Urban planning community | #theplannerlife

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Public parking garage with residential above?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
    Jan 2005
    Land of Confusion

    Public parking garage with residential above?

    I'm wondering if anyone has encountered this type of mixed-use arrangement where you'd have residential units/condos, etc. above a public parking garage with no other retail or commercial uses in the structure. There would be reserved spaces for the units but the bulk of the space would be used to support a nearby commercial district with a number of bars/restaurants, so there would be a lot of turnover, particularly in the evening.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    This was going to be done on a project known as the Griswold in Downtown Detroit. With the opening of the Book Cadillac Hotel next door the decision was made to build a parking structure that would be partly public and partly private. This was to be constructed by a quasi public company known as the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC). The DEGC announced that condos would be built on top of this structure with the assistance of a developer. They actually sold several units prior to construction, then the housing market took a particularly nasty turn. The plan now is to build the condos in the future.

    the link shows the Book to the left and the structure to the right.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  3. #3
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Appleton, Wisconsin
    Might there be some buildings like this in and around downtown Chicago?


  4. #4
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
    May 2005
    New Town
    We have a development in the heart of downtown Albuquerque called the Gold Avenue Lofts. Its not living above a parking garage, but beside. The high end condos front Gold Avenue with a parking garage in the back (and you can access the living spaces directly from the garage). The parking space is also shared by area businesses. I believe this aspect of the development was done in partnership with the City. It did not think it as slated to have retail, but I notice the website presents that as a possibility. As far as I know, there is nothing in there now (including few residents).

    The project has been a bit of a bust. I don't think it is because of the design, though, but the market they were targeting. The spaces are very expensive and mostly raw with the intention of people finishing them out to their taste. I think much of it is still vacant at least 3 years after being completed. People with that kind of money are usually moving in from outside New Mexico and most don't come here to not have a yard. At least that's my opinion...

    Here is a link to their site: http://www.100goldabq.com/
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  5. #5
    Cyburbian dogandpony's avatar
    Feb 2004
    Chicago, IL
    From a private sector standpoint I think you might not find too many examples of this happening, with most residential developments having the parking below grade, versus at grade. I do think I read about units above a garage in Seattle at one point, but couldn't find information.

    I've seen a small development occur here with parking on a portion of the the first floor, but it had retail frontage and was done largely becuase the site was too tight (10,000 square feet) to provide the required parking below grade (not enough room for the parking spaces and circulation space)

    I believe the model of "residential above first floor parking" is not typcial, for at least the following reasons:

    1. potential purchasers of such units, whether urban funky lofts appealing to Gen Xers, or empty nesters/retirees, are looking for their homes to have a bit more panache than the "I live above the parking garage" that such a design would read as from the street. Below grade parking is more expensive, but I think the tradeoff is that you have much more saleable units.

    2. Retail/office space on the first floor are usually provided because the municipality requires it under zoning as a commercial development strategy, because the payoff is greater (commercial revilization for the municipality and active street fronts for the community, rents for the developer).

    It seems possible that a progressive community might try to leverage it's parking structure investment into housing, but even a municipality needs to concern itself with the saleability of residential units.

    As a potential purchaser, I'd much rather live above even the most marginal of retailers or office space versus parking.

  6. #6
    It's not exactly public parking but I live in a development that covers an entire block here in Boston. one side of the development has retail,the rest is all residential. The entire project sits on a two level underground parking garage. For the most part, the garage is private, though a lot of the spaces are rented out. The entrance is on a side street. If the parking had been totally open to the public, it would not make much difference to anyone living there. You really don't notice the garage from any of the units.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
    Jan 2005
    Land of Confusion
    I don't see the big deal in living above a garage, as long as the area in question had a little activity and it wasn't just some urban dead-zone.

  8. #8
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Jun 2003
    at the neighboring pub
    I cringe everytime I have to do a Portland, OR reference, but here it goes...

