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downtown cliff

Mid-rise garages

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OK, I'm new to this forum, but I am going to go out on a limb. I love skyscrapers as much as the next urban geek, but I really dig the funky, old low and mid-rise buildings. I especially like the Noel Garage on the corner of 3rd and Church:

NoelGarage.jpg

I like the way this building mixes ground level retail with parking and the way that its simple, classic lines mesh with its neighbors. I would love to see more of this type of building as infill for some our surface lots downtown. I think it would provide some great connecting material in between all of the cool, new skyscrapers. It would especially be cool if this kind of development included two or three floors of real retail. Downtown is ready for something in addition to all of the t-shirt, boots, and bumper sticker type shops.

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Great thread! Yeah, that is one of my favs. to park in and take pics of downtown. I think you will see more public parking in the towers that are built downtown, but perhaps another garage or two is not out of the question.

The fact that they incorporated the mixed-useage of that garage so long ago should say something for the developers of that time period. Very progressive thinking. If another garage is built, it will be in SoBro, not the immediate core. That land in the core is too pricey to just put a simple concrete garage on.

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I have often visted DC and just marvel at the vibe walking in Adams-Morgan or Dupont circle or even Georgetown to a lesser degree. I know it is mandated that they building can not be taller that the capitol and this adds so much to the feel of the street with all of the bulding trying to maximize the space with mixed-use developments. I like the garage you posted but I love the newer versions have the interior garage wrapped with retail and offices/residences all around (maybe one open air side).

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Excatly. It would be really nice to see a major retailer (ie. Target, Kroger, yada, yada) take over a building like that instead of doing new contstruction. You know it will be only a matter of time before they start moving in to cater to all the future downtown residents. I'm all for getting rid of the true eye sores, but there are a lot that can be saved.

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Yes, Noel garage is a great idea and looks great--but from far away.

Also, the concrete's crumbling, the iron grating is rusted, and the garage looks in disrepair. Also there's another problem: the place is a dump!

It's too bad that the stores on the street level are pure crap--predatory lending companies, redneck beer joints, and a third-rate quick-and-easy.

I hate to beotch and moan, but Noel Place garage is seriously lacking when it comes to an urban renaissance.

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Yes, Noel garage is a great idea and looks great--but from far away.

Also, the concrete's crumbling, the iron grating is rusted, and the garage looks in disrepair. Also there's another problem: the place is a dump!

It's too bad that the stores on the street level are pure crap--predatory lending companies, redneck beer joints, and a third-rate quick-and-easy.

I hate to beotch and moan, but Noel Place garage is seriously lacking when it comes to an urban renaissance.

Absolutely agree on the types of retail in the Noel Garage. We could do a lot better than the lending companies. I wouldn't ding Zanes too much; I think the s*** kicker bars help give Nashville its unique character. I like Starbucks and all of the other chic chains, but lets not sell all of our charm (no matter how rough) down river. Also agree that it would be cool to see someone like Target (forget Wally World) start acting progressive and build a real urban store to serve the growing downtown residential base.

Also agree that the Noel is in bad shape, but at least they are finally making repairs. They have been working on the ceiling up the sub-basement for several weeks now. As a concept, I still dig the Noel.

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Its remarkable how many garages there are on Third Ave. Many of those structures would be prime areas for redevelopment too. I know some of you like those older structures over there but I concur that many of the garages are dumps and will probably be demolished for future building. I dont know if they are protected under the historic codes or not. As the surface lots disappear downtown the other ares will be looked at for demolition and some of these may bite the dust

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Absolutely agree on the types of retail in the Noel Garage. We could do a lot better than the lending companies. I wouldn't ding Zanes too much; I think the s*** kicker bars help give Nashville its unique character. I like Starbucks and all of the other chic chains, but lets not sell all of our charm (no matter how rough) down river. Also agree that it would be cool to see someone like Target (forget Wally World) start acting progressive and build a real urban store to serve the growing downtown residential base.

I do like the look of that building overall... and I agree about the unique character of Nashville. The convenience store or whatever and the lending company could go though.

