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Re: Thrivent Headquarters Block - 6th St and Portland Ave

Posted: August 9th, 2019, 8:47 am
by mattaudio
I've long thought the City could play a more active role in trying to focus retail onto certain corridors in "new" neighborhoods:
- Higher priority for incremental or CIP projects to improve bike/walk/on-street parking with a reduction in travel lanes.
- Carrots to encourage going above and beyond minimums.
- Mild sticks to discourage squatting on vacant retail storefronts (this should be citywide).
- Waive certain fees to encourage new businesses that activate the sidewalk: Waive SAC, sidewalk cafe permits, etc.

Re: Thrivent Headquarters Block - 6th St and Portland Ave

Posted: August 9th, 2019, 2:48 pm
by twincitizen
I definitely agree on the "focusing retail onto certain corridors/corners". North Loop seems to be the exception to that, in that you can put retail on 1st, 2nd, Washington, 5th Ave N, 6th Ave N, etc. There's enough people around during the daytime and evenings to support it.

But for newly developing parts of downtown like DTE, which are mostly going to continue 1/2-block sized new buildings with some bad frontages, the city should be more thoughtful in planning which streets and corners are more appropriate for ground floor commercial and which streets serve more of a "back street" or "commuter funnel". By grouping that retail a little better at certain corners/corridors, these developing areas have a better chance to achieve the concentration of retail/restaurants/service necessary for it to feel like a "place". So like for example, I'd say 3rd Street (between Washington and 4th) in DTE is a pretty ideal "back street" that really shouldn't be a priority for retail. Chicago Avenue is a good street to concentrate ground level storefronts through DTE and Elliot Park.

Re: Thrivent Headquarters Block - 6th St and Portland Ave

Posted: August 11th, 2019, 2:43 pm
by Oreos&Milk
squrtis wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 8:50 am
Multimodal wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 8:12 am
Is daycare a good use for a first floor?
As opposed to a second or higher floor? Yes. Imagine trying to evacuate a daycare with infants and toddlers using stairs verses a door straight to the sidewalk.
I would say it's not a good usage of space on first floor, second floor would be more appropriate the horizon daycare on Hennepin comes to mind as not being very open to the street, but obviously they can't be for security reasons. That's why I think it was a lazy design, might have added a little to the budget to plan and design it to fit the space but our downtown would have been better. Still I see it as moot point retail will take time to come back and by then I'm sure they could redesign the space in 5-10 years based on the current tenants wanting space ideally by then it would be more density with retail and putting the daycare on 2nd floor.

Image

Re: Thrivent Headquarters Block - 6th St and Portland Ave

Posted: August 12th, 2019, 8:03 am
by dajazz
https://www.apnews.com/c9c940d4b2544facaf60ea18dc03e0da

A fire killed 5 children at a daycare over the weekend. I get that it would be nice to stick something like this up on the second floor of a building, but there's a reason most daycare centers are located on the first floor. State regulations call for minimum staffing levels, so in a room full of a dozen 8 month olds there only needs to be 3 teachers. It's not feasible for a teacher to go down an evac slide holding 4 kids, and it's not safe for them to go down on their own. In a real emergency they would put all the small children in one or two of the cribs and roll them outside to safety, something doable if the center is on the ground floor.

Beyond looking at extreme situations like this there are day to day reasons why the first floor makes sense. Every daycare should have an outside area for children to play. Having it on the first floor makes it significantly easier for teachers to take those students outside. Now if you want to argue that the design should be different, or it shouldn't take up so much of the street frontage, or the play area should be tucked behind the building, that's fine. But I have 0 issues with this, or any daycare downtown, occupying the first floor.

Re: Thrivent Headquarters Block - 6th St and Portland Ave

Posted: August 14th, 2019, 7:08 am
by Multimodal
dajazz wrote:
August 12th, 2019, 8:03 am
https://www.apnews.com/c9c940d4b2544facaf60ea18dc03e0da

A fire killed 5 children at a daycare over the weekend.

Now if you want to argue that the design should be different, or it shouldn't take up so much of the street frontage, or the play area should be tucked behind the building, that's fine. But I have 0 issues with this, or any daycare downtown, occupying the first floor.
I’m sure you could find a news story about seniors dying in a fire, but they live in multi-story buildings despite being in wheelchairs, walkers, & assisted living. Fire departments are bored because modern buildings have such good fire suppression.

As to your second point, that could make sense. Design the first floor so that the daycare part mostly faces the back or interior of the building, leaving more retail/services facing the street. Doing it this way for some buildings would even encourage new small businesses, as the spaces and rent would necessarily be small. You could even design the daycare in the shape of a T, where it faces the street only in the middle of the block, leaving the highly desirable & visible corners to retail & services.

Re: Thrivent Headquarters Block - 6th St and Portland Ave

Posted: August 18th, 2019, 10:42 am
by bapster2006

Re: Thrivent Headquarters Block - 6th St and Portland Ave

Posted: August 19th, 2019, 10:36 am
by luigipaladio
I will give Thrivent credit for a crisp and sleek office structure, though I’d like to hear why the architects opted to band he structure in a way that makes it seem like a bloated four story building rather than the eight story structure it actually is. It’s also good to see the new ramp almost completely covered by apartments. One more floor of them would have made the coverage complete. is the structure on top of the ramp strictly mechanical space or does it include amenity space for the apartments? Also, where does the latest proposal for the other portion of the new Thrivent HQ block stand in the approval process?

Re: Thrivent Headquarters Block - 6th St and Portland Ave

Posted: August 19th, 2019, 11:56 am
by Blaisdell Greenway
This one is turning out much better than the renderings. The taller banding gives it a more stately feel, especially compared to the busier surrounding residential facades. I think it will look really nice at dusk with all the lights on. There are still vertical mullions to be added on a few sides.

Going with 8 stories here instead of 15 was the right idea. The future adjacent building(s) on the south half conceivably could (and imho should) be much taller, at least matching the height of the WF "towers." This would provide a nice step down into the Commons park, creating visual interest within both the park and neighborhood buildings.