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  #4921  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2018, 2:53 PM
MichaelB MichaelB is offline
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Good Lord people: my statement was only about the overuse of the word "Nimby" in general and a racist card played that was not useful in this discussion.

Everyone has their own agendas.... those were mine. It was very narrow.. but discussion inhibiting language is far to easy and popular on here and I just get sick of it.

Lets see....
I clearly stated the obvious that VMUs invading "traditionally" single family neighborhoods is a very complex issue that has real life consequences on lower income families as well as other income families. Its odd to me that some of the same folks who want to slam "haves" for not wanting affordable housing next door do not see the same issue is happening to lower income families being forced out of East Austin by the same desire for rapid gentrification and density.
Lets look at the whole , not just parcel out that which benefits one population.

That's it.... IT's very complicated.... and there is no perfect answer, however...
I woud love to see these discussions free from "NIMBY" isms ... which is just another form of economic othering...... or lobbing racist charges for whatever shaming and guilt intended where they do not belong. Just because I may spend more time volunteering for lower income and minority situations ( just to relieve my white guilt, of course) does not mean I get to shame people who may do less.

Lets see what else did someone try to take down.... oh yeah:
I'm pro density, ... but as a property owner am allowed to protect my home ...Both the well being of place I have worked for.... and my investment. So really we pick that apart as well?
So now Homes are not a good investment? Really? We change that perspective to try to defend lobbing "NIMBY" isms? Come on. stop.

Really folks... no need to play down how the density issue affects all... including folks who have been here a very long time and invested in the community years ago.. be that lower income ...or higher income... cause it's happening in all areas. A little respect is due to all.

As a city We will grow UP (vertical) and IN (density) and OUT ( sprawl) . We Have to do it all well. Few cities have seen the rapid change this one has. I love the growth.... but understand that there are few models for this rapid change. It's gonna be hard to balance.

Parting thought....
Todays renters who are pissed they can't afford inner city are tomorrow's property owners who will want to maintain their own status quo..... just wait.

Attack away.....
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  #4922  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2018, 3:20 PM
austin242 austin242 is offline
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All I have to say is mo property less problems. We don't have enough stock for the amount of people we have and are going to have. So more is better period. It will at the very least keep rent and even owned property from just run-away inflation. No one in Austin at this moment could loose money on a property if they wanted to. This city is going through puberty and as far as I can see it's growing more out than up. That's not good for a human child and it's not good for a real world class city. That means more traffic and not a whole lot of public transportation options. I'm all for dense growth right next to neighborhoods. It can be done well. Mueller is better than basically any suburban neighborhood ever. That's good mid range density. That's where every neighborhood needs to be. Not just single family homes and then gated apartment complexes. Mix it up you guys. We need walkable neighborhoods and 99% are not. So the future should be mid-high range density throughout and at some point when necessary skyscrapers.
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  #4923  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2018, 4:42 PM
urbancore urbancore is offline
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I too live in Zilker and built/sold my home on Frazier (I recently built a new one on Hether), that backed up to subsidized housing. (sold it less than 30 days for over $400/ft) I have zero problem with density and welcome diversity. The people I sold my home to had no problem either.

Sure a LOT of people around me hate all the new construction (of any kind, really), but I think the new people moving into Zilker understand what they are getting themselves into. It is really more of the "old-timers" v the "newcomers." Twice, I've been told to "move back to California" from people passing by as i was standing in my front yard. I've lived in Austin since my teen years -1983.

It won't change till old grumpy Nimbys and the old guard at the ANC are gone. The ANC is run by MUCH older folks who's ideals represent fewer and fewer people. Once they move on (maybe another 10-15 years), I think there will be less people who have the time and inclination to sit in at the City hearings to argue against a neighbors's garage door, or measuring the thickness of bricks as siding (counting against your impervious cover).

Zilker (now it is homeowners not just spec developers) is tearing down older homes occupied by 1 or 2 people and replacing them with new homes occupied primarily by families who take their kids to ACL. This is a huge demo swing that will yield big changes in the years to come.

I am pro density and a living example of build it next to me....YIMBY. I'm all for it.
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  #4924  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2018, 6:19 PM
jbssfelix jbssfelix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
I still think anyone who uses the phrase NIMBY should disclose where they own and what they would do if something indeed threatened their investment.

