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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Calhoun/McMillan development pushes forward

Over the 4th of July weekend, the last two remaining buildings came down in the long-stalled McMillan Park project. First it was the money, then it was the property holdouts, then the bad economy topped it all off. Throughout this process the project was pretty much scrapped and put on the back burner.

That is until the remaining properties were secured. That has happened...enter Towne Properties, a renewed interest from UC, a growing UC student population, and future connection point between the Uptown and Downtown streetcar lines and you have some serious momentum.

Original rendering for McMillan Park - Source Unknown

Some people have criticized the poor design of University Park (across the street), but I'm not sure anyone can complain about its impact on street activity along Calhoun Street. People can be found all over the place doing homework, eating, relaxing, and socializing. So what can be done across the street to compliment those activities and continue to expand upon them?

I think a pedestrian only Hartshorn Street (GoogleMap) would be great for large outdoor patio spaces (see Cadillac Ranch Downtown) that could also make for neat street vending opportunities for students (i.e. artwork, music, maybe even some performance type stuff).

Along with that, 8-10 story buildings would seem to work well. The first two floors should be built out to the street, and then setback for the remaining 6-8 stories...thus creating the opportunity for an amenity deck above the 2-level retail or town homes below. This would then create a new level of activity that would spill onto the street below, while also remaining semi-private for the residents above. What would you like to see?

Example amenity deck - Source,


Allister Sears said...

Honestly, I think we could use a bit more variety with restaurants around that area. They've definitely got sandwiches and asian food covered, but there isn't really anywhere that you can grab a burger as quickly as you could grab a sub. I think the area could definitely use an italian restaurant as well.

In terms of shops, I think an FYE would be handy. Granted they're a bit more expensive than Target or Circuit City, but I think the convenience to college students would easily make up for the cost.

Travis Estell said...

At the rate things are going now, the retail space under University Park will be 100% leased a year from now. Maybe that will be an incentive to build on this space.

Anonymous said...

The development concepts shown, are no longer accurate in any way. All owner occupied condominiums have been purged from the plan. UC pulled the plug on that. It's now ground floor retail, with office space and 100 beds of apartments above.

Randy Simes said...

Thanks for you comments, jfd, but the rendering posted with this article is one of the original renderings (as is noted directly below the image).

It is also noted within the article that those plans were scrapped for various reasons, and now Towne Properties is in the process of creating their own development plan.

Those plans are not currently public yet so I posted something to show the original visions for the site. I look forward to seeing what the new/revised development plan will be including the specific breakdown of residential, office, and retail. Until that time I thought it would be worthwhile to discuss what the public might want to see happen there.

Unknown said...

It seems I'm on the right track, I hope I can do well. The result was something I did and was doing to implement it.

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