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Thread: Different/specific big box question.

  1. #1
    Jan 2007

    Different/specific big box question.

    Before you tell me to search the threads! I know that there are many threads about big boxes. I have looked through them and the gallery and have not been able to find what I seek.

    I need something specific. Most of the threads and picture examples are dealing with how the building looks. I will tackle that one later. What I am wanting is examples of GOOD site layout. You know, where a big box comes in and has it's little strip mall children and gets more creative?

    We do not allow parking in front of commercial developments. Big boxes get around this by creating outlots in front of their parking area and then doing the same old site design. I want to find some examples where they did something like wrap the perimeter with the strip buildings or were more clever with their parking. Something. I need examples that are NOT in downtown urban areas, I need them in a more suburban setting.

    I am dealing with a big box that is wanting to build on a parcel that is adjacent to a well thought out and planned new urbanist community. It would be nice if the big box would make an effort to change their design and fit in with the community better.

    Thank You!

  2. #2
    Dec 2001
    America's Dairyland
    Follow the link for an example of a large project that integrated big boxes within a "lifestyle center" that set up a new urbanist style "downtown". You didn't indicate that there is space or interest for all that, but there might be a clue in it, nonetheless.

    There are no directional arrows, so I have to use "left" and "right" for reference. On the right you'll see an old-style big-box-with-strip-center development, wrapping around a parking lot. This part of the project was mostly pre-existing and then integrated with the new development to the left.

    Here's the link: http://www.crockerpark.com/maps_stores.php

    As a side note, in my experience, when I've looked at site plans for large commercial projects that are considered good, versus those that are considered bad (in terms of planner buzz), they aren't necessarily much different in terms of general layout. The difference in perception more commonly comes down to the finer details, the degree and appropriateness of the landscaping, the functionality of the pedestrian amenities, the height of lampposts and brilliance of the lighting, the materials and care with the design of buildings and their signage. Nonetheless, I'll be hoping to see the examples come rolling in, showing successful site layouts that differ from the norm, as others reply.

  3. #3

    Jul 2006
    Calgary, AB
    No examples of exactly what you want spring to mind, but if you know what you want, you should just tell the client that's what you need them to provide, and stick to your guns. Big boxes are having to become more flexible and "want" to be good corporate citizens these days, so they should have concepts of their own to show you, rather than making planners find case studies.

    Putting the parking behind the store is a good start; if it can be demonstrated that they can make the site work with a lower-than-normal parking requirement (by surveying parking requirements for other similar uses) then that will make the area dedicated to parking smaller, which is also a good thing.

  4. #4
    Mar 2007
    gainesville, fl
    I know EXACTLY what you are thinking about! I am supposed to be redesigning a site plan for a super walmart that is coming to gainesville fl. And it is hard! They want to move an entire road to accommodate the huge parking lot, and it is my charge to change this. I have searched high and low for pictures of alternative walmarts and other big boxes but apparently they do not exist. If you find anything could you share with me? Thanks

  5. #5
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
    Dec 2003
    Heaven or Las Vegas
    I've seen several "power centers" and strip centers that have a row of smaller stores which tend to be mostly food establishments close to the road. This helps hide the parking, reducing the "sea of asphalt" look, and creates some interest viewable from the street. If a cafe can include outdoor seating or a well-designed courtyard, all the better.

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