Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Turning a parking deck into housing

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    50

    Turning a parking deck into housing

    Hi everybody,

    I've been thinking a lot about TOD lately (especially in the SF Bay Area), and I keep coveting the huge parking lots that are by so many BART stations, thinking how much nicer they would be as TODs - but of course that would put a lot more pressure on the parking. Ideally, IMO, there would be little or no parking in a TOD - but that doesn't really seem feasible yet, given how many people still rely on cars. So then I'm thinking - what if you build a parking structure, but build it with its future conversion to housing (or another use) in mind. Is this being done anywhere, or does anyone have an idea if it would be possible? I would love to see a zoning code that required new parking structures to be built like this!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,141
    Quote Originally posted by Mountain Magic
    So then I'm thinking - what if you build a parking structure, but build it with its future conversion to housing (or another use) in mind. Is this being done anywhere, or does anyone have an idea if it would be possible? I would love to see a zoning code that required new parking structures to be built like this!
    I would doubt that highly. In order for many TODs to be successful they need to be able to service a pretty large area. Just by adding housing you would not take away the neeed to have the parking. In fact, it is almost irresponsible not to factor some number of cars per unit even if it is just 0.5 in most suburban TOD communities.

    In order to solve the parking problem, you would need to address local bus transit, and even that would not fulfill all of your needs.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    I would doubt that highly. In order for many TODs to be successful they need to be able to service a pretty large area. Just by adding housing you would not take away the neeed to have the parking. In fact, it is almost irresponsible not to factor some number of cars per unit even if it is just 0.5 in most suburban TOD communities.
    I know, that's what I'm saying. But as smart growth takes hold and maybe we hit peak oil, my guess is that parking is going to become increasingly obsolete. The gist of my post was - how can we meet the parking needs of today while proactively getting ready for a future in which parking facilities are little more than wasted space and concrete.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally posted by Mountain Magic
    Hi everybody,

    I've been thinking a lot about TOD lately (especially in the SF Bay Area), and I keep coveting the huge parking lots that are by so many BART stations, thinking how much nicer they would be as TODs - but of course that would put a lot more pressure on the parking. Ideally, IMO, there would be little or no parking in a TOD - but that doesn't really seem feasible yet, given how many people still rely on cars. So then I'm thinking - what if you build a parking structure, but build it with its future conversion to housing (or another use) in mind. Is this being done anywhere, or does anyone have an idea if it would be possible? I would love to see a zoning code that required new parking structures to be built like this!

    I have been thinking about this since they opened the new Vasona light rail line from San Jose to Campbell last year and people have complained there isn't enough parking at the new stations. So far the line seems to be attracting more riders than projected (th high gas prices probably help). Most likely because most of the stations are near gobs of apartment complexes. So there seems to be a conflict: these lines work best in high density residential areas, but then you need to attract drivers to park near your station to up your ridership. Maybe they should build housing over parking garages. Or carefully plan the neighborhood to include both housing within walking distance to the station and cars. Is that even possible?

  5. #5

    parking into housing.

    This is what I don't understand: Why not simply build the parking lots underground? Paris and London wouldn't work without underground parking lots, Barcelona buried an entire freeway in the nineties; if the major hurdle to these TOD in the Bay Area and elsewhere is parking, then why not simply dig down?

    And I don't buy the earthquake answer: that doesn't keep us from building tall building or underwater subway lines, so surely we can build a few underground parking lots. And that's only an issue in part of the country. So if the only real issue is cost, well that's just a little sad. Maybe as a society we should consider offering financial incentives to bury car parking and some freeway passages that get in the way of pedestrian life in our urban centers.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    BC
    Posts
    1,584
    I wonder if converting a parking garage to housing would be possible? The concrete is likely contaminated with oil and other residues that might not be so simple to get OUT of the concrete. That would be dangerous offgassing for dwellings.

  7. #7
          bluehour's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    102
    Quote Originally posted by jessehudson
    This is what I don't understand: Why not simply build the parking lots underground? Paris and London wouldn't work without underground parking lots, Barcelona buried an entire freeway in the nineties; if the major hurdle to these TOD in the Bay Area and elsewhere is parking, then why not simply dig down?

