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Towers on Top of Parking Decks

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Local developer Don Tomlin is close to a deal with the city, to own air rights above city owned parking garages, with the hope to build apartments on top of them. As many as about 6 garages around downtown and the Vista, stand to see this type of development. Pretty neat.

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I really didn't think the idea had any legs, but apparently it's an enticing prospect. I wonder if Tomlin will build anything without guaranteed parking though. 

 

http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article20384040.html

I remember the city was talking about this for awhile now. and I was wondering how it would work and I would love to see that. If im not mistaken didnt charlotte do a similar thing?

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This is interesting, but I have a few questions

 

1) Were all of these garages built with a sufficient foundation to support so much extra weight?  If so, that seems very odd, particularly considering how old some of them are.

2) Can new parking be added to these garages to accomodate the new residential demand created?

3) Why give one developer exclusive rights?  Why not put out a RFP for each existing garage or each new garage as it is built?

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This is interesting, but I have a few questions

 

1) Were all of these garages built with a sufficient foundation to support so much extra weight?  If so, that seems very odd, particularly considering how old some of them are.

2) Can new parking be added to these garages to accomodate the new residential demand created?

3) Why give one developer exclusive rights?  Why not put out a RFP for each existing garage or each new garage as it is built?

All very good questions.

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1) Totally agree and some of them are not very pleasing aesthetically.

2) Adding levels to existing garages that were not designed to accomodate them would be very pricey. I wonder if they are counting on additional parking capacity in new developments to absorb some of the demand.

3) Given how old some of the garages are, this is probably the only way they could sell the idea.

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This is interesting, but I have a few questions

 

1) Were all of these garages built with a sufficient foundation to support so much extra weight?  If so, that seems very odd, particularly considering how old some of them are.

2) Can new parking be added to these garages to accomodate the new residential demand created?

3) Why give one developer exclusive rights?  Why not put out a RFP for each existing garage or each new garage as it is built?

Well 1 I believe the developers will strenghten the foundation if needed to add whatever how many floors on top they want.

2 I think they should add more parking or at least build underground or something

3 go where the money is if one developers is flashing cash to build then yeah i say give that person the rights.

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I have visions of the developer dressing up the facades of most of the garages and implementing both peripheral and central reinforcement techniques to support the apartments. 

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ell 1 I believe the developers will strenghten the foundation if needed to add whatever how many floors on top they want.

2 I think they should add more parking or at least build underground or something

3 go where the money is if one developers is flashing cash to build then yeah i say give that person the rights.

 

This proposition is attractive only because it eliminates the need for expensive foundation work and theoretically provides parking. Land in Columbia is not expensive enough or in high enough demand to merit pricey garage spaces. Look where the parking is now in downtown: public garages, surface lots, and office building garages. There is no way apartments of any height are feasible if the developer has to reinforce foundations or provide their own garage parking. I don't think most of the garages are feasible- I would predict that two or three of the six are. 

 

If at some point in the distant future there is much higher density in downtown and the city/state/SCANA have sold off their surface lots for redevelopment, building on the older garages may become financially viable.

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Columbia’s future involves a dense downtown with lots of people living in it.

That was the message Tuesday at the first Summer in the City session, a three-part speaker series co-sponsored by the Capital City Club and Free Times that explores Downtown Columbia’s 2020 vision. The focus of the first session was downtown residential development, and featured three of the key forces behind downtown living in Columbia: Don Tomlin, Tom Prioreschi and Ben Arnold. 

For the past decade and a half, people have slowly been moving back into downtown Columbia — and, indeed, into downtowns across the country. And since the end of the recession a few years ago, downtown occupancy is rising dramatically. Some 6,000 new private student housing units are currently in the works in the city center, while other developers are planning apartments aimed at young professionals and empty nesters. 

 

http://www.free-times.com/news/future-bright-for-downtown-living-say-developers 

 

24 Stories on some of the City Garage Projects. Thats huge this is going to definately change the Skyline and Quality of living in downtown. This is big news.

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^^ I still don't understand how you can add multiple floors to a garage, that wasn't originally built to support the extra load. If nothing else wouldn't the additional supports interfere with the existing parking spaces?  Is there an architect or engineer that can shed some light?

 

If this is such a do-able thing why don't you see this is places like Atlanta and Charlotte? 

Edited by vicupstate

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Columbia’s future involves a dense downtown with lots of people living in it.

That was the message Tuesday at the first Summer in the City session, a three-part speaker series co-sponsored by the Capital City Club and Free Times that explores Downtown Columbia’s 2020 vision. The focus of the first session was downtown residential development, and featured three of the key forces behind downtown living in Columbia: Don Tomlin, Tom Prioreschi and Ben Arnold. 

