Comments on: The 100 Units of Affordable Housing it's like being there Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:56:38 +0000 hourly 1 By: Charles Charles Sun, 14 Dec 2008 19:05:45 +0000 I agree this article if very good. Solid information with a number of viewpoints presented objectively. Well done.

I am partial to site B & C at this time. If indeed site A cannot be made to work without ground floor retail then that has to be considered a fatal flaw. There needs to be one universal rule for every building downtown; you must design a ground floor for retail of some kind.

Also, Ms. DiLeo’s numbers, and the characterization that the building is to be ‘plain vanilla’ imply that the planners may not be including 1st floor retail space in their calculations. If the building has a 9,000 sf footprint and the units are 450 sf each you can only get 20 units on each floor. If the plan is to only have four floors you will have to use all four floors just to get to 80 units, not the more than 100 quoted in the article (not to mention the need for circulation). The numbers however will work themselves out and I personally don’t see 100 units as a magic number, but some might. Nevertheless it seems to me that the city should only plan this project to be good city building, which must be one that supports a pleasant streetscape. Building a building with ground floor living units in a retail / pedestrian street environment will be an insult to both the pedestrian, as well as the resident; neither will feel comfortable and the street will suffer.

I think the issue of the building materials as a planning limitation is misleading. If we factor in the cost of roads, storm water run-off, utility infrastructure etc. associated with sprawl, as well as the life cycle analysis of durable materials we can easily prove that limiting the building so it can be built with wood is myopic.

By: Steve Bean Steve Bean Sun, 14 Dec 2008 17:11:48 +0000 I’m curious about the Main and Ann lot as well. Maybe Leah knows. I also thought Sabra posed a good question about site A, though I suspect the reasons have been provided elsewhere. (Odd that she wouldn’t know them, though.)

I’m wondering if using two of the sites might allow for not only the replacement of units lost, but to further add to the supply of affordable housing. That and/or for retail to be included. I would think that the Fourth Ave. side of these (corner) sites would be the preferable place for retail.

Finally, I’m going to go off topic a bit to note the broader context of resource limitations on this decision, which we can expect to continue to surface as we look at the potential downtown developments (of all kinds.) The cost of steel and other materials will be a factor from now on, impacting what can be built.

By: Vivienne Armentrout Vivienne Armentrout Sun, 14 Dec 2008 14:23:38 +0000 Site B is correctly described as the southwest corner of Catherine and Fourth on the photograph caption, but incorrectly placed at the intersection of Catherine and Ann in the text (the two streets are parallel).

Site B is the parking lot behind the County Administration building. It is used by county staff during the day and is an important supplement for Farmer’s Market parking on Saturday, as well as for the customers of the People’s Coop in the evening. It is also where members of the public park who appear at BOC meetings.

I wonder why the county-owned lot at the corner of Main and Ann was not considered. At one time that area and the adjoining portion of the Ann Ashley structure were considered for placement of the shelter (now the Delonis shelter on Huron). I would imagine that some of the site analysis is still on file somewhere.

By: Kris Kris Sat, 13 Dec 2008 22:06:17 +0000 For the population this housing is meant to serve, the old YMCA’s proximity to the AATA bus line is optimal.

By: Linda Diane Feldt Linda Diane Feldt Sat, 13 Dec 2008 21:07:52 +0000 Wow. This is an extremely helpful article, and saves me some time spent figuring out the status! One of the “fragile” but thriving businesses that would be affected by construction and loss of parking either temporarily or permanently is The People’s Food Co-op – downtown’s primary grocery with Cafe. A lot of people use the county lot across the street (site B) after hours. It is full most evenings.

The Co-op is a true treasure and I hope the city will include us in the conversations and discussions soon. Whatever is decided, careful involvement and then on-going support for the many local small businesses in the immediate project area would be critical.