Beacon Hill

Discuss items in the urban core outside of Downtown as described above. Everything in the core including the east side (18th & Vine area), Plaza, Westport, Brookside, Valentine, Waldo, 39th street, & the entire midtown area.
chingon
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Re: Beacon Hill

Post by chingon » Wed Nov 18, 2015 2:55 pm

pash wrote:A couple of weeks ago, the city's redevelopment agencies put out an RFP for the vacant block on the west side of Troost between 26th and 27th Streets. The project also includes two small parcels at the southern corners of the intersection of 27th & Troost.

MetroWire has a good summary. DRAW put together some concepts. I'm disappointed that all of the concepts seem to preclude the possibility of building anything even at the scale of what's gone in recently on Union Hill nearby, but I guess even the least ambitious project beats an empty lot.
Looked great to me. Denser than what was originally there is a win in my book.

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Re: Beacon Hill

Post by KCtoBrooklyn » Wed Nov 18, 2015 3:10 pm

Sure, higher density could work there, but I wouldn't be disappointed at all if we end up with something like those renderings. Those look pretty nice and a good scale. Anything like that going in on Troost would be a major win.

I don't know if this had been discussed here, but the latest on the proposed hotel at 24th and Troost is that the neighborhood has opposed the current plan which called for a Best Western when they were previously told it would be a boutique. There were also design issues, such as lack of mixed-use and too much surface parking.

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Re: Beacon Hill

Post by flyingember » Wed Nov 18, 2015 4:55 pm

remember, Troost in that area is a suburban street. This would fit perfectly with it.

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Re: Beacon Hill

Post by pash » Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:09 pm

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Re: Beacon Hill

Post by Eon Blue » Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:55 pm

What if BNIM decided to forgo the Crossroads and make a statement by locating their new HQ in Beacon Hill?

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Re: Beacon Hill

Post by pash » Wed Nov 18, 2015 6:06 pm

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Re: Beacon Hill

Post by kboish » Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:10 pm

pash wrote:Why would BNIM want to move to Beacon Hill? They want to be in an urban neighborhood.
Not only this, but they're located next to whats called the Central Business District. There is a reason thats what its called and there should be a reason businesses want to locate there

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Re: Beacon Hill

Post by TheBigChuckbowski » Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:20 am

pash wrote: Why would structured parking be out of the question?
It doesn't say it's out of the question, from the document: "Additional floors are feasible if podium / structured parking is provided." Would I have liked to see one of their scenarios with more density and structured parking? Of course.
pash wrote: My parsing of the plan was simply that anything higher than about two stories is either unwelcome in the neighborhood or too ambitious for the planners.
Well, considering the multi-family townhouses are 3.5 stories and the apartment building is 3 stories, that's not exactly accurate.
pash wrote:For comparison, the (slightly smaller) full block of suburban-style apartments directly across Troost, the most recent phase of the Longfellow Heights development, is built up with 78 units.
And, it has no retail or offices. This has 30-52,000 square feet of retail/office on that block.

But, most importantly, the document clearly states that it's generally conforming to the greater downtown area plan. That means 1/4 of the site is "downtown residential", 1/4 is "residential medium" and 1/2 is "residential low". So, unless I'm misunderstanding their description, this is actually way more dense than it's supposed to be. 3/4 of the block is supposed to be max 8.7 units per acre which would put it at about 35 total units.

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Re: Beacon Hill

Post by FangKC » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:09 am

The two blocks from 25th to 27th are actually ideal for mid-rise rental apartment buildings (6-10 stories) with a couple levels of structured parking underneath. That's assuming there isn't a limestone mass a few feet under the soil, and that it's mostly soil for 20 feet or more downward. There used to be a 6-7 story apartment building across the street on the NW corner of 27th and Troost called the Barclay Apartments.

The parcels front a major artery with bus service. There is very little existing housing on the parcels to the east, so less neighborhood opposition to density being created there from the get-go. Put the grocery store at street-level, with apartments on top, as part of the project and I would wager a large part of any opposition from the neighborhood would vanish.

The parcels are close enough for many employees of Children's Mercy Hospital, UMKC medical and dental schools, and Truman Medical Center to walk to work. Bus service would make a short commute to Crown Center and downtown. If the structured parking had good security in place, fears of car theft in the neighborhood would be lessened. More so than surface parking would.

Medical centers tend to appreciate having plenty of rental housing nearby for their staff--mostly because of inclement weather events and the need to have staff be able to get to work. Many types of medical staff work long hours--often 12-hour shifts (doctors, residents, and nurses) and benefit from living close to the medical center, and not having long commutes.

This is a great opportunity to create more density in the city, and in an area where there is less likelihood of organized opposition to building larger apartment buildings.

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Re: Beacon Hill

Post by TheBigChuckbowski » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:33 am

I agree that this area could be much more dense. However, this is a discussion that should be about the downtown area plan: http://www.downtownkc.org/wp-content/up ... l_web1.pdf.

If you look at the map, this area was clearly intended to be a low-medium density residential neighborhood. The max height, even on Troost, is 3-5 stories with most of the area being 1-3 stories.

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Re: Beacon Hill

Post by flyingember » Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:08 am

obviously height is expensive.

and one thing the downtown area needs is lower cost places to live than a tall tower.
We can't build everything new at a size where rent costs $1500/month and expect downtown to grow.

so a 3-5 story height makes logical sense for new development on the corridor.
the place to grow into more height would be more the area of Crossroads east into Paseo West. This area should be a transition neighborhood.

