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Thread: Automobile Alley

  1. #1

    Auto Alley Automobile Alley building - demolished

    Driving by this morning, I noticed a new gaping hole in the fabric of downtown. This time a 7,000 square foot warehouse built in 1924, and a pretty decent looking building that I've always thought to be a good candidate for reuse:

    Leonard Sullivan Oklahoma County Assessor Real Property Detail Sheet

    I vaguely remember Steve Lackmeyer mentioning that the community foundation had planned to demolish a building. If I didn't dream that, then this is obviously the one. So... Somebody please fill me in on the details. If this was done to create yet another parking lot then I'm disgusted.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    I have heard rumors of a few other buildings in midtown to be demolished for parking too.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    i didnt realize there was such a parking crisis in midtown

  4. #4

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    Quote Originally Posted by okclee View Post
    I have heard rumors of a few other buildings in midtown to be demolished for parking too.
    Any idea which ones?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    Quote Originally Posted by okclee View Post
    I have heard rumors of a few other buildings in midtown to be demolished for parking too.
    You're kidding, right?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    Believe it or not, there really is a lack of parking in Auto Alley, especially if some of the larger buildings were to turn into office space. The buildings were built to house cars, so changing use makes off-site parking necessary. A parking garage somewhere would be the best option.

    Not saying the Community Foundation really needed to tear that down in order to make more parking right now, but parking IS an issue. This fix is a near-sighted solution to a far-sighted problem. (Did I use that statement properly?)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    Quote Originally Posted by cafeboeuf View Post
    Believe it or not, there really is a lack of parking in Auto Alley, especially if some of the larger buildings were to turn into office space. The buildings were built to house cars, so changing use makes off-site parking necessary. A parking garage somewhere would be the best option.

    Not saying the Community Foundation really needed to tear that down in order to make more parking right now, but parking IS an issue. This fix is a near-sighted solution to a far-sighted problem. (Did I use that statement properly?)
    Where did all the people park in the 60's, 70's and 80's? Parking is a lot harder to find in other cities, where you just live with the fact that you might have to walk 2 or three blocks. Parking is not even close to being an issue.

    Plus the community foundation already owns a vacant lot right there:

    Leonard Sullivan Oklahoma County Assessor Real Property Detail Sheet

  8. #8

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    OKC will never learn. Tearing down old buildings for parking lots? Is this some kind of sick joke? I'm without words...

  9. #9

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    Surface parking I assume?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    Quote Originally Posted by wsucougz View Post
    Where did all the people park in the 60's, 70's and 80's? Parking is a lot harder to find in other cities, where you just live with the fact that you might have to walk 2 or three blocks. Parking is not even close to being an issue.

    Plus the community foundation already owns a vacant lot right there:

    Leonard Sullivan Oklahoma County Assessor Real Property Detail Sheet
    The change in use is the main reason for lack of parking... going from car sales to office, retail and residential really eats up parking space...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    Need well-lit, heavily patrolled parking area(s) just outside the core. "Green" them up and establish a major link(s) with commuter transit to the core.

    I know, it creates other i$$ue$...

  12. Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    I've never had a problem finding an on-street parking spot along Broadway.

    How cooperative are the businesses on Automobile Alley? For example, if a store or office closes at 5, are its parking spaces available for nearby restaurants? Is the Auto Alley association encouraging this type of sharing? Have they considered trying to buy out the property south of Iguana Lounge that is covered in junked cars (according to Google Earth : 54 nw 9th oklahoma city - Google Maps) before tearing down buildings?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    Unfortunately the Community Foundation is above any criticism for tearing down buildings. "Oh we're so happy they're here..they do charity stuff..they've saved automobile alley with their building..and so on."

    I've always been incredibly critical of the Community Foundation being there. There was a 2005 study that indicated that the corner of Broadway and 10th was the most vital intersection for downtown development. I wanted to see more than a 2 story brick veneer and EIFS building go up there, but KMG donated the land to the Community Foundation, not a developer. Now they are going around tearing down other buildings that are genuinely urban for surface parking.