This is not simply reduced to a "have vs Have not" or "race" discussion. Lets look at from the other side..... I guarantee you Every lower income minority person who has fought their ass off to purchase a home in this city is having the same discussions.... how to not have the 4 story apartment building( loaded with a Bunch of noisy white entitled millennials) be build next to their quiet home of 30 years. It's a real life issue. Yes It changes your life.
Any person who has planned , sweated and invested has these concerns.
This transcends race or financial status. Cheap shot.

This from a very pro density person......

And Black lives do matter.
Live in Crestview/Midtown. There's a giant 300+ unit apartment complex being built a block from me. 100% fine with it, including the dreaded "traffic". There's also an empty lot behind my house that will likely get developed sometime in the near future. While the construction noise will be annoying AF (I work from home), I'm also 100% behind this, even if it rises 10-stories above me and kills any early morning sun I get.
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  #4925  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2018, 7:08 PM
Novacek Novacek is offline
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Originally Posted by jbssfelix View Post
even if it rises 10-stories above me and kills any early morning sun I get.
As an aside, this is the complaint I just don't get from some people (not you jbssfelix).

We live in Texas.

Shade is a bonus.
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  #4926  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2018, 10:31 PM
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I've been hesitant to jump in this particular debate but I think now is the time. MichaelB has valid points which I think some here are misunderstanding. I used to be a very "anti-NIMBY" to find the most apt definition but over the last couple of years my position has evolved. I am pro density but at the same time I think there needs to be reasonable considerations on how new development is incorporated into existing neighborhoods such as scale and the fabric of the immediate area. Developers only consider their bottom dollar as well as how to maximize their profit with either little or no consideration about how their build affects their immediate neighbors. Also building bigger houses or building 3 to 6 two story condos on what was a single family lot doesn't do much to increase overall population density but it does affect property values for surrounding neighbors. Having two story "condo" houses built right up just feet from my back yard did play a part in how I feel about these types of developments, however my position began to change even before that when my best friend and her family were pushed out of the neighborhood and now live in an apartment off Slaughter east of I35 because they couldn't find anything affordable for them closer in. The challenge is increasing density which is affordable while finding the best way to become apart of the existing fabric (in other words don't build a wall of oversized residencies which loom over others back yards which is what Not In My Back Yard really means.) Yes people take it too far especially if it's something they are fighting against that would not have a direct impact on them or their neighborhood, but we shouldn't just assume that NIMBYism is simply anti-development and roll our eyes. There are times when it is legitimate. We were not opposed to new houses being built next door, but what was ultimately built was not what we were told would be built. The developer found multiple loopholes to push the boundaries of the city's current code policies which not only do not fit with the existing fabric of the immediate area but it's outright intrusive.
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  #4927  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2018, 10:46 PM
StoOgE StoOgE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdawgboy View Post
Also building bigger houses or building 3 to 6 two story condos on what was a single family lot doesn't do much to increase overall population density but it does affect property values for surrounding neighbors. Having two story "condo" houses built right up just feet from my back yard did play a part in how I feel about these types of developments
Yeah, see this is literal NIMBYism. You are literally mad that it happened behind your house. Le Coq Block happened because it "just wasn't right" for Hancock Blvd. The "Taco PUD" just "didn't make sense for the area". This is what NIMBYism is. Soft arguments about why development X is specifically wrong.

If there is a hard argument "It's a club that plays loud music in a residential area", "Don't tear down Grand Central Station", "The street has a maximum hourly capacity of 1/2 the buildings units" I'm all ears. But nebulous things like "there is a tall thing behind my back yard" sounds like an argument for some cluster bamboo being planted, not a change in code.

You are also wrong that allowing larger houses or multi-family developments where single family developments were doesn't help density. It can literally double it for a given lot. If you have a single family home turned into a duplex you now have two homes. A quadplex gives you 4. Relative family sized will play a factor in this, but it will show a massive increase in density.

Even larger houses cut down on sprawl. I had a 3 story really ugly McMansion go up next to me. It's horrid looking, but it doesn't bother me. It also prevented that buyer from buying a mansion further outside of town that would have led to an increase in sprawl. None of the 4 3 story houses that have gone up adjacent to my house have directly affected my life, and my houses value isn't going down. In fact, because you *could* tear down and build two units it is actually more valuable than ever.

There are arguments about the "character of the neighborhood" to be made. Very few people want to advocate for Houston like building in Austin with no zoning laws at all. But, one of the most important steps for a city like Austin to take is intermediate density increases in what were inner-city suburban developments from 70+ years ago.

