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City Council Report

 

City Council Meeting: January 11, 2011

Agenda Item: 8-B

To:               Mayor and City Council

From:           Susan Cline, Acting Director of Public Works

Subject:        Concept Design for Parking Structure 6

 

 

Recommended Action

Staff recommends that the City Council:

1)    Review and provide input on the proposed design concepts for Parking Structure 6.

2)    Approve the recommended design direction.

3)    Direct staff to move forward with schematic design.

 

 

Executive Summary

Morley Construction Company was hired to be the design-builder for the rebuild of Parking Structure 6. The design-build team includes International Parking Design, Inc. (IPD) as the parking designers and Behnisch Architect as the design architect.  The conceptual design of Parking Structure 6 is complete and has been presented to the Bayside District Board and the Planning Commission for input.  The Commissioners’ comments are included in this report.  Staff is now requesting Council to review the proposed conceptual design package (Attachment A) and provide feedback for incorporation in the schematic design.

 

 

Background

On December 19, 2000, Council established the Downtown Parking Task Force in response to a Planning Commission suggestion for a public process to assess community sentiment regarding the “Downtown Parking Management Program” report by Kaku Associates, dated April 2000, which recommended public parking modifications in the downtown area.  On April 9, 2002, Council conceptually approved the Downtown Parking Task Force’s recommended strategic plan to retrofit, rebuild and add parking resources in the downtown area over a ten-year period.  On February 28, 2006, Council approved the Downtown Parking Program and authorized staff to proceed with the next steps to implement the program. On May 9, 2006, Council approved the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the program. On September 8, 2009, Council accepted the Walker Parking Study which made a number of recommendations about how the City can manage and plan for future parking needs.  Reconstruction of Parking Structure 6 was among the Walker Parking Study’s recommendations.

 

On June 30, 2009, Council approved Morley Construction Company as the design-builder for Parking Structures 1 and 6.  At the November 10, 2009, study session to discuss concept massing, urban design, circulation and cost implications of rebuilding Parking Structures 1 and 6, Council recommended that only Parking Structure  6 be designed at this time since the current parking needs as identified  in the Walker Parking Study did not support the design of additional parking structure.  On May 11, 2010, Council approved a contract with Morley Construction Company for preconstruction and design services for Parking Structure 6.  The design team includes International Parking Design, Inc. as the parking designers and Behnisch Architect as the architect for the architectural elements.

 

Discussion

The Downtown Parking Improvement Program recommended that Parking Structures 1 and 6 be demolished and rebuilt in the same locations with additional spaces, with the EIR analysis addressing an envelope of three levels below ground and up to nine levels above ground.  The recommended rebuilding of each structure would result in a net increase of up to 350 spaces per structure.  The structures were to include ground floor retail, bicycle storage facilities, and solar panels on the roof.  The new structures were designed to create safe, efficient facilities for vehicles and pedestrians.

 

The conceptual design of Parking Structure 6 provides parking in a combination of three and a half subterranean levels and eight above-ground parking levels including a rooftop deck.  The project concept design includes space for up to 90 bicycles in racks and 10 motorcycles, approximately 6,300 square feet of retail space fronting on 2nd Street, Farmers’ Market parking area/storage, general storage, and refuse and recycling bins serviced from the alley.   The overall concept design of this structure will be unique in that the public realm does not stop at the ground floor, but continues up along the entire building face.

 

The proposed design concept incorporates a dynamic circulation zone at the façade, which invites all parking patrons to make their way to 2nd Street to reduce way-finding confusion.  Patrons cascade up and down an exterior diagonal stair which weaves in and out of the plane of the façade.  The façade is pulled away at the diagonal stair, bringing the movement of people to the fore.  This serves to ensure public safety in visibility and offers patrons unique ocean views.

 

The façade also functions as a light-enhancement screen, which is carefully crafted to bring light deep into the building structure, while eliminating harsh glare at the edge.  This screen is composed of metal panels, which are folded outwards to catch and redirect high angle sunlight into the depths of the structure.  The portion which remains unfolded is perforated to allow for the passage of low angle direct light directly into the garage, and to provide a high degree of visual transparency.  This combination allows for a great amount of light to enter the garage over a longer period.  From the street, the highly transparent façade appears busy with the passage of people, and the constant ever-changing backdrop of cars.  The façade not only provides a functional lighting aspect for the parking structure, but it also creates a strong identity, enlivening the streetscape.

 

The programming elements included in the conceptual design are as follows:

·       Approximately 715 parking spaces total above and below grade, a net increase of approximately 369 parking spaces.

 

·       Above grade parking and below grade parking will function as two separate parking structures operationally.  There will be no vehicular connection between the two.

 

·       Maximum height of the structure is 84 feet to the top of the uppermost parking surface.  Presently, two of the three downtown parking structures on 2nd Street are at 84 feet.  These existing parking structures also do not have stepbacks or setbacks.

