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I couldn’t make it to the third McMillan Sand Filtration Site community meeting on Saturday, so my information is a little thin. But GGW’s Nolan Treadway wrote up his impressions, and now the whole powerpoint is available at the wikiplanning site. For your convenience—the file is large—here are a few of the key slides.
Perhaps to highlight the difference between the upper limit of how much they could build and what they were actually looking at building, the planners contrasted sketches of the maximum floor area ratio and the more likely amount of density. Of course, preserving views factored in strongly to the conceptual design, so low buildings will cover approximately two thirds of the site. I’m not sure how much those who advocate simultaneously for low buildings, lots of open space, and major retail—like a Whole Foods—realize that they’re fundamentally incompatible goals.
Then there are the three basic configurations of buildings and open space. As far as retail, Jair Lynch said he would work on getting a grocery store, but considering the area income demographics, tried to damper hopes for anything too high-end.
This is how the “service court structures” could be incorporated into a streetscape:
It sounds like the development team is open to the idea of retaining a few of the large underground cells for use as a cafe or museum. It would create a cool open-air arcade:
A few things still appear definite: The buildings will step up towards the northwest corner of the site, with office space fronting upon Michigan Avenue, and also screening the views of the angular black glass medical center. A transit center for buses and a potential streetcar could be located at the northwest corner as well. The southern end will include about 150 rowhouses built by EYA, which just won a big-deal award for a similar development at Capitol Quarter.
This is what a belt-like park across the rectangle’s midsection could feel like: