Joe Urban | Sam Newberg, Urbanist

How to Improve East Lake Street

Dateline: 10:21 am September 13, 2012 Filed under:

What is going on with East Lake Street in Minneapolis? That’s the question the Longfellow Community Council (LCC) asked me last year when I was tasked with a market study to determine reasons and solutions for a stubbornly high commercial vacancy rate. The answer goes far beyond waiting for retail demand to return and space to absorb. East Lake Street (between Hiawatha Avenue and the Mississippi River) suffers from a variety of systemic maladies, just like any number of aging commercial corridors around the country. The good news is there is a lot of potential, with a corridor vision, attention…

Form Based Code to Guide Austin’s Airport Boulevard

Dateline: 7:02 am August 1, 2012 Filed under:

Austin, Texas is home to a growing list of high-quality urban infill projects, from small examples like Saltillo Lofts to large-scale redevelopments like the Mueller Airport project. Until now, however, there were no examples of how to redevelop aging automobile-oriented commercial corridors. The Airport Boulevard project seeks to change that. In a complex public/private partnership, the city of Austin is working with Fort Worth-based Gateway Planning Group to create a master plan and implementation program for redevelopment of the corridor, including a large underutilized mall and various smaller sized-sites along a three-mile stretch of Airport Boulevard. The roadway was originally…