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wolverine

Former Washington/Ashley Parking Structure

Washington Ashley Parking Structure.   9 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think should be built in its place

    • A park/greenspace
      1
    • Parking Lot (what it is right now)
      0
    • Brand new parking structure with more levels
      1
    • Parking structure that's a combination of ground floor retail and office space.
      1
    • Parking structure with gf retail and residential above the parking.
      4
    • Grow up A2! Build a freakin Tower! (with parking of course)
      2
    • Just a building, no parking.
      0

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11 posts in this topic

So with 1940's 3 level parking structure knocked down, the city doesn't seem to have a clue what to do with this parcel that occupies nearly 1/3 of the block. There was the whole argument over putting up more buildings vs a park. And of course, Ann Arbor can never seem to resolve its issue with lack of parking. So for now, they've converted it into a surface lot. I noticed the pay booth has just been installed, but the existing concrete surface needs to be repaved yet. So what do you think the city should do??

parkinglot2.jpg

Here's some general info:

The new surface lot is on the site of a demolished 3 level parking structre built in the 1940's. It was in really bad condition and couldn't even allow clearance of some vehicles.

The site is located about 2 blocks from main street in an up and coming neighborhood. There's a lot of bars, nightclubs, lofts, and renovated buildings nearby.

There are other surface lots nearby, however one is being removed for the new 10 story Ashley terrace. The other two lots serve primarily downtown businesses. There are never enough spaces on weekends. Parking in Ann Arbor is a major issue

More housing and retail is planned for this area, however there are groups pushing for this area to have more greenspace. So far that gruop is on the losing end, so expect to see more buildings in the future.

Whether this area is to become a highrise district is unclear. Al I know is that the areas just west of main street will be more accomodating of buildings that are tall.

Here's my opinion. I do think a parking structure should go up, maybe 6 or 7 levels with ground floor retail. On top of that would a 10 story residential building. ~ 18 floors doesn't seem all that bad, and I feel there is enough of a buffer zone between this site and the single family homes just 2 blocks west.

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To me, parking structures with buildings above them arent very practical. Parking structures have a very short lifespan, as in 40 years with very good maintence and complete remodling every 10-15 years, sometimes less. While if a developer has the guts to spend his money on doing a parking structure with building abave I certainly woulden't complain, it just doesn't seem to smart to me. I would say build a 12 floor parking ramp with groud floor retail (no office). It will make future develpment of the surrounding land much more appealing.

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There's no need to make the surrounding land any more appealing than it already is as there is already huge demand for those parcels. So that's not a good reason to build only parking. On the other hand, there is demand from businesses for more residents in the area, demand from the DDA to increase downtown residential and decrease commuters, and demand from potential future residents. There is not that much demand for new office construction right now (vacancies are not that low, it would have to be a single large company building it). Putting residences there relieves slightly the pressure for people to come and drive downtown to go out for the nightlife but they themselves will expect some parking (but consider that Ann Arbor's tallest building, a residential highrise, has 0 attached permanent parking spaces).

I would build as tall a residential highrise as possible with as many/few parking spaces on the lower floors as required by them (not enough for every resident and the residents should expect to pay a monthly parking fee), and ground floor retail. The opposition comes from those folks in detached homes on the near west side who claim to be pro-environment but are very much NIMBY pro-sprawlers. They want the land near them to be used for park space (yet another west side park) which would only increase their own land values but do no good for downtown or the rest of the city. However, they are a very loud and vocal minority. Also, economically, this area is not truly up-and-coming (it's still downtown).

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I belive the plaza residents park in the structure adjoining the building despite the fact that its a city ramp. I think it costs $100 a month or something.

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I belive the plaza residents park in the structure adjoining the building despite the fact that its a city ramp. I think it costs $100 a month or something.

Only a small, limited number of people can park there. There's a fairly long waiting list to get a parking pass. Passes in all Republic parking structures are $100/mo I believe but hard to come by if you aren't in a downtown worker (even these are limited) or another program like the evenings-only program for commuters who live downtown. But I don't think the Maynard structure has many spaces reserved for monthlies.

I think there's a potential market for people who live in neighborhoods surrounding downtown to sell parking spaces in their driveways or parking lots until prices reach an unartificial equilibrium. Do away with parking minimums. And offer long term parking in lots at the city limits but on frequent bus lines.

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I'm not familiar with Ann Arbor but it seems there is a problem with downtown parking, thats probably to blame for the lack of demand for office space. If there was sufficient parking I'm sure the currently empty office space would be filled up and more would be on its way. I personally like to have a balance between offices and residential, I even prefer office towers sometimes.

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You pretty much hit the nail on the head hood. The vacancies would definitely be reduced with easer parking. The only solution I see is for current parking structures to be expanded or much a larger one to be built. Apparently the nearby William Street parking structure will have a few more levels added to it, which will be the second time the height of this structure was raised. I'm wondering if the parking structure nearby Comerica bank building can have a few more levels added to it as well. You can see it on the far left of the photo.

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A lot a people don't seem to likeparking structures but they are really a neccasary evil, especially in moderately sized cities and especially to attract office space. I don't think parking structures are all that bad of a thing when properly designed and built, basically they should at least have ground floor retail. It is even better when they have a false facade to make them look more like a real building, like the 12 floor one in Detroit on Woodward, I think it has a CVS in it, that is probably the best designed parking ramp I've seen.

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i think parking decks are neccesary as well. and they can make them look really nice , too, with ground floor retail and nice looking facades.

i esspecally like this on up in Traverse City

16931-a1.jpg

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Vacancies for offices downtown aren't all that high although I believe they're worse now than in recent years due to some large companies moving out. There are higher vacancies in some suburban office parks, while others are doing slightly better. So, abundance of parking isn't necessarily keeping vacancies low in suburban office markets, even though rent is also cheaper than it is downtown (which may be keeping vacancies higher downtown, especially for larger corporations).

From where I'm sitting right now in Ann Arbor on S. 4th and Packard, a block south of the 4th and Williams parking structure, I see a number of disparate parking lots, each adjacent but fenced off from another and taking up more land than the houses they're attached to. It's an amount of land that could accomodate a good-sized building for more housing and multiple levels of parking while remaining almost hidden from the street. I imagine there are many places like this behind houses around Ann Arbor representing hidden land lost to parking. On another note, a lot of these crappy houses around here might as well be demolished to make way for taller apartment buildings that could be built on parking.

Anyways, I think that downtown Ann Arbor needs new residential housing and that the more of that you have, the more you can get away with less parking needed for office workers since they'll be one and the same. You still have to build a certain number of parking spaces for residents but they should try and get away with as few as possible, i.e. parking maximums instead of parking minimums. The NIMBYs will scream and yell because they fear that if there's not enough parking space then people will park on their (publicly owned) streets. But they will also raise hell if developers want to build tall buildings that accomodate several floors of parking within them.

The mayor some months ago mentioned the idea of commuter rail within Ann Arbor, perhaps going south from Main/Madison to the State/94 area. Imagine that whole corridor being infilled with high density residential.

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I'm down with a 350' office tower in A2. There are alot of companies that have a presence in Ann Arbor, Why couldn't we spruce up the skyline? It's probabally the healthiest city economically in Michigan, Is it that those crazy liberals have put hieght restrictions up?

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