Monday, December 17, 2007

HDIC - Really?

The Business Weekly published an article describing the Jonathan Rose projects that should begin to take physical shape within the next several weeks. They speak of 191 residential units of which 66 are to be rental units (weren't they originally saying 110?) and a collection of residential units from $261,600 to $495,650. I don't even want to get into a long rant here but wtf? Didn't they try that with the Gold Avenue lofts with little success? Aren't there enough townhomes over in the Silver Lofts phase I and II? Not to mention, these residential units will be on the ground level across the street from a regional transit center. Is this the right context for three levels (and if we're lucky, 4) of residential? Not that it can't be done but I can't think of a single city in the world that has done this without using a ginormous park to separate uses. My hope in Jonathan Rose is nearly lost. HDIC holds the cards to something I am not confident they even understand. We can't find a developer willing to make an investment that is not reminiscent of what we'll be seeing in ABQ Uptown's "urban setting?"


Michael said...

Is this Albuquerque-based talk or Dallas-? I Googled Jonathan Rose, but couldn't find the specific project you're talking about. Where's it being planned for? Across from Alvarado? The Uptown Hub?

mario said...

not sure why it matters whether it's an ABQ vs. Dallas Based opinion? Anywhooo....the developer is Romero Rose, which is a subsidiary of Jonathan Rose Co. The site is the former Greyhound bus station across from the Alvarado Transportation Center.

Michael said...

Wasn't so much saying that it mattered where the talk was coming from as opposed to asking where it was talking about. Sorry for the confusion.

I thought it was across from Alvarado. And in that case, I agree with this post. Terrible idea. The Gold Lofts aren't even half-full.

John said...

I'm afraid I'm not sure I understand what you're getting at, Tim. This project is essentially the same as it was the day you found its website. They've always been planning for townhouses on the West Second Street site, and they've always been planning residential on the bottom floor.

Now that Business Weekly article is rather poorly-written, which is where you have to look at other articles (like yesterday's Journal article) to get the real picture. Those 66 rental units you speak of are the first of two phases of the apartment building between First and Second. When it's finished, there will be 110 rental units.

Tim said...

John: You're correct. The article I read did not disclose that their information was for phase I of II. I have always been supportive of the addition of rental units downown, obviously. However, I'm questioning the density and overall relation of the mixed uses in HDIC's overall plan. I have no question that this plan will work in the short term due to the demand for rental units. However, in the long term, I have no doubt this plan is short sighted.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tim --

Just wanted to let you know that, as an ABQ resident closely following (and anticipating) the progress of our urban revitalization, this has been a valuable tool and a fun way to track recent developments.

I know you're in Dallas now, and I'm sure you're busy, but hopefully you'll continue to update whenever possible; other ABQ blogs (i.e. DCF) are almost worthless in this regard, to say nothing of the insufferable anti-development tone that's so pervasive in their posts.

Anyway, hope you can still find time to keep us all informed!

FireMedicRN said...

I was horrified when the developers came to our neighborhood association meeting with this project. And more disappointed when no one else was horrified. (I did gain some allies in my feelings on this project once I voiced my thoughts at least).
This project is suburban in scale. Four stories??? in the center of the Business District???? Residential on the ground floor??? In a commercial district???
Romero Rose used all the current catch phrases like "green building", "transit oriented development", "density", but what I saw of their project those words couldn't apply. How is a large parking garage "green" or "transit oriented"??
While this might be a 'good' project, the location is TOTALLY wrong. Add a few stories (like 10!), make street level commercial and ditch the parking garage. Eliminate the garages on the high end homes in the latter phase and park a few Zipcars around the neighborhood and run the buses later. Keep the Urban Core Urban!