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Towers on Top of Parking Decks


colasc

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Article in the State today as an update to the idea floated two years ago of building apartments atop parking decks. Sorry, I'm unable to link. In short, the Lady St parking deck plan is a no for now. However, other parking decks may be more suitable, and shorter towers might be more feasible. As you might recall, the Lady St tower would have potentially become the tallest in the state.

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36 minutes ago, victory said:

Article in the State today as an update to the idea floated two years ago of building apartments atop parking decks. Sorry, I'm unable to link. In short, the Lady St parking deck plan is a no for now. However, other parking decks may be more suitable, and shorter towers might be more feasible. As you might recall, the Lady St tower would have potentially become the tallest in the state.

Here's the link: http://www.thestate.com/news/local/article156758329.html

It's a great idea, but there are too many cheaper alternatives for it to be financially viable any time in the near future. The engineering costs alone put it out of range. That said, it will be more and more feasible as offices and residences gobble up available land in the CBD.

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5 hours ago, vicupstate said:

This idea never made any sense. If it were feasible, then it would already have been done in Atlanta or Charlotte or somewhere.  Not to mention the liability and disruption for the existing users of the garage.

Both ATL and CLT still have developable land in the CBD. This kind of project makes a ton of sense in cities like DC, Boston, SF, and NY, where there is literally no open land on which to build. NY has been adding a floating highrise on top of existing apartments just to get more height (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/a-floating-highrise-nyc-developers-plan-to-build-above-an-existing-building-222748) and DC capped the freeway to create more land (http://www.capitolcrossingdc.com). The engineering costs associated with anything out of the norm make these projects very expensive. The only benefit for Hallmark would be not having to building parking, which is between $10,000-$25,000/space normally.

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On 6/19/2017 at 5:05 AM, vicupstate said:

This idea never made any sense. If it were feasible, then it would already have been done in Atlanta or Charlotte or somewhere.  Not to mention the liability and disruption for the existing users of the garage.

Actually they are doing this in Atlanta but I do not believe it makes sense here yet. http://atlantaintownpaper.com/2017/06/apartment-tower-built-atop-peachtree-center-parking-garage/

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  • 2 months later...
On 6/19/2017 at 5:05 AM, vicupstate said:

This idea never made any sense. If it were feasible, then it would already have been done in Atlanta or Charlotte or somewhere.  Not to mention the liability and disruption for the existing users of the garage.

For the record, they have done this in Charlotte (search for Skyhouse), and there are other potential projects if someone were willing to try. The economics of it are probably more favorable than you think. One of the biggest expenses of building a high rise is the associated parking. If they didn't have to build a parking structure, it would just be the building itself and reinforcing the existing deck to support the weight. Still fairly expensive in its own right, but less than it would be without the parking.

Over all, I do agree that it would make more sense to use up the available parking lots first...

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On 9/7/2017 at 2:35 AM, Spartan said:

For the record, they have done this in Charlotte (search for Skyhouse), and there are other potential projects if someone were willing to try. The economics of it are probably more favorable than you think. One of the biggest expenses of building a high rise is the associated parking. If they didn't have to build a parking structure, it would just be the building itself and reinforcing the existing deck to support the weight. Still fairly expensive in its own right, but less than it would be without the parking.

Over all, I do agree that it would make more sense to use up the available parking lots first...

I think you mean 615 South College (aka Portman Building)? Skyhouse's parking garage is between the buildings.

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6 hours ago, carolinagarnet said:

I think you mean 615 South College (aka Portman Building)? Skyhouse's parking garage is between the buildings.

No, the one that has Fahrenheit  on top at 3rd & Caldwell. You're right that it's not called Skyhouse. It's hard to remember all the building project in every city I'm interested in!

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9 hours ago, Spartan said:

No, the one that has Fahrenheit  on top at 3rd & Caldwell. You're right that it's not called Skyhouse. It's hard to remember all the building project in every city I'm interested in!

Ah you mean Skye, formerly The Park. It looks good now, but I hope to god that Columbia doesn't get a project like that. It was used as a filming location for Homeland, meant to represent a bombed out building in Baghdad. The second developer was only able to make it work after he bought the property in foreclosure. I just don't think Columbia is there yet (nor is Charlotte).

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3 hours ago, carolinagarnet said:

Ah you mean Skye, formerly The Park. It looks good now, but I hope to god that Columbia doesn't get a project like that. It was used as a filming location for Homeland, meant to represent a bombed out building in Baghdad. The second developer was only able to make it work after he bought the property in foreclosure. I just don't think Columbia is there yet (nor is Charlotte).

Without derailing this thread, suffice it to say that I disagree that all of those cities aren't ready for it. If the market exists for highrise development then I don't see why they couldn't add a building on top of an existing parking structure. That said, I do question how much of a market actually exists for highrises outside of defacto "on-campus" student housing in Columbia.

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1 hour ago, vicupstate said:

I would expect the economics doesn't lend itself to building on top of a garage instead of a bare lot.  Plus the fact that the city does and would continue to own the land would be problematic for some developers. 

My point exactly. There are two reasons to build on a garage:

1. There is nowhere cheaper to develop, or

2. Condos or very expensive office space justify the additional engineering costs.

Columbia has neither of those scenarios at the moment. There are plenty of surface lots to be redeveloped and there is not nearly enough demand to justify the premium. My point in discussing Skye is that it did not work without a bankruptcy proceeding (nor did Epicentre in the end, by the way). There may be a time when building on garages is feasible, if not economically viable, but that time is far off.

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