78704 is on track for a 17.16% increase in population density over 10 years. Now a lot of that is going to be down to buildings like Lamar Union or the Catherine, but the single family areas are becoming far more dense, and because single family housing makes up the bulk of the land-area in the zip code, that is the land most in need of density. And yeah, that means at some point in the future we'll be having arguments about VMUs on Barton Hills or Bluebonnet, and arguments about nightlife cropping up on them as well. It's not today, it might not even be 20 years from now but it's coming. As Austin grows it is not reasonable that there be a giant suburban tract 2 minutes from downtown. If we really are going to be an mSA of 3.5-4 million we're going to have to take a long hard look at areas that developed for a city of a few hundred thousand and understand what is reasonable in the long-term, and yeah. It may not be a comftorable conversation, but fighting density disproportionately affects minorities and poorer Austinites.

It's easy to forget that the UWS was built as single family homes and after WW2 the brownstones were subdivided into multi-family units by floor. Change is inevitable, and with a rapidly growing city density needs to be part of that conversation, though not the only part.

You have a right to your property. Trying to come up with reasons why you have a right to your neighbors property or what happens to the "character" of the neighborhood is some really odd mental gymnastics that tries to make a moral or legal claim that by living (or owning) in a general vicinity that you have a right to the things that indirectly affect your Quality of Life that are done on property you don't own.
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  #4928  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2018, 5:08 PM
freerover freerover is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdawgboy View Post
building 3 to 6 two story condos on what was a single family lot doesn't do much to increase overall population density...
...wat? This added density compounds with similar complexes to increase density in an area. So your concerns about condo complexes reducing your property value?


It seems Code Next draft 3 was tailor made for people like Jdawgboy. Basically just push VMUs along major corridors and stay out of the neighborhoods.
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  #4929  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2018, 6:53 PM
ATXboom ATXboom is offline
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Originally Posted by freerover View Post
...wat? This added density compounds with similar complexes to increase density in an area. So your concerns about condo complexes reducing your property value?


It seems Code Next draft 3 was tailor made for people like Jdawgboy. Basically just push VMUs along major corridors and stay out of the neighborhoods.
That is the definition of NIMBY... his right. Unfortunately there are still a lot of NIMBYs that don't even want density along the major corridors.
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  #4930  
Old Posted Mar 20, 2018, 7:16 PM
austlar1 austlar1 is offline
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Hard to imagine fourplexes or three story condo buildings sprouting in my little corner of SW Austin. I put up an (illegal) 8 foot fence just to screen out the neighboring houses when I bought my home. The tiny lots and varied elevations made the rear of my house a veritable fish bowl. Anyway, there is no question that the disruption to neighborhoods like mine would be massive and politically untenable as well. I suspect that holds true for most closer in neighborhoods with existing single family tracts. I think one solution would be to allow for some consolidation of single family lots into somewhat larger tracts where a three or four story multi unit building could be built without necessarily looming directly over existing homes. The change to the neighborhood fabric would be slower and more incremental with this kind of development. I am all for building multi unit structures (hopefully not all them Texas doughnuts) along major and minor arterial roads throughout the city. If your single family home backs up to property situated on one of these arterials, you might have to deal with a loss of privacy, etc. I also think that zoning could be enforced to disallow certain types of business activities (night life) in some of these areas.
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  #4931  
Old Posted Mar 22, 2018, 7:19 AM
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I say fuck it. Replace all the single house lots with apartments and condos. Let's put stores inside of neighborhoods. Let's get really urban and dense. I don't care about neighborhood tears. I drink them up.

Do not be an agent of conservatism, be an agent of progress.
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  #4932  
Old Posted Mar 22, 2018, 7:41 AM
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KevinFromTexas KevinFromTexas is offline
 
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To be fair, there are some neighborhoods where a lot of heavy density wouldn't work because of the tree canopy. I know, I know, I know, I've heard before elsewhere on this forum that trees have no place in cities. Pfft, they must not be Texan. While they take pleasure in knowing how hot and "miserable" it is here in the summer (personally, I love hot weather, so to hell with them) they also talk about trees not having a place in the city. Actually, trees do have a place in the city, and not just in parks or along greenbelts either. And I'm not talking about what I would describe as trash trees either with a short lifespan, no, I'm talking about 500 years to 1,000 years old. I'll admit to being a bit biased about those valuable trees, Oaks mostly, but only because I've had the good fortune of being lucky enough to enjoy them myself in our own neighborhood.

