Posts tagged with "Redevelopment":

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Plans move ahead for downtown mixed-use in Indianapolis

CityWay, a $155 million mixed-use development planned to revitalize Indianapolis’ Southeast downtown quadrant, could mean big things for the city’s redevelopment. The Indianapolis Star released this interactive map of the project's features, which include a flagship YMCA planned for 2014, 250 apartments, a 209-room hotel, 10 restaurants and shops and land targeted for 400,000 square feet of future development. As AN reported in August, the project counts Gensler and OZ Architects among its designers. The 14-acre site is near several of Indy’s major employers, as well as cultural attractions like Super Bowl locale Lucas Oil Stadium and the cultural trail.
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A New School for The Lower East Side up in the Air

Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (Photo Credit: Wikipedia/Yori Yanover) The massive development planned at the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) was unanimously upheld by the New York City Council Land Use Committee on Thursday, and the Lower East Side might be getting a new school. Or not. City officials won’t decide whether to build the project—part the 1.65 million square foot development at SPURA—for at least another five years, claiming initially that the community did not need a new school. According to City Councilwoman Margaret Chin, the city will set aside 15,000 square feet in the new mixed-use buildings in case a school becomes necessary in the future. The city will also reevaluate the funding available to build it and will keep the potential space available until 2023.
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Cleaning up an Arts District in Cincinnati

In its ongoing march to reclaim downtown neighborhoods marred by blight and suburban exodus, Cincinnati this week added Pendleton to the Neighborhood Enhancement Program. The district is known for its art center, and was a natural choice for the program now in 14 areas of the city. Like its neighbor to the west, Over-the-Rhine, Pendleton has struggled with crime. The “90-day blitz of city services” offered by NEP is designed to begin the process of long-term revitalization for the neighborhood by addressing that issue. Kennedy Heights saw a 16 percent drop in crime after it embarked on NEP earlier this year. The program will be reevaluated every 90 days, and again six months after completion. Cincinnati hopes the neighborhood’s defining characteristics will be its long-term salvation: its art and its artists. The city will add historic arts district signage along a new “boulevard of art,” drawing at first on $10,000 in seed money from a bevy of corporate and community sponsors. If the atmosphere at Wednesday’s announcement was a prologue for what’s to come, the future looks bright—Pendleton Neighborhood Council President David White’s speech was delayed slightly for a dance party to Martha and the Vandellas' "Dancing in the Streets."
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Cleveland Scrubs Clean a Long-Blighted Park

After nine years of fundraising, a transformed park in downtown Cleveland seems to personify the spirit of reinvention that has recently overtaken the city. Perk Park, originally built in 1972, was first conceived by I.M. Pei as a small piece of the 200-acre Urban Renewal District. It was once called Chester Commons (for its location at East 12th Street and Chester Avenue), but was renamed in 1996 for 1970s Mayor Ralph Perk. A gunman shot two young men in the park in February 2009, killing one and wounding the other. That incident spurred action from Mayor Frank Jackson and the City Council, who delivered the remaining $1.6 million for the renovation. New York’s Thomas Balsley and the Cleveland firm of McKnight & Associates are the landscape architects behind the redesign. Their plan opens up an enclosed area at the park’s center by removing interlocking walls of concrete, where the 2009 murder took place. They added trees and rows of light wands along the park’s edges. The design smartly borrows from the modernist principles that spawned the surrounding skyscrapers, cultivating a hospitable vibe that has so far received high marks from Clevelanders. The trees provide shade and a slight respite from the urban heat island effect. And, it seems, from increasingly outdated perceptions of blight and dullness in downtown Cleveland.  
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Detroit’s Lafayette Towers Skirt Auction Block, For Now

It looks like Mies van der Rohe’s Lafayette Towers in Detroit may avoid the auction block a little longer. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) foreclosed on the high-rise apartment buildings in February, and HUD had planned to put them up for auction this month (albeit with a litany of multi-million-dollar renovations required of the lucky winner). Detroit exercised its first right of refusal on that course of action, wary of the iconic towers falling into the wrong hands. New York-based Northern Group bought the buildings in 2008 for $16 million in cash, but stopped making payments on its loans by 2010. The towers were transferred to HUD soon after. Now the city’s group for planning and facilities is seeking a private owner to bring the buildings back from disrepair.
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Held Up: Stalled Projects at CRA/LA

