The Eclipse

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
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woofner
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby woofner » February 14th, 2014, 11:03 am

I think they were added at the same time as the Downtown Neighborhood district around 2011 or so. You could prove me right or wrong by looking at the (online!) municipal code of ordinances, which lists the date of enactment or alteration for each section and most subdivisions.
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John
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby John » February 14th, 2014, 11:06 am

Archiapolis wrote: I don't know who said it but to think that the parking counts on this project wouldn't set a precedent is extremely naive. Our entire legal system is based on "precedent" and "case law." To think that the next developer wouldn't point to this and say, "But HE got a parking increase, why can't I?" is ludicrous.

Agree . It actually has the potential to set up the city for lawsuits by developers. What the city should do is permit an increase in the parking ratios with strict conditions that improve the urbanism of a proposal in other ways. Also, they could require the parking ramp structure to be engineered so part or all of it could be reconfigured into a non parking use in the future.

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woofner
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby woofner » February 14th, 2014, 11:15 am

No. That's not how zoning law works. Because built into the legal framework for a zoning variance is the principle that the rationale for the variance is based on the unique characteristics for the site. So legally the only precedent that is set by granting a variance is for the next project on the same site.

Of course the rationale necessary for the variance is legally nebulous, granting a variance creates the cultural conditions where it's acceptable to grant more variances. But should a variance be denied, the applicant does not have the right to sue just because other variances have been approved.
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby John » February 14th, 2014, 11:23 am

woofner wrote:No. That's not how zoning law works. Because built into the legal framework for a zoning variance is the principle that the rationale for the variance is based on the unique characteristics for the site. So legally the only precedent that is set by granting a variance is for the next project on the same site.

Of course the rationale necessary for the variance is legally nebulous, granting a variance creates the cultural conditions where it's acceptable to grant more variances. But should a variance be denied, the applicant does not have the right to sue just because other variances have been approved.
Thanks for the clarification. I hope you are right. But there are a lot of clever lawyers out there! ;) I do give Mr Stanton credit for being frank and upfront about his desire for a variance. But I'm not so sure his site has " unique characteristics" for an increase in the parking ratio. It almost appears like the exact opposite is true. That will be up to the experts in City Hall to decide...

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Nathan
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby Nathan » February 14th, 2014, 11:59 am

I think that maybe we should also consider that if this project accommodates our current use of automobiles, it might also serve as over flow parking for future project that can then be built with less parking. it could go to show that is super emptyand future developers would be able to to contract out parking, it just realize their project won't need it. we're calling it a bad precedent, but it may prove to be a good precedent too.

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Re: The Eclipse

Postby John » February 14th, 2014, 12:19 pm

Nathan wrote:I think that maybe we should also consider that if this project accommodates our current use of automobiles, it might also serve as over flow parking for future project that can then be built with less parking. it could go to show that is super emptyand future developers would be able to to contract out parking, it just realize their project won't need it. we're calling it a bad precedent, but it may prove to be a good precedent too.
Interesting perspective. Kind of what happened with the Mozaic phase three project.

Archiapolis
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby Archiapolis » February 14th, 2014, 12:22 pm

woofner wrote: Of course the rationale necessary for the variance is legally nebulous, granting a variance creates the cultural conditions where it's acceptable to grant more variances. But should a variance be denied, the applicant does not have the right to sue just because other variances have been approved.
Sorry, I did not mean to say that there was anything legally binding in a precedent as it relates to a granted variance. I was trying to describe the FRAMEWORK of how precedents operate and using law to illustrate that framework.

Your second paragraph makes the germane point - "...granting a variance creates the cultural conditions where it's acceptable to grant more variances." I'm not talking about legal redress, I'm talking about political pressure being exerted once a precedent has been established. Nice clarification.

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Re: The Eclipse

Postby Archiapolis » February 14th, 2014, 12:27 pm

Nathan wrote:I think that maybe we should also consider that if this project accommodates our current use of automobiles, it might also serve as over flow parking for future project that can then be built with less parking. it could go to show that is super emptyand future developers would be able to to contract out parking, it just realize their project won't need it. we're calling it a bad precedent, but it may prove to be a good precedent too.
Interesting premise but this opens the door for "speculative parking ramps" being built/attached to projects. "Oh, I'm building all of this extra parking for the CITY, not my project. Sure, this overparking benefits my project now but maybe later another project can go next door and maybe they could use some of my parking then (after writing a nice check for each stall that they want $$$). Should we really be granting variances for "speculative parking?" I could listen to this if there was a MANDATE that x number of stalls be allocated to other uses after a set date. It would be interesting to see a developer's reaction to the premise that they build/pay for parking stalls now just to hand them over later - I don't see it but what do I know?

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Nathan
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby Nathan » February 14th, 2014, 3:17 pm

Archiapolis wrote:
Nathan wrote:I think that maybe we should also consider that if this project accommodates our current use of automobiles, it might also serve as over flow parking for future project that can then be built with less parking. it could go to show that is super emptyand future developers would be able to to contract out parking, it just realize their project won't need it. we're calling it a bad precedent, but it may prove to be a good precedent too.
Interesting premise but this opens the door for "speculative parking ramps" being built/attached to projects. "Oh, I'm building all of this extra parking for the CITY, not my project. Sure, this overparking benefits my project now but maybe later another project can go next door and maybe they could use some of my parking then (after writing a nice check for each stall that they want $$$). Should we really be granting variances for "speculative parking?" I could listen to this if there was a MANDATE that x number of stalls be allocated to other uses after a set date. It would be interesting to see a developer's reaction to the premise that they build/pay for parking stalls now just to hand them over later - I don't see it but what do I know?
I mean more like if Shamrock builds all these, spends the money to do it, and then it doesn't make money for them, other developers will see that and not think it's the best idea to do. It's a lot of what if, and I definitely don't think it's great for a developer to add parking to a neighborhood flush with it. There are cases where I don't think it's so bad, IE Theater Garage Marquee...

