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RDRC Minutes September 13, 2005

RDRC Minutes September 13, 2005


Thursday September 13, 2005 7:00 PM


The meeting was called to order at 7:10 PM by Chairman Daybell


COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT: Chairman Daybell; Committee Members Cha and Duncan
COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT: Committee Members Coffman and Hoban
PUBLIC PRESENT: A complete list of those in attendance is available in the Development Services Department.
STAFF PRESENT: Associate Planner Eastman, Chief Planner Rosen, Clerical Staff Leopold, Redevelopment Director Zur Schmiede, Redevelopment Project Manager Ferrier, and Redevelopment Deputy Director Chalupsky.








Redevelopment Director Rob Zur Schmiede introduced The Pelican Group, Thirtieth Street Architects, and KTTGY Architects. He provided background on the project and the architects' experience in mixed use development.

Dick Hamm, a representative from The Pelican Group, reviewed the design concept process. Hamm discussed the focus on site constraints, automobile access points, parking spaces now and in the future, pedestrian access, space use for offices and restaurants, residential importance, and valet parking.

He stated the RFP guidelines were very specific as to pedestrian activity. Based on these guidelines, the firm came up with two alternative designs that met the criteria.

The first alternative project was contained within the RFP criteria, and only encompasses the City's property (parking lots). The size of the city property constrains the amount of "open space", or pedestrian features.

A second alternative was presented using the buildings on Malden in creating more public space. It was clarified that the second alternative includes property to the east of the City parking lots, along Malden Avenue, and that these additional properties have not been acquired by the developer. Mr. Hamm stated that these properties will likely not be acquired.

Mr. Hamm gave a brief overview of a presentation given by Frank Fuller (with Field Paoli Architecture), who is in the process of reviewing and considering updates to the City's 1995 Downtown Transportation Study. He presented showing the 95 boundary, street and alley connections, and parks and plazas,.

Hamm commented on the names associated with this project, "Vintage Square" and "Amerige Court", clarified that these are working names, and that there may be additional name changes during the process.

John Loomis, architect from The Thirtieth Street Architects, presented the Downtown's activity and its various uses including retail, restaurants, and light industrial.

He presented images and gave observations and suggestions on the following:
  • Zero-lot line (no setbacks) on Harbor
  • Street system alley ways being used as pedestrian ways (split use)
  • Providing ample parking to accommodate existing and proposed uses.
  • Pedestrian circulation - strong pedestrian links
Loomis requested that the public comment on suggestions in keeping Amerige a full-time street or having it closed at times. Vehicular connections and areas in the Downtown were discussed.

David Orbitz, a representative from the firm of KTGY Architecture introduced some imagery concepts including interactions, street scenes, eclectic nature, and having the faade made up of different pieces.

The importance of having furniture, canopies, garden plants, flowers, and walking surfaces for the outside was discussed. In addition, raised porches, different edges to project, broadened or widened sidewalks, street trees, medians, and landscaping were also discussed.

Various images of alley views, outdoor dining, retail plazas, walkways, and fountains were presented.

David Orbitz stated the city had many different opportunities to handle composite spaces.

He discussed:
  • Interactive fountains and fountains on sidewalk
  • Noise level in spaces (alleys, plazas)
  • Enhanced paving
  • Trellises
  • Urban context
  • Importance of residential theme
  • Signage and banners
Mr. Hamm identified that the intent of this special RDRC meeting is to obtain community feedback as to what the community perceives as constraints, opportunities, and challenges. He stated that there isn't a design developed at this date to show the community. It is the design team's hope to create a project that works with the issues identified by the public, and therefore the project will be designed with consideration of the comments that come out of this meeting. It is also the design team's hope to not talk about architectural materials and the "look" of the building, but to focus on site constraints, circulation, uses, etc.


The public had an opportunity to speak and provided their input on what they would like to see in this project, comment on issues within the proposed area and recommended suggestions. The following list some of the issues/comments identified by the public:
  • Parking/circulation
  • Square footage commercial vs. residential
  • Access from Commonwealth - mid-block
  • Courtyard is important
  • Quality architecture
  • Keeping Amerige more pedestrian friendly
  • Would like to see a published architect and possible modern design
  • No clock tower
  • How many parking spaces do we have now? And how many when done?
  • How is building structured? How are the buildings finished?
  • Parking structure near City Hall
  • People feel uncomfortable in parking structures, especially at night.
  • Provide surface parking
  • How many parking spaces allocated to condos?
  • Parking for commercial areas
  • Trash control
  • Concerned about more congestion on Harbor
  • Surface access to parking to commercial buildings
  • Taller buildings on the edges of Downtown and Transportation Center
  • Pedestrian through connection from Wilshire to Commonwealth and Ace Hardware
  • Bar-residential conflicts
  • Some parking is still available on nearby streets.
  • Prepare two or three options on existing property and present
  • What additional properties are needed and desired?
  • What are the public benefits of the project?
  • Public safety
  • Pedestrian and vehicular traffic
  • Open space and visual relief
  • Rewarding open spaces
  • Look at views and connections
  • Strong connection from this site to city hall
  • Think big on redoing the circulation to improve pedestrian connections and sidewalks
  • Access from Commonwealth
  • Preserve mid-block for pedestrian and some vehicular
  • Make space between new building and existing as human scale as possible
  • Make Amerige to convertible street for pedestrian and public events
  • More sustainable "Green building techniques"
  • Respect for adjacent neighborhoods
  • Like to see more retail commercial
  • Make Amerige more pedestrian or close off completely
  • Below grade parking shared commercial and residential uses
  • Encourage traffic towards Lemon and Commonwealth
  • Make a dramatic project from pedestrian and vehicular views
  • Close Amerige in evenings for pedestrian only
  • Process and financing of project
  • Provide more office space
  • Sales price for condos?
  • More bookstores and similar commercial spaces - less bars and restaurants
  • Need a grocery store
  • What are the parking options?
  • See more green space
  • Lighting and connections to residential
  • Don't be trite with architecture
  • Have parking as discrete as possible
  • Blend project with community
  • Commercial delivery to surrounding businesses
  • Is there market for more retail?
  • Noise conflicts with residential uses
  • Improvement of existing infrastructure and businesses
  • Residential uses contribute to some of the problems in the downtown, including parking
  • No more high density, more pedestrian friendly - less bars






There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:45 P.M.