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Old 12-20-2014, 05:13 PM
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,441 posts, read 18,359,292 times
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You've probably noticed this trend. These types of buildings are filling in parking lots and underutilized land in cities all over, particularly in cities that aren't built out and have room for infill. They generally range from four to seven or eight stories usually, filled with micro apartments, condos, or luxury units as well depending on who the developer is.

Some integrate well with the streets and sidewalks zoned for first floor retail and dining and changing neighborhood dynamics. Some are being built as self contained building with no regard to street activity at all, sort of a wasted opportunity for the blocks and neighborhoods where they've been constructed. They can be spotted as with intended TOD purposes, I've seen them around light rail stations like this one in Phoenix. https://www.google.com/maps/@33.4959...1WnSQMwzVw!2e0

Here are some other examples of the modern urban cube construction ...


What do you think of the new urban infill construction and these types of developments? The demand is clearly there as they are filling up with tenants. What cities doing well at designing and zoning in the neighborhoods where they are being constructed? How do you think they will hold up in about 30 years? What kind of imprints will the make on the cities? Rate the architecture and design.

Last edited by Desert_SW_77; 12-20-2014 at 05:31 PM..
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Old 12-20-2014, 08:59 PM
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Most of these are on pretty large lots, the Atlanta ones are 3-4 acres, the Dallas one is 1 acre, the Denver ones 0.8 acres, only the Seattle ones are on properties of a size that could be assembled fairly easily in typical neighbourhoods, at about 0.3 and 0.5 acres.

However, sooner or later these cities will run out of these large properties to redevelop, which have mostly been auto-oriented retail properties, brownfield/industrial properties and large parking lots and vacant lots. As those get built up, developers will have to turn to redeveloping smaller properties with low rise buildings, which are more difficult to consolidate into large properties. Especially if for example you have two 25x120 ft low rise buildings between two bigger buildings, you might combine those into a 50x120ft lot but it won't be worthwhile to redevelop the bigger buildings.

So eventually I think you'll start seeing taller developments on smaller lots like you see in NYC
... and are starting to see in Toronto, especially as the railway lands (i.e. Bremner/Fort York Boulevard area) and better development sites on the waterfront in Toronto fill up. I think a lot of US West Coast and NE cities are reaching this point too.
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Old 12-20-2014, 09:30 PM
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I'm seeing a lot of these, the interesting thing is they tend to be one story of concrete podium with 3-6 stories of wood construction above, clad in stucco. Supposedly it's a very "green" means of construction--uses less energy than steel or concrete, sequesters carbon, easy to insulate to a very high R-value, and feels "warmer" on the interior than harder materials. They vary from very affordable studios to very expensive luxury units bigger than my house. Some are large buildings occupying a half-block (a bit over an acre and some are tiny, including "alley units" that put 4 apartments with garages on the back 50 feet of a 40-foot wide, 40x160 foot lot. Room in cities is not infinite, so of course there is a point where there isn't any more room for infill, but there are plenty of parking lots in the suburbs that might be well-suited to them too!
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Old 12-22-2014, 03:36 AM
Location: Tijuana Exurbs
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The Phoenix building strikes me as poor design because the front parking lot acts as a barrier between the building and anyone not coming to the building by means of an automobile.

An issue faced by many of these sorts of projects is there is not enough demand to sustain the ground floor retail. In San Diego, the zoning requires ground floor commercial, and it's built, but it stays vacant. The demand is for the upper stories of residential, given our residential 2.7% vacancy rate.
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:09 AM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,855 posts, read 54,568,102 times
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This kind of construction is popular here now, and in most cases the commercial spaces are slow to fill. The apartments are filling up, mostly with young singles/childless couples, the kids of the baby boomers. What I wonder is whether there will be enough people to replace them when they start to have a family and move to the suburbs for yards and better schools.


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Old 12-22-2014, 01:02 PM
Location: Portland, Oregon
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I am usually cool with infill construction.
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Old 12-22-2014, 01:06 PM
Location: The City
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good infill


ok infill

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Old 12-22-2014, 06:36 PM
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I like the mini park and lake in the first view (Atlanta) that sort of serves as a public square.
The little arc de triomphe is a nice touch. American cities could use more public art and
urban squares. Or in this case it might be more semi-public than public.
I like the height of the buildings. Not too tall or too short.

The streets are too wide.
Too much noisy vehicle traffic.
Lack of pedestrians, lack of protected bike lanes (or any bike lanes).

Last edited by cisco kid; 12-22-2014 at 06:46 PM..
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Old 12-25-2014, 08:36 AM
Location: Richmond/Philadelphia/Brooklyn
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I personally tend to appreciate infill, unless it's really ugly, and placed in a historic neighborhood.
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Old 01-02-2015, 06:35 PM
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is very similar where i live in Madrid and i love it, you can go out to walk, you have market, walk with your dogs and kids, we have restaurants, public parks and is very well comunícate with the center of Madrid.

middle class






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