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Re: The Eclipse

Postby twincitizen » February 14th, 2014, 4:02 pm

I just think that if we're going to allow developers to "experiment" and grossly overbuild parking, we should maybe not conduct that experiment at Hennepin & Washington.

Stanton's ideology (and prospective tenants, honestly) seem like a better fit for the Mill District, Loring Park, or upper reaches of the N.Loop.

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Re: The Eclipse

Postby Tyler » February 14th, 2014, 4:06 pm

twincitizen wrote: Stanton's ideology (and prospective tenants, honestly) seem like a better fit for the Mill District, Loring Park, or upper reaches of the N.Loop.
I completely agree with this.
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby MNdible » February 14th, 2014, 5:11 pm

twincitizen wrote:Stanton's ideology (and prospective tenants, honestly) seem like a better fit for the Mill District, Loring Park, or upper reaches of the N.Loop.
That may be true, but will the city really dismiss a $100m project over a few dozen extra parking spots? Will they call Stanton on this and see if he's bluffing?

I'm really not convinced that Stanton needs these extra spots -- see the old Stonebridge thread for my bona fides on this -- but to say that people who want two parking spots have no business living in this location seems a bit heavy handed.

I tend to believe that one parking space should be plenty for a good number of the buyers. But sometimes it's not -- and it's easier to say "no" if there's a convenient option for contract parking nearby, to house a second car that might be used less frequently. Not sure what options for that would be at this location.

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Re: The Eclipse

Postby John » February 14th, 2014, 6:56 pm

To be sure, Stanton viewpoint is not a good fit for the Eclipse site. He's not the right person to build here. This is a parcel for a developer who has experience building pedestrian friendly, high density housing in areas of a large city that are walkable and have good public transit. Hennepin and Washington is one of the few areas in town that are truly walkable and have good access to public transit and other amenities. Those qualities should guide the design, but instead it's as if Stanton is trying to build something that almost sabotages the evolving character of the neighborhood.

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Re: The Eclipse

Postby Chauncey87 » February 14th, 2014, 7:50 pm

I have to add that before any shovel hits the dirt Stanton has already spent a significant amount of time and money. This project wasn't just conceived weeks or even months ago. The owner has sat on this land for years knowing full well the longer he sits on it the more it will cost to develop. Now after careful calculations going over every SQ inch of space it was determined that HE would be able to make money with the project that we see before us. Just adding a couple extra floors would involve even more time and money.

Could some minor exterior improvements be changed without exploding the budget. Yes that could happen however I would personally be disappointed if the colors or massing changed much. The boldness of this tower(s) in unlike anything seen in Minneapolis.

The last thing is about the parking this back and forth on how there is way to much parking is just getting old. This is not Stanton's first foray building in Minneapolis. The math involved in considering how many parking spaces will be needed is much more complex then chucking a dart at the wall. The cost of parking is a very expensive game where if you build to much your going to be left with some egg on your face. The people he sees buying into this project are going to be first timers from the suburbs who HE thinks would want to continue to own there car(s). He is not building this for already established urbanites like many of the posters here.

Plus did any of you notice how there is not a skyway into this building? I would guess hundreds of extra people walking around everyday with their dogs or going to whole foods would negate much of the complaints I read here how "poor" this building meets the street. Who cares to even notice a standard entrance into a building when you have to focus on not running into other people?

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FISHMANPET
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby FISHMANPET » February 14th, 2014, 9:41 pm

I somewhat agree that maybe Stanton isn't the right person to do this, but are there any other developers willing to build condos? Especially when the condos Stanton builds are so far below what anyone else has tried to build, pricewise.

mattaudio
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby mattaudio » February 15th, 2014, 9:25 am

Exactly. Not sure why everyone is so uptight about this. Sure, let's try to push for better frontage along the sidewalks... but beyond that, I don't get what the problem is.

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Re: The Eclipse

Postby John » February 17th, 2014, 7:09 pm

^^^All anybody needs do is take a look at the Alatus project a few blocks away and compare. Both are essentially rectangular boxes with quite different results.

Image

Image

Tyler
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby Tyler » February 17th, 2014, 7:24 pm

So... which one is supposed to look better?
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby seanrichardryan » February 17th, 2014, 7:27 pm

Tyler wrote:So... which one is supposed to look better?
I think it's a trick question.
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Re: The Eclipse

Postby John » February 17th, 2014, 7:54 pm

Tyler wrote:So... which one is supposed to look better?
It's not exactly so much one looks better, but the Alatus project has some context to the intersection and has some variety in materials setbacks etc. so its not quite as hulking. The street level is very well defined and pedestrian friendly. I mean, the Alatus project is no masterpiece of architecture, but it does make an attempt to address some design concerns and connect with Washington Ave. I don't see that at all in The Eclipse. It looks like it belongs in downtown Phoenix on a freeway interchange :?


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