Future Transit Oriented Developments

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Critical_Mass
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Re: Future Transit Oriented Developments

Post by Critical_Mass »

Hi Chris,
I had been looking forward to your potential relocation over to KC for, if nothing else, more frequent drone photo updates. So, this is great news to hear! I had some thoughts on commercial/retail spaces which I would pursue if I was an urban real estate developer:

Get creative with the mix of uses!
Consider ground floor / retail space as an amenity and a loss leader and be proactive in its programming. Essentially give it away rent-free to commercial tenants of your choice. So often we've seen these large suburban-style multi-family developments forced to add token commercial space on the ground floor, but they sit empty for years. How is that benefiting their residents or contributing to the neighborhood? It seems the property owner doesn't need that rent to turn a profit.
Partner with local entrepreneurs who are ready to take a leap into their first brick and mortar location or a second location. They'll be investing into tenant finish and have new overhead expenses and removing rent from their operating costs could be very enticing to help them make the transition. You'd benefit having them as a draw, both as free advertising when visitors come and see the development and as a convenient on-site amenity for your residents. As part of the deal, they could agree to offer a nice discount to your building's residents. Look to popular pop-up events, food halls/food trucks, etc to see who is growing a following that might be a good fit for your location.
Also, consider an unfinished/raw, micro commercial space or two which could be used for short-term hosting of pop-ups, art gallery showings, and other special events. This could be as simple as a narrow bay (10 to 20 ft wide) with a rolling garage door. Space like this could also be marketed to 'makers' who need shop space with an occasional retail front.

Good luck with everything!
Last edited by Critical_Mass on Wed Mar 30, 2022 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Future Transit Oriented Developments

Post by earthling »

^Interesting ideas.
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Chris Stritzel
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Re: Future Transit Oriented Developments

Post by Chris Stritzel »

earthling wrote: Tue Mar 29, 2022 6:45 pm ^What about construction costs for modular pod buildings like at 34th/Main? Could see a handful more of those (well variations of those) spread about Midtown and Xroads with a small retail spot facing street.

Image
I’m playing around with a modular building design for one site directly along the Main Street extension. Haven’t took a dive into costs yet, but I know that if I can figure a plan out that involves modular construction, it’ll look classier than the 34th and Main building. The concept I have an architect friend looking into would have only 10 parking spaces for 54 apartments or so. I’m not sure if that low of a ratio will fly for nearby neighbors.
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Re: Future Transit Oriented Developments

Post by Riverite »

I hope you can, if we can reduce parking need then that can translate into better materials and more density. Would love to see what’s planned when it’s shareable
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Re: Future Transit Oriented Developments

Post by earthling »

Ideally each Midtown inner neighborhood would have a building similar to this with a coffee shop/deli/bodega combo to serve those within walking distance. Many Midtown neighborhoods used to have something similar in its early days (like Browns Irish Market). Time for a modern take with finishes that complement the neighborhood.
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Re: Future Transit Oriented Developments

Post by FangKC »

With building costs going up so fast, and being unpredictable, I think almost all construction in the future will be pre-built modular components assembled on site. The goal will be to reduce the number of on-site construction days.

Not every building needs to have retail. Even in the olden days, retail might only be on the corners of densely-built blocks.
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Re: Future Transit Oriented Developments

Post by FangKC »

Chris, this might be a small detail, but worthy of thought. Since you are attempting to have less parking in your projects, create a storage space for wagons, carts to help tenants unload from curbside parking or to accept deliveries of groceries or large items so that they can transport items from entrances down hallways to their apartments (if you have elevators). This is especially helpful if you have seniors occupying apartments.

Even in buildings with only stairs, it's hard to accept multiple bags of delivered groceries in a multi-tenant set-up. It's also laborious to unload one's car of those same groceries parked at a curb and have to go back and forth several times. Have a space inside the building where tenants can unload/accept everything at once. Then they can go back and forth (even if it's having to climb stairs) without blocking the driveway/curb space, or worrying their items might be stolen while they are away. This would also free up curbside parking at the entrance faster for someone else waiting for it.

I used to live in a 36-story apartment building in New York City. The building had two or three of those luggage-hauler carts like hotels, and big laundry-type carts, for use for tenants to unload, and for moving in and out of the building.

The other thing to consider is having a few apartments on the ground floor level be designed for people with physical challenges. This portion of our population has an especially difficult time finding places to live near transit. This would include wider doors for wheelchair-bound, lever doorknobs, lower light switch placement, more space around toilets and showers to allow movement, lowered counter space in the kitchen, and a surface area where they can pull their wheelchair under the cabinet tops and prepare meals. It also would mean things like front-loading washers and dryers with the instrument panel reachable on the front and not a back panel on top of the units. It's hard for wheelchair-bound people to do top-loading washers. The same goes for microwaves. They can't reach the built-in types above the stove. A refrigerator/freezer situation where the doors are both under the bottom cabinets. Same for sinks. They need to be able to roll under a sink.

