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Neighborhood Launch - News & Discussion

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Development Neighborhood Launch – News & Discussion

This topic contains 206 replies, has 39 voices, and was last updated by  CB_downtowner 3 years, 2 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 207 total)
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  • #456242

    jbcmh81
    Participant

    columbusmike said:
    Pretty soon we’re going to run out of surface lots in this city…then it will be time to start going skywards :)

    We’re about 50 years away from running out of surface lots in Downtown.

    #456243

    InnerCore
    Participant

    columbusmike said:
    Pretty soon we’re going to run out of surface lots in this city…then it will be time to start going skywards :)

    jbcmh81 said:
    We’re about 50 years away from running out of surface lots in Downtown.

    Interestingly enough even though it will be a long time before we run out of surface lots we SHOULD be building taller now. The faster and more densely we build helps to create a synergy effect that attracts more people than building slowly.

    Pretty much as soon as any urban project is built it’s leased up before its even completed. That means there are more people that want to be in the urban areas than there is new supply. But there are even more people who would want to be in these urban areas if there were even more amenities.

    So for example let’s say there are an additional 5,000 people that want to live downtown. Right now we are slowly building new housing to accommodate these people over the next 5 years. As these people slowly move downtown restaurants, shops, bars, etc. will slowly follow to accommodate them. Then 5 years later after all these people and amenities are here that will act as a magnet for even more people.

    Well imagine if you simply built a couple of large scale projects and move those 5,000 people downtown in a year. The service and amenities would rush in to accommodate those people more quickly. Now that those people and amenities are here sooner you now have a draw for other people to move downtown sooner.

    The losers would be the suburbs. The increased supply would no doubt begin to reduce demand. But the demand for the urban areas would move in correlation with the increased desirability of these areas. So as there are more desirable urban areas that are more affordable, the draw of the suburbs would be greatly reduced.

    #456244
    Josh Lapp
    Josh Lapp
    Participant

    There are three things I really like about NL-

    A) Quality of Materials and Attention to detail (that’s real cast iron!)
    B) Varieties of Architecture
    C) They’ve responded to a changing marketplace (by adding apartments into the project)

    I also suspect they were instrumental to bringing the Hills Market. To paraphrase Walker: Good is not the enemy of perfect.

    #456245

    InnerCore
    Participant

    I think NL is a great product for downtown. I think it’s good to have a variety of housing types. We’ve got plent of space to fill in so spreadying it out in some areas will help downtown feel more complete. I was thinking more along the lines of High st. We should be doing some 20 to 40 story 400 unit towers. At least 2 to 3 of them.

    #456246

    surber17
    Participant

    @joshlapp – agreed with all three points. It would be tough for these condos to go down in price even if the demand to live downtown slipped a bit. They have quality finishes throughout. People in the suburbs wonder why their $400,000 dollar house is only worth $250,000 now — check how it was built. I’m not paying $400,000 for builders grade crap that needs replaced after 5 years.

    #456247

    surber17
    Participant

    @innercore – agreed on your point too. I love having this “Neighborhood” in the heart of downtown but not directly on High Street. The location is perfect and once the rest of it is filled in I think the demand will actually grow even more to be in this area. Also, as a side bonus, it will connect CCAD with downtown with very walkable streets. I’ve strolled up and down that street multiple times just because its relaxing and beautiful.

    #456248

    columbusmike
    Participant

    InnerCore said:
    Interestingly enough even though it will be a long time before we run out of surface lots we SHOULD be building taller now. The faster and more densely we build helps to create a synergy effect that attracts more people than building slowly.

    We don’t need to necessarily build taller – just more densely. Plenty of great places around the world are 1,2, or 3 stories…but almost all of them are very dense.

    In addition, almost all great places around the world have great public spaces.

    NL isn’t super dense, but it’s decent. A variety of density is good in an urban environment. We don’t need have New York City density on every block, but we also don’t need to have NL-type developments on every corner of downtown. Quality of architecture and public space is just as important as density, and I think while NL isn’t super dense, the quality of place that it creates is what we should be striving for throughout downtown in addition to density.

    #456249
    Josh Lapp
    Josh Lapp
    Participant

    InnerCore said:
    I think NL is a great product for downtown. I think it’s good to have a variety of housing types. We’ve got plent of space to fill in so spreadying it out in some areas will help downtown feel more complete. I was thinking more along the lines of High st. We should be doing some 20 to 40 story 400 unit towers. At least 2 to 3 of them.

    Agreed, it would be nice to have a North Bank Tower for the new decade. The Atlas and Levque rehabs will likely fill some of that nitch. Seems like the Condo market will be the next one to pick back up.

    #456250
    MichaelC
    MichaelC
    Participant

    The niche has a lot of demand to itch, which will hopefully last a while.

    NL will hopefully do as its name suggests, and that’s largely becuase it’s being built well.

    To quibble, it would be nice to see the properties across from the NL on Gay Street and on Long Street begin to come to life. On the Gay Street side, options are quite limited: it’s parking lots, an eyesore of a private parking garage, and the back of buildings. On the Long Street side, there is much more potential/roof for development.

