather than weighing in on any specific current project.

    Some neighborhoods have special design review entities. For example, in my neighborhood, the University Area Review Board reviews all projects within a specific geographic area for compliance with design overlays. The UARB also reviews zoning variances, although their opinion on those is not final. Areas without this kind of review are served only by the city office that review plans for code and zoning compliance before building permits are issued.

    To my knowledge, all meetings related to the UAC committees and the UARB are in the evening. They are remarkably sparsely attended.

    #513064

    InnerCore
    Participant

    stephentszuter said:
    Are they local commission meetings, as in neighborhood-by-neighborhood? Or are they city-wide commissions?

    I would like to start attending these. (The only issue with this is that they most likely hold these during working hours? Or are they on the weekends?)

    They are usually city wide and held at city hall. And yes sadly they are during working hours. Which is why you usually get the little old ladies that don’t want anything to be build in their neighborhoods. I used to attend them while in grad school to understand the process. It’s a little bit of theater. Usually you sit with people that work for the planning department to see if you project meets the zoning code. Things can often be “interpreted” in different ways so its good to get their opinion. Then it goes in front of the review board for approval. Usually the staff at the planning department provides a recommendation to the board. But they don’t have to follow it.

    But that is more of a reactionary method for stuff getting approved now. Looking forward its important to urge to city officials the desire for mixed use urban walkable communities. Most of this comes from zoning. In development I personally want to develop sustainable communities, but let’s be honest most people don’t go into real estate for charity. I usually crunch the numbers and my partner who is an architect focuses on the design. I usually dictate what happens because you can developer a crappy project that makes money but you cant develop and great design that doesn’t.

    So as most people here know it all comes down to money which is why this site is designed the way it is. It’s the cheapest design allowable by zoning. If you want the developer to build project that has more risk then there needs to be some extra sort of incentive.

    Reduce my parking requirements for mixed use. After all if I have an office building and residential using the same parking lot the office residents park during the day and residents park at night. No need for a single space for everyone.

    Allow me more floor to lot rations (FAR). Most codes only allow you to build a certain amount of space as a ratio. So for example if you have an FAR of 3 that means on a 40,000 SF lot you can build 120,000 SF. Well make the FAR higher for mixed use and lower for single use. This makes the land more valuable only as a mixed use projects. That does two things. If the developer owns the land hes incentivized to build mixed use. And then land owners want the highest value so they tend to only sell it at rates where the developer has to do mixed use in order to be profitable.

    Changing setback requirements. You can require that the buildings facade abuts the front and side street in mixed use districts. This helps create walkable streets and pushes parking to the secondary streets usually in the rear.

    I believe they addressed some of these issue in the Downtown district. But our suburbs are still growing and really still provide a lot of the places that many people can afford.

    The goal should be to provide people good options near where they work. So for example if you are a young professional and work in one of the office parks near Easton you shouldn’t have to live downtown for a walkable environment.

    There are plenty of studies that show that not only does this help build long lasting, more enjoyable communities but is also is more economically viable for the city. So for instance if you put residential on 10 acres and retail on 10 acres you get more money from putting them both on 7 acres and leaving the other 3 acres vacant. Then you start adding in the decrease in needed infrastructure, reduction in auto dependency, etc. and it just makes sense to incentivize this type of development.

    Altering the zoning and getting rail should be the top priorities of the city right now.

    #513065

    InnerCore
    Participant

    It appears the equivalent in Columbus is the Development Commission:

    http://bzs.columbus.gov/commission.aspx?id=20698

    You can go the website and look through the votes on past projects.

    Regular meetings are held as needed – generally on the 2nd Thursday of the month at Public Hearing Room, 757 Carolyn Avenue at 6:00 pm. Meetings are subject to cancellation or rescheduling. You are encouraged to contact the Zoning Office for meeting confirmation.

    #513066
    Steve
    Steve
    Participant

    InnerCore said:
    It appears the equivalent in Columbus is the Development Commission:

    http://bzs.columbus.gov/commission.aspx?id=20698

    You can go the website and look through the votes on past projects.

    Regular meetings are held as needed – generally on the 2nd Thursday of the month at Public Hearing Room, 757 Carolyn Avenue at 6:00 pm. Meetings are subject to cancellation or rescheduling. You are encouraged to contact the Zoning Office for meeting confirmation.

    That is unbelievably helpful, thank you.

    #513067

    peter
    Participant

    It’s just clear that you have very little respect for Columbus in general and it permeates every viewpoint. I can’t imagine this helps when you’re going to investors to try to sell a city you don’t think is much worth the effort. I don’t imagine those people are stupid, so if you don’t believe it, why should they?

    FWIW, that hasn’t been my impression of InnerCore’s contributions here at all. But to each his own.

    Am I the only one who avoids Easton these days, due to the horrendous traffic and general congestion/crowding? I’m wondering how MORE development is going to lure people, it’s not like anyone is ever “Easton? Nah, there’s not enough shopping there to make it worth the trip.”

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