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Thread: Retail with parking in rear

  1. #1
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    Retail with parking in rear

    Does anyone have any good examples (preferably images) of highway retail that has parking in the rear of the building. We are working on regulations that would require the buildings pulled to the front but our Planning Advisory Committee is having trouble imagining how this would work in practice.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    please search the forum. There is an old thread on this topic.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    There's a lot of examples with parking behind the frontage but on the side. I can get them for you if you want.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  4. #4
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    A decade or so ago, the City of Appleton, WI went to the mats with Walgreens when they were planning a new store at the edge of the city's downtown area and did succeed in getting the parking lot reconfigured so that the building is close to the sidewalk of one of the two major streets that their property fronts on.

    See:
    http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=4...05493&t=h&z=18

    Also, streetview:
    http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=4...97.89,,0,-1.49

    You mighty want to try contacting them, too.

    Mike

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
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    Wouldn't college campuses be good examples of parking in the rear of buildings?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
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    Here is a sketch of a building with parking in the rear:



  7. #7
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    In our area, Parking in the rear is extremely common, both on primary State Highways (NY 27 -Sunrise Highway) or Arterial Routes like Merrick ave, to Downtown business Districts Like Great Neck, NY and Huntington, NY.

    Attached is an image of Rockville Centre, NY, along Sunrise Highway.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Parking in the bak -RVC, ny.jpg  

  8. #8
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    The City of Hamilton, Ontario where I live provides a perfect example of how NOT to approach retail with parking in the rear.

    They literally built the stores with their fronts inward, which means the rears of the building face the streets. Not pleasant at all, and it is scary that this type of development is commonly occuring within the city.

    Google Maps Link to the "New Centre Mall"
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...13733&t=h&z=17

    Here is a link to the site plan
    http://www.redcliffrealty.com/leasin...on.June-10.pdf

    Little side note, the Centre Mall was one of North America's first shopping malls (I think it was Canada's) but has now been replaced by this awful autombile oriented development. At least in the mall you could walk, but now it is impossible to traverse parking lot after parking lot.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by sakalamp View post
    The City of Hamilton, Ontario where I live provides a perfect example of how NOT to approach retail with parking in the rear.

    They literally built the stores with their fronts inward, which means the rears of the building face the streets. Not pleasant at all, and it is scary that this type of development is commonly occuring within the city.

    Google Maps Link to the "New Centre Mall"
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...13733&t=h&z=17

    Here is a link to the site plan
    http://www.redcliffrealty.com/leasin...on.June-10.pdf

    Little side note, the Centre Mall was one of North America's first shopping malls (I think it was Canada's) but has now been replaced by this awful autombile oriented development. At least in the mall you could walk, but now it is impossible to traverse parking lot after parking lot.
    A 105k sq ft Canadian Tire?!?! Wow I got to get back to Hamilton someday! You're right the mall is too auto orientated. But when you have a 105k sq ft Canadian Tire...
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    there are numerous examples along Main Street north of Boston, from Medford through to Lake Quannapowitt (sp?).. a long high street segment that runs about ten miles from Somerville through Medford, Malden, Melrose and Wakefield. The entire Melrose retail district falls into that category. I can't remember Main St's route #.. I think it might be 129.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=main+s...gl=us&t=h&z=18

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
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    Market Street Mall in The Woodlands, Texas planned community:

    http://http://maps.google.com/maps?r...e&ved=0CAQQtgM

    This view shows an interior grassed pedestrian mall looped by a road and walkway in front of shops and stores. The main parking is outside (or to the rear at the left of the image) of the shops and stores, which face the mall. There are no parking lots at the "perimeter" road of the tract. Note that there is another independent building to the left of the image, which also has its parking (shared with the mall) to the rear of the building.