    And I don't buy the earthquake answer: that doesn't keep us from building tall building or underwater subway lines, so surely we can build a few underground parking lots. And that's only an issue in part of the country. So if the only real issue is cost, well that's just a little sad. Maybe as a society we should consider offering financial incentives to bury car parking and some freeway passages that get in the way of pedestrian life in our urban centers.
    Thats exactly what I was going to say. WHY are parking garagaes above ground? These is absolutetly no need.

    Also BART needs better transit links--- it should be easy to take the bus (or light rail or something) to the BART station. And there should be more stations, so more people can walk.

    All in all I'd say the BART systems is a 4/10 in terms of public transport in major metropolitan areas worldwide. It's such a weird combination of a train-type service (ie, serving the suburbs) and a metro-type service (downtown Oakland and SF). It needs to be expanded and corrected...

  8. #8
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,141
    Quote Originally posted by bluehour
    Thats exactly what I was going to say. WHY are parking garagaes above ground? These is absolutetly no need.
    Fine, explain it to the voters who pay for the garages why they it is so important to add excavation to the overall cost of providing parking.

    We have several older underground structures that are publically owned. Most new structures are built by private interests on private land. The private sector does not want any part of the cost of excavation. There are ways to make your structures look more appealing. Why not make good looking, functional structures? You can build them so that they are half retail/half dtructure, get creative and add value, don't just increase costs.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Above urban19's plane field
    Posts
    2,306
    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    I wonder if converting a parking garage to housing would be possible? The concrete is likely contaminated with oil and other residues that might not be so simple to get OUT of the concrete. That would be dangerous offgassing for dwellings.
    I don't know about housing, but Georgia State University did convert a parking deck into a classroom building.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  10. #10
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Someplace between yesterday and tomorrow.
    Posts
    12,125
    While I don’t think that structurally it would be all that possible for the interior of the building to be adapted, the exterior of the building could possibly be reused for housing.

    As for the above/below ground parking, below ground parking is not new at all. Sometimes the cost can be prohibitive depending on water table, soil types, rock shelves and such. However, these are all things that can also plague the construction of any building.

    I personally would like to see one of two things. Either below ground parking or interior building parking. I have noticed a few new developments that are basically a parking garage, other than the exterior of the building is used for office, retail, or residential purposes.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  11. #11
          bluehour's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    102
    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner
    Fine, explain it to the voters who pay for the garages why they it is so important to add excavation to the overall cost of providing parking.

    We have several older underground structures that are publically owned. Most new structures are built by private interests on private land. The private sector does not want any part of the cost of excavation. There are ways to make your structures look more appealing. Why not make good looking, functional structures? You can build them so that they are half retail/half dtructure, get creative and add value, don't just increase costs.
    Sure, can't the developer fit more units into the structure if its undergrounded or internal, with shops and lofts ($$$$) etc at the street scape. More costs up front but a more valuable structure overall.

  12. #12
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Staff meeting
    Posts
    8,152
    My anecdotal experience would be that converting 'larger' parking garages/decks would be quite difficult or not even worth it.

    Many 'smaller' structures may be convertible, due to flat floorplates and access drives segregated to corners/sides, but many 'newer' structures have a majority of the floorplates on a distinct slope to allow for the intergration of the parking areas and access ramps/drives as one.
    Last edited by mendelman; 15 Aug 2006 at 12:29 PM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Mr. Cool Ice
    Posts
    4,161
    I'm going to g oout on a limb here, and say that it probably is cheaper/easier to simply knock the thing down and start over.

    Call me crazy.

  14. #14

    parking

    Re: Detroit Planner-

    Your point about cost is well taken. But consider that by zoning for mandatory number of parking spots (whether over- or underground), we are pushing a cost on developers, which will then be passed on to us, the public, through higher rents, taxes, costs, etc. Not too mention increased traffic, infrastructure degradation and pollution. In other words, parking is never free. We are already underwriting it, including for the private sector.

    Thus I think it perfectly acceptable that if we (the public) decide we should have parking underground, for the sake of TOD, pedestrian-friendly cities, more development, etc., we should allocate funds to compensate developers, and then make them do it.

    I'm also unsure about how creative one can be with a parking lot. It's primarily a utilitarian structure whose function dictates a lot of its structure and size: There's not much you can do about that. That's why they are such good candidates for putting them underground.