    I believe Portland is currently considering a redevelopment on a public parking garage that might involve placing residential on top of a garage with limited, if any, ground floor retail. From what I recall, the garage would remain intact for the most part, with some aethetic improvement and be capped with office or residential.
    Last edited by Suburb Repairman; 06 Aug 2008 at 6:04 PM.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  9. #9
    Aug 2008
    Jacksonville, FL

    The Strand - Jacksonville Florida (in Downtown)

    Hey there ... this isn't exactly the same as what you were researching, but rather a private garage under residential. I'm not sure if this helps, but here is a link to the site where their information about the building is posted. This project is still in progress in our downtown area. I walked by the building about two months ago and noticed it had a garage below the residences, although, it looks more like the residences are shifted to the outer edges of the overall building and the garage forms only a portion of the lower five levels, with perhaps the amenties being directly under the residential units. If you look at the floor plans you'll see what I mean by that. Also, the photos give you an idea of the garage space relative to the residential space. If you look at the building exterior, you'll see that the garage levels have a different color brick than the rest of the building, which is a common color/pattern on new garages in downtown Jacksonville.

    Here's the link:


    Again, not a public garage, but a 5-story garage nevertheless, and located below at least some of the residential units it seems. There might be other downtown condos that will do this (assuming the market comes back any time soon), or are doing this, but I'm not sure. A good map with some blurbs about recent or planned downtown development In Jax can be found here:


    San Marco Riverwalk and the Shipyards might turn out to be a few developments that incorporate some "public parking" in garages that will be on their respective properties. Since nothing is happening right now on either due to the market conditions, it's hard to know whether those will contain garages below residences or beside residences. Both of these developments, though, are meant to be mixed use, with a retail/commercial/office and residential component.

    In any case, in downtown development here in Jacksonville, the city encourages the use of parking structures vs. surface lots. In some cases, if the site is small enough, the garage has a high probability of being incorporated into the ground floors of the building. There are downtown development standards that include that type of scenario.

    Those standards also encourage retail/commercial/office components to be incorporated into garage-only structures so that pedestrians can be more involved at the street level. So in some cases, if you are on "retail-oriented" streets in our downtown, you could end up with a high-rise residential building with a ground floor of retail/commercial uses, parking decks on levels two through six, and then residences on top of that. Depending on what the developer is trying to achieve, some parking might be "public" and some might be "private." Overall, though, in our downtown, we are also required to mitigate traffic impacts through TDM type strategies, thus parking is to be minimized. In fact, our code indicates that parking in downtown is half of the normal code requirements found outside of downtown. They want downtown to be a walkable, and/or transit-oriented environment, rather than a vehicle-dominated area.

    Good luck with your research. Hope something in this information helps.
    Last edited by Gatrgal93; 06 Aug 2008 at 6:14 PM.

  10. #10
    maudit anglais
    May 1997
    Most of the projects I can think of have at least some ground floor retail as well as a residential component. I have heard of a proposal here in Ottawa to build some residential units on top of an existing above-grade parking structure...no retail in that one I think.

  11. #11
    I believe there is a mixed use project including residential, retail/office, and a parking garage in Falls Church, VA. There seem to be several in Montgomery County, MD too, either with the residential strictly on top or to the side of and partially connected to the parking, or wrapped around the parking garage.

  12. #12
    I don't see why it can't be done for residential. Here is a LaQuinta Inn with a parkage garage below near the airport in Portland, OR. (another Portland reference )

    Click image for larger version

Name:	Picture1.jpg
Views:	41
Size:	34.6 KB
ID:	4332

  13. #13
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
    Feb 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    If I'm not mistaken, the original post was referring to public parking garages with spots that were not associated with the residential uses directly above. Is that correct? If so, I don't know of any instances of that in my area, though I don't see any problems with it. Of course, there are millions of developments with parking below for residential above.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
    Jan 2005
    Land of Confusion
    Quote Originally posted by CJC View post
    If I'm not mistaken, the original post was referring to public parking garages with spots that were not associated with the residential uses directly above. Is that correct?
    That's correct, thanks.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian graciela's avatar
    Jan 2007
    We in the formative stages of a public private partnership for a mixed use parking deck.

    We will be putting out an RFP for the project soon. The idea is that the private developer can build what they need/want (within zoning and other standards) as long as they provide us with x number (around 500) of parking spaces in the deck that are in excess of what they need for their uses. We have a percieved need for more parking availability downtown so this is our solution. I think it would be hourly parking.