    I would throw a fit if it happens again, and I don't doubt it for some reason. The SW corner of Hudson and 12th is currently where a large surface parking lot is going in for Plaza Court overflow (there was an hour and a half wait at McNellie's last Wednesday when I was there so I don't doubt they need it). We're seeing parking get tight in areas OTHER than Bricktown and in order to achieve a short term fix, we're seeing a lot of surface parking go up.

    This is why we need the streetcar to happen ASAP. Also, aside from the fact that a garage may need to be built that MidTown and A-Alley can share, what about existing garages? There are several parking garages at St. Anthony's that Plaza Court customers could park at, and there's also a relatively new garage at NW 5th behind the new Downtown Y, between Broadway and the tracks, that I know is virtually empty after 5. What about using that?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundercitizen View Post
    I know, it creates other i$$ue$...
    Parking garages are often a necessary evil in destination districts, unless we have a good transit system. All of it requires that $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    Quote Originally Posted by shane453 View Post
    I've never had a problem finding an on-street parking spot along Broadway.

    How cooperative are the businesses on Automobile Alley? For example, if a store or office closes at 5, are its parking spaces available for nearby restaurants? Is the Auto Alley association encouraging this type of sharing? Have they considered trying to buy out the property south of Iguana Lounge that is covered in junked cars (according to Google Earth : 54 nw 9th oklahoma city - Google Maps) before tearing down buildings?
    Across the street from the Iguana Lounge is a Christmas tree lot.

  16. Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    Across the street from the Iguana Lounge is a Christmas tree lot.
    Google's imagery must be out of date then. Glad they got that lot cleaned up, guess it would make a perfect candidate for surface parking lot once the holidays are over!

  17. #17

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    Unfortunately the Community Foundation is above any criticism for tearing down buildings. "Oh we're so happy they're here..they do charity stuff..they've saved automobile alley with their building..and so on."

    I've always been incredibly critical of the Community Foundation being there. There was a 2005 study that indicated that the corner of Broadway and 10th was the most vital intersection for downtown development. I wanted to see more than a 2 story brick veneer and EIFS building go up there, but KMG donated the land to the Community Foundation, not a developer. Now they are going around tearing down other buildings that are genuinely urban for surface parking.

    I would throw a fit if it happens again, and I don't doubt it for some reason. The SW corner of Hudson and 12th is currently where a large surface parking lot is going in for Plaza Court overflow (there was an hour and a half wait at McNellie's last Wednesday when I was there so I don't doubt they need it). We're seeing parking get tight in areas OTHER than Bricktown and in order to achieve a short term fix, we're seeing a lot of surface parking go up.

    This is why we need the streetcar to happen ASAP. Also, aside from the fact that a garage may need to be built that MidTown and A-Alley can share, what about existing garages? There are several parking garages at St. Anthony's that Plaza Court customers could park at, and there's also a relatively new garage at NW 5th behind the new Downtown Y, between Broadway and the tracks, that I know is virtually empty after 5. What about using that?
    This is what always happens in this town. There are sacred cows -- like the Community Foundation -- that do whatever they want, even if it is bad for the city. This is similar to the Chamber wanting to build that anti-pedestrian building downtown.

    We need the damn Chamber and Community Foundations to be stewards of the community and set good examples for development.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan View Post
    This is why we need the streetcar to happen ASAP. Also, aside from the fact that a garage may need to be built that MidTown and A-Alley can share, what about existing garages? There are several parking garages at St. Anthony's that Plaza Court customers could park at, and there's also a relatively new garage at NW 5th behind the new Downtown Y, between Broadway and the tracks, that I know is virtually empty after 5. What about using that?
    Now we can get into discussions about who should pay for the garages. After 5:00 pm, should a parking garage be free for shoppers? If it's privately owned, can an arrangement like that be made?

    The Plaza District is also experiencing parking issues, especially on nights when Lyric has a show going. If we really do strengthen the urban core, we'll need a coordinated approach for all of these districts. Who should lead it? The community, or the City?