I saw this in Houston. You had tall towers in downtown, then just south of downtown was getting 8-10 stories (much like our crossroads) and then outside of that was all 2-4 stories.

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Re: Beacon Hill

Post by TheBigChuckbowski » Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:27 am

I agree mostly. This is, for the most part, a residential neighborhood. And, we need to remember that it's on Troost. So, 6-10 stories is a bit much not only contextually but I also just don't see a market for those kinds of rents at this location. However, if they want to put a grocery store on this site which I would love, it should probably have 5 stories of office/residential above it along with a hotel somewhere in the neighborhood. I would like to see at least one building on the corner of 27th and Troost be 5-7 stories. Keep it 3-4 stories along Troost and 27th and then 2-3 stories everywhere else. I mean, we're getting 5 story in-fill in the River Market, can we realistically expect better than that in a location that's not in high demand, that's farther from the CBD and is on Troost?

What's missing in this discussion is that there are 2.5 other blocks that are completely cleared for development adjacent to this parcel that are slated for single-family according to the Beacon Hill plan. This plan is significantly better than what's being planned and built in the rest of the Beacon Hill neighborhood.

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Re: Beacon Hill

Post by pash » Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:26 pm

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Re: Beacon Hill

Post by pash » Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:40 pm

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Re: Beacon Hill

Post by pash » Thu Nov 19, 2015 12:50 pm

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Re: Beacon Hill

Post by flyingember » Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:14 pm

Yeah, height in many of these areas will only come when the property taxes is higher than a lower density can support payments on.

Think the Mission, KS quandary on a lesser scale. They eventually had to add a special assessment for the former mall site because sometimes a huge yearly payment is what gets attention from property owners. Some long-term land owners hopefully will find their barely used parking lots are not worth the tax bills that come with them as values rises.

Jackson County assesses property in odd years. Part of Troost should see increased values from the UMKC apartments but the big changes will be the crossroads and the river market. I expect the land value will jump for a lot of parking lots that sit next to new and renovated buildings and/or the streetcar

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Re: Beacon Hill

Post by TheBigChuckbowski » Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:34 pm

pash wrote: Four- or five-story buildings fronting Troost, three-story buildings fronting Forest, and two- or three-story townhouses across Forest would fit the plan and would give you far more density.
But, it wouldn't fit the plan because the plan calls for 8.7 units per acre or less on 3/4 of this block. Everything fronting Forest is supposed to be single-family.
pash wrote:I know it doesn't, I was asking why you thought it was off the table.
It's not in this document because they're trying to stick to he downtown area plan and are already too dense for that plan so why would they add structured parking?
pash wrote:There seems to have been no consideration of changing the zoning (which happens all the time)
So, the city is going to completely ignore their downtown area plan? I'm sure they'd go along if a developer wants to make it more dense but it's pretty illogical to think that they should completely ignore their own plan and make these concepts significantly more dense.

The problem is the plan. Following the plan and having density in this area is impossible.
pash wrote:Then Beacon Hill is just an extension of drive-up Longfellow
Longfellow is a historic neighborhood filled with homes built before cars had mass adoption. Beacon Hill is filled with new giant single-family homes with driveways and 3-car garages.

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Re: Beacon Hill

Post by pash » Thu Nov 19, 2015 3:23 pm

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Re: Beacon Hill

Post by TheBigChuckbowski » Thu Nov 19, 2015 3:42 pm

Literally no one in this thread is arguing for that but whatever.

What I'm disagreeing with is your pessism based on marketing materials intended to attract as much developer interest as possible. Nor do I understand why you would think the city would deviate significantly from their own plan for the area. I also don't get the thinking that this isn't head and shoulders better than anything being developed in Beacon Hill currently.

This isn't even close to a final product so why get your panties in a bunch? I will say that if this is built as one of the two decent concepts from that document, I won't lose any sleep over it. Could it be better? Sure. But, right now the area just needs something to happen and there is still a helluva lot of in-fill possibilities closer to the CBD.
There goes one of the best opportunities for re-developing Troost and kick-starting something on the corridor, but oh, well. That's Kansas City.
That's actually way more likely if we demand higher density when there aren't any developers that want to take that risk and nothing gets built. But, yeah, 30,000 square feet of retail and 100 residential units would be way worse than that. /s

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Re: Beacon Hill

Post by FangKC » Thu Nov 19, 2015 4:22 pm

pash wrote:The reason we're getting five-story buildings in the River Market, Crossroads, and other desirable locations, by the way, is because that's the sweet spot for maximizing the number of units you can build with cheap construction. Build anything taller and stick-on-concrete-parking-plinth no longer works; smaller means you're leaving money on the table because you aren't maximizing the value of the real estate.
The accepted practice of building anything over 4-stories only with reinforced concrete and steel is being challenged. All wood construction of taller buildings is starting to happen now in Europe and Canada using thick mass timber beams which can support much taller structures, and has a lower overall cost in construction--an estimated 15 percent less cost in construction. Using wood over concrete and steel (per sq. foot) also contributes less carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, and wood also is a carbon sequester. I have provided several examples of this new approach on the thread Urbanism, architecture, transit, strawmen, etc.

http://kcrag.com/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=1 ... 40#p541997

Local building codes might have to be changed and updated to include this new method of construction. The USA has been slower to adapt and change. The cost difference between wood vs. concrete and steel construction is enough that it makes many urban infill projects more affordable, since the developer is often operating on very low profit margins.

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