Creating walkable, urban, human-centered neighborhoods in the Granary District.
I think the Granary is the perfect spot for "middle housing", which refers to the type of housing which is between suburban single family and mid-rise apartments/condos. This includes duplexes, mansion apartments, courtyard apartments, townhomes, etc. This goes along well with the proposals for the fleet block discussed in the charrette.
If well designed, these middle housing products can create a great walkable, urban atmosphere without having to go vertical. There's already some mansion apartments and live/work townhomes in the area.
I'd be curious to hear where people think would be the best spots for this.
Here's a great article that discusses the "missing" middle housing.
And, here's some pictures that show some examples:
You're dead on, Jon. These middle housing building types are great examples of units that can fit in well with the existing built environment of the Granary, while providing a diversity of options for diverse people. The rising generation, Gen Y, those born between 1980 and 2000 roughly, are the rising MIDDLE class. These kinds of housing types will be very appealing to us, to empty nesters, and everyone in between.
The Fleet Block plan that was produced at the charrette, applies this middle housing concept with more dense 4-5 stories on the outside of the block, and become more middle housing as you move to the inside. I'm going to do a discussion post on the Fleet Block and middle housing this next week so we can start looking at how to apply this concept in a real space in our neighborhood.
The article is fantastic, and I encourage everyone to click on the link and read it to for more information and background on middle housing options.
Great Article John. As a resident, landowner, investor and designer I'd love to see this applied to the Granary. There are so many great spots in the Granary District where this could start as infill I wouldn't even know where to recommend. I would love to see more of that around my current locations as it already has a start to it. The fleet block is another great option as well as James mentioned. This may be a bit contemporary for some. But here is a great townhome project a friend of mine, Zach Fife, sent me some pictures of that was in amsterdam.
Nice, Jon. This is the beating heart of the Granary. I don't think this emerging type of housing will be bound by names or unit "types," like suburban markets are wont to do. Size, bedrooms, baths will continue to be essential elements of any home; as will the neighborhood. Kind of like my cousin in Georgia used to say to me: "How're those grits eatin'?" The people first moving into the Granary will be constantly asked: "How's the Granary living." Density alone won't be sufficient. The neighborhood's the anchor. Design, of EVERYTHING will be possible and demanded; perhaps done collaboratively by the crowd. And what is "The Middle?" Is it the middle class, or is it the fat, sweet spot of the largest demographic cohort is history (80 mil?)? Are they going to want to be defined by name, or by lifestyle, or by anything? Will they be raising a family in the Granary; Living there as one of three working homes around the country; Using it as a home one year and a screenplay studio the next? Are all new types of this middle housing (I do agree with you, by the way, and like your examples) going to be rental, for-sale, both, or perhaps a new type of ownership based on the Zipcar model? The zillion dollar question is how the pent up demand of 80-100 million people looking for their "American Dream" is going to be met. If you ask me, the WHOLE Granary is the first out the door to answer it. The Fleet block parcel ought to point the way.
Joe, those are some great questions. It will be fun to watch as the answers unfold. I could see townhomes like those in Quinn's Amsterdam photo fitting in really well in the Granary. I could also see some more traditional looking brownstone-like townhomes being popular. I really like the idea of the mansion apartments. I'm sure that there are other funky and innovative ideas that will be explored. The awesome thing about the Granary is you likely won't find another neighborhood in the regional which is more open to innovation, let alone a neighborhood which is a 2 minute bike ride from downtown. Like you're saying, the Granary is well positioned to lead the way on this.
I think SLC needs to accelerate the process of setting up a form-based code (or some hybrid, like the points system they set up on North Temple) for at least a portion of this area. Once we get that framework in place to make sure that some fundamental urban design principles are followed, we can let the innovation take off. Once we get a good mix of buildings, then eccentric projects like the live-work townhomes on 700 South and 200 West blend in to a rich urban fabric, rather than sticking out like a sore thumb.