|Revived concept for Old City Hall site: High & Chemeketa,
which would have included the Belluschi Bank lot (far right)
It also went through approvals and traffic analysis before Bike and Walk Salem was adopted into the Transportation System Plan. So it does not necessarily accommodate the fact that Chemeketa is a designated bikeway. Similarly, it precedes the the Downtown Mobility Study and was conceptualized before there were plans to reconfigure High Street.
So what happens to the streets when this thing gets built?
(See here for the extension on the demolition permit and the site plan approval.)
CB|Two Continues to Experiment with More Walkable Designs
Remember the auto dealership that was demolished earlier this year just north of Winco and across the street from Trader Joe's?
|Now Demolished Dealership at 4403 Commercial Street SE
(look at all the blacktop and parking!)
|Concept Site Plan for new Shopping Center
via Coldwell Banker
One driveway on Commercial Street looks like it will be deleted, and the primary car access will be off of
|Building elevation from northeast corner looking southwest
via CB|Two (click to enlarge)
|I think this is from Sunnyside looking east-ish
via CB|Two (click to enlarge)
Though the renderings aren't very finely detailed, I do like the blocks and angles and nested volumes that break up the monotony of the shoebox form of the strip mall.
So the development looks to be an interesting hybrid, still very auto-oriented, but better than the standard-issue strip mall set back behind a parking lot.
But the big question is whether it will be walkable enough that it will serve as a neighborhood center in addition to being a driving destination.
|B2 Taphouse from Sidewalk: Not oriented to Commercial Street
Not far away at all from Firehouse Crossing is the b2 Taphouse. Its main entry is firmly in back, facing the parking lot and totally unrelated to the sidewalk.
It remains to be seen whether here in Salem there is an architectural configuration and the right neighborhood market that will support a fully walkable neighborhood pub or other commercial center on these very large arterials like Commercial Street, where our current zoning mandates businesses locate. (See Matt Yglesias and Kaid Benfield on why bars and restaurants are good for neighborhoods.)
In the meantime, Firehouse Crossing will be a positive transitional element, but we will wait for a real game-changer on Commercial Street.
Postscript - "apropos of nothing"
This doesn't merit a post of its own, so we'll just jam it in here...
Via Skyscraperpage and Portland Business Journal comes this design by ZGF for the "innovation center" at Kettle Foods just announced the other day.
|Kettle Innovation Center, ZGF architects
Even if you say it's junk food, it's still agricultural industry, exactly the right sector for us here. (It would be a difficult and very cranky argument to say this is the wrong kind of economic development for us here, wouldn't it? Isn't this a lot better and less toxic than a lot of heavy industry or technology manufacturing?)
But how do we knit this into the city? Is it even possible?