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New Western Avenue apartment building would include space for artists and parking for neighboring businesses

Rendering of proposed 500 Western Ave.

Rendering by Hendren Associates.

The owner of a one-time gas station turned parking lot on Western Avenue has filed plans for a six-story, 118-unit apartment building that would include 9 live/work spaces for artists and paid parking spaces for neighboring businesses.

Ardo Garabedian's plans for 500 Western Ave., filed with the BPDA last week, also calls for space for a convenience store and coffee shop, as well as an exhibition space for the artists living in the building.

An underground garage would have 59 spaces for residents and 69 spaces to be rented to nearby businesses, which will be losing on-street parking along Western Avenue as part of a city re-do of the street. The garage would have another 6 spaces meant for customers of the retail space.

The apartments will range from studios to three-bedroom units, with 21 being rented as affordable - 18% of the total units, compared to the city requirement of 13%.

The filing states Garabedian didn't want his building to play second fiddle, in terms of design, to the neighboring Radius building:

As the adjacent Radius Apartment building at the corner of Western Avenue and Leo Birmingham Parkway has a dominant entrance façade at the corner, we felt it was important for this proposed building to state its own identity and establish a main entrance that would be set-off from the generous streetscape. To accomplish this, an angular entrance motif was established that was strong but minimal at the street level, then making a stronger statement as it rises through the six floors and which is quite visual in the streetscape. The material for this entrance element is monolithic to express the form and contrasts with the smaller scale elements of the apartments’ façade. ...

As the site is irregular in shape from front to rear but does occupy the entire street frontage along Western Avenue, it is important to have a variety of spaces, experiences and scales to reduce to impact of a single long building that occupies an entire city block. To that end, the street level distribution of uses and fenestrations compose a series of experiences that relate to the casual passerby and relate the occupants of the proposed mixed-use building. Starting with the extensive sidewalk width to set the tall street wall to be scaled down at the grade level with landscaping and site elements such as built-in benches and planters. These sidewalk elements are distributed along the length of the building to relate to the amount of glass in the coffee shop / convenience store,lobby and artist exhibit area versus the extensive planters, benches and double row of street treesto buffer the residential portion of the building at the quieter end of the block.

500 Western Ave. filings and meeting schedule.

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Aren't usually inspiration for building design. And looking at this I can see why

Voting closed 19

Is what really makes it look noticeably terrible. Take that away and it'd be a boring background building, which I'm fine with.

Voting closed 9

Will they have parking for artists, or will they walk?

Voting closed 10

who understands the concept and importance of parking.

Voting closed 7

Banning on-street parking and replacing it with underground garages will give the neighborhood all the charm of downtown Miami.

Voting closed 13

I'll bite: you actually like rows of cars crammed on both sides of every street, blocking driveways and fire hydrants? And what's wrong with Miami?

Voting closed 5

Or, we get full width streets and sidewalks to drive and walk on year round (instead of snow banks piled over cars that never move off the street, narrowing usable area), more room for bike lanes and alternate transport, and room to let the new retail spaces use a little sidewalk if appropriate. Eliminating street parking here is a great option.

Voting closed 10

Beacon Hill has narrow streets and sidewalks, and on-street parking. https://goo.gl/maps/24ZugyAyfnoaRcog8

This place https://goo.gl/maps/spYzoEzMPYUSo3Py5 has wide streets and sidewalks, with ample space for piles of snow and cycle tracks.

Which urban form do you prefer?

Voting closed 4

This is about as disingenuous a comparison as could be made. I'll let your point stand - the Beacon Hill example you made is difficult both to park and walk, and streets oft become near-inaccessible given a heavy snow season.

Voting closed 6