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Updating Parking Garage Lighting

Yesterday I posted about a parking garage attempting, poorly, to look like numerous buildings. In researching the garage I discovered in June Cheyenne WY approved spending a little more than $130,000 to upgrade the lighting from metal halide fixtures to LED.

Bob Bradshaw, the city’s special projects director, said the current metal halide bulbs are “burning out at a rate of a couple a day” and can cost up to $260 each to replace.

Not only are the LED bulbs more energy efficient, they last longer and require less maintenance, Bradshaw said. That means the city would save money on both energy bills and maintenance costs with the new lights. (source)

The new lighting is estimated to save $253,077 over the next decade, with the break even point “in just over four years.” While in Colorado & Wyoming electricians finished replacing the old halogen lights in our condo parking garage, located underneath both buildings.  The lights are on 24 hours a day, between electricity and replacements representing over 16% of our annual budget.

Our new lighting is brighter, with better color
Our new lighting is brighter, with better color
The fixtures look just like 4-tibe fluorescents, but these are LEDs.
The fixtures look just like 4-tube fluorescents, but these are LED tubes.

A rebate from Ameren reduced our upfront costs about 30%, but it was still a substantial investment. With a payoff of just 18 months the majority of us voted to proceed.

Once our inventory of compact fluorescents (CFL) has been depleted, we’ll begin using LED bulbs in our stairwells and hallways.

— Steve Patterson

 

Parking Garage Attempts To Look Like Multiple Buildings

Parking, specifically parking garages, have been a regular topic here over the last decade, recently a musical garage in Chicago and two St. Louis apartment projects. While on my honeymoon last month we spotted another garage I want to share with you today, this one in Cheyenne Wyoming. We spent a few hours of our week-long Colorado honeymoon in neighboring Wyoming, having lunch in Cheyenne and dessert in Laramie.

Before the garage let me set show you what we saw on our Sunday visit.

My first pic in Cheyenne arriving via the I-25 Business highway/highway 85
My first pic in Cheyenne arriving via the I-25 Business highway/highway 85
Their downtown has a nice, mostly intact street grid and fine 20th century architectural stock.
Their downtown has a nice, mostly intact street grid and fine 20th century architectural stock.
We had lunch at a popular place that plays tribute to TV character Fred Sanford, portrayed by St. Louisan Red Foxx.
We had lunch at Sanford’s Grub & Pub, a regional chain with 10 locations in Wyoming, the Dakotas, and Colorado. Vague references to TV’s junkman Fred Sanford, portrayed by the late Redd Foxx, a St. Louis native.
The train station in Cheyenne WY is a beautiful structure
The historic Union Pacific Cheyenne Depot is a beautiful structure, now a transportation museum. Click the image for more information.

Cheyenne has two municipal garages, each occupying a full city block. Cheyenne, the state capital of Wyoming, also has a large state garage. We drove past one municipal garage a few times, I only discovered the other two once home and researching this post.

This garage attempts to give the appearance of multiple buildings
The Jack R. Spiker parking garage attempts to give the appearance of multiple buildings
Only one corner has occupy-able space, at Lincolnway & Pioneer, chick image for Google Streetview
Only one corner has occupy-able space (right), at Lincolnway & Pioneer, click image for Google Streetview

I’m torn on this garage. On one hand the execution offends my sense of aesthetics, on the other is blends in better than the other two garages, admittedly I’ve only seen them on Google Streetview.

Is skinning a large structure to appear like multiple structures dishonest?  Absolutely! I could get over that if the execution had active space at the sidewalk level, with space for a Walgreend/CVS, Subway, etc. The ides is right, not look like a massive singular block with horizontal lines. Details do matter though.

— Steve Patterson

 

Apartment Parking Garages: New Vs Retrofit

Apartment projects, by their nature, have a greater density than neighborhoods of detached single-family dwellings. A century ago few parking spaces were needed in apartment projects, but now at least one parking space per unit is expected. Parking garages are often the answer to parking needs in urban areas.  This post will look at two current examples: a new project under construction and a 1950s project adding a garage.

Recent new construction projects like 3949 Lindell have a highly visible attached parking garage, but there’s a better way — placing the garage in the center so the building conceals it.

The Standard now under construction at Forest Park & Vandeventer. The parking garage is built first, the units will wrap around the perimeter to conceal it.
The Standard now under construction at Forest Park & Vandeventer, shown here on 9/3/14. The parking garage is built first, the units will wrap around the perimeter to conceal it.  Click image for stltoday.com story on the project
As seen from Vandeventer on 9/14/14
As seen from Vandeventer on 9/14/14

Lining the perimeter of a parking garage with residential units is a great solution for new construction, but what about existing buildings? With old warehouses, such as my loft, parking is usually placed within the existing building footprint. The same usually doesn’t work for 1950s urban renewal apartments. So what do you do? Plaza Square was an urban renewal project that started with a 1953 bond issue, the six buildings opened in 1962. Only one has underground parking.