  15. #15

    re-parking

    sorry for the repost! I just wanted to add <a href="http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=37.828086,-122.265837&spn=0.001864,0.003659&t=k&om=1">this link</a>. It's a google map arial of the MacArthur Station parking lot that happens to be down the street from where I live. That's it folks: just a ground level rectangular lot with white paint marks. That's what <i>most</i> BART parking is like. I don't think the demolition cost would be prohibitive.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    City of Low Low Wages!
    Posts
    3,236
    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis

    As for the above/below ground parking, below ground parking is not new at all. Sometimes the cost can be prohibitive depending on water table, soil types, rock shelves and such. However, these are all things that can also plague the construction of any building.
    This is a good point. Chicago has very wet soil on account of it beign a former swamp. Much excavation, especially near the lake, requires a slurry wall. ($$$) What works well in some cities might not work so well in others.
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
    http://neighborhoods.chicago.il.us Photographs of Life in the Neighborhoods of Chicago
    http://hafd.org/~jordanb/ Pretentious Weblog.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,141
    Quote Originally posted by jessehudson
    Re: Detroit Planner-

    Your point about cost is well taken. But consider that by zoning for mandatory number of parking spots (whether over- or underground), we are pushing a cost on developers, which will then be passed on to us, the public, through higher rents, taxes, costs, etc. Not too mention increased traffic, infrastructure degradation and pollution. In other words, parking is never free. We are already underwriting it, including for the private sector.
    That is not the case here. We have a plethora or redvelopment opportunities

    Here are some great looking garages:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ebaldy/...in/set-407565/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ebaldy/...in/set-407565/ (bad contrast)
    This parking structure includes over 20,600 square feet or retail and office space on its first floor, and a 2,891 square foot daycare center on its second level. The Compuware Garage is home to the Cadillac Center Station on the Detroit People Mover route
    http://www.emporis.com/en/il/im/?id=385969
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  18. #18

    parking

    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner


    That is not the case here. We have a plethora or redvelopment opportunities

    Here are some great looking garages:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ebaldy/...in/set-407565/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ebaldy/...in/set-407565/ (bad contrast)
    This parking structure includes over 20,600 square feet or retail and office space on its first floor, and a 2,891 square foot daycare center on its second level. The Compuware Garage is home to the Cadillac Center Station on the Detroit People Mover route
    http://www.emporis.com/en/il/im/?id=385969
    They are nice, it's true.. but they are massive! That kind of development would work well in a downtown setting, but remember BART is primarily a commuter train (unfortunetly) and most stops are in lower density, residential neighborhoods. It's tough building anything above 2-3 stories. And anything big is going to make it harder to walk, bike in your neighborhood, and thus affect local businesses. A few retail spaces on the ground floor aren't going to make up for that.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Boru's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2004
    Location
    At the dining table
    Posts
    235
    Having looked at the MacArthur photo, it would seem quite easy to build over the car park, and have apartments on top in looking in on a central courtyard. Wrap the box with retail to the main street. Thats a very quick synopsis, but I would see no problem with putting up 5-6 stories there. Its adjacent to a commuter train station, ergo higher densities must be allowable within the walkband of such a place. Actually looking at the size of the motorway beside the site, I dont think anyone would live in an apartment there unless it was triple glazed. I still think that the car park could be built over. An higher density office development would suit, allowing for the transportation of workers to the office by train. Completely redevelopable, with or without undergrounding the car park.
    Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,141
    Quote Originally posted by jessehudson
    They are nice, it's true.. but they are massive! That kind of development would work well in a downtown setting, but remember BART is primarily a commuter train (unfortunetly) and most stops are in lower density, residential neighborhoods. It's tough building anything above 2-3 stories. And anything big is going to make it harder to walk, bike in your neighborhood, and thus affect local businesses. A few retail spaces on the ground floor aren't going to make up for that.
    Hmmm none of those parking structures take up an entire city block. I doubt that would make it harder to walk or bike, in fact the last one contains a train station and parking spots for bikes. I suppose massiveness is subjective. For example, I know buildings in Chicago, Toronto or New York seem more massive than the ones in Detroit do.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 1
    Last post: 07 Oct 2010, 5:27 PM
  2. Replies: 2
    Last post: 02 Dec 2008, 3:56 AM
  3. Child care facilities and parking deck
    Design, Space, and Place
    Replies: 6
    Last post: 15 Jan 2007, 6:12 PM
  4. Parking deck generation rates
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 9
    Last post: 06 Jul 2006, 3:02 PM
  5. Replies: 2
    Last post: 09 Aug 2001, 8:58 PM