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Posts Tagged ‘mixed-use’...

See Seattle’s Super Sweet Streetcar

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

About a year ago I had the awesome pleasure of riding Seattle’s new South Lake Union Streetcar—a 1.3 mile line that opened in December 2007. Peep this video from Streetfilms.org. Seattle’s state-of-the-art streetcar line features real time arrival message boards, solar-powered ticket vending machines, and human-activated doors to save energy while the train is in layover mode. And check this out, you can find out the next arrival time external link and actually watch the streetcars moving external link via GPS trackers all from the Seattle Streetcar web site.

But what has this hi-tech investment done for the South Lake Union neighborhood? For one thing, a Whole Foods Market moved in—downtown Seattle’s first full service supermarket in decades. Plus, new condos, mixed-use development, and Amazon.com’s brand new world headquarters. That’s impressive.

Oh and while I was there I made sure to ride the monorail external link! You know I love you Rochester, but I had some serious reservations about returning fromthat trip.

See also Rochester’s Case for a Streetcar Line.

Saturday, February 20th, 2010
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Posted in Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development, Video | 1 Comment »

It May Be High Times for High Falls

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

High Falls, Rochester NY.

For a little more than 4 years I’ve worked in the High Falls districtexternal link of Rochester. Last Thursday afternoon I took my lunch (which I usually eat over my computer keyboard) and I walked down Mill Street to Granite Mills Parkexternal link. Of course you’ve never heard of it. It’s nothing more than a 50 foot square patch of concrete, a few trees, and 3 or 4 benches—not quite a full fledged “park” in the traditional sense. But on this sunny afternoon Granite Mills Park had transformed into a real urban plaza abuzz with music, laughter, people clapping, and even dancing.

Hochstein at High Falls Concert Series Poster. A series of midday concerts presented by Hochstein Music School and WXXI called Hochstein at High Fallsexternal link had kicked off with music provided by the Po Boy’s Brass Bandexternal link. I don’t know if it was the glorious weather, the site of the surprisingly huge lunch-time crowd, or the sound of those trombones, but think I caught a glimpse of what the future might be like for that neighborhood by the falls…

(more…)

Saturday, June 20th, 2009
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, Urban Development | No Comments »

Gas Stations Pose Urban Design Challenge

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Abandoned Mobil station at the corner of Monroe Avenue and Clover in Pittsford, NY. It's been years since they removed the pumps from this station.

On Monday evening, June 8, 2009, the Rochester Regional Community Design Center external link will go before Rochester’s City Planning Commission and appeal the decision to allow a Fastrac gas station to be built on Main Street next to the Main/University Inner Loop on-rampexternal link. Roger Brown, Creative Consultant at RRCDC explains, “Though we don’t agree with the Zoning Board’s decision to allow a gas station at that site … much of our case will be about the urban design of the building and how it needs to be designed according to the Center City Design Standards for Main Street.”

I’ll talk more about those “urban design standards” and how you can help. But first, there’s a virus spreading across America…

(more…)

Saturday, May 16th, 2009
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Posted in Rochester News, Urban Development | 2 Comments »

3 Different Visions for Midtown Tower

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Midtown Concept #1 by Patrick Dutton and Shane Bartholf.Okay, I haven’t put the time or effort into crafting my own “vision” for the old Midtown Tower, so I’m not going to be overly critical here. But I’m going to show you two concepts for Midtown that were sent to the city this week for review (and 1 wildcard concept). The first drawing (shown on the left) is from local developers Patrick Dutton and Shane Bartholf. It includes 158 for-sale condominiums with large window openings, common or public use of the former restaurant space on the 14th floor, and mixed-use office and retail on the first three floors. As you can see they’ve also added some shiny (albeit blurry) people to their drawing, as well as a lovely solar-flare effect to make the building look extra shiny…

(more…)

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009
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Posted in Opinion, Rochester News, Urban Development | No Comments »

The Renaissance Square Dance

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

Renaissance Square as proposed by RochesterSubway.com.
Last week, Senator Chuck Schumer and County Exec. Maggie Brooks announced that the Renaissance Square project External Link will be moving ahead, with or without the performing arts center. $45 million would still need to be raised to build the theater, and at this point it looks like that money would need to be raised entirely with private donations — HIGHLY unlikely. So what exactly are we building? A new bus station (essentially a covered parking lot for buses). New classrooms for Monroe Community College. Oh, and a big grassy area where the performing arts center would have been.

Pricetag? $230 MILLION and 10 years of planning!?

(more…)

Sunday, February 1st, 2009
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Posted in Opinion, Urban Development | 6 Comments »

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