  19. #19

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    Quote Originally Posted by soonerguru View Post
    This is what always happens in this town. There are sacred cows -- like the Community Foundation -- that do whatever they want, even if it is bad for the city. This is similar to the Chamber wanting to build that anti-pedestrian building downtown.

    We need the damn Chamber and Community Foundations to be stewards of the community and set good examples for development.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    Wow. Good posts by Soonerguru and Cafeboeuf.

    Guru --
    The chamber didn't prefer the design they ended up going with. They wanted to do a complete pedestrian-friendly overhaul of the interchange where E.K. Gaylord would have dead-ended at 4th and not sloped into Broadway which would have just met at 4th and then gone straight into downtown. City engineers put the breaks on that. If we really want to criticize someone for the chamber plans, the city has to take the fall for that, not the chamber. (sorry I just have to defend the chamber)

    Cafe--
    You're right. Someone has to be responsible for the parking. I can see an argument made that both the city or the community should be responsible for parking. If developers are paying to put up surface lots, that costs a lot of money, they could just give that money to the garage operators instead..granted their patrons would have to walk 2 or 3 blocks further. The city should also take the charge, like Wichita where the CITY there owns and operates a FREE parking garage for their little old town area. The reason we can't do that though is because, in OKC municipal organization, what entity operates public parking? COTPA. Nuff said.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    If this is really for a surface parking lot, here's what truly amazes me: The community foundation already has a good-sized parking lot behind their building. Further, while pocket parks I guess are neato and everything, they could have easily added another 10-15 parking spaces just by extending the existing lot into their little, sorry to say useless, green space.

    I can't imagine that there is just such an enormous demand for parking at the community foundation that it warrants flippantly blowing away another(albeit small) piece of history for a little extra convenience. A really nice little building is now gone forever. This should have been the last resort.

    On a side note, I'm surprised to see that Steve Mason is actually the president of their board of trustees. To me that puts a little twist on things as it would seem this is a bit of a slap in the face to him(in particular, among others) in light of what he's trying to accomplish just one block over. I'm very interested in how it came to this, although I'm sure we'll never know. Maybe there's more to this story.

    Newsflash to anyone here whining about parking: Our urban districts already have WAY more parking than other cities. Automobile Alley looks like a hockey players mouth & Bricktown is almost nothing but parking(look at the aerials).

  22. #22

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    Quote Originally Posted by cafeboeuf View Post
    The Plaza District is also experiencing parking issues, especially on nights when Lyric has a show going
    The plaza district has a whole neighborhood full of streets behind it for people to park on. I've walked 15-20 blocks to see a show before in my hometown.

    Is the Lyric experiencing attendance issues due to lack of parking?

  23. #23

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    Quote Originally Posted by wsucougz View Post
    The plaza district has a whole neighborhood full of streets behind it for people to park on. I've walked 15-20 blocks to see a show before in my hometown.

    Is the Lyric experiencing attendance issues due to lack of parking?
    The neighborhood is the issue. If I was a resident, I wouldn't want my street filling up with people driving in and out. Also, lighting in the neighborhood is quite poor, so it's not a safe-feeling walk. I've walked/driven around at night to research this very thing in the Plaza.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    Quote Originally Posted by cafeboeuf View Post
    The neighborhood is the issue. If I was a resident, I wouldn't want my street filling up with people driving in and out. Also, lighting in the neighborhood is quite poor, so it's not a safe-feeling walk. I've walked/driven around at night to research this very thing in the Plaza.
    On your first point - that's part of living in a vibrant neighborhood. 39th-42nd in crown heights gets pretty crazy on the weekends. It is what it is.

    On your second point - It's way cheaper to address the lighting issue than to build a parking garage.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Automobile Alley building - demolished

    It's not that the Plaza is still a sketchy part of town that patrons don't feel safe in. In fact, Gatewood is becoming one of the city's more prestigious neighborhoods. The area to the south doesn't seem to be making the same kind of progress, granted.

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