As we all know, the economy is in the pits. While many developers have sat on the sidelines waiting for things to pick up, recent economic data, suggests that it might be a long wait. Well, some developers have decided to go ahead with their projects but have made a few changes to accommodate the realities of the market. Let’s take a look at a few 6-story projects planned for the neighborhood and see how they’ve changed.
First up, 401 E. Pike St.
Pre-Collapse: 51 residential units, 2600 sf retail, 59 parking spaces
Post-Collapse: 54 residential units, 5,500 st retail, 31 parking spaces
Pre-Collapse: 120 residential units, 5,200 sf retail, 59 parking spaces
Post-Collapse: 104 residential units, 6,100 sf retail, 51 parking spaces
So it looks like more retail space is one way to make extra cash. Although with all the space opening up on the hill, I can’t exactly see how this will work. You might also notice the reduction in parking. And like me, at first glance, you might be pretty happy about this. But the unfortunate reason for this is that instead of building underground parking garages, as most projects do, these developers have opted to go with above grade parking. Essentially, this means that after the ground floor retail, we will have two walls of steel bars and concrete before any windows or balconies.
While these buildings may have fewer parking spaces I think this revert back to above-ground parking is an absolutely horrible idea. There is simply no way to make parking garage walls look attractive and they will undoubtedly be black holes of space in the otherwise pretty streetscape. Its an utter lack of context and I suggest that if a developer is too cheap to put parking underground, then they should just due away with it altogether.
401 E Pike, Pre-Collapse
401 E Pike, Post-Collapse (dramatization)