    I have wondered if any of the developers will come forward with residential above the garage as that will make the deck space really large! They are required to wrap the deck with active uses at the street level.

    We are hoping that through this process we will get a better product than if the government acted as the developer.
    Responsible Beverage Server since March 26th, 2008

  16. #16
    Cyburbian jkellerfsu's avatar
    Dec 2005
    Baltimore, MD

    Privately financed apartments over city financed garage

    Just a few years ago, Baltimore City couldn't build enough parking garages which has had obvious negative impact to which we are looking to improve. I have provided a link to the garage project http://internet.harkinsbuilders.com/...ts.aspx?ID=298and the subsequent apartment project http://internet.harkinsbuilders.com/...ts.aspx?ID=410

    While the garage was built to accommodate first floor retail, today we have no retail actually there.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
    May 2005
    The Fox Valley
    Blog entries
    In the suburban Chicago municipality I work for, we recently approved something like this. Even though it is only 54 units spread across 3 floors, it will be the first major condo building in the downtown area, and it is clear that more parking was needed down there and that the construction of this building would also take over space that was previously used as a vacant overflow lot for the weekend brunch crowd at a large restaurant across the street. In addition, there would also be about 10-15,000 sq ft of small retail space on the first floor of the condo building, thus necessitating public parking. The building is situated at a very busy, congested, and major intersection, so on-street parking isn't an option, except along the side street on the north side of the building.

    So a deal was established, where there would be one deck of public parking (lower deck) and one deck of private parking (upper deck). They have separate entrances to my understanding and residents in the private garage would need to enter a code to access it. In addition, residents will only be permitted one space in the private garage. They could also lease a space in the public garage from the Village if they needed a second parking space.

    I can't remember the numbers (I think it's around 60 or so), but it still doesn't seem like nearly enough public spaces though, to allow for a) visitors to the condos, b) overflow parking at the restaurant, c) parking for customers and employees at the small shops, d) leasing spaces to residents, and e) general parking for the downtown area, which includes several popular shops, restaurants, and parks. But most people (staff, officials, residents) eventually agreed it was better than nothing. In addition, a muncipal parking lot already exists downtown as well as several areas of on-street parking.

    So yeah, no major issues other than we wanted more public parking than we got as well as concerns about traffic patterns. We'll see how things shape up though when this project is completed. We'll see if residents of and visitors to the condos and patrons and employees of the small shops end up dominating the public lot, or if it remains a viable option for weekend diners going to other establishments. There were also issues with flooding and engineering since it is very close to the river, but I believe these have been addressed.
    Last edited by illinoisplanner; 18 Aug 2008 at 1:58 PM.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  18. #18
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Mar 2007
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    There is a parking garage in Detroit's Harbortown area that has what you are looking for. There are about 4 or 5 levels of ramp parking and on the roof there are a few multi-floor condos. From what I could tell, they actually looked more like townhouses but I never actually went up there to check it out.

    The garage is mainly there to support the folks that work in the nearby offices during the day as well as some secure parking for a few bars in the area. The condos on the roof of the garage sit so far back from the edge that I never even knew they were there until I had been working in the neighborhood for nearly 6 months and parking in the garage everyday. I wish I had a name of the development or some more information for you (PM me if you want the cross streets).

    In the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak, there is currently plans underway to put luxury condos atop another ramp parking structure right downtown but I am not sure that construction of the condos has begun yet (due to the current economic situation). In this particular situation, the garage is mainly there to support a community college campus and shoppers/barflys along the heavily commercial street.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Cost to build a parking garage
    Transportation Planning
    Replies: 8
    Last post: 19 Dec 2011, 6:00 PM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last post: 08 Feb 2010, 12:42 AM
  3. Replies: 12
    Last post: 17 Jun 2008, 10:15 PM
  4. Replies: 21
    Last post: 02 Feb 2007, 3:18 PM
  5. Partnerships in parking garage development
    Economic and Community Development
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 20 Mar 2002, 6:24 PM