Jump to content

Downtown Orlando Project Discussion


sunshine

Recommended Posts


GAI looks like it was built with offices on the 1st floor - anyone know if they'll be retail of any kind? There's a good amount of offices nearby - the right modest mix could do okay.

I think that the first floor will be retail/restaurant only.

According to their website, the bottom floor is partially office / garage / main lobby.

http://www.gaibuilding.com/pdfs/floorplan08.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So the GAI Building looks to be basically done:

2011-01-01-1.jpg

2011-01-01-2.jpg

2011-01-01-3.jpg

Okay, I'm not architectural critic, but it appears to have the mark of the beast ...err Baker Barrios. I applaud them building it to the street, but I'm not in love with the "lawn" on South St. Seems to me that they would have created a better sense of space by placing the green space in the middle of the building. You'd create additional windows for tenants and maybe even some outdoor space for workers without leaving the building therefore increasing productivity. It also seems like a missed opportunity for additional revenue streams by having the parking garage open like that. Why not have a few retail parcels on the ground? At least it would close what looks like an open carport with an office building sitting on top. As I said, just and observation...

Edited by mrh3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Baker Barrios has certainly left it's mark on Orlando. The only really impressive structure they've designed (IMO) is the South Eola Condo building, with the Dynetech tower as a runner up. Most of their structures are non-offensive, but they are certainly not edgy and many are just borderline ugly.

In this instance, I wonder if the reason for the setback on South Street was to preserve the large Oak trees on that corner. I agree that (at least from the aerial perspective)there could have been better retail interaction, though this location is a bit outside the retail/restaurant corridor of Summerlin so that may have been a motivating factor as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Baker Barrios has certainly left it's mark on Orlando. The only really impressive structure they've designed (IMO) is the South Eola Condo building, with the Dynetech tower as a runner up. Most of their structures are non-offensive, but they are certainly not edgy and many are just borderline ugly.

In this instance, I wonder if the reason for the setback on South Street was to preserve the large Oak trees on that corner. I agree that (at least from the aerial perspective)there could have been better retail interaction, though this location is a bit outside the retail/restaurant corridor of Summerlin so that may have been a motivating factor as well.

I agree, but if you think about the daytime worker population along that strip of South St. which is now completely built out, I'm sure they could have generated a swift lunchtime business. Just saying... That could be the CRE Analyst in me coming out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would guess that placing your offices in a LEED certified or "green building" is, at the moment, a trendy thing. While I am happy that we as a society are finally starting to think in such a manner I agree with what Ustler says in that article that making a building green and also making the people in that building green are two completely different things. As I said, being able to say your offices are green is a popular thing right now. Now if done right a firm, once enjoying the benefits and savings that come with that, will not want to go back to an un-green(?) building thus increasing demand for such construction and also turning a trendy lifestyle into a real lifestyle.

Maybe they could create a new aspect to LEED certification to push for more construction near transit or for promoting its inhabitants to get out of their cars. For example, a silver building can be built anywhere with no thought as to how people get to it. Maybe the same structure that is built within 1/4 or 1/2 of a mile from transit with an adequate amount of bike racks could be deemed silver+. Possibly implementing parking space sharing for employees. If you won't have your spot on certain days you will be more apt to take transit. I haven't thought this out as well as I should have before I started typing this, but just something to expand the reach of LEED certification. Or they could create LEED Unobtanium for buildings constructed with thought given to every aspect of green living possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would guess that placing your offices in a LEED certified or "green building" is, at the moment, a trendy thing. While I am happy that we as a society are finally starting to think in such a manner I agree with what Ustler says in that article that making a building green and also making the people in that building green are two completely different things. As I said, being able to say your offices are green is a popular thing right now. Now if done right a firm, once enjoying the benefits and savings that come with that, will not want to go back to an un-green(?) building thus increasing demand for such construction and also turning a trendy lifestyle into a real lifestyle.

Maybe they could create a new aspect to LEED certification to push for more construction near transit or for promoting its inhabitants to get out of their cars. For example, a silver building can be built anywhere with no thought as to how people get to it. Maybe the same structure that is built within 1/4 or 1/2 of a mile from transit with an adequate amount of bike racks could be deemed silver+. Possibly implementing parking space sharing for employees. If you won't have your spot on certain days you will be more apt to take transit. I haven't thought this out as well as I should have before I started typing this, but just something to expand the reach of LEED certification. Or they could create LEED Unobtanium for buildings constructed with thought given to every aspect of green living possible.