Mills Properties is using the name CityView for its Plaza Square buildings
Mills Properties is using the name CityView for at least two of its four Plaza Square buildings
To increase the amount of off-street parking they've built a parking garage between two of their buildings
To increase the amount of off-street parking they’ve built a parking garage between two of their buildings
17th & Chesntnut
The new garage as seen from 17th & Chestnut back in June
The new garage isn't connected to either building
The new garage isn’t connected to either building

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A Landscaped Musical Parking Garage In Chicago

August 18, 2014 Featured, Parking, Travel 16 Comments

Earlier this month I noticed an interesting parking garage in the block east of where we were staying on a weekend in Chicago, it was both landscaped and musical…

The Erie Ontario Parking Garage occupies a full city block in Chicago, located within the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Campus.
The Erie Ontario Parking Garage occupies the western half of a long city block in Chicago, located within the Northwestern University Chicago campus.
The garage includes an entrance for CTA buses
The garage includes an entrance for CTA buses
The back of the planters on the top level, 12
The back of the planters on the top level, 12. Major brackets secure the planters to the structure.
In the center we see more greenery.
In the center we see more greenery.
The 12th floor is also known as the 'Yellow Submarine' level
The 12th floor is also known as the ‘Yellow Submarine’ level
In the elevator & stair lobby you hear a brief clip of 'Yellow Submarine' by the Beetles
In the elevator & stair lobby you hear a brief clip of ‘Yellow Submarine’ by the Beetles Beatles, on a constant loop
Each level features a song clip related to the color assigned
Each level features a song clip related to the color assigned
The directory on the ground floor lists all ten songs for levels 3-12
The directory on the ground floor lists all ten songs for levels 3-12

Here’s a list of the songs for each level (links to Wikipedia):

If you’ve ever returned to a garage and forgotten where you parked your car, you’ll appreciate the songs. You just might have Purple People Eater in your head all day.

— Steve Patterson

 

Forget TOD, Apparently Parking Critical To Financing Redevelopment of Arcade-Wright Building

July 31st marks 21 years since the 8th & Pine MetroLink light rail station opened downtown, the Arcade-Wright building on that corner remains undeveloped.  For nearly 20 minutes at the June Parking Commission meeting Otis Williams (SLDC: St. Louis Development Corporation) & Steve Stogel talked about a variety of downtown development issues, including why a lease for parking spaces in the 7th Street garage was critical.

The Arcade portion of the Arcade-Wright, 8th & Olive
The Arcade portion of the Arcade-Wright, 8th & Olive
The Wright portion of the Arcade-Wright, 8th & Pine
The Wright portion of the Arcade-Wright, 8th & Pine, entry/exit to station (WB) next to building
The Arcade-Wright across 8th Street from the 8th & Pine MetroLink light rail station
The Arcade-Wright across 8th Street from the 8th & Pine MetroLink light rail station (EB)
The city-owned 7th Street parking garage
The city-owned 7th Street parking garage

During the 18 minute discussion many details about the proposed redevelopment are revealed.

The Arcade-Wright building:

  • is owned by the LCRA (Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority), for about 5 years
  • is one of the last buildings awaiting redevelopment downtown.
  • has roughly 500,000 square feet
  • Webster University will lease the 1st floor, mezzanine & 2nd floor, 55,000 sq ft. Their campus will be about 90,000 sq ft total
  • Upper floors will be a combination of (202) affordable and (80) market rate apartments
  • $118 million dollar project
  • LCRA bought the Arcade-Wright building for $4,500,000 after John Steffen’s Pyramid Constriction firm collapsed with 7-9 downtown buildings
  • Mortage was held by Bank of America. Total for this mortgage and several other buildings was $32 million
  • Interest had accrued and property taxes hadn’t been paid on the properties
  • Development will let the LCRA get reimbursed for all expenses
  • Not enough parking in the building, “the 200 affordable units have to park somewhere”, seeking long-term lease in the 7th street garage so the residents in the affordable units have parking

Other:

  • Redevelopment of the Chemical building at 8th & Olive will move forward once the Arcade-Wright is underway
  • The owner of the Laclede Gas Building is planning a renovation once Laclede Gas moves out
  • Jefferson Arms is the other building that was held by Steffen in 2008 that hasn’t been renovated yet
  • April 23, 2008 John Steffen asked Steve Stogel to help him liquidate. (Note: Pyramid shut down on April 18, 2008)
  • The Chemical building is 160,000-180,000 sq ft

This was on June 12th, I’ve not seen any announcements since. I recorded (audio) of the nearly two hour meeting, you can listen to the last 18 minutes about the Arcade & development here.

Further reading:

So all 202 affordable (subsidized) apartments at a MetroLink stop need a parking space in the garage a block away to finance the redevelopment. It’s unclear if parking at Dominium’s Leather Trades & Metropolitan is included in the base rent or an additional charge. I’m not sure anyone involved realizes the building is adjacent to an underground light rail station — one people would need to walk past to reach the parking garage! Enterprise CarShare also operates downtown, for times when residents need wheels.

— Steve Patterson

 

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