Welcome back, readers. As you know, we’ve previously discussed things to do with Tops should Aldi be built at Winton Road and Blossom Road. There’s also been a discussion about how the construction of Aldi went in Irondequoit. Today, I’d like to take a look at a few reasonably simple changes that would completely change the tenor of the proposed development…
Just for starters, the current Aldi plan looks like this. I’ve seen worse plans, certainly, but for a store being built in an urban environment, there are some glaring issues to this proposal. Let’s cover each of them incrementally, and talk some numbers about what this would really mean for the Aldi proposal going forward.
1. Addressing Winton Road
The store must absolutely do a better job of addressing Winton Road. Like the other buildings on the street, it should be built to the sidewalk. This would actually cost less to do, based on shorter utility runs from the street to the store. I’ve been told to estimate about $500 a foot for utility runs of this nature. We’ve moved the building 42 feet towards Winton Road, which means we’ve now saved $21,000. This is good, because we’re about to go spending some of it.
2. Addressing Blossom Road
Blossom Road should not be relegated to a street of all curb cuts and nothing to shield or interest a pedestrian (think University Ave past Blossom). Many of the people using the new store, and who already shop at the developments here, walk from the blocks of Floverton, Marion, Middlesex, and Arbordale. I’m not looking to squeeze anyone too hard so this might be a great spot for a piece of shipping container retail. I’ve priced out a number of installations, and it could be done all in for $250/sqft. Since a shipping container is 160 sqft, that’s $40,000.
3. Accommodating People on Buses
Currently the nearest bus stops to the new store are south, in front of Tops, and north at Balsam Street. Aldi should build a bus shelter along with their building. Here’s one one for $8,792.
4. Accommodating People on Bikes
A store of this size should have the ability to support at least 10 cyclists. Based on the new siting of the store, the best place for these bikes is off Winton Road with a new ramp from the street. Five of these 2-bike posts could be installed for an additional cost of $695.
5. Accommodating People in Cars
The current plan is woefully inadequate for addressing placement of snow in inclement weather. I hate to be presumptive, but I would bet the snow will get plowed right over the wall and onto the Winton Road sidewalk if the originally proposed plan is built. Even if it does not, multiple parking spaces will be removed for snow clearing six months out of the year with the current plan. This change is addressed for free in the re-siting of the building (and thus not shown in a new diagram).
6. Addressing Delivery Flow
The current plan poorly addresses the flow of delivery trucks through the site as well. I will wager that Aldi, like most businesses, would have a full sized semi deliver to the store. The reconfigured layout allows for trucks to come down Blossom Road from 590, turn into Aldi, back into the loading dock, then pull out, turning right onto Winton Road and left onto Blossom Road to return to 590. The cost of this reconfiguration would be negligible and almost entirely accounted for by the re-siting.
Let’s tally everything up and see what happens. That’s right, it’s only $28,500 to make a huge change in the neighborhood (and that’s before the revenue stream coming from the additional retail available for a small business – which at $20/sqft would be another $250/mo to offset the costs of the design changes). The average Aldi does $23,300 of business a day, for comparison. Additionally, this maintains the basic setup of the site without foisting extra floors of apartments or anything crazy that would jeopardize project funding. In fact, the current plan has 73 parking spots. And, as much as that seems outrageous for a store that is only 17,000 sqft (that means each car parked gets 232 sqft of store), the revised plan preserves all of the spaces (in fact there are 8 more for the additional retail).
I am not looking to pass judgment on Aldi as a company (although they pay their employees better than almost any other store, and they happen to own Trader Joe’s, a grocery store nobody would argue with opening). I am also not in the business of deciding if the market can support another grocery store in the area (although it very likely can). What I do think, though, is that they can do just a little bit and be a much better neighbor for North Winton Village.
Tags: Aldi, biking, Blossom Road, Bus Stops, Development News, Filling In, grocery store, Matthew Denker, North Winton Village, Tops, urban planning, Wegman's
This entry was posted on Monday, March 16th, 2015 at 12:30 am and is filed under Architecture, Rochester News, Urban Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.