I believe thats already a part of LEED, LEED is based on a point system, and you earn points for site selection in an urban area, for bike racks, for being on mass transit routes, for being on train routes, etc... part of the problem is that there is no way to make people live greener or have people use these green features that you implemented... just because you have bike racks doesn't mean anyone will use them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I partially agree with you on that. There are a growing number, although still small presently, of people that will gladly use bikes if that option is made much more convenient. I have to admit though that even I most likely wouldn't want to ride my bike to work during a Florida summer. Sadly, we are creatures of habit and while I am not a fan of forcing a culture or society to change I think aggressive measures are the only thing that will get us out of our cars. Severe limiting of parking spaces in city cores is one option, but then you run into the problem of possibly pushing employers away. Regardless, there is not much at all that can be done to veer us away from auto dependence until there is a reliable transit network in place. We have begun to take green building seriously, now the next step is to figure out how to integrate green living into that momentum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I partially agree with you on that. There are a growing number, although still small presently, of people that will gladly use bikes if that option is made much more convenient. I have to admit though that even I most likely wouldn't want to ride my bike to work during a Florida summer. Sadly, we are creatures of habit and while I am not a fan of forcing a culture or society to change I think aggressive measures are the only thing that will get us out of our cars. Severe limiting of parking spaces in city cores is one option, but then you run into the problem of possibly pushing employers away. Regardless, there is not much at all that can be done to veer us away from auto dependence until there is a reliable transit network in place. We have begun to take green building seriously, now the next step is to figure out how to integrate green living into that momentum.

I'm completely in agreement with you go_vertical. I believe that the key is from the top down. If employers fostered a culture of bike riding or "green living" it would certainly filter down to the rank and file employees. Portland, OR for example has a number of employers that provide showers for bike riders. As an addition, I think that once the "Decision Makers" of Orlando embrace Downtown Orlando as a viable place to live there will be an adjustment in the attitude to alternative methods of transportation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interestingly enough, I just started noticing this week around South Beach that the city of Miami Beach began installing bike rental stands at a number of locations around the island. The program is called DecoBike and it will consist of 100 solar-powered bike rental and sharing stations with a fleet of over 1,000 bikes. The rental rates are $4/half hour, $5/hour, $10/two hours + $4/each additional half hour but if you are a Miami Beach resident, you are eligible for a $15/month membership that affords you unlimited rentals in 30 minute intervals. They've even created an informative iPhone app for the program.

Personally, I'm ecstatic about this. I know similar systems have existed for a while in other locales throughout the world but they have yet to be implemented in the Sunshine State (at least to my knowledge) and I think this one will be a model of success for other Florida cities to follow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I pulled this from the downtownorlando.com website -- a street level view of GAI. This is basically a squat version of The Plaza:

GAI.jpg

Insert usual rant about how boring Baker Barrios is here.

This has got to stop. I don't think we need to cheer every development that goes up downtown if this is what gets built because Baker Barrios is well-connected. I drive by this building and the OUC on the 408 and get upset at the lost opportunities every day, twice a day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I emailed Buddy a few months ago regarding Decobike and similar bike sharing systems in Paris, Berlin, etc.

I'm not sure how practical that would be in downtown Orlando...I'm a bicycling enthusiast, but I don't associate the lack of bicyclists downtown with this program. I was recently in DC and it makes sense to bicycle there if you can because of how spread out everything is. Our urban center is definitely walkable in itself and walking is usually preferable to bicycling unless you're pretty experienced given the car culture.

I think bicycling makes a ton of sense if the Main Street programs take off to another level. Downtown South, Mills/50, Ivanhoe Village, College Park and even the unofficial Milk District are all too far to walk from one another, but usually a nice ride through a neighborhood to get to.

I could also see Creative Village being a gamechanger in that regard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Insert usual rant about how boring Baker Barrios is here.

This has got to stop. I don't think we need to cheer every development that goes up downtown if this is what gets built because Baker Barrios is well-connected. I drive by this building and the OUC on the 408 and get upset at the lost opportunities every day, twice a day.

Agree that these aren't exciting buildings. But I ask, what is your evidence that it is due to their "connectedness"? Might it be that they are offering what their customers are asking for? Just saying, maybe the selling point isn't great cutting edge designs, maybe it's price or greeness or something else. I'm just saying, we are not their customers, and BB isn't in business to make internet design junkies happy. When you say, lost opportunities, maybe GAI or OUC wasn't looking for an "opportunity" to make us happy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eh -- I only partly agree. The city has to come to some sort of development standard by which all new buildings are designed with pedestrian friendlessness in mind. We can't rely simply on the motivations of architects, builders, and companies, to do this.

"the city has to"? Why does the city "has to?" What law says they "has to?" You may like for the city to do this, but they don't "has to."

Are we starting a Cairo-type protest --- general workers stike? Do you think that if we get people to sign petitions we can get it on the ballot?

Many (not me) would say the city's building requirements are already too restrictive and overbearing. Just saying they "has to" has no meaning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.