FROM THE LinkedIn GROUP – REAL ESTATE AND MOBILITY
TO SEE THE FUTURE OF CITIES, WATCH THE CURB. YES, THE CURB
“In 2015, Chicago’s government reserved curbside lanes on a major downtown thoroughfare for buses only, painting them a bright red. In the following year, moving and stoping violations on the road fell. Standing and parking violations almost disappeared. Bus riders were getting to where they needed to go, closer to on time—and so was everyone else.”
Promoting TOD through regional planning. A comparative analysis of two European approaches
“The analysis reveals that, albeit the two planning styles lead to different results, the main issue remains the deep coordination of land use and transport, which is hard to achieve despite dedicated efforts.”
The Quiet Revolution Happening in the Suburbs
Suburbs have always been shaped by transportation. The ones made possible by carriage and rail lines a century ago that took residents away from the pollution and noise of the big city were given the name of “streetcar suburbs.” Following World War II, the desire to leave the city and attain some space was enabled by the interstate highway system. Those suburbs were built for and around the use of automobiles. Now suburbs are being reshaped again, but this time more by communication than transportation. You might call them “smartphone suburbs.”
Thanks to autonomous vehicles, we could have these utopian, tree-filled streets
“With AVs expected to require less space on the street due to computer navigation, how much asphalt can we reclaim for other uses? With cities, such as San Francisco, considering and implementing drop-off and pick-up spaces for ride-sharing and eventually AV cars, how can we design around those new transit points and create magnets for shopping and commerce? Can these new pedestrian focused streets create enough retail and commercial activity to make up for the lack of parking meter revenue?”
BATTERY ELECTRIC VEHICLES ARE MOVING INTO THE FAST LANE
“While America’s government may be dominated by climate change deniers, polls demonstrate that the opposite is true for our citizens and for many of our state governments and largest corporations. Due to the shutdown of obsolete coal plants and the rapid growth of renewables for electricity generation, transportation is now the #1 source of U.S. CO2 emissions. Almost all of this comes from burning petroleum in internal combustion engines, which mostly produce heat. While these conventional engines are only 20% efficient, today’s electric motors can convert 90% of renewable electric energy into mechanical motion.”
Why the future of Minneapolis parking garages may not include parking
“Casey Wagner, the chief operating officer for Walker Consultants, a consulting firm with 18 offices nationwide that specializes in parking, said that while there are significant differences between parking uses and commercial and residential uses, there is no doubt that in many large cities, parking demand is declining. And while surface parking will be the first part of the supply to be converted to other uses, there could come a time when structured parking will be next.”
Cities look to replace street parking with ride-share zones
“These pilot programs, however, are about more than just Uber and Lyft. They’re about making personal pick-ups and drop-offs, as well as taxi riding, more safe and convenient for pedestrians, drivers and bicyclists, according to Lyft General Manager Steve Taylor… While it’s a bit early to start redesigning city streets for AVs, it’s strategic to at least consider those vehicles in upcoming plans, instead of waiting until AVs are already deployed and used consistently.”
Bob Lutz: Kiss the good times goodbye
‘Everyone will have 5 years to get their car off the road or sell it for scrap…They don’t trust traditional automakers, so the only autonomous car they’d buy would have to come from Apple or Google. Only then would they trust it. My reply was that we don’t need public acceptance of autonomous vehicles at first. All we need is acceptance by the big fleets: Uber, Lyft, FedEx, UPS, the U.S. Postal Service, utility companies, delivery services. Amazon will probably buy a slew of them.
The 10 Most Expensive Retail Streets in the United States
“Real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield has just published its annual “Main Street Across the World” report and New York’s Fifth Avenue has once again claimed its spot among the most expensive retail streets globally.”
Can We Just Call This a Bus?
“But if transit is going to succeed, the rail-bias cycle needs to break. And it actually can, studies have found, when buses are as good as trains.”
