A MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
PREPARED BY BENJAMIN FULGEIN1ZI Hi
A MASTER'S THESIS PROGRAM FOR A MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT
Presented to the College of Environmental Design University of Colorado at Denver
Completed as Master of. Architecture program requirement
Prepared by Benjamin Fulgenzi III
Within the next five to ten years the city of Denver will suffer from a serious housing shortage. This shortage is attributable to the growth resulting from the development of the energy resources of the Rocky Mountains. The growth can be characterized by sprawl, urban development, transportation development and a general populus of young adults.
As a result of this growth, Denver's urban core has turned into an 8-to-5 area. The retailers of the core are suffering from lack of business and slowly going out of business. Regional shopping centers are taking clientele from the core area by offering a more condensed variety of shops and the proximity to the buyers' homes.
In a report prepared by The Denver Urban Observatory, it has been suggested that extensive residential areas in or close to the core of Denver be developed. By doing so, the business, transportation and tax revenues of the core area will be rejuvenated, thereby creating an overall improvement in quality for the core and in the vitality of Denver's downtown area. Further, it is stated that this development can be accomplished by a regional transportation center within the core in conjunction with the residential developments. It will require commitments from the City of Denver and the commercial and retail business groups to provide attractions which will create and reinforce a residential
In an attempt to satisfy some of these objectives, a newtown has been proposed by the Burlington Northern Development Corporation to be located in the Platte River basin, just north of the Central Business District of Denver. The basin is approximately 500 acres, and the newtown would house approximately 10,000 to 12,000 residents. Included in this program is a copy of an article printed in The Denver Post in the fall of 1979* Acknowledging The Denver Urban Observatory, it reinforces the need for a
newtown 'in town'.
$anar Pest Staff Writer Stroaget iffisal lea-fe-sfeip a needed K ^enverfsto encourage effectively much-sseeded raakBr-sad upper-middit income pHSi&g m the downtown area, a sew atojy by the Denver Urban Observatory
The study said aa snalyate ef ether American dties wfth largestabte down %>wn populations revealed a strong commitment by local public officials, private sector leadership, or both.
"WHILE LEADERSHIP has come jfrorp both the public aad private sectors 5m Denver tor each things as informative dies, the 13th Street Mali proposal and Skyline Project, there has yet to be kind of sustained readership wised I les a sense of direction or instills a public policy commitment to resiflep-
ttau deveiepaest of the drwstowt area," the study maintains.
The 136-page study, wiacb iratteDy was suggested by former City Councilman Don Wyman, noted that Denver is in a downtown boom period of high-rise office construction.
But. according to the study, the missing ingredient, the basic for a vibranr center city, is people who live as well as work in the downtown area "
The study, which wiE be presented to the City Council and Mayor BCl KcNi-chois Tuesday, recommend* a seven-point acbon progmm to encourage private investment to downtown housing.
The study's research team ofUnivera-ty of Denver and University of Colorado professors and students based the recommendations on an analysis of what other major cities have eons to revitalize downtown residential bousing.
IN ADDITION to improved leadership, the study recommends adopting a detailed resadesfitol use plan" for downtown, including provisons for miniparks, open spaces and walkways.
The study said Denver should resurrect plans to develop a New Town In Town on 560 acres of vacant land near the South Platte River and ZSrd Street Viaduct. The Burlington Northern Railroad, the major landowner to the area, withdrew a controversial 1975 plan to bund a residential, commercial and industrial. complex on the land.
The observatory study said the city should develop a new plan for the area, empfcastang reside nua: use with supporting shopping and employment centers.
The city should try to get the coopera-CoRtfauwi on poge 19.
New Townin Town
tioE of the landowners, according to the study. But it argued that the area is "of suet: importance that all legal tools available should be considered, including the use of urban renewal techniques If necessary."
The study also recommended that the
citys entire lower downtown area be designated a historic zone," as has been done to Boston, New Orleans and other unties.
Destruction of buildings for the purpose of creating commercial surface
.parking lots should be prohibited," the -Uidv sard.