I don't know why developers aren't going with wider doorways anyway--not just for the disabled. Go look at how big furniture has become. It's very difficult getting large couches and even refrigerators through doorways. Often hallways in older buildings aren't wide enough for long and wider couches to make the turn into a doorway.

As a developer, you might be able to access federal financing to provide these types of dwellings.

Our population is aging and there is going to be more need for this type of housing.

I would also not install carpeting in ground-floor apartments. Wheelchair-bound people can't clean their wheels before entering their apartment coming in from rain and snow. Same for seniors needing walkers to move.

I know a lot of developers put carpeting in upper apartments just because it provides some sound-buffering for people living above others.
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Re: Future Transit Oriented Developments

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FangKC wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 11:28 pm Not every building needs to have retail. Even in the olden days, retail might only be on the corners of densely-built blocks.
Along the streetcar line, better to err on the side of nearly every spot to have some form of publicly accessible space. It can be used for an internal common area or building storage until finding a tenant/public use. Seattle at one time required this for new buildings in most urban districts (maybe they still do) and it has paid off.

Deeper in neighborhoods a couple spots are ideal for small retail scattered every several blocks, which Midtown and E Side used to have. Can still see remnants of many driving around E Side. They were typically small markets, delis, bakeries or some kind of neighborhood function/gathering place (like Brownes). Would be great to bring that back for inner neighborhood areas building enough density back up. 43rd in Southmoreland revived a few spots.
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Re: Future Transit Oriented Developments

Post by FlippantCitizen »

earthling wrote: Thu Mar 31, 2022 2:08 am
FangKC wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 11:28 pm Not every building needs to have retail. Even in the olden days, retail might only be on the corners of densely-built blocks.
Along the streetcar line, better to err on the side of nearly every spot to have some form of publicly accessible space. It can be used for an internal common area or building storage until finding a tenant/public use. Seattle at one time required this for new buildings in most urban districts (maybe they still do) and it has paid off.

Deeper in neighborhoods a couple spots are ideal for small retail scattered every several blocks, which Midtown and E Side used to have. Can still see remnants of many driving around E Side. They were typically small markets, delis, bakeries or some kind of neighborhood function/gathering place (like Brownes). Would be great to bring that back for inner neighborhood areas building enough density back up. 43rd in Southmoreland revived a few spots.
I agree in sentiment that there should be as much street interaction to include retail stalls as possible. But it's not realistic to expect that much retail could be supported. Even in Manhattan there are major streets where residential building simply have a lobby/mail area and nothing public. If everything get built with a retail stall then you'll end up having empty retail stalls forever. I think it's a big plus to have but not sure if every mid block building necessarily needs it as long as other rules are followed to make street interaction pleasant.
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Re: Future Transit Oriented Developments

Post by FlippantCitizen »

Oh and Fang, I would break out my own NYC style granny cart and take it to Sunfresh for my groceries but the side walks can't even handle something like that. Bummer.
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Re: Future Transit Oriented Developments

Post by earthling »

FlippantCitizen wrote: Thu Mar 31, 2022 11:40 am
earthling wrote: Thu Mar 31, 2022 2:08 am
FangKC wrote: Wed Mar 30, 2022 11:28 pm Not every building needs to have retail. Even in the olden days, retail might only be on the corners of densely-built blocks.
Along the streetcar line, better to err on the side of nearly every spot to have some form of publicly accessible space. It can be used for an internal common area or building storage until finding a tenant/public use. Seattle at one time required this for new buildings in most urban districts (maybe they still do) and it has paid off.

Deeper in neighborhoods a couple spots are ideal for small retail scattered every several blocks, which Midtown and E Side used to have. Can still see remnants of many driving around E Side. They were typically small markets, delis, bakeries or some kind of neighborhood function/gathering place (like Brownes). Would be great to bring that back for inner neighborhood areas building enough density back up. 43rd in Southmoreland revived a few spots.
I agree in sentiment that there should be as much street interaction to include retail stalls as possible. But it's not realistic to expect that much retail could be supported.
In the 30+ year big picture it's not unrealistic to expect this, especially for a free fare streetcar stretch that should be encouraged to be as lively as possible.. The spaces can be used internally by building if market conditions aren't right but the stage is set to create liveliness when conditions are right. Seattle required this for a couple decades and it paid off, creating lively streets.