Ride Sharing and Driverless Cars Are Game-Changers for Real Estate and Cities
“Cities will have to adjust to the new transportation paradigm as well. The report highlights a case in Summit, New Jersey, as an early indicator of the type of policy change that could become widespread. Rather than building a needed parking garage near the train station, the city partnered with Uber to subsidize residents’ rides to and from the station. Over ten years’ time, the Uber program will cost the city $2 million—far less than the $15 million price tag for the parking structure. “This is a real tangible example of some of the implications that we should expect to see across the country going forward,” Bragg said.”
Maglev elevators set to propel skyscrapers even higher
“Using maglev technology similar to that used by upcoming Hyperloop transport systems and Shanghai’s 400kph Transrapid train service, Thyssenkrupp claims its elevator cabins can move at up to 18 metres a second, or about twice as fast as traditional lifts. By comparison, Burj Khalifa’s elevators, built by United States manufacturer Otis, travel at about 10 metres per second.
A number of buildings, including Burj Khalifa, currently use double-deck elevators to increase passenger capacity. Thyssenkrupp’s system takes it to the next level, so to speak, since the absence of cables means that several cabins can operate in the same shaft. Multi’s cabins run independently of each other and, according to the company, can be removed from shafts for servicing one at a time. Maintenance can be thus be performed on individual cabins without shutting down the whole system, leaving the rest of the cabins free to run as normal. The larger impact of removing cables from the equation, however, is that buildings will be able to reach even loftier heights.”
Here’s where you’ll live when self-driving cars rule the roads
“None of our experts predicted shifts so futuristic that they seemed radical, like a drone helipad for every home. But the transitions they do envision may be more revolutionary than we realize now. Get ready for more real estate devoted to people and green space, rather than cars; for more options for housing in different kinds of communities; and for the possibility of connecting people and regions that have often been left out.”
BIG BOX STORES ARE COSTING OUR CITIES FAR MORE THAN WE EVER IMAGINED.
“This is not important because we love multistory buildings or density. It doesn’t have anything to do with aesthetics. Rather, it’s important because that simple six-story building uses just a few dozen yards of street and sidewalk and pipe while generating tons of revenue for the city. And the Walmart, as we’ve already explained, uses massive amounts of public infrastructure, all to service just one store.
What’s more, the Walmart also requires people to drive to access it—which means they each have to own a car and money for gas and insurance—whereas the downtown store could be accessed on foot by the thousands of people whose homes are within half a mile of it for free.”
WHAT THE CAR DID — AND WHAT IT MIGHT DO
“Perhaps the most succinct explanation for why Disney did not get its future highways is that Eisenhower got his…More perversely still, the suburban lifestyle that the Interstates enabled also gave rise to an atomized, individualistic politics, which soon bred a revolt against the taxation and central planning that made their construction possible in the first place…The political and social convulsions of the next 50 years will be the real driver of our high-tech future.”
Waymo Announces ‘Fully Self-Driving Cars Are Here,’ Taxi Service Coming
“Starting now, Waymo’s fully self-driving vehicles — our safest, most advanced vehicles on the road today — are test-driving on public roads, without anyone in the driver’s seat. To date, Waymo vehicles have been operating on public roads with a test driver at the wheel. Now, in an area of the Phoenix metro region, a subset of our fleet will operate in fully autonomous mode, with Waymo as the sole driver. ”
The electric car revolution
Even without Beijing’s push, many analysts believe that electric cars have the winning economic formula — so much so that researchers at Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimate plug-ins will make up the majority of cars worldwide by 2040. Electric vehicles (EVs) have fewer than 20 moving parts, as opposed to 2,000 in combustion engines, and thus require less maintenance. Their fuel costs are much lower. When up-front prices finally drop to below those of gas-guzzlers, says Tona Seba of technology think tank RethinkX, “the rational economic choice will be to buy the EV.”
Their pizza elevator will be sorely missed!
Wazee Supper Club is closing. One of the last vestiges of the Denver I came to know after becoming of age – before the days of Coors Field – is closing. For me, one of the first classics to go was the Terminal Bar – now Jax (although Union Station has revived the name…
Wazee Supper Club had quite the run.
