Norfolk Recommendations for 21st Street Business District West of Colley Avenue

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  • Norfolk, virginia | september 2013

    Recommendations for 21st Street Business District West of ColleyPrepared by u r b a n d e s i g n a s s o c i a t e s

    2 013 u r b a n d e s i g n a s s o c i a t e s

  • 1a c k n o w l e d g m e n t

    Recommendations for 21st Street Business District West of Colley

    P R E PA R E D F O R

    City of Norfolk

    C O N S U LTA N T T E A M

    Urban Design Associates

    INTRODUCTION 2PROCESS 3ANALYSIS 4DESIGN CRITERIA 9SITE PL ANNING AND DESIGN CRITERIA FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT 18SITE PL AN AND PUBLIC PEDESTRIAN NET WORK 22THE ELEMENTS OF THE PL AN 23ARCHITECTURAL PAT TERNS FOR BUILDINGS 26DETAILED SITE PL AN AND ELEMENTS 28ADDENDUM 30

  • 2 R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s f o r 2 1 s t S t r e e t B u s i n e s s D i s t r i c t W e s t o f C o l l e y

    introduction

    View of 21st Street, looking west across Colley Avenue

    21st Street, east of Colley Avenue, is a thriving retail and business area with a distinctive character and quality of public space. 21st Street west of Col-ley Avenue, however, is very different in character the amenities and variety of uses found east of Colley. The purpose of this study is to provide design recommendations for streetscapes and design guidelines for new develop-ment. It provides an opportunity to establish guidelines for the proposed commercial development on the north side of 21st Street that includes a medical office building and The Fresh Market grocery store. The goal would be to integrate this new development into the area in such a way that it serves as a catalyst for further revitalization of this area.

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  • 3Locator Plan

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    process

    Adjacent property owners and members of the Ghent Business Associa-tion were invited to participate in informal working sessions to help the design team gain a better understanding of the area, its strengths and weak-nesses and its aspirations for the future. The first session reviewed the areas strengths and weaknesses and critiqued the new development as proposed to City Council. The second session reviewed a series of design alternatives for streetscapes and for the proposed development site. Participants raised some new issues and design ideas for consideration. The third session reviewed a series of design revisions and suggestions in response to the requests in the second meeting. In preparation for these working sessions, UDA prepared a series of analyses of the area in order to better understand its urban form and a sketch alternative designs for streetscapes and the development site.

  • 4 R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s f o r 2 1 s t S t r e e t B u s i n e s s D i s t r i c t W e s t o f C o l l e y

    analysis

    The following summary of the analyses is a synthesis of input from partici-pants and the UDA teams technical analysis of the urban form of the area.

    21st Street between Colley Avenue and Granby Street has enjoyed great suc-cess as a commercial and retail district. It has a unique character that is part of its success. It has become a successful brand and its character is an integral part of that brand. The essential attributes of this character include:

    A. There is a combination of street-oriented and parking lot-oriented retail. Some of the shops are in traditional street oriented buildings facing directly onto the sidewalk, while others are lining the edges of parking lots. The parking lots become a kind of town square. The best examples of this are parking lots that have retail frontage on three or four sides. In general, one side of 21st Street has street-oriented retail while the other side has a parking lot. In these cases there is a comfortable connection between the parking lots and the street-oriented retail. When you park, you are in a retail space and it is natural to go around the corner or across the street to the street-oriented shops. Participants contrasted this with lots behind retail, saying that it is much more difficult to customers to use these lots and therefore they discourage people from coming to the area. This can be clearly seen in the Palace Shops and Palace Station area. Both the parking lot that runs from 22nd Street to 21st Street and the one north 22nd Street on the align-ment of De Bree Avenue. They are lined with shops. In the alignment of De Bree Avenue, a small small-scale station like structure terminates the vista demonstrating an effective way to define public space with a small structure. The larger lot is across 21st Street from street-oriented retail, which defines the space.

  • 5A

    B

    A A new building with a tower terminates the vista from Debree Avenue, shields the commercial area from the train tracks, and rein-forces the architectural character of the retail district.

    B Recently renovated retail buildings in the area use simple elements like paint, awnings, canopies, and downspouts to differentiate shop-fronts and add architectural variety.

  • 6 R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s f o r 2 1 s t S t r e e t B u s i n e s s D i s t r i c t W e s t o f C o l l e y

    analysis

    B. The streetscape design along 21st Street creates a pedestrian-friendly environment. This includes a cross section with a planted verge between the curb and sidewalk, and a broad sidewalk and a smaller planting area between the sidewalk and buildings or parking lots.