Given many KC developers are not familiar with TOD or creating lively pedestrian flows from block to block, it wouldn't be too much to require buildings to include some form of public space along line, especially if it involves incentives. Not doing so will probably create too many isolated buildings and turn into missed opportunities that future generations will wonder what city/builders were thinking. There are often natural tendencies to take shortcuts but if developers want to take advantage of the free fare streetcar then they should be expected to give something back to a stretch that is intended to serve pedestrians. And this stretch has an opportunity to have a solid ped flow along nearly entire line, especially given how close the stops are.
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FangKC
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Re: Future Transit Oriented Developments

Post by FangKC »

I don't think it's a good idea to require retail spaces, and instead let market conditions inform developers what to include in their projects. The retail scene is quickly changing and is unpredictable at this point.

Even before the pandemic, parts of Kansas City were over-saturated with retail space. Even before the pandemic, New York City had plenty of empty retail space.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... cancy.html

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archi ... cy/572911/

https://nypost.com/2019/09/25/vacant-re ... ten-years/
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Re: Future Transit Oriented Developments

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Again, not require to be filled as retail, just to create the space for any kind of publicly accessible use. It can be used for internal building purposes until market conditions are right and fluctuate over the decades if needed. And only calling for this along streetcar line. At least if incentives are involved, certainly should be a requirement but requiring it for all cases isn't out of line either.

A 'free fare' line is not common, need to make the most of this, not allow developers to take advantage of it and not give something back that should contribute to its purpose.
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Re: Future Transit Oriented Developments

Post by Chris Stritzel »

Larger buildings I’m looking at will include retail space or a community-focused space where neighbors can have a market on weekends, smaller schools can have science fairs and other events in, and people can come in and relax during defined business hours (have a coffee, soda, juice, snack, use the WiFi, meet with people, read a book, or cool off/heat up). It would be a community living room sort of thing. Depending on the location, this might also include large glass garage doors that can be opened on nice days.

For 2 of the 6 sites I’m looking at, and playing with, I can make projects work without a single incentive. The other 4 should be able to be done for very minimal incentives.

I had my first discussion with an architect about one of the sites this week and we’re interested in seeing where it goes. They’re one of the firms that I believe has a passion for doing some unconventional designs and are willing to push boundaries, break the mold a bit on design and to explore new building materials to make this particular project extra special.
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Re: Future Transit Oriented Developments

Post by earthling »

^Looking forward to what you come up with. Great if you don't need incentives for some sites but nothing wrong with approaching incentives if it gives something greater back to the neighborhood than just more units. Is ideal to create a sense of place that contributes to the flow of the neighborhood, not isolated projects. Glad to see you understand that.
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Re: Future Transit Oriented Developments

Post by earthling »

Here's an example of a pretty amazing urban residential stretch. Not implying this specifically for streetcar line as it's a different layout but rather an example in general an awesome urban residential experience. Those interested in the creation of urban residential experiences might walk this stretch when in NYC.

Montague St in Brooklyn Heights is a spoke off downtown Brooklyn's Court St and Borough Hall subway stops that ends to B Heights Promenade with a view of Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge Park on piers. The streetscape walking experience is about as ideal as I've seen for urban residential. Many others too in NYC but this stood out to me and has been noted by urban planners.
Image

Take a 'walk'' down the street, note the stoops and half sunken retail. The somewhat larger neighborhood retail (markets/pharmacies) is closer to the subway stops.
https://www.google.com/maps/@40.6945366 ... 384!8i8192
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Re: Future Transit Oriented Developments

Post by FangKC »

I'm familiar with that street. It is very pleasant.
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Re: Future Transit Oriented Developments

Post by Chris Stritzel »

Taking what people have commented about "colonnade" buildings, I have a project that should be setting sail on design soon that will include a colonnade building as part of a larger development. It'll help tie into the neighborhood a bit more. It'll be 12 units instead of 6 but will remain 3 floors + basement.

Overall scope of this project is then set at between 162-187 apartment units, parking ratio of between .5-.67 spaces per unit (so between 81 and 125 spaces + 10 to be used for a resident car sharing amenity. 91-135 spaces). Significant retail/restaurant space that can be broken apart to support start ups or merged to support a well-established business.

I won't get into what the building will/can/should look like since we're not there yet. Just needing to play with the massing now so that it can relate to the neighborhood well and not overwhelm anything. What I don't want this being is an instance where a "Godzilla" sized building shows up in people's backyards because that's not how to make allies in the neighborhoods. Thoughtful design that relates well and contributes a lot to the community is how you make allies.
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Re: Future Transit Oriented Developments

Post by earthling »

Bringing back a Colonnade should bring some attention, was a good idea from swid. About which area, Midtown?
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Re: Future Transit Oriented Developments

Post by Riverite »

Sounds particularly, the colonnade may help ease opposition
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