For the past decade and a half, people have slowly been moving back into downtown Columbia — and, indeed, into downtowns across the country. And since the end of the recession a few years ago, downtown occupancy is rising dramatically. Some 6,000 new private student housing units are currently in the works in the city center, while other developers are planning apartments aimed at young professionals and empty nesters. 

 

http://www.free-times.com/news/future-bright-for-downtown-living-say-developers 

 

24 Stories on some of the City Garage Projects. Thats huge this is going to definately change the Skyline and Quality of living in downtown. This is big news.

Yes, that "up to 24 stories" really caught my eye. Which garage or garages do you think he is envisioning for those heights? 

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^^ I still don't understand how you can add multiple floors to a garage, that wasn't originally built to support the extra load. If nothing else wouldn't the additional supports interfere with the existing parking spaces? Is there an architect or engineer that can shed some light?

If this is such a do-able thing why don't you see this is places like Atlanta and Charlotte?

I don't see it being a feasible option, unless when they say "on top," they really mean "adjacent to." i want to know more about this as well. Structure is one thing ($$$) and then providing the vertical circulation and required egress to the ground level is another. Maybe we will find out before too long, but it cannot be as simple as the news stories or mayor make it out to be.

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^^ I still don't understand how you can add multiple floors to a garage, that wasn't originally built to support the extra load. If nothing else wouldn't the additional supports interfere with the existing parking spaces?  Is there an architect or engineer that can shed some light?

 

If this is such a do-able thing why don't you see this is places like Atlanta and Charlotte? 

The words "built on top of" don't mean "supported by" apparently.

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I wouldn't be surprised if the most recent garage (Taylor?) was built with this in mind, but I doubt that any of the other garages could handle the weight. This actually is being done in Charlotte to the parking garage at the Westin. Of course the garage was built to support a huge condo building (One Charlotte maybe?), so the circumstances are different. 

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Something seems fishy about all of this. Sounds like a wishful "pie in the sky" developer to me. I ain't buying it.

Edited by gman430

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All in the world it would take is peripheral construction and added interior pillars in the parking garages to hold the weight, if that's even needed. Surely they drove pilings way down to support all of the parking garages as they currently exist. Is there anything in particular about the way parking garages are built to support however many floors they have that is inferior to how 25-story buildings are built? If so, I guess people are parking in dangerous structures in which the bottom level could give way to the weight above it at any moment.

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All in the world it would take is peripheral construction and added interior pillars in the parking garages to hold the weight, if that's even needed. Surely they drove pilings way down to support all of the parking garages as they currently exist. Is there anything in particular about the way parking garages are built to support however many floors they have that is inferior to how 25-story buildings are built? If so, I guess people are parking in dangerous structures in which the bottom level could give way to the weight above it at any moment.

The garage would have been built to support it's own load only, unless it was known in the beginning that something would be added later.  There would have been no reason to do otherwise.  The example johnpro318 seems to apply to a garage that built to accept the building load that would come later.  However in that case, the building loads were shifted from the original plan.

 

Adding one or two floors onto a garage has been done I'm sure, but this sounds much more intense than that.     

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The garage would have been built to support it's own load only, unless it was known in the beginning that something would be added later.  There would have been no reason to do otherwise.  The example johnpro318 seems to apply to a garage that built to accept the building load that would come later.  However in that case, the building loads were shifted from the original plan.

 

Adding one or two floors onto a garage has been done I'm sure, but this sounds much more intense than that.     

Well, then I go back to peripheral construction and added pillars throughout the garages.

Edited by CorgiMatt

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24 stories is big for Columbia. I'm thinking the BB&T building is the state's tallest, and I believe it is around 25 stories or so. Does that sound right?

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24 stories is big for Columbia. I'm thinking the BB&T building is the state's tallest, and I believe it is around 25 stories or so. Does that sound right?

Yeah but these are apartments which means less floor height than an office building.

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Yeah but these are apartments which means less floor height than an office building.

Well, that is a good point. Still, if we only had a couple of 24 floor structures, that would really transform the current skyline.

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Yes, that "up to 24 stories" really caught my eye. Which garage or garages do you think he is envisioning for those heights? 

I wouldnt know which garages would have that but Its all up to the city and engineers who are putting this together to design and build this properly. I wonder how it would work but if they are promising such height then im guessing the developer already has his work cut out for him.

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Well, that is a good point. Still, if we only had a couple of 24 floor structures, that would really transform the current skyline.

Oh yes I can really see the North Side  being lined with 1 or 2  24 Floor Apartments. . and with the Recent Proposed 15 and 12 Story on the south side and Possible Tower in the Vista near Lady and Park.. the Downtown Skyline will seriously expand out. I hope all for the better. I already vision 2-5 years from now big changes would come. 

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