Denver City Council Member Beth Susman asks do you take transit, ride a bike, walk, or drive along East Colfax Avenue? Do you live near the corridor or frequent the businesses there? If so, Denver Public Works, in partnership with RTD, would like your input on Denver’s preliminary recommendation for a center-running bus rapid transit (BRT) on East Colfax Avenue. The BRT will improve travel along the corridor from I-25 to I-225. Over the next several months, the public’s feedback on Denver’s preliminary recommendation for a center-running BRT will help inform the next phase of the project. A more detailed design for BRT and project implementation schedule will be developed in 2018. Construction is anticipated to begin as early as 2020.
Council Member Wayne New reports that one of the items included in the GO Bond Transportation ballot measure is the Colfax Avenue Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). With population and business growth in the area expected to increase significantly in the next 20 years, there is an opportunity to reimagine how Colfax functions, looks and feels while accommodating an increasing need for enhanced mobility and safety along the corridor. Through extensive citywide planning efforts and input from the community, the Colfax Corridor Connections project has identified an updated alternative for dedicated center-running bus rapid transit on Colfax Avenue. They are currently weighing the pros and cons of center-running vs. side-running BRT options.
Why BRT on Colfax?
Transit Speed and Reliability: Peer cities have experienced 25-40% travel time savings over previous bus service. BRT provides a boarding experience with station features similar to rail.
- Ridership on peer center-running BRT services has increased 50-100% over previous bus service.
- Economic Development: BRT attracts public and private development. Peer systems have experienced $100 million to $5.8 billion in redevelopment and new development.
- Safety: BRT supports Vision Zero through shorter pedestrian crossings with less exposure to vehicle traffic and reduced right of way confusion.
- Place-making: Center lane stations provide opportunity for landscaping and public art. Most important, sidewalk space is free for greater retail and pedestrian oriented amenities.
Can a super-sized electric cart fix Cherry Creek traffic?
It’s one of a number of hyper-local transportation services that have deployed in Denver this year, including the three-wheeled electric “eTuks” that circulate Broadway and River North on certain days. Eco-Rides is perhaps the most ambitious of the bunch, with its six-seat vehicles — they look like futuristic, pumped-up golf carts — patrolling for passengers all day, every day in Cherry Creek. Extra-large batteries keep the two shuttles running for 12 hours on a single charge.
Shuffling the Shuttle: Could This Be the Dawn of a New Era for Denver’s Iconic Main Street?
he cost might still be up in the air, but city planners have already identified over $90 million dollars of potential funds, says Door, pointing to $72 million dollars that are set aside through DURA, roughly $10 million in grants from RTD, and another $13 million dollars from the municipal government. Choosing a design plan might be more onerous than finding funding. Right now, there are a whole lot of groups weighing in on the mall’s future — all with varying interests and ideas. And as Kaufman puts it, “When you have a lot of cooks in the kitchen, it doesn’t make the decision-making process easy.”
City Park Weather Station Closing, Leaving Central Denver Without a Temperature Reading
Denver City Council Member Kendra Black reports that as part of Denver Arts Week, Mayor Hancock challenged City Council members to come up with a creative arts and culture project for their district. Wellshire resident, Andrew Woodward submitted the winning project design for District 4. On Nov. 11, nine traffic boxes along Colorado Blvd, between Hampden and Evans, were wrapped featuring critters from Andrew’s series, “Fifty State Animals.”
Denver native and 1994 Manual High School graduate, Andrew Woodward’s series, “Fifty State Animals,” showcases official American animals from each state in the union. The animal panels will be also be featured at the Jackalope Festival, McNichols Building, Denver, Dec. 9-10. Andrew’s wife, Jessica Woodward, is also an artist who creates immaculate custom furniture. Using a variety of methods and materials, Woodward thrives with unique challenges and her compelling vision is complimented with expert craft. From jewelry desks to dining room tables her work shines and elevates every setting. Her pieces are collected across the US and have been featured in Boston Home Magazine. Jessica and Andrew met in Boston’s Fort Point Art District in 2006. After living the bohemian lifestyle together in Boston, they moved to Denver’s Wellshire neighborhood in 2013 with their two children.