    That said, micro-neighborhoods like NL will ideally fill in as the Downtown continues to merge. The efforts CCAD and C. State are making will only contribute to the positive developments in that part of Downtown.

    #456251

    InnerCore
    Participant

    columbusmike said:
    We don’t need to necessarily build taller – just more densely. Plenty of great places around the world are 1,2, or 3 stories…but almost all of them are very dense.

    In addition, almost all great places around the world have great public spaces.

    NL isn’t super dense, but it’s decent. A variety of density is good in an urban environment. We don’t need have New York City density on every block, but we also don’t need to have NL-type developments on every corner of downtown. Quality of architecture and public space is just as important as density, and I think while NL isn’t super dense, the quality of place that it creates is what we should be striving for throughout downtown in addition to density.

    A lot of the places that are very dense with low heights have outstanding public transit and were built before cars. I’m one of the biggest advocate for public transit but the reality is that in order to bring people back downtown were going to have to provide units with places to park for now.

    So let’s take a typical downtown surface lot on High st. Most of these lots are about 200 x 200, which is 40,000 sf or just under an acre. A good density for downtown is 150 units per acre. So that would be about 135 units. With no parking you could accommodate all of those units in 3 to 4 stories. Now the floor plans wouldn’t be ideal but if you’re talking about a places like Paris then it’s not going to matter much.

    Now let’s look at that same lot in terms of today in Columbus. With 135 units you’re going to need over 200 parking spaces. With proper setbacks that is going to be a 4 to 5 story parking pedestal hopefully with street level retail. Then to create units with a floor plan people would want today you’re going to need about another 14 to 15 stories for the residential units. So basically what could be achieved in 3 to 4 stories is now a 20 story building.

    The densities that we are building at right now are extremely low for a downtown core. We’re basically building at suburban densities in our downtown core. And that is fine to add diversity. But that type of development should be for extremely wealthy people. It all comes down to land values. If the urban core like Columbus land values are going to be at least $4M per acre. If you have housing at 20 units per acre you have a land cost of $200,000 by itself. It’s going to be extremely hard to build housing that is comparable to the suburbs with such a disparity in land prices with densities that low.

    So if you’re building at 150 units per acre (which is what most zoning codes have for downtown) you now have a land cost of about $27,000 per unit. Now were at a level where we a developer could build units at a cost of $170k plus the $30k for land and sell them at $220k for profit. One bedrooms in the mid $100’s and 3 bedrooms in the upper $200’s. Now compare that to the current price of homes which are in the upper $300’s to to $400’s.

    But with high pricing you are essentially blocking out a huge segment of the market that wants to live downtown. We’ve got a little bit of this (Atrium Lofts) but its few and far between. It’s not like you have a couple of blocks of it with retail all along the street level. However if you build a bunch of units up and down the street then you get that synergy effect that attracts more people and business.

    High point is probably our best example of this. Because they had access to multiple city blocks and have underground parking the project looks dense than what it is. However if you were to break the project up into the 3 seperate city blocks and it didn’t have parking or the advantage of having a city park behind it you would end up with three 15 to 20 foot towers in order to accommodate the same number of units.

    #456252

    columbusmike
    Participant

    @innercore,

    I completely agree with you. Our zoning and building laws are pretty much complete garbage – written in a time where the automobile was a new reality. NL is kind of the “best example” of unrestrained urban development. I’m not saying it’s ideal, but it’s really not too bad.

    Unfortunately, our city lacks the leadership to change the codes in order to drive the kind of development you are talking about. We have too many people leading our nation and cities that don’t see the big picture, the way you and many others on CU do. I hope more people with your vision can lead and reverse the way we’ve been doing things in this country.

    #456253

    InnerCore
    Participant

    columbusmike said:
    @innercore,

    I completely agree with you. Our zoning and building laws are pretty much complete garbage – written in a time where the automobile was a new reality. NL is kind of the “best example” of unrestrained urban development. I’m not saying it’s ideal, but it’s really not too bad.

    Unfortunately, our city lacks the leadership to change the codes in order to drive the kind of development you are talking about. We have too many people leading our nation and cities that don’t see the big picture, the way you and many others on CU do. I hope more people with your vision can lead and reverse the way we’ve been doing things in this country.

    The zoning downtown has some issues. My big pet peeve it not requiring non parking uses on the ground floor. But I don’t think that is what is stopping the higher density developments right now.

    Since Columbus isn’t a core market it’s very hard for developers to get financing and even harder for buyers to get financing. As a result all the development is catered toward the very upper end. And since everyone is building luxury they don’t want the risk of building too much.

    High Point is a great example of what should be done. Say whatever you want about the aesthetics but functionally High Point is our best example of urban development. But the only thing that made it possible was that they were able to buy the land from the city at well below market.

    So it’s pretty clear that given the market it’s hard to get deals done without public involvement. Which is fine because investing in our urban core will pay back dividends later.

    So basically we should be looking to provide incentives for developers to build more dense. So a reduction in impact fees, taxes, etc. on a sliding scale where the more dense you go, the more savings. Then on top of that I would be looking at all public owned land and be looking to do a public private partnership.