On Monday we reported that redevelopment agencies around the state have had to put the brakes on upcoming projects until their uncertain futures are sorted out. Because of recent state legislation cities will have to pay their share of $1.7 billion by this fall in order to preserve their respective agencies. Here's a good example of the impact. CRA/LA has provided us a list of more than 20 current projects put on hold since the passage of the new legislation. They include the following: ° Arts District Park – a new park at 524 Clyton Street in Council District 14 ° BYD - Chinese electric car and battery maker opening Headquarters in Downtown LA. Public improvements cannot be completed, potentially affecting opening of the headquarters building at 1800 S. Figueroa in Council District 9 ° Sylmar Court – site acquisition cannot be completed for a large scale mixed-use development in the Sylmar community of Council District 7 ° Nate Holden Performing Arts Center – improvements cannot proceed at the Center, located in the Mid_City Project Area of Council District 10 ° Jefferson Boulevard/5th Avenue Apartments – housing development in Mid-City Project Area of Council District 10 ° The Serrano – housing development in the Wilshire Center/Koreatown Project area of Council District 10 ° Reseda Theater (CD3)– reuse of the former theater into a mixed-use development including commercial retail development and 23 housing units ° Pacific Avenue Arts Colony (CD15) – development of 49 housing units ° McFarland Avenue (CD15) – street vacation and public improvements.  Agency delay of this project will also affect concurrent ATSAC traffic improvements ° Casa de Rosas (CD9)– rehabilitation of historic and affordable housing development ° Midway Zocalo Park (CD10) – proposed public park, leveraging State resources (Prop 84) ° Plaza Morazan Park (CD1)– assisting the Department of Recreation and Parks in the construction of Plaza Morazan park ° Hollywood Community Housing (CD1) – Development of 52 units of affordable family housing at 619 Westlake Avenue °  Civic Enterprise Development (CD9) – Single Family ownership housing at 6901 South Main Street °  West Valley Neighborhood Beautification (CD3) – Pilot Program for Residential Beautification in West Valley Region °  Blossom Plaza (CD1) – Mixed Use Cultural and Transit Oriented Development.  Major positive impact for Chinatown businesses °  Habitat for Humanity (CD15) – Development of 9 units of affordable ownership housing °  Florence Mills (CD9) – Development of 70 units of affordable housing °  Downtown Streetcar (CD14) – Results of Council Adopted Study for grant application to Federal Transit Administration for the Downtown Streetcar
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Bad News For LA: Estolano Out!

We've just learned thanks to the LA Times and Curbed that LA Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA/LA) CEO Cecilia Estolano is stepping down from her post at the end of this month. Estolano was widely-praised for her aggressive moves to promote affordable housing, turn around struggling neighborhoods, establish a Clean Tech corridor in Downtown LA, and bolster the agency's funding, even in difficult economic times. We just ran a Q+A with Estolano in our last issue, which can be read here. Estolano is reportedly taking a job with Green For All, an Oakland-based environmental group focused on generating green jobs in underserved neighborhoods. We're trying to get a follow-up with Estolano now, so stay tuned...
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Redeveloping Round 2

Yesterday, the California Redevelopment Association celebrated another victory, as the state decided against pursuing its appeal of an April decision in Sacramento Superior Court that kept the Legislature from seizing $350 million from the association's 397 member agencies. That money was meant to cover a shortfall in the 2008-2009 state budget, but at the cost of the agencies operations. As we reported early last month, however, the state has done it again this year, attempting to tae $2.1 billion from the various redevelopment agencies, which work on economic development projects, affordable house, and, as Cecilia Estolano explained last week, brownfield remediation. Association president John Shirey hopes yesterday's victory is a sign of continued success. "One down, one to go," he said in a release. But according to the Contra-Costa Times, the state remains undaunted, believing it has crafted this years bill in a way that avoids the constitutional pitfalls of the previous effort.
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See The Chops For Yourself

California has finally solved its budget impasse, but it wasn't pretty. Many programs have been cut, including several that affect architects. To see a summarized version of the gruesome details, go here. Among the cuts, 100 state parks will now be closed and $1.7 billion in statewide redevelopment funds will be shifted to schools. Yikes.  That's not to mention $52.1 million cut from AIDS programs, $50 million cut from the Department of Health Care Services, and $50 million in services for young children.
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Rough Sailing

Thirty-five cents. One quarter, one dime. That's how much—or how little—it cost to buy one share of stock in General Growth Properties at the end of trading today. It's been a rough year for the 54-year-old mall developer and operator as it stock has tumbled—in concert with the real estate and retail markets—from a high of $67 per share in March 2007. Yet that stock was still valued at $38 as recently as June 18, when the company announced its plans for new South Street Seaport. Even when it presented those plans to the Landmarks Preservation Commission on October 21, when the stocked closed at $4.84, GGP remained confident in the future of the project. But that was before Monday's report in The Wall Street Journal that General Growth might file for bankruptcy. Bloomberg News blames the problems on the company's $11.3 billion leveraged buyout of the Rouse Companies in 2004. "They took a big, big gamble, and it did not pay off," real estate analyst Richard Moore told the financial news service. What, then, does this mean for the Seaport project? Nothing, insisted Jim Graham, a company spokesman:
Regardless of our situation, our properties and company will continue to operate, stay vibrant and remain open.  We are looking forward to a prosperous holiday season. [As for the seaport:] Our intent is to continue as developer, that’s why we have invested so much in working with world-class planning experts and with the community to create our proposals.  Our plan for the South Street Seaport  sets the course for the future.  Getting the plan in place protects the community against market cycles by setting the framework for development over a multi-year window.   Approving the plan now sets the stage for development later when the economy improves.