  • 7C. There are interconnected networks of pedestrian routes that include crosswalks with medians and pedestrian amenities in the parking lots. This combination of street-oriented and parking lot-oriented retail is the key to 21st Streets success. An examination of the overall street network and land use patterns of the Ghent area makes it clear why this is the best form.

    Landscaped medians and crosswalks provide safe mid-block crossings for pedestrians and slow traffic

  • 8 R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s f o r 2 1 s t S t r e e t B u s i n e s s D i s t r i c t W e s t o f C o l l e y

    analysis

    Colley Avenue is perpendicular to the long dimension of the blocks. There is also a shift in the street grid along Colley Avenue. The result is that there are a great number of streets entering Colley Avenue with only a hundred feet or so between them. These streets run several blocks in both direc-tions through dense residential areas. Therefore, there are many sources of pedestrians coming to the Avenue. This is the perfect urban form for street-oriented retail.

    By contrast, 21st Street is parallel to the long dimension of the blocks. This results in far fewer streets entering it. Furthermore, the large playing fields for the two schools adjacent to 20th Street result in the residential areas being farther away than those adjacent to Colley Avenue. Therefore, it is not well suited to a traditional street oriented retail pattern. However, the combination of parking lot and street-oriented retail has the best of both forms.

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    Spotswood Ave

    Blair Middle School

    Blair Middle School

  • 9design criteria

    There was unanimous consensus that the primary goal for the area west of Colley Avenue would be to extend the character and therefore the brand of 21st Street westward to Hampton Boulevard. The design criteria, therefore, are based on the character of 21st Street east of Colley Avenue. The criteria include:

    1. Combine Parking lot oriented retail with street oriented retail

    2. Coordinate development on both sides of 21st Street

    3. Create an interconnected pedestrian network

    4. Maintain as much on street parking as possible

    5. The streetscape concepts should be implemented where possible and in other cases a modified version as was done by Robyn Thomas in the 900 block of 21st Street.

    6. The architectural character should be based on some of the existing architecture in Ghent and in the 21st Street district. Characteristics include breaking down the massing into smaller scale elements, good proportions and the use of color to articulate forms.

    7. The axis of the view to the west from the east side of Colley terminates at the existing City Buildings that will be demolished for new development. The most important point on the site will be on this axis.

    Criteria for streetscape and building design for west of Colley Avenue

  • 10 R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s f o r 2 1 s t S t r e e t B u s i n e s s D i s t r i c t W e s t o f C o l l e y

    In order to apply the criteria, it is necessary to analyze the way in which the part of 21st Street and Hampton Boulevard functions.

    TRAFFIC

    The diagram indicates relative volume of traffic flow with the different widths of the arrows: the wider the line, the greater the volume of traffic. The heaviest traffic is east of the Woodrow intersection and the lightest is west of the Azalea Court intersection. Left turns are not permitted at either the 21st Street or Woodrow Avenue intersections on Hampton Boulevard, limiting movements to right turns in and out. Azalea Court allows left turn movements and therefore is the most likely to be used. Since 21st Street west of Azalea Court has the lowest volume, it suggests a different form for this section of street should be considered.

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    design criteria

    Gates Ave

  • 11

    SITE ACCESS

    Development on the proposed development site will require access for both service and parking from 21st Street, because there is no access from 22nd Street. The most logical points of access are at the Azalea Court intersection, near the Woodrow intersection across from the driveway to parking on the south side of the street and as close as possible to the Core Avenue intersection.

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  • 12 R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s f o r 2 1 s t S t r e e t B u s i n e s s D i s t r i c t W e s t o f C o l l e y

    design criteria

    BUILDING FRONTAGE

    In order to achieve the goal of combining street-oriented buildings with parking lot-oriented buildings, there needs to be a balance in new construc-tion between the two. The heavy lines on the diagram indicate the frontage as it will be after the demolition of the existing city-owned structures.

    The recommended frontage is indicated in the brown lines: There should be street-oriented frontage on the western part of the site and parking lot-oriented frontage across from the existing retail structures on the south side of the street. This will continue the pattern east of Colley Avenue. The proposed use for the site across from the existing retail is The Fresh Market grocery store, which will need to have a strong facade to visually enclose the space when seen from 21st Street. The goal is to design the parking lot space as a town square that ties the two sides of the street together.

    The western portion of the side with street-oriented building frontage can create a dramatic entrance to this Town Square.

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  • 13

    ON-STREET PARKING

    On street parking should be maintained on both sides of 21st Street. West of Azalea Court, the low traffic volume makes it possible to consider angled parking for this area. There are a number of uses in the western end of the street that rely on parking in the city-owned lot. Angled parking would serve those uses and could be considered parking for the district.