I suppose the tree argument is a bit like Nimybism or maybe similar to the road construction discussion, where whenever someone mentions expanding a road or building new ones, no one wants to raise their hand first to let their neighborhood be bulldozed for a new road or a row of houses or buildings to be knocked down to widen some artery in the city.

In that case, you would almost need to have a hodge podge style development pattern like Bouldin or Zilker are experiencing where new houses or apartments would be all different sizes, but not because someone with money swooped into a hip neighborhood and built some swank pad, but because the tree canopy limited what could be built. I remember once my aunt was suggesting my brother and I and our cousins cut down an oak tree or maybe move it because it was too close to the back of my grandma's house. I remember laughing after my mom told me. The tree I'm talking about is bigger than I can get my arms around, has a ~ 70-foot canopy, and it probably weighs twice as much as a passenger jet. The tree is so large you can't even see the house on Google Earth under its canopy.

It can be done, though, this tree is about the size of the one I'm talking about.

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  #4933  
Old Posted Mar 22, 2018, 7:25 PM
papertowelroll papertowelroll is offline
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Originally Posted by KevinFromTexas View Post
To be fair, there are some neighborhoods where a lot of heavy density wouldn't work because of the tree canopy. I know, I know, I know, I've heard before elsewhere on this forum that trees have no place in cities. Pfft, they must not be Texan. While they take pleasure in knowing how hot and "miserable" it is here in the summer (personally, I love hot weather, so to hell with them) they also talk about trees not having a place in the city. Actually, trees do have a place in the city, and not just in parks or along greenbelts either. And I'm not talking about what I would describe as trash trees either with a short lifespan, no, I'm talking about 500 years to 1,000 years old. I'll admit to being a bit biased about those valuable trees, Oaks mostly, but only because I've had the good fortune of being lucky enough to enjoy them myself in our own neighborhood.

I suppose the tree argument is a bit like Nimybism or maybe similar to the road construction discussion, where whenever someone mentions expanding a road or building new ones, no one wants to raise their hand first to let their neighborhood be bulldozed for a new road or a row of houses or buildings to be knocked down to widen some artery in the city.

In that case, you would almost need to have a hodge podge style development pattern like Bouldin or Zilker are experiencing where new houses or apartments would be all different sizes, but not because someone with money swooped into a hip neighborhood and built some swank pad, but because the tree canopy limited what could be built. I remember once my aunt was suggesting my brother and I and our cousins cut down an oak tree or maybe move it because it was too close to the back of my grandma's house. I remember laughing after my mom told me. The tree I'm talking about is bigger than I can get my arms around, has a ~ 70-foot canopy, and it probably weighs twice as much as a passenger jet. The tree is so large you can't even see the house on Google Earth under its canopy.

It can be done, though, this tree is about the size of the one I'm talking about.

Video Link

I'm 100% with you about protecting trees, and I think that's a huge part of what makes Austin different than some other Texas cities.

That said, we can protect trees with laws that protect trees. Zoning should be completely independent.
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  #4934  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2018, 7:03 AM
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Originally Posted by StoOgE View Post
Yeah, see this is literal NIMBYism. You are literally mad that it happened behind your house. Le Coq Block happened because it "just wasn't right" for Hancock Blvd. The "Taco PUD" just "didn't make sense for the area". This is what NIMBYism is. Soft arguments about why development X is specifically wrong.

If there is a hard argument "It's a club that plays loud music in a residential area", "Don't tear down Grand Central Station", "The street has a maximum hourly capacity of 1/2 the buildings units" I'm all ears. But nebulous things like "there is a tall thing behind my back yard" sounds like an argument for some cluster bamboo being planted, not a change in code.

You are also wrong that allowing larger houses or multi-family developments where single family developments were doesn't help density. It can literally double it for a given lot. If you have a single family home turned into a duplex you now have two homes. A quadplex gives you 4. Relative family sized will play a factor in this, but it will show a massive increase in density.

Even larger houses cut down on sprawl. I had a 3 story really ugly McMansion go up next to me. It's horrid looking, but it doesn't bother me. It also prevented that buyer from buying a mansion further outside of town that would have led to an increase in sprawl. None of the 4 3 story houses that have gone up adjacent to my house have directly affected my life, and my houses value isn't going down. In fact, because you *could* tear down and build two units it is actually more valuable than ever.