 

·       Three drive aisles to enter and exit the parking structure from 2nd Street, and all public vehicular entry and exit will be from 2nd Street.

 

·       No exit booth or parking office; patrons will pay via pay-on-foot machines.

 

·       Approximately 6,300 square feet of retail space fronting 2nd Street.

 

·       Parking area/space for Farmer’s Market staff and general storage.

 

·       30 electrical vehicle charging stations will be installed. Infrastructure for future electrical vehicle charging stations will be installed at all inner columns of the parking structure.

 

·       Bike racks on the ground level to accommodate up to 90 bicycles.  The bike area will have frontage on 2nd Street.

 

·       No public restrooms in the parking structure.  However, there will be restrooms for the retail employees.

 

·       Solar panels on the roof and designed for a minimum 80kW system.

 

·       One stair and one elevator at the northeast corner (alley). One stair and two elevators at the southwest corner (on 2nd Street).

 

·       Trash area on the alley side of the structure will accommodate a total of 14 to 20 trash and recycle bins.

 

·       Design will maximize storage space.

 

·       A public art component.

 

·       Structure will be designed to achieve LEED silver rating, if possible.

 

The new parking structure would require a conditional use permit and would have to be consistent with the Land Use and Circulation Element goals for the downtown district.  A text amendment is required to bring the zoning code into conformance with the Bayside District Specific Plan policy for allowed downtown parking structure height and to modify step-backs, set-back requirements, retail depth/height, driveway slope, projection of elevators and stair towers into the step-backs, and floor area ratio.

 

Bayside District Board of Directors Comments

On October 28, 2010, the Bayside District Board of Directors reviewed a preliminary conceptual program and design and recommended the following to staff:

·       Pedestrians should be directed to 2nd Street, and there should be no access from the alley.

 

·       No public restrooms in the structure.

 

·       Retail space can be less than 75 feet in depth.

 

·       Construction of the structure should be expedited and completed as quickly as possible.

 

Planning Commission Comments

On December 1, 2010, the Planning Commission reviewed the conceptual program and design and provided comments for inclusion in subsequent design refinements.  The Commissioners felt that the architectural design itself was going in the right direction, and they were supportive of the sustainable goals, particularly increasing natural light to decrease energy consumption.  They had the following specific comments: 

·       Diagonal stairs and front elevators are compelling design features.

 

·       A light well concept was discussed at the meeting.  Although the Commissioners found it interesting, it needs to be developed further and should be analyzed in term of its effectiveness.  (Subsequent to the Planning Commission presentation, the light well concept was abandoned due to cost inefficiencies and light transmission limitations).

 

·       Façade panel system has value if it succeeds in directing light to the interior and if it is feasible within the project’s budget.

 

While understanding that the driving design factor for this project was the need for a maximum number of parking spaces as a result of the Downtown Parking Improvement Program and the Walker Parking Study, the Commissioners expressed concerns that the investment in downtown parking structures as compared to alternative transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure was out of balance. The Commissioners also noted that if parking structures need to be built, the emphasis should be on placing them closer to the freeway to reduce congestion in the downtown area.  Other issues and recommendations by the Commissioners include:

·       Ground floor design for pedestrian orientation.

 

·       Garage at 84 feet tall, and given the bulk of the building with reduced setbacks, appeared too massive. However, as previously mentioned, presently three downtown parking structures and two buildings on 2nd Street are at 84 feet tall and do not have stepbacks or setbacks.

 

·       Maximize the sense of height and pedestrian activation at the ground floor retail space.

 

·       Improve safety by incorporating visibility, warning signals, or other features to minimize pedestrian/vehicle conflict.

 

·       Improve vehicle entry/exit by minimizing the total driveway width and considering multiple entries, including the alley.

 

·       Encourage use of bike parking by providing a clear entry from the front and adding amenities such as a bike station or adding bike parking on a widened sidewalk.

 

Preliminary estimates for Parking Structure 6 are within the anticipated budget for the project, but as design progresses and more detail is known about the parking structure, some elements of the parking structure may need to be value engineered to keep the project within budget.

 

Next Steps

Once Council approves the final concept plans, the design team will proceed with the next phases of design development:

·       Prepare schematic design of the parking structure.

 

·       Apply for a conditional use permit and present text amendment to the Planning Commission – Spring 2011.

 

·       Present 50% design documents to Council – Summer 2011. 

 

The anticipated construction start date for Parking Structure 6 is Spring 2012, with construction completion at the end of 2013.

 

Financial Impacts & Budget Actions

There is no budget/financial impact associated with this action.

 

Prepared by: Karen Domerchie, Architectural Associate

 

Approved:

 

Forwarded to Council:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Susan Cline

Acting Director of Public Works

 

Rod Gould

City Manager

 

 

Attachment A – Conceptual Design Package