    We just build a brand new court house on High. I would have been looking to partner with a developer to incorporate residential in the project. We could’ve pushed the building back toward Front and added a second tower of residential.

    Then there is the HUGE parking garage High and Rich. It’s only 4 stories tall so it’s essentially taking up 6 acres on the main street in downtown!!! That is completely insane. I would tear it down and then do a public private partnership on that lot as well. You could extend the Columbus Commons park onto part of that lot, while partnering with a developer to bring an urban target, complimentary retail, residential, and build the parking more dense so that you don’t even lose much. You could lease the land away for nothing and it wouldn’t matter because once built the increased property taxes from the surrounding area would easily recoup the money.

    So basically with just a couple projects like that you would transform the area from Town to Main and Front to 3rd into an extremely desirable stretch spanning 4 to 5 blocks in all directions.

    Then of course run a street car up and down High. So you would have an anchor to the north in SN and AD with this anchor to the south. So now you have people traveling to and from these areas so the middle would fill in on its own. 5 years tops and downtown would be booming.

    #456254

    MHJ
    Participant

    InnerCore said:
    I think NL is a great product for downtown. I think it’s good to have a variety of housing types. We’ve got plent of space to fill in so spreadying it out in some areas will help downtown feel more complete. I was thinking more along the lines of High st. We should be doing some 20 to 40 story 400 unit towers. At least 2 to 3 of them.

    Just for reference, the highest buildings in downtown Columbus are 40-50 stories tall. Considering that the most recent residential projects (even in the Short North) don’t even reach 10 stories, I think that’s pretty pie-in-the-sky. I could see some 10-story buildings going up if the market stays as white-hot as it is, but beyond that, this just isn’t the market. The Columbus metro only has 2.3 million people and sprawls across 17 counties encompassing almost 8500 square miles. Charlotte’s metro area, by comparison, is half that size. I’m not convinced that Columbus’s downtown could absorb units of the size you’re discussing without seeing a big drop in prices, which I don’t think anyone is interested in.

    InnerCore said:
    Then there is the HUGE parking garage High and Rich. It’s only 4 stories tall so it’s essentially taking up 6 acres on the main street in downtown!!! That is completely insane. I would tear it down and then do a public private partnership on that lot as well. You could extend the Columbus Commons park onto part of that lot, while partnering with a developer to bring an urban target, complimentary retail, residential, and build the parking more dense so that you don’t even lose much. You could lease the land away for nothing and it wouldn’t matter because once built the increased property taxes from the surrounding area would easily recoup the money.

    The problem with that is what you already mentioned: parking. That parking garage is a critical piece of infrastructure for downtown workers. It’s 95% full from 9-5. You couldn’t tear that down without creating more parking in its place or providing these folks driving in from the suburbs to work with more transit options — and a handful of express buses won’t cut it. I would think that tearing down that garage is one of the last things that would happen after some alternative transit from suburb to city has been firmly established.

    InnerCore said:
    So basically with just a couple projects like that you would transform the area from Town to Main and Front to 3rd into an extremely desirable stretch spanning 4 to 5 blocks in all directions.

    Then of course run a street car up and down High. So you would have an anchor to the north in SN and AD with this anchor to the south. So now you have people traveling to and from these areas so the middle would fill in on its own. 5 years tops and downtown would be booming.

    Downtown Columbus doesn’t need a streetcar (yet) — a reasonable circulator bus, similar to Cleveland’s trolleys, would serve the same purpose and be much less expensive (and disruptive) than building a streetcar.

    I hope I don’t come off as a naysayer.

    #456255

    heresthecasey
    Participant

    MHJ said:
    a reasonable circulator bus would serve the same purpose and be much less expensive (and disruptive) than building a streetcar.

    Coming Summer 2014, apparently.

    #456256

    jbcmh81
    Participant

    InnerCore said:
    Interestingly enough even though it will be a long time before we run out of surface lots we SHOULD be building taller now. The faster and more densely we build helps to create a synergy effect that attracts more people than building slowly.

    Pretty much as soon as any urban project is built it’s leased up before its even completed. That means there are more people that want to be in the urban areas than there is new supply. But there are even more people who would want to be in these urban areas if there were even more amenities.

    So for example let’s say there are an additional 5,000 people that want to live downtown. Right now we are slowly building new housing to accommodate these people over the next 5 years. As these people slowly move downtown restaurants, shops, bars, etc. will slowly follow to accommodate them. Then 5 years later after all these people and amenities are here that will act as a magnet for even more people.

    Well imagine if you simply built a couple of large scale projects and move those 5,000 people downtown in a year. The service and amenities would rush in to accommodate those people more quickly. Now that those people and amenities are here sooner you now have a draw for other people to move downtown sooner.

    The losers would be the suburbs. The increased supply would no doubt begin to reduce demand. But the demand for the urban areas would move in correlation with the increased desirability of these areas. So as there are more desirable urban areas that are more affordable, the draw of the suburbs would be greatly reduced.

    Definitely agree on building more height. I think the market could support a couple mid to high-rise residential towers at least.

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