OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Issues concerning Downtown as described by the Downtown Council. River to 31st Street, I-35 to Bruce R. Watkins.
earthling
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Re: OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Postby earthling » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:52 am

It's not unrealistic to do similar layout as the Toronto project. I'm referring to the layout and sense of pedestrian scale, not necessarily 10-15 story luxury residential buildings. There are commuter rail stops in big city burbs that have much better pedestrian scale than this military base layout. If streetcar is planned to go through here, a pedestrian scale village integrating with the riverfront, cycling paths with each building looking much different (facades and varying heights) is a more livable/visatable sense of place than what the rendering implies, even if the rendering is just a directional path.

Is fair to hold judgement until a better rendering but if this is the layout (no matter the building designs), not very promising for a pedestrian scale development as any streetcar neighborhood should be.

Also, if there is no criticism to the current rendering, the developer very well may end up developing a prison camp if no one cares. And BTW, I intentionally target to become the most critical on this site for various reasons. :)

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Re: OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Postby cityscape » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:30 am

I must be crazy, because I didn't take that rendering as anything other than Port KC showing a potential of how buildings in that are could transform it from green space to an urban environment. I seriously doubt they spent much money developing it and were likely putting it together to show scale of what types of developments could fit. You have some multipurpose buildings, some commercial and some residential based on what I can see. I can't imagine anyone would actually want their buildings to all be boring white and with tiny windows. I think you're all jumping way ahead with your criticisms. That, or I am seriously missing your sarcasm :)

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Re: OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Postby earthling » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:33 am

^It's the military base style layout too vs say a pedestrian scale town center square or something like that, but guess we'll hold out for better renderings - hopefully with better layout and varying buildings/heights.

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Re: OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Postby earthling » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:37 am

Found this from developer site...
Image

Looks good enough on its own but building next to it pretty much the same so entire stretch could be if no effort to fundamentally mix the second one up.

With the opportunity to make the riverfront a key place to visit for 100+ years, a new downtown destination via streetcar, do you want to visit a cookie cutter apartment complex? You could wait and see or give city/developer feedback now before they solidly plans.

Developer contacts: INFO@FLCO.COM and Jaime Young - jnyoung@flco.com

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Re: OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Postby shinatoo » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:23 am

God forbid anyone puts out a concept before it is fully baked or you guys will shred it on this board. High standards and diligence are good, but let things mature in the design process before going into full dick mode.
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Re: OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Postby earthling » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:29 am

OTOH, they put it out there and it's game for feedback. If you say nothing you may end up with what the rendering indicates. Sure it's just an indicator but better to speak up sooner than later. This is an opportunity for a new downtown area to visit via streetcar, do you want it to be a cookie cutter apt complex? That's what they are indicating so far, with a layout that looks like a military base. Would be disappointing to see anything remotely like this so I speak up, if others want this then that's fine. If you wait for it to be 'fully baked' to react, might be too late.

A friend from E Coast often tells me how KC isn't openly critical enough like when served a bad restaurant meal. We don't send it back if we don't like it or very poorly done. I rarely return a truly bad meal too but the restaurant can't improve if you accept something very poorly executed and don't let them know. We are too easily content with the sub-par or in some cases don't say anything soon enough and it's too late. Other outsiders who move here have pointed that out about KCians, typically from largest cities. And it's interesting that I've been testing that lately with intentionally heavy criticism about several things on this site (deserved IMO) and it appears to support criticism is unacceptable in this town.

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Re: OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Postby GRID » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:09 pm

I agree with what you are saying. I mean KCMO should have gotten a LOT more out of the Cerner deal for example. The cordish towers and convention hotel seem too conservative and feedback keeps developers from delivering too much blahh. But at the same time, the city is really dragging its feet on capping the loop, building dedicated bike lanes etc that would tell Cordish they are serious about truly building up downtown.

I think what the city does with the actual public park space and riverfront will be far more important than getting too critical of the design of the apartments. Like I said, the area will not become a destination based off the development. I mean people visiting might grab a burger at sidewalk cafe, but the main reason that area would become a destination for people not living there is recreational infrastructure which KC just can't seem to get going on any major scale.

Because the riverfront has been so isolated, most people avoid it. With all the residents moving in down there and the possible streetcar exposing the area, this is the first opportunity KCMO has had to develop a major urban recreational destination. This is an area that KC is probably still 20 years behind almost every other city in the country and I mean every other city. People don't go into the city to ride bikes, run etc in KC. Recreation is a huge reason people visit central cities today and it's sad that KC is so far behind even though it has so much potential with two major rivers and whats left of the original Kesler parks system.

