Suburban homebuilder jonesing for city action
What is being done about parking?
Lori Dachille this is the problem we have in Shockoe Bottom. Building more and more apartments with zero parking plan and also didn’t start the parking plan for the farmers market until after the market project was complete ?
Lori Dachille I agree they need to start thinking about a parking garage or something
Angela Wagner Costa The challenge will be if the tenants use the parking garage! I totally agree re: parking. Hopefully developer/owner will accommodate without significant additional cost to renter so they use the amenity.
Only if they are affordable AND architecturally compatible with the existing homes in UH. We purchased a home in this neighborhood in part because of the culture and diversity. It would be shameful if Union Hill lost its roots.
They should be building these buildings with parking decks either on the first level of the building or an underground parking deck if it can be architecturally sound. Rocketts Landing was build that way where each unit has a designated parking space.
Generally speaking, more housing is the most effective solution to displacement.
No! Single or multi family homes only please! These huge complexes don’t belong in our historic neighborhood!
Why not multi unit townhomes?
Wrote essentially the same regarding 2007 Cedar. Seemed to fall on deaf ears.
No no no no!!!!! Please if your in reality/ builder stop this, we are a neighborhood with houses we don’t need to be all crammed in like New York, San Francisco!!! Your making the bucks wile we suffer!!! That’s just not fair! Also if you say go to a car meeting that’s fine, but maybe car and said builders can make those meetings more accessible by having times that make sense say like 6 or 7 pm , so we call all be there to voice an option! So just remember we don’t have to refer people your way thats how we can fight back!!! Just think about what we really need not what your pocket needs!!!
So Don Jones says about affordable housing in Union Hill,”That’s not where I want to take this neighborhood.” As a 15-year resident of Union Hill, I’d like to see a lot more economic and racial diversity here, and more affordable housing is a great way to foster that diversity.
So should the land just sit fallow and remain off the tax rolls. Re parking, this ain’t the county.
Aww, it’s only ok if it doesn’t affect me! You all deserve this, and more. Sky high taxes for all!
FWIW, a few years ago a contractor told me, on average, parking garages/decks cost about $20,000 PER SPACE. That’s one reason. The other, I assume, is to increase density and hope people rely more on public transport or whittle down to one-car households or bike. Our proximity to VCU Health and bus lines is exactly why these horrid multis are popping up here as opposed to some place like Barton Heights.
You forgot one word: affordable.
I didn’t forget that word, but I agree with your sentiment. The affordability problem is largely one of supply.
I have been in contact with the Planning Commission and, as yet, nothing has been filed with the Planning Office with regard to the Jones development. The Commission is, however “anticipating a submission for a POD (Plan of Development).” On the zoning map this property is designated R 63 residential “MULTIFAMILY URBAN RESIDENTIAL DISTRICT” (i.e., from single family housing to small [three story] apartment buildings, and even some small “convenience” businesses). On the city’s Master Plan (a separate document), this area is designated as “low mixed use residential.” My personal take: the immediate vicinity seems to be mostly single family housing, except for the Better Housing Coalition’s The Goodwyn at Union Hill, and this area would better maintain its historic character if it continued as single family housing.
The city seems to be pushing for greater density. A little “push back” is probably in order.
This lot is not in Union Hill. It is in Fairmount!
Has anyone here walked on Carrington Street? Please do!
Also there is a New Visions Civic League meeting (Fairmount Civic Association) this Saturday at Front Porch Cafe at 9am we are behind the rehab of Carringon Street and its cobblestone road.
One of the ideas is to convert this road into a one way to accommodate more parking.
Also this lot is a funky triangle lot that sits in the middle of the road. It has been a forest for the last twenty years.
If you want to know more about Carrington Street, its history and its current situation follow this link
There is nothing wrong with density in the city. In fact, it’s a good thing, the city needs it to thrive.
Those who wish the city could be a second rate short pump would be better off moving to short pump, and letting those of us who want to live in a city have a city to live in. That’s not single family houses, that’s tight, walkable urban neighborhoods. If parking and driveways is your thing, modern america coverst that in spades.
Complete agreement. it’s crazy how little thought is given to parking. There may be a new lot on 25th st by the East end library but that’s nowhere close enough to this
I’ve definitely noticed a difference in the amount of traffic and the amount of cars parked everywhere
Have any of the neighborhood associations addressed the parking situation with all of these developers when they’re presenting their projects to them? Has VCU/MCV been approached concerning all of the park and ride employees parking on the streets? Why doesn’t the university give these folks on-site deck parking as part of their salary/benefits package? I realize these commuters lost parking when the African-American burial grounds was off limits to them but something needs to change. The parkisite on Mayo Island for hospital employees seems well used, but if future development is any indication, the lot off of E Broad and 17th St will be gone and then what?
I agree with Charles. We don’t have a parking problem. It was only a few years ago we were pursuing a parking overlay to no longer require dedicated parking for urban businesses. And it was only a few years before then that Union Hill was comprised of 70 percent vacant properties. Let’s think past the automobile.
