The Hub: Bogue Street
I'm not really a fan of the change in design on the north tower, I'm kind of apathetic as to whether this project happens at this point. I'm not a huge fan of these large monolithic buildings, especially when they have a mediocre design and build quality. In my opinion developers who want zoning variances or tax incentives should be held to a higher standard than what they have been.
I really don't think zoning variances and tax incentives fall under the same catagory...I'm fairly certain that all of the Hub buildings dont/wont use any tax incentive plan anyways
I love these buildings. The increase in density really pushes us closer to having a more walkable, urban city. If these can lead the way to more tall buildings that line campus it can bring much more activity to the core of the city year-round since a lot of these new apartments require year-round leases.
I put zoning variances and tax incentives together in the sense that if the developer wants to go outside the norm the city should push to get more out of them. If they want to build within existing zoning constraints and not ask for incentives then they're welcome to do as they please within those confines.
And no, the first Hub project did not pursue tax incentives and as far as I'm aware the new proposals won't either. There's still nothing exciting enough about these buildings to make me argue in their favor for a zoning variance though. For me a change as simple as a full height masonry facade would make all the difference in the world.
edited February 26
Well, I'm curious to hear how this went with the EL city council last night. Although he doesn't get to vote, the city manager is not in favor (
"City Manager George Lahanas, who sits on the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) by virtue of his office, voted not to recommend the project to Council because he said nearby property owners are frustrated with the existing Hub causing illegal parking on their properties and because he’s worried about having that many students living in the Cedar Village area."
Kind of funny (not ha-ha) that the CITY MANAGER is making recommendations that run fully against to the current plan for developing that area as a high density high-rise neighborhood. Yes, that makes
sense to NOT recommend more, higher quality student housing be build immediately adjacent to campus, in an already dense student neighborhood because parking spots and current landlords have sads (eye-roll...). I'd rather we just move to a strong mayor system and eliminate another high-level conduit for a small group of special interests to push around the EL city council.
The Hub is causing tons of problems in that area but that's not a knock against density or high rises, it's a knock against poor site planning. The Hub has no place for pick-ups, drop-offs or deliveries, it's a mess of people parking in no parking zones, blocking driveways and even blocking lanes of traffic. The parking is a real problem and EL is either going to have to build a city garage in this area or force the developers to offer substantially more parking. These are easily solved issues that shouldn't have been issues to begin with.
edited February 26
Ratchet, the city manager is just on the DDA board; he's one vote. More than that, the Planning Commission, DDA, etc...are advisory boards. The Planning Commission, in fact, voted unanimously against the council approving this, so it's not like the city manager single-handedly blocked this or that he even has the power to. And as I explained, this was going back to the planning commission as it didn't meet several criteria for the zoning code; the council couldn't have approved it if it'd wanted to.
Again, Core Spaces has made changes, but needs to make even more changes to get it to fit the zoning code. I'm actually surprised that the council has not out-and-out made them trim it down even more. They've been pretty clear that they
want this area - of any area in town - to become a high-rise student ghetto. They are more open than they were a decade ago about including student housing as
of the redevelopment of Cedar Village. But they've been very clear that they don't want this area essentially becoming a high-rise Cedar Village.
hood. Is your solution to cars is more cars? I am not so sure about that. I would be interested in the number of car permit holders in the building and how many have cars that they do not park at the building.
By far the most common solution to transportation in this area is cars, as it will be for the forseeable future. Besides, not having parking for the residents isn't really the problem, that's a choice they make when they move and I don't think the residents are the ones parking all over the place. The issue is the lack of parking for guests of residents and patrons of the businesses, there's not even any on street parking. As I said, there's not even a place for delivery drivers to park or for Ubers/Lyfts to park, they often end up blocking a lane on Grand River.
For whatever it's worth I actually think the city building garages when/where appropriate would be a better solution than trying to fit enough parking into each and every building.
Mich - I do understand that the DDA and planning commission are advisory, and that Lahannas is only one of many members. However, my beef is that he is an administrative employee of the city council, and not an elected official. Under these conditions I don't think he should offer any official opinion via the DDA, unless he is communicating the city council's official position. He really just seems to be Meadows' crony, and continues to push his/their outdated, dogmatic approach to planning and development.
Consider this tidbit from the recent Eli follow-up article on this matter:
"Council Member Mark Meadows has voiced the strongest opposition to allowing four-bedroom units in the East Village, arguing that those units would permanently exist only as student housing, not the diverse housing stock he desires. Meadows described four-bedroom units as “cash cows” for developers."
"Gregg questioned the City’s ability to manipulate the real estate market to get the exact housing stock it wants and said City leaders may find that students will always express the highest demand for housing downtown. She also felt the restrictions on the number of bedrooms and the height restriction discrepancies were relatively arbitrary."
I'm glad to see that Jesse Gregg gets it!!!