    The view while driving past the Market Street Mall does not reveal any parking lots from the roadway, but entranceways to the mall are plainly marked. It is also noted that a desert of empty or mostly empty parking lots are not visible from the roadway.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Streck View post
    Market Street Mall in The Woodlands, Texas planned community:
    *Blushes*
    This is a better map link I think: Woodlands Market Street
    We tried, but I don't think it is much of an example of parking in the rear. It is a stretch to imply that the pedestrian mall at the center is a "real" street (stereotypical auto-oriented space) the way the thread is implying. Rather it is a good example of a lifestyle center, with a center that has been well designed and is pretty active. From the point of view of the auto, there are definitely parking lots between the streets and the buildings, although the buildings have indeed been turned to the inside to face the pedestrian areas. That aspect was quite a fuss to get done at the time, and there was quite a lot of discussions over essentially having two faces to the buildings. Thanks to the awesome Woodlands design standards and degree of tree cover (for Texas), the parking lots on the streets are not objectionable at all. The HEB on the west side is just a typical grocery store, its front faces the parking lot. The rear of the store, loading, etc lines the street.

    These are my impressions based on the design process and visiting a couple times to go to concerts at the Pavilion, if anyone is local I'm open to being corrected

    Another successful one of the same style is Watters Creek in Allen, TX:
    http://maps.google.com/?ll=33.08924,...09624&t=h&z=17

    A site that I think has some real parking in the rear is Frisco Square in Frisco, TX, unfortunately it hasn't been super-successful and only part has been built so far:
    http://maps.google.com/?ll=33.151026...09624&t=h&z=17
    Vertical mixed use with apartments on the upper stories, too. Each of the blocks was to be parked on the inside, you can see the start to the pattern. There are a few strips of buildings north of Main Street that look promising, but they largely face the parking lots and turn their back on the street.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by sakalamp View post
    The City of Hamilton, Ontario where I live provides a perfect example of how NOT to approach retail with parking in the rear.

    They literally built the stores with their fronts inward, which means the rears of the building face the streets. Not pleasant at all, and it is scary that this type of development is commonly occuring within the city.

    Google Maps Link to the "New Centre Mall"
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...13733&t=h&z=17

    Here is a link to the site plan
    http://www.redcliffrealty.com/leasin...on.June-10.pdf

    Little side note, the Centre Mall was one of North America's first shopping malls (I think it was Canada's) but has now been replaced by this awful autombile oriented development. At least in the mall you could walk, but now it is impossible to traverse parking lot after parking lot.
    While I don’t necessarily agree that it’s a good strategy – the idea behind this type of development is that in time the outer ring of streets will become more pedestrian focused and, by knocking out a few of those blank panel walls , they will eventually turn the retail units to face the street. Once that happens the internal surface parking lot area can be replaced by medium or high density residential uses with underground or structured parking. This type of development is therefore a stepping stone to a more urbane type of development.

    The two problems I see are: one, the retail buildings are generally very cheaply constructed and will never add anything positive to the character of the outer street; and two, there needs to be some concerted effort by the municipality to create the pedestrian traffic along the outer street (e.g. places for people to walk to and from). If there are plans for a major new transit station or high density residential development nearby then that might work, but more often than not the outer street will never achieve a level of pedestrian usage that will support on-street retail uses with the lifespan of the cheap retail building. In layman’s terms “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”

    Having said that, in this specific case I suspect Barton Street could be a strong pedestrian street some day. I'm actually surpised the City didn't insist that the doors face Barton from day one. This example in Milton goes a lot further in addressing the external street with higher quality buildings. In this case you can see that the external edges are prepared to convert to the "front door" at the appropriate time.

    http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ll=...,67.45,,0,5.21
    Last edited by Howl; 21 Jul 2011 at 2:02 PM.

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    I think Panama City Beach, Florida's Pier Park is a pretty good example. The main artery throught the shops isn't just a pedestrian mall, but an active roadway that also has on-street parking for those in a hurry.

