kas1 wrote:Honestly, there's not much that Copaken can do with that site right now. High-rise residential and hotel projects aren't viable when the city is giving substantial cash subsidies to competing projects nearby, and the office market is tepid at best. With a premium site like that it's better to wait for the right moment than to build something small and cheap just for the sake of it. An excess of good development sites can be a good problem to have.
IMO the best thing that could happen would be for Cordish to first build its second office building and then 13th and Grand gets built afterward. The Cordish building is limited in size by the existing foundation, while the Copaken site has unlimited potential. If the Cordish building is successful then it would provide empirical evidence about the demand for new Class A space in the CBD which would allow Copaken to build something as ambitious as possible. (I'm also assuming that the Cordish building would be cheaper since its foundation is already built, and if I'm not mistaken it would not require the construction of any new parking. Lower costs = lower risk/lower target rents = less time spent waiting for the office market to improve.)
An excess of good development sites is a bad problem. If your area is in high demand, you should have only bad or none at all development sites left.
I think that someone is going to have to pull the trigger on some sort of spec. office tower. Copaken is not really a company that builds ambitious things. They have sat on like 5+ ambitious downtown projects for like the past 30 years. The only thing that they will ever build is a scaled back and rather disappointing structure. This is why everyone here is clamoring for them to just get it over with. At least they could build a mixed-use block with retail, condos/apartments, hotel, and parking and then pour the pillars for a "signature" office tower" to be built in the future