So KCMO needs to really think about how it can turn the riverfront into the next place everybody in metro KC wants to check out. Apartments alone won't do that and if the city doesn't get on the ball, the park is going to be nothing more than a local dog park for the apartments. KCMO needs a 3-5 year plan to actually implement major infrastructure improvements to its urban recreation system. This could include everything from building a signature pedestrian bridge to connect the two halves of Penn Valley Park to building a new Washing Square Park to a deck or 670 to a new system of levee trails along the rivers from Kaw Point to Berkey to a new pedestrian only bridge over the Missouri river. Sure, it would cost money, but it would bring more people and life into urban KC than people can ever imagine.

PS, I'm not sure why I'm posting here so often. I guess, I see KC finally turning a corner rather than just barely keeping up, but actually losing ground. I think the city is finally about to get over the hump it's been trying to get over for 15-20 years. I also think a main reason that KC is coming back so strong is that Kansas side growth has drastically slowed. It's incredible how much damage Kansas done to KC and ultimately the metro area for the short term gains of JoCo and Western Wyco.

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Re: OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Postby earthling » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:19 pm

^Good points but it's still fine to tell the developers they can do better by making suggestions that are more pedestrian scale oriented and avoid being cookie cutter before designs are 'baked in'. You can't encourage change if you say nothing or just accept whatever they want to do. It's a huge chunk of the riverfront. I have sent them an email BTW with a much more tender tone than the chastising I've done here. The bottom line is it's not unreasonable to suggest they can do better than this and it very well may become a streetcar destination for decades. Are you suggesting don't even bother giving feedback with intent for improvements?`

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Re: OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Postby GRID » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:31 pm

earthling wrote:Are you suggesting don't even bother giving feedback with intent for changes?`


Not at all. I think your feedback is great. My only point was it's probably going to turn out pretty nice, but you definitely want to be vocal about what you want to see built. I do think KC's developers and government officials lack a lot of urban planning expertise. Most of the better designed projects coming to KC are from out of town developers.

I would keep it up, but also ramp up grassroots efforts to get other things done too such as the things I mentioned above with recreation infrastructure. People in that town apparently love to sign petitions. How about starting a petition for something positive for the city? With 30,000 living downtown soon, I'm sure some of this stuff could get done.

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Re: OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Postby chingon » Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:20 pm

I'm not hyper critical of new buildings on vacant or underused land in KC because when I see new urban construction in fast growing, booming, trendy or coastal cities, from Portland to Brooklyn, 98% of it is every bit as uninspired, boring, tepid and soulless as this project, the Cornish towers, or anything else being being built here.
Last edited by chingon on Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Postby GRID » Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:23 pm

chingon wrote:I'm not hyper critical of new buildings on vacant or underused land because when I see new urban construction in fast growing, booming, trendy and coastal cities, from Portland to Brooklyn, 98% of it is every bit as uninspired, boring, tepid and soulless as this project, the Cornish towers, or anything else being being built here.


Many cities are much worse. KCMO has some nice exiting stock they can mix in with new construction. Some cities are all new construction and blocks and blocks and new construction is pretty bland and soulless in any city. KC is lucky that the riverfront is probably the only area of the city that will be like that except suburban development.

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Re: OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Postby JBmidtown » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:03 pm

Whatever. Today's utilitarian, dystopic style is tomorrow's Googie or brutalism. Human taste is fickle and mostly bullshit.

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Re: OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Postby pash » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:14 pm

.
Last edited by pash on Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Postby earthling » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:01 pm

^Sure. So by suburban leaning I mean not small town center square, not urbane sense of pedestrian scale (like the Toronto development above), not even an attempt at new urbanism. Assuming the 'layout' of the first rendering is directionally correct, it's really more like a military base apparently targeting a very long row of cookie cutter apt complexes with a suburban leaning lifestyle center thrown in. There is the long stretch on one side with no setbacks as you point out, grant you that as with some lifestyle centers.

Whatever it is or isn't, methinks they can do much better. And IMO it sucks given a fresh opportunity to design a new downtown district, a riverfront destination that visitors will check out hopefully by streetcar. If the military base layout (IMO) is directionally correct and all buildings are similar to the second rendering (row of cookie cutter apts complexes), would you have zero suggestions for the developer and accept as is? This is waht visitor will see heading toward the river. Now's the prefect time to make suggestions if not radically alter as I'm working on getting their ear with some progress.