The study suggested that Denver needs an active campaign to sell the city as an attractive place to live.
Currently, there is no organized effort to publicize the advantages of living downtown," the study said. An effort to promote positive facts about the city can dispel negative images that may exist."
Such projects as Larimer Square and the 16th Street Mall, which emphasize pedestrian rather than automobile use, should be ercouraged, the study said.
The study also suggested Denver fol-
low Philadelphias example and .provide highly viable patrolmen-on-foot to the downtown area to reduce the fear of crime. v
In order to encourage financing of downtown housing projects, the study recommended seeking legislation permitting a tax abatement system exempting developers from property' taxes for 10 to 15 years. Under tax abatement, the developer doesnt pay taxes above what was paid before the improvements
The dty also should consider a 5- to 10-year tax moratorium on residential reha
telitatior improvements fix select downtown areas, according to the study.
And, the study argued that Denver
should give immediate consideration to establishing a downtown development authority :o develop housing through a tax mill levy.
Among suggestions on how to attract people to the downtown area is a recommendation that Denver establish a per manent facility for a farmers market Such a facility, perhaps at Union Station, would benefit the fanner and consumer as well as bring thousands of people downtown, the study said.
The study on which this program is "based is an analysis of 115 acres within the 500-acre Platte River basin. It primarily addresses the physical environment and illustrates housing that would be possible for the area, based on the physical elements. The financial feasibility of developing the area is not included in this study.
The population defined in the study varies from 3>000 to 9>000 totally. A design for the transportation and movement systems is proposed along with the creation of a regional transportation center. (See study maps.)
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Within this study area, I have chosen a site for my thesis. The site contains approximately 10.5 acres, bounded by Cherry Creek, Fifteenth Street, Delgany Street and approximately 400 feet south of the Platte River. (See site maps.)
I have chosen this site for its good vehicular access, the potential for a sound residential development and a favorable exposure to the sun and views. The fact that the site is bounded by Cherry Creek reinforces the desirability of developing housing along its bank.
Furthermore, the site is close to two historic redevelopment districts. To the north of the site across the Platte River, some of the oldest structures in Denver still stand and are being utilized successfully as office space, restaurants, retail space, art galleries and live performance theaters. To the south of the site stands another historic group of buildings. One is being used by The Denver Center for the Performing Arts as a set design and construction shop; the others contain functions that will likely relocate to better facilities when the newtown develops. I am proposing that these historic structures be used for restaurants and lounges and that a farmers market' be created out of the Burlington Northern freight station. The intent of the suggested reuse is to preserve an historic district and to provide functions that reinforce a vitality characterized by 2^-hour use.
The goal of my thesis will be to develop, in design form, a close-knit network of activities. The activities will characterize the values that the residents of the area will share. These common values include proximity of housing to the Central Business District, use of open space, use of facilities, employment location and lifestyle. This development will be a combination of housing, employment, recreation and restaurants.
The market to which this project is directed consists of middle-and upper-middle income families. This market has been described in the aforementioned report by The Denver Urban Observatory.
The report concludes that the particular market exists now and will be even more in evidence within the next five to ten years.
With this market in mind, the following unit and square footage summaries will be proposed as a preliminary design tool.
The estimated number of dwelling units is 200. The mix of these will be thirty one-bedroom units, sixty two-bedroom units and one hundred ten three-bedroom units. The majority of these units will be apartments; the remaining units will be condominiums.
One-bedroom units @ 800 s.f./uni t
Two-bedroom units @ 1200 s.f./unit
Three-bedroom units @ h-* Vj~\ o o s.f./unit
Minimum total @ 1200 s.f.
Minimum total @ 800 s.f.
Includes: Public waiting space General office Private office Staff restroom Supply storage Interview room(s) Record vault Janitor closet
Proposed square footage summaries (cont'd.)s
Minimum total @ 1^00 s.f.
Includes: Shop with workbench
Service sink Tool storage Restroom Paint storage
Some residential units will be provided with space for a wadher and drier; others will use a laundry room at 10 units/washer and 20 units/drier.