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  • 14 R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s f o r 2 1 s t S t r e e t B u s i n e s s D i s t r i c t W e s t o f C o l l e y

    design criteria

    PUBLIC STREETSCAPES

    The same details for streetscapes that are found east of Colley should be extended. Crosswalks are recommended at both the Azalea and Woodrow intersection. The latter uses the triangle as a pedestrian island. A crosswalk with a median is recommended for the middle of the block with parking-oriented retail.

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    STREET CROSS SECTION

    It is possible to add a pedestrian island and left turn lanes within the existing curb-to-curb dimensions and maintain on-street parking. There will be two 11'-0" travel lanes, two 8'-0" parking lanes, and an 8'-0" wide island.

    8'5'

    5'

    79'-4"

    7'

    7' 8'-10" 12'-6"8' 8'30'

    46'

    46'

    11' 11'8' 8' 8'7'

    EXISTING

    PROPOSED

  • 16 R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s f o r 2 1 s t S t r e e t B u s i n e s s D i s t r i c t W e s t o f C o l l e y

    design criteria

    PEDESTRIAN NETWORK

    The public streetscapes should extend to the park at the west end of 21stStreet. To accommodate the angled parking, it may be necessary to reduce the width of this area. It is recommended that the park be re-graded to be an open green with a curving path in the middle. Pedestrian cir-culation on the new development site should coordinate with the public streetscapes. This should connect the parts of the site to the rest of the area. It includes a pedestrian path connecting the Azalea Court intersection with the front of The Fresh Market, a path across the face of the medical office building to this pedestrian route and a pedestrian path from the mid block crosswalk on the street to the entrance to The Fresh Market.

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    The existing sidewalks are uneven, in poor condition, too narrow, lacking a planted verge between the sidewalk and the street and need to be rebuilt as part of the new development. The proposed cross section includes a planted verge, wider sidewalk and planted buffer with low wall between the sidewalk and buildings and parking areas. The entry to the path The Fresh Markets front door should be marked with a pavilion or pergola that can have the stores identification.

  • 18 R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s f o r 2 1 s t S t r e e t B u s i n e s s D i s t r i c t W e s t o f C o l l e y

    Site Planning and Design Criteria for New Development

    The proposed development on the north side of 21st Street on the site of City-owned properties that have been vacant for a number of years. It includes a medical office building and The Fresh Market grocery store. A preliminary site plan sketch was presented to City Council, which has since been modified as a result of this planning process.

    The original design provided both street-oriented and parking lot-oriented retail, but did not create effective open space or an inter-connected network of pedestrian circulation.

    W 21st St

    Azalea Ct

    W 21st St

    Woodrow Ave

    The Fresh Market

    Medical Office

    Building

  • 19

    W 21st St

    Azalea CtW

    21st St

    Woodrow Ave

    The Fresh Market

    Medical Office

    Building

    The first alternative developed by the design team was one in which the grocery store was located with its side facade on 21st Street at the building plane to attempt to create street oriented retail. It fails to meet the criteria based on the 21st Street models in three ways: 1. The parking lot would extend to the railroad lines and therefore would

    have no facade facing the street to enclose the space.2. The street facade would be the side of the market, not the front and there-

    fore not provide an active retail street. While this is acceptable in the area east of Colley Avenue, where there are many street-oriented facades, it does not work where there are none others on that side of the street.

    3. The back side of the grocery store would block the view to the site from the east, which is the most important connection that needs to be made.

  • 20 R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s f o r 2 1 s t S t r e e t B u s i n e s s D i s t r i c t W e s t o f C o l l e y

    The second design concept rotated the medical office building to be parallel with 21st Street. This created the desired frontage, but compro-mised the efficiency of the parking.

    The third alternative created rect-angular parking areas that are more efficient. The medical office build-ing is within a triangular area and requires a complicated building. The drop off is on the east side of the building, which complicates vehic-ular and pedestrian circulation.

    Site Planning and Design Criteria for New Development

    W 21st St

    W 21st St

    Azalea Ct

    Azalea Ct

    W 21st St

    W 21st St

    Woodrow Ave

    Woodrow Ave

    The Fresh Market

    The Fresh Market

    Medical Office

    Building

    Medical Office

    Building

  • 21

    The preferred design for the medi-cal office building has the street facade parallel with 21st Street and the north facade parallel with the parking lot grid. The location of the building does not support the desired pattern of pedestrian circu-lation and the drop-off drive inter-rupts the pedestrian route.