I’m less worried about the parking and more concerned about how utterly milquetoast the design looks. Until these developers figure out how to design and build a quality, aesthetically pleasing multifamily EXTERIOR, they have no business building luxury interiors. There are a few new buildings in the neighborhood that show that it is possible to build in a way that actually fits in with the neighborhood, but most new construction in the area is utter garbage.
Also: the fact that there’s so much concern about parking for new buildings, but so little concern about the quality of the buildings themselves seems extremely myopic. In thirty years, technological change might eliminate private automobiles all together, but these ugly buildings will probably still be here, and I’ll gladly wager that they won’t age gracefully.
Interesting article for the wonks
Daniel Harris Klein nice to see you have taken to Strong Towns…that approaches resonates with progressive (and pragmatic) planners.
@L could you offer a couple examples of infill that you like?
I should have said approach—not approaches—but I will still wiping the sleep from my eyes.
@ Matt Conrad/#31
It’s easier to point out what doesn’t work than what does, but how about I rank some of the new buildings in the neighborhood and try to point out the positives/negatives? (I’m sure all of these places are perfectly nice inside, and I’m only mentioning businesses as a point of reference.):
Bad – Patrick Henry Square/The Building Boho Cycle studios is in. Although the proportions are… well, they’re okay… there’s no real attempt at ornamentation and the porches are really odd looking.
Poor/Middling – 3119 E Marshall Street – The balconies are a nice touch, the brickwork looks decent, and the building seems to be proportioned/apportioned in a way that echoes neighboring buildings, but it doesn’t really have anything distinctive about it. There’s something odd about the wooden apartment/rowhouse thing on the end, and The divisions between the different sections of the building don’t seem quite right, somehow. It’s not terrible, overall, but it looks like one large building pretending to be several smaller buildings and not doing a great job of it.
Fair/Good – The 23rd Street/Jessamine Triangle building where the Mexican Restuarant is supposed to be opening – There is some attempt at ornamental or decorative elements, though not enough/too restrained to compare favorably to neighboring historic structures. Proportions look good and the decorative elements in the brickwork are very nice. The cornice and water table are too plain – just an odd streamlined thing which doesn’t look bad but doesn’t make a strong impression either.
Good – 22nd and Jefferson – the building with Catina Wright/Icon Reality office. Although the building appears to be made of stock/off the shelf millwork components (not even sure if any of it’s wood? may be fiberglass/synthetic), the decorative elements are consistent and properly proportioned to the building, and are really nicely executed. A lot of new faux Italianate buildings (mostly rental houses?) in the neighborhood just look like boxes made out of composite/MDMF siding with ill suited, cheap corbels and columns slapped on the front, but this building gets it right.
I think the big problem is that no one gives any thought to doing applied ornament correctly, or that they don’t even bother to try. This results in buildings that either a) have all the charm of a big box store and don’t look like they belong in their surroundings or b) look like bad children’s drawings of the historic buildings they are trying to emulate.
@31 / @ Matt Conrad:
A really “good” example of ornamentation/decoration gone wrong is the newly redone houses on O St. It looks like the builder/developer splurged on nice/historically accurate looking Victorian turned porch posts. However, the replacement posts no longer lined up correctly with the porch roofs as they had previously rebuilt the roofs without a box beam? It’s hard to tell exactly what went wrong, but it looks like someone cut some corners. Anyway, To correct this, it appears the builder/developer placed blocking on the bottom of these replacement porch posts so they would meet/support the porch roofs. However, this type of porch post usually has a square section where the handrails are supposed to attach. Because of the additional blocking, the handrail attachment point was pushed upward, making it too high to actually use. So instead the builder/developer attached the porch railings to the rounded section of the porch posts, which makes the squared sections where the handrails are meant to attach look really strange because they are now purely decorative and serve no additional functional purpose. It’s hard to explain, but if you drive by look closely.
Sorry for the rant, but I think this is a really good example of how this kind of thing can go wrong: If the developer/builder/etc. on the O Street Rowhomes had just rebuilt the porch roofs correctly (with a box beam), they would have looked fine. Barring that, if anyone had actually thought about what they were doing, they would have used the blocking/fill on TOP of the porch posts, so that the railings could have at least been installed in the correct place – presumably that wouldn’t have cost any more, but would have required someone to actually think about what they were doing before they did it. And “thinking carefully” or what have you doesn’t seem like an unreasonable thing to do, considering those are 350-450,000 dollar homes. Now the whole block just looks stupid.
@L: personally, I enjoy a rant. Thank you for your thoughtful explanation of your view. If you live in the district you should apply to represent us on CAR. Your attention to detail would be perfect. I mean that with a genuineness not easily communicated via this forum. Based on your preferences, however, you might not fit neatly in the “compatible differentiation” camp. The 22nd Street infill example is excellent (thank you, Charlie), but there are some who’d call it faux historicism.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.