    My only improvement would be a few pedestrian corridors through the buildings for quicker access from the rear parking lots. Walking down and around the block is meh.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pier Park.jpg  

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by FullCollapse747 View post
    I think Panama City Beach, Florida's Pier Park is a pretty good example. The main artery throught the shops isn't just a pedestrian mall, but an active roadway that also has on-street parking for those in a hurry.

    My only improvement would be a few pedestrian corridors through the buildings for quicker access from the rear parking lots. Walking down and around the block is meh.
    The downtown area in my little hometown has exactly that, and it works well. It's village-owned public parking with corridors between some of the buildings which has been around for at least half a century (I remember it from when I was a kid). The downtown is split by a large creek, so there are two separate business districts, both with parking in the back, including the local supermarket which is right up against the sidewalk.

    When the town has events, it closes down part of the main commercial street on the south bank to make it a pedestrian mall (traffic on the state road can still proceed with only a small detour). Depending upon the event, people can still park in the parking lots, although in a couple of events, the parking lots are used for vendors and carnival midways. It enables the village to have a large gathering area right in downtown when needed.

    I've never understood why other towns, especially smallish ones, didn't follow this example, but only a few seem to do so. In this area, it's not necessarily a lack of space behind downtown buildings, but apparently a lack of seeing this as a good thing or perhaps property owners being willing to share that space with other merchants. Maybe the fact that the area of Gowanda's business district has always been fairly large for a town its size has something to do with it as it spreads over three main streets with an odd configuration because of the creek splitting the village.
    Last edited by Linda_D; 15 Aug 2011 at 12:17 PM.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian ThePinkPlanner's avatar
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    I think Freeport Maine is an excellent example of having made it work with retail, including large stores (hello LL Bean). Parking is abundant and easy to find, but difficult to see from the road.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    The downtown area in my little hometown has exactly that, and it works well. It's village-owned public parking with corridors between some of the buildings which has been around for at least half a century (I remember it from when I was a kid). The downtown is split by a large creek, so there are two separate business districts, both with parking in the back, including the local supermarket which is right up against the sidewalk.

    When the town has events, it closes down part of the main commercial street on the south bank to make it a pedestrian mall (traffic on the state road can still proceed with only a small detour). Depending upon the event, people can still park in the parking lots, although in a couple of events, the parking lots are used for vendors and carnival midways. It enables the village to have a large gathering area right in downtown when needed.

    I've never understood why other towns, especially smallish ones, didn't follow this example, but only a few seem to do so. In this area, it's not necessarily a lack of space behind downtown buildings, but apparently a lack of seeing this as a good thing or perhaps property owners being willing to share that space with other merchants. Maybe the fact that the area of Gowanda's business district has always been fairly large for a town its size has something to do with it as it spreads over three main streets with an odd configuration because of the creek splitting the village.
    Tillsonburg Onatrio has a similar design: http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ll=...h&z=18&vpsrc=6

    All the parking is behind the retail main street, access from the two parallel local streets. Even the 1980's mall has this configuration. The attractiveness of the street breaks down the further north you go where a grocery store and a Canadian Tire have broken the mould.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally posted by Howl View post
    Tillsonburg Onatrio has a similar design: http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ll=...h&z=18&vpsrc=6

    All the parking is behind the retail main street, access from the two parallel local streets. Even the 1980's mall has this configuration. The attractiveness of the street breaks down the further north you go where a grocery store and a Canadian Tire have broken the mould.
    Wow after zooming out, that little town is quite a good example of keeping the built environment clustered and preserving woodlands and farmland. I love the form of the town.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by FullCollapse747 View post
    Wow after zooming out, that little town is quite a good example of keeping the built environment clustered and preserving woodlands and farmland. I love the form of the town.
    For most cities in Ontario, the city limits extend waaaaaaaaaaaaay beyond the limits of their urban development. For a real extreme example of this, see a current map of the City of Ottawa. This allows their local governments to decide where urban services are extended and thus where development occurs in a very unified manner.

    This is about as opposite of the municipal border situation that is found in Pennsylvania as one can get.

    Mike

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