Residential parking @ 1 space/unit, plus 1/2 to 1/3
space for guests Retail parking @ 2:1
Garbage and Refuse Area(s)
General Storage (additional)
Total range @ 2,000 to 3*000 s.f.
Possible use: Convenience store
Theater/performance space Plaza activities area Loading area
The basic spatial relationships of the functions in the site element diagram that follows will be proposed,
SITE ELEMENT DIAGRAM Re. Time Saver Standards
The Housing and Urban Development's Minimum Guidelines indicates that a favorable development would include a land use intensity of 20 to 30 units per acre and 69% open space. To satisfy densities of this magnitude, I have suggested walk-up units (condominiums) @ 20(+) units/acre and a high-rise apartment structure @ 30(+) units/acre.
In developing the Platte River basin to reflect the character and scale indicated in the previous studies, I am suggesting a change in zoning from 1-2 to a Planned Unit Development.
1. Bacon, Edmund, Cities.
2. Bacon, Edmund, Downtown Philadelphia: A Lesson in Design
for Urban Growth.
3. Boston Redevelopment Authority, General Plan for the City
of Boston: 1965/1975.
4. Breines and Dean, The Pedestrian Revolution.
5. BSl/Westinghouse Joint Venture, Fort Lincoln Newtown. (1972)
6. Burlington Northern Development Corporation, Del E. Webb
Corporation and DMJM-Phillips-Reister, The Concept Plan for a Newtown.
7. Chiara and Koppelman, Planning Design Criteria.
8. City of Philadelphia, Capital Program 1971-1976. (1970)
9. Corde Corporation, A Report on the Educational Park.
10. Crane, David A. and Associates, Quality in Environment: An
Urban Design Study for the City of Albuquerque, N.M.
11. Dawe, Patrie, Philadelphia Model Cities Program Urban
Design Process. (1969)
12. Denver Building Codes.
13. Denver Post, "Denver Leadership Need Cited". (Fall, 1979)
14. Denver Urban Observatory, Development of Residential Areas
in Downtown Denver.
15. Denver Zoning Regulations.
16. Heckscher, Open Spaces.
17. Housing and Urban Development, Minimum Guidelines.
18. Le Corbusier, The Athens Charter.
19. Lynch, Kevin, Image of the City.
Murphy, C.F. and Associates, 16th Street Mall: Planning and Preliminary Design. (1974)
21. New York State Urban Development Corporation, Lysander New
Gommunity Working Papers.
22. Philadelphia City Planning Commission, West Poplar Neighbor-
hood Development Program Design Controls. (1969)
23. Redstone, The New Downtowns.
24. Ritter, Paul, Planning for Man and Motor. (1964)
25- Rudofsky, Bernard, Street for People.
26. Urban Design, "Auto Restricted Zones". (1977)
27. Wallace, McHarg, Roberts and Todd, An Ecological Planning
28. Wallace, McHarg, Roberts and Todd, L.A./CBD: General Plan
Development Study. (1971)
29* Wallace, McHarg, Roberts and Todd, Metro Center/Baltimore Technical Study. (1970)
Burlington Northern Development Corporation
Contacts William E. Pierce, General Manager Re: Newtown development; rail location
Denver Planning Department, City and County of Denver
Contacts: Gayland McFadden, Doug Goedart
Re: Current plans for Central Business District
Department of Public Works, City and County of Denver
Contact: John Stamm, design engineer
Re: Sixteenth Street mall and effect on traffic
Department of Traffic Engineering, City and County of Denver Contact: Dee Farar
Re: Destination and origin study
Department of Waste Water Management, City and County of Denver Re: Flood plains
Contact: Floyd Reister, Vice-President
Re: Newtown proposal for Burlington Northern
Development Corporation and Del E. Webb Corporation.
Lombardi and Associates
Contact: Richard Nelson, Architect
Re: Condominium development in Central Business
Norman Jackson, Architect
Re: Design studio project and thesis
Regional Transportation Department, City and County of Denver
Re: Current plans for Sixteenth Street mall;
origin and destination study for Fifteenth and Sixteenth Streets.