There are arguments about the "character of the neighborhood" to be made. Very few people want to advocate for Houston like building in Austin with no zoning laws at all. But, one of the most important steps for a city like Austin to take is intermediate density increases in what were inner-city suburban developments from 70+ years ago.

78704 is on track for a 17.16% increase in population density over 10 years. Now a lot of that is going to be down to buildings like Lamar Union or the Catherine, but the single family areas are becoming far more dense, and because single family housing makes up the bulk of the land-area in the zip code, that is the land most in need of density. And yeah, that means at some point in the future we'll be having arguments about VMUs on Barton Hills or Bluebonnet, and arguments about nightlife cropping up on them as well. It's not today, it might not even be 20 years from now but it's coming. As Austin grows it is not reasonable that there be a giant suburban tract 2 minutes from downtown. If we really are going to be an mSA of 3.5-4 million we're going to have to take a long hard look at areas that developed for a city of a few hundred thousand and understand what is reasonable in the long-term, and yeah. It may not be a comftorable conversation, but fighting density disproportionately affects minorities and poorer Austinites.

It's easy to forget that the UWS was built as single family homes and after WW2 the brownstones were subdivided into multi-family units by floor. Change is inevitable, and with a rapidly growing city density needs to be part of that conversation, though not the only part.

You have a right to your property. Trying to come up with reasons why you have a right to your neighbors property or what happens to the "character" of the neighborhood is some really odd mental gymnastics that tries to make a moral or legal claim that by living (or owning) in a general vicinity that you have a right to the things that indirectly affect your Quality of Life that are done on property you don't own.

Of course you cherry picked my statement and failed to include the part about how my position shifted before The new condo houses were even built but rather my best friend's family having to move out to the edge because they couldn't find a new place in the same area.

As far as the rest, I'll have to respond tomorrow as it is late and I need to get some sleep.
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  #4935  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2018, 11:58 PM
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The site plan for the Aloft at Ben White & I-35 was approved and released today. The abandoned dealership at the location was demo'ed last year. No elevations yet, but it'll be 6 stories.

https://abc.austintexas.gov/attachme...QBR7Bl7w%3D%3D
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  #4936  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2018, 5:03 PM
We vs us We vs us is offline
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Construction fencing is up on a small empty lot at 5th and Colorado. Anyone know what's going on?
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  #4937  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2018, 5:09 PM
paul78701 paul78701 is offline
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Originally Posted by We vs us View Post
Construction fencing is up on a small empty lot at 5th and Colorado. Anyone know what's going on?
During SXSW this year, there was an obvious sign on the lot advertising something for rent for future SXSW events. I'm not sure if that was for the lot itself or for a future events venue. I wouldn't doubt that another events venue will be built there. If not now, at some point fairly soon.

I'm speculating of course.
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  #4938  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2018, 5:11 PM
We vs us We vs us is offline
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Originally Posted by paul78701 View Post
During SXSW this year, there was an obvious sign on the lot advertising something for rent for future SXSW events. I'm not sure if that was for the lot itself or for a future events venue. I wouldn't doubt that another events venue will be built there. If not now, at some point fairly soon.

I'm speculating of course.
That's a good guess. It's really not a very large lot -- I wouldn't tag it as something more than a handful of stories, if that.
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  #4939  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2018, 4:19 PM
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The listing for this project was removed from CBRE in a day or two after AusTx posted this. Hopefully a deal was done.
While it's still got a 5-6 story parking podium, that's a surprisingly low parking garage when compared to a lot of downtown development. I think there are a lot of opportunities missed for 2nd-3rd floor downtown residences and businesses with all these parking podiums. Being on the 2nd or 3rd floor can get you up and out of street level and still maintain a very "connected to the streetscape" feel that a lot of the super high apartments don't have.
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  #4940  
Old Posted Mar 27, 2018, 4:54 PM
Sigaven Sigaven is offline
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I think there are a lot of opportunities missed for 2nd-3rd floor downtown residences and businesses with all these parking podiums. Being on the 2nd or 3rd floor can get you up and out of street level and still maintain a very "connected to the streetscape" feel that a lot of the super high apartments don't have.
Not to mention, 2nd/3rd floor units active the streetscape just as much as the streetscape activates them. That's my main concern with all these giant parking podiums downtown. They create very dead and dark streetscapes below them. Sure they might have retail or whatever on the ground floor. But directly above them, dead and dark for 8 stories.

That's why I'm so excited for The Avenue apartments - I hope more buildings like that one can be built downtown.
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