Sunday, November 04, 2007

Plenty of free parking


No one hates to pay for parking more than I do. But sometimes I wonder if we only encourage our dependence on the automobile (and therefore foreign oil) by offering plenty of free parking everywhere. I thought of this today while wondering what on earth the developers of the nearby Home Depot/Target project were thinking when they put the parking garage out front and the stores behind it. Were they afraid people wouldn't find the garage if they hid it behind the store where it belongs? Home Depot and Target stores aren't known for their tremendous curb appeal, but anything would be better than a parking garage -- even if this one is better than average -- and having the store at the front might encourage walk-ups.

Contrast that Midtown development with the construction on the Central Avenue side of the Hawthorne Lane bridge. I guess the huge concrete monolith is a parking garage, and by all appearances the condominiums will be wrapped around it. Result: We'll see the places where people live, not the places where cars live. Doesn't that make sense?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with your Target parking deck comments. The only thing I could think of was that it was meant to be easily accesible to the other blocks of the development

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your concerns on the Target as well, but if you think about it, there are a lot of influences at play on the Target/HD that are not a part of the condo development at Hawthorne. You can break up the condo developments and put the deck in the middle, but the retail units are big boxes that need service bays. If the boxes had been up at the street, they would have still needed to put the entrance at the garage, which would have caused them to turn their backs on the street. The only thing they could have added would be to put small retail at the street level at the corner of the deck...a copy shop for instance.

beaumontstyle said...

I thought the same thing about the Target parking deck. On the other hand, the appearance is a bit more pleasant if you're coming off the ramp from 277, although not by much... At least the new deck looks a little more attractive then that ugly 70s monolith at CPCC, as seen in the pic for your latest entry. Gack.

Anonymous said...

The Target flagship store in downtown Minneapolis is nicely placed in the grid with a pretty 3-story foyer. Even the logo is toneddown to appeal to the urbanites. They could of done something like that in Charlotte but it seemed they were afraid if the parking lot were not visible the Myers Park momies would get a nose-bleed.
http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200110/09_hughesa_newtarget/
3-story glass foyer.
http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200110/09_hughesa_newtarget/images/target_big.jpg

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm big box store with no windows or parking garage....doesn't seem like either is an ideal choice. At least this way its easy to get to. I think your being too picky on this one. I love how easy it is to access the stores. If the parking were difficult I am sure your blog would light up even more.

Anonymous said...

Did the Wendys have anything to do with the funky layout of the buildings. Was the owner holding out? It seems like the project was built around it...condensed layout for the stores and parking deck, suburban layout for the Wendys.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope they do a better job with the Dilworth/Southend Lowe's.

Anonymous said...

It seems clear the Wendy's was a holdout. As the rest of the development takes place across the street at higher densities, that Wendy's will stand out as the typical suburban model within an otherwise dense urban development of buildings.