Denver shows off plans to replace infamous “slot home”
“Commercial uses, it’s great to have the building right up at the edge,” Hock said, “…whereas residential, you don’t really want your living room right up against the sidewalk.”
Denver City Council Member Robin Kneich reports that Sustainable City: Energize Denver achieved an 85% compliance rate. The Energize Denver ordinance was passed by Council in 2016 and requires large commercial and multifamily building owners to measure and publicly report their building’s energy performance. In October, Denver Environmental Health, which administers the ordinance, reported that 85% of buildings over 50,000 square feet had complied in the first year. Research from cities with similar laws demonstrates that just the act of measuring and reporting energy usage results in owners taking steps to improve building energy efficiency. As the largest source of emissions within the City of Denver, improving building efficiency will help protect Denver’s quality of life and strengthen our economy. Benchmarking the energy performance of buildings is the first step to understanding and reducing energy consumption. The next phase of the program will evaluate whether the ordinance should be expanded to include standards for improving the efficiency of low-scoring buildings.
Councilwoman Kneich also reports early success for Denver’s Social Impact Bond Program. In October, partners of Denver’s first-ever Social Impact Bond (SIB) to provide chronically homeless individuals with permanent housing and supportive services released the results of the first independent evaluation done by the Urban Institute. The report concluded that the program has been successful in its first year, resulting in a first “successful performance” payment of $188,000 to investors who funded the up-front services. To date, nearly 200 individuals have been housed and about 50 more participants are expected to be housed by early next year. According to the report, after six months, 95% of participants who entered housing had no exits from the program, and after one year 89% of participants who entered housing had no exits. Through the social impact bond contract, the city agreed to pay investors $15.12 each day each qualifying participant was stably housed and not in jail as a return on their investments made in housing and supportive case management services. Over the course of the evaluation of the program, and as more individuals are housed, the Urban Institute will analyze the benefits of the program to taxpayers in areas related to criminal justice and health.
The Boutique Boom: A New Crop of Hotels, Specializing in Personality, Welcome Denver Visitors
Meanwhile, across town, Cherry Creek spent most of the the last three decades as a popular shopping district with tight restrictions on construction. But a new Cherry Creek Area Plan, established in 2012, changed zoning rules allowing developers to buy up properties and create new projects based on pent-up demand for residential highrises, offices and others types of buildings
“That’s why you see such a flurry of activity,” explains Jenny Starkey, director of marketing and community relations for the Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District.
A hotel upsurge started there in 2016 with the Halcyon, a Sage Hospitality property that added 154 rooms, a rooftop bar, pool and two restaurants. This Monday, November 6, the Moxy opened, a $35 million Marriott-branded project, adding another 170 small rooms. Early next year, the Jacquard will come online with another 201 guest rooms, and spacious accommodations.
“There are now five hotels in 16 blocks; we only ever had 1.5,” Starkey says, citing the JW Marriott property and intimate Inn at Cherry Creek. The latter has recently been purchased by Matt Joblon, founding partner and CEO for BMC Investments, and the intent is to redesign the space in the not-too-distant future.
Architectural Digest reports on Denver’s proposed “supertall” skyscraper
Architecture magazines don’t pay all that much attetnion to Denver, but a 90-story high-rise, proposed for 650 17th Street got a lot of people talking. If built, the structure would be the tallest in the city, “topping out at 1,000 feet, Six Fifty 17 would stand 286 taller than the Republic Plaza building, Denver’s current tallest at 714 feet,” according to the magazine. It would house 84 luxury condos and 22,000 square feet of commercial retail space. The developer is Manhattan-based Greenwich Realty Capital. The designer is Uruguayan architect Carlos Ott, who designed the Opera de la Bastille in Paris.