Image

Image

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Re: OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Postby earthling » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:09 pm

JBmidtown wrote:Whatever. Today's utilitarian, dystopic style is tomorrow's Googie or brutalism. Human taste is fickle and mostly bullshit.


Well some people have zero standards and that's fine. Others like to create a sense of place. Some don't want drivethrough fastfood through downtowns, others don't want Midtown loaded with suburban style pad site restaurants or retail with large front lots. Some appreciate raising the bar for livable spaces and define parameters around that, others could care less.

In the case of the downtown riverfront opportunity to develop a really cool sense of place, the current renderings even if placeholders at least deserve feedback and mine is that it's absolute shit, a lost opportunity for the riverfront.

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Re: OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Postby Highlander » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:51 pm

GRID wrote:PS, I'm not sure why I'm posting here so often. I guess, I see KC finally turning a corner rather than just barely keeping up, but actually losing ground. I think the city is finally about to get over the hump it's been trying to get over for 15-20 years. I also think a main reason that KC is coming back so strong is that Kansas side growth has drastically slowed. It's incredible how much damage Kansas done to KC and ultimately the metro area for the short term gains of JoCo and Western Wyco.


It's not that Kansas side growth has slowed but rather that KC has put itself in a position to compete.
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Re: OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:56 pm

FWIW, if the rendering is anything at all of what the project will be then that will definitely be a shame. Being close to the river why not create something like what one might find along an old riverfront. Old warehouse building space converted to restaurants and bars. Throw in a mix of service businesses the locals would need on the ground floor with residences above (can be more than two stories). Have a central street that runs through the development, not for cars but for people (although a vehicle like an ambulance can utilize when needed). Of course, to prevent an overbuilt of retail space throw in some what I would call New York style multi-family residences where one could walk up the stairs or walk down a half flight of stairs to living spaces.
Don't need to make it a destination spot but more like a small community.

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Re: OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Postby flyingember » Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:45 pm

aknowledgeableperson wrote:FWIW, if the rendering is anything at all of what the project will be then that will definitely be a shame. Being close to the river why not create something like what one might find along an old riverfront. Old warehouse building space converted to restaurants and bars. Throw in a mix of service businesses the locals would need on the ground floor with residences above (can be more than two stories). Have a central street that runs through the development, not for cars but for people (although a vehicle like an ambulance can utilize when needed). Of course, to prevent an overbuilt of retail space throw in some what I would call New York style multi-family residences where one could walk up the stairs or walk down a half flight of stairs to living spaces.
Don't need to make it a destination spot but more like a small community.

First, build some warehouses. Then wait a few decades.

Then pick an arbitrary design to renovate them.

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Re: OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Postby earthling » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:15 pm

Here are some renderings/projects from the same Indianapolis developer as the riverfront project. What are thoughts of using something similar from each of their projects to mix things up for KC's riverfront project. In addition, a layout that has a 'town center' square with different buildings such as below, with very narrow pedestrian scale streets, with streetcar going through and dedicated bike lanes...

On 1st corner of 'Riverfront Town Center' (the building but narrower streets)...
Image

On 2nd corner of 'Riverfront Town center'...
Image

On 3rd corner of 'Riverfront Town Center'...
Image

On 4th corner of 'Riverfront Town Center'...
Image

Facing river, Image

Something like MAC container buildings but each looking unique mixed in with the above...
Image

The developer could be re-using designs from other projects, get economies of scale on materials, throw in some cost effective, quick to build container buildings mixed in (each with unique facade) and the KC riverfront avoids cookie cutter apt complexes with a military base layout and instead gets a 'town center' with streetcar running through. There could be 2-3 'town squares' - a West Square, Riverfront Town Center and East Square.

Thoughts? Not necessarily exactly this but the concept of developer re-using designs/materials from their other various projects to avoid cookie cutter apt complexes in KC and use of town squares instead of the military base layout? Yes we don't know yet all they plan but need to speak up now before they finalize plans. I plan to submit something like this to them, any feedback to add?

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Re: OFFICIAL: Port Authority Riverfront Project

Postby flyingember » Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:40 pm

They're probably trying to hit rental rate targets. The exterior materials play into that.

Never assume stupidity when economics is the answer.


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