Have any of the major retailers like Target ever built urban stores in other cities? I have not seen any... but has anyone else? I know Walgreens is already downtown...

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The fact that they incorporated the mixed-useage of that garage so long ago should say something for the developers of that time period. Very progressive thinking.

Actually...mixed-use was the norm for most of humanity's history, from the ancient Roman domus to the Southern carriage house. It was only in the "Modern" period when we decided to "go for broke" with Le Corbusier & Co.'s tragic idea of separating the activities of human life into different areas, so that we could live futuristically on an Assembly Line for Peoples. Machines for Living!

Well...the Mass Zoning idea had germs elsewhere, even before the Ascendency of the Modernists, but Corb and his ilk can really be "thanked" for its spread throughout the "progressives" of 1930s and post-war America. This pre-"urban suicide" 20th-century parking garage really just represents normal, rational, poorly-embellished human behavior for its time--and almost all time.

As for today, it is so fantastic to witness our culture returning to Common Urban Sense...and it would be accurate to say that all of our (now) progressive Mixed-Use construction is nearly at the theoretical center of it all. And less the naysayer accuse us of failing to "progress" because we are resurrecting dead practices...remember: the Renaissance was the most backwards-looking movement in the history of Western Civilization.

Urban Americans are in the midst of their own Renaissance.

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As the market moves toward urban living. The big boxes are going to have to do something. I love the examples shown. I have been to the Target on Nicollette Mall in Minneapolis (the first photo). Where is the other Target? Below are more photos of the Home Depot in Lincoln Park that show its context.

Lincoln%20Park1.jpg

For some reason this photo did not post.

Lincoln%20Park2.jpg

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Good heavens, it looks like at a tony joint like that it would cost $600 for a toilet seat.

Now you know where the Government gets those $600 toilet seats. :lol:

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Parking Today Magazine (yes we in the hotel/valet business read it) has some wonderful examples of nice urban garages complete with landscaping and mixed use developments. They are called "parking centers" and they are badly needed in Nashville.

NB, the Central Garage next to your Westview needs to go.

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DP

No doubt, actually some business partners that have bought several buildings d'town and looked at the parking garage but it has some type of poison pill stipulations on the deed. The garage is actually just leasing the land. If anyone buys the land they must pay the garage operator the average annual revenue until the end of their lease date.

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Interesting article in today's Wall Street Journal about the evolution of big box development. Here is an excerpt with a quote from a Home Depot representative. It is amazing how much land Walmart typically look for enough for 1,000 parking spaces and 195,000sf for a supercenter (15+ acres). They are now considering the multi-story approach on 8 acres or less. There was even a mention about a planned store in Pass Christian, Mississippi that will be built in a New Urbanist format where buildings surround the parking lot with multi-level retail and residential though it doe state this mixed-use approach has not been adopted by WalMart.

I am happy to see even the giants are reconsidering their cookie cutter approach, but I guess investors are demanding higher and higher returns, so they have to chase the more affluent urban market into the core of downtown. I imagine it would be a while before SoBro attracted Big Box. But just think what the Home Depot in East Nashville could have been.

"...More are on the way. Mike LaFerle, vice president of real estate at Home Depot, said the home-improvement retailer is considering roughly 80 "urban opportunities" as store sites to serve patrons who want to live, work and shop in downtowns. Some of those will be multilevel stores. "As the consumers continue to move back into the urban core of cities, retailers will continue to follow them," Mr. LaFerle said.

"In Tight Spaces,Wal-Mart Adds Second Floors", Wall Street Journal, March 1, 2006

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Funny how things are going in cycles. 30 years ago the malls were taking all the business from downtown and people were moving to the burbs. Now malls are closing and people are moving back to town. Next thing you know WalMart will have inner city stores much the same way the old department stores were when I was a kid. What my Mom would have called the 5 and dime store. I would very much like to see a multi- story WalMart or Target downtown with a Home Depot.

Maybe even a TJ Max for Dave. :lol:

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