    W 21st St

    Azalea Ct

    W 21st St

    Woodrow Ave

    The Fresh Market

    Medical Office

    Building

  • 22 R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s f o r 2 1 s t S t r e e t B u s i n e s s D i s t r i c t W e s t o f C o l l e y

    SITE PLAN AND PUBLIC PEDESTRIAN NETWORK

    The site plan uses the building forms that were developed collaboratively with by the developers architects. The key elements in creating an acceptable urban design for the area include: 1. The placement of the buildings2. The cross section of the street that provides a landscaped verge and a

    landscape buffer between the sidewalk and parking areas.3. Pedestrian crosswalks at Azalea Court, Woodrow Avenue, and mid-

    block on axis with the main entry to The Fresh Market.4. Pedestrian paths across the site as indicated in the plan.5. Small pavilions on 21st Street: One on axis with the entrance to The

    Fresh Market can also carry the signage for the store. The second one could be a bike storage facility at the east end of the site.

    6. Screening on the east end of the site to block views of the loading dock and the adjacent property.

    The Fresh Market

    Medical Office

    Building

    W 21st St

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    SITE PLAN AND PUBLIC PEDESTRIAN NETWORK THE ELEMENTS OF THE PLAN

    The Park and District Parking

    The section of 21st Street between Azalea Court and Hampton Boulevard would become a parking street with diagonal parking. The parking will serve the businesses in that immediate area. The design calls for removing 15'-0" of the park to provide an especially wide cartway. The park would be modified to create a better gateway into 21st Street from Hampton Bou-levard. The sidewalk would be rebuilt as a curving path through the trees. The Hampton Boulevard end of the park would be regraded to make the park more visible from the street.

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  • 24 R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s f o r 2 1 s t S t r e e t B u s i n e s s D i s t r i c t W e s t o f C o l l e y

    THE ELEMENTS OF THE PLAN

    The Town Square and Parking Court

    The medical office building and The Fresh Market Store form two sides of an urban space that is similar to the spaces east of Colley Avenue. To succeed, it needs to have a pergola or other device across the western part of The Fresh Market facade and extend in front of the rear parking. This provides a good pedestrian connection to the medical office building. The walk along the side of the medical office building connects to the crosswalk at Azalea Court. The crosswalk in the middle of the block is on axis with the entrance to The Fresh Market. A small pavilion or pergola serves as both a gateway and support for the signage for the store. The screening on the east side of the property includes a wall to block views of the loading dock and dumpsters, a bike storage shelter near the sidewalk, and either a shade canopy or row of trees to screen the adjacent property.

    The Fresh MarketMedical

    Office Building

    W 21st St

  • 25

    The Medical Office Building and Its Parking

    The medical office building is parallel with 21st Street and is set back in order to provide the preferred cross section as indicated. The main entry and drop off is on the parking lot side of the building. There is a small green at the corner next to the crosswalk, which should have some form of feature.

    Medical Office

    Building

    W 21st St

  • 26 R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s f o r 2 1 s t S t r e e t B u s i n e s s D i s t r i c t W e s t o f C o l l e y

    ARCHITECTURAL PATTERNS FOR BUILDINGS

    The architectural character should extend the image of 21st Street to this area. The buildings most vis-ible feature is the corner on the east side of the building. It will be the focus of the view from 21st Street on the east side of Colley Avenue. It is recommended to have some form of tower expression. The architec-ture should be straightforward, but the facades articulated into 30'-0" bays with elements to create some three dimensional quality. It is sug-gested that the bays be expressed through the use of changes in color, plane, or material.

    Medical Office Building

  • 27

    The architecture of the facade needs to be of suff icient scale to read strongly from 21st Street. It should be articulated into bays with a strong central portion. There should be some added elements across the facade, especially the western portion to protect and define the pedestrian circulation. Bike storage facilities should be considered for the eastern part of the facade.

    The Fresh Market

  • 28 R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s f o r 2 1 s t S t r e e t B u s i n e s s D i s t r i c t W e s t o f C o l l e y

    detailed site plan and elements

    The Fresh Market20,000 sf (approx)

    DumpsterShelter

    Bike Pavilion

    Entry Per-gola

    Existing Utility Poles

    Shade Pergola

    Medical Office Building

    30,000 sf (approx)

    W 21st St

    W 21st St

    Woodrow Ave

    PARKING

    Office Building @ 5 spaces / 1,000 sf 150

    Fresh Market @ 4 spaces / 1,000 sf 80

    Spaces Required 230

    Spaces Provided* 244

    A

    B

    C

    D

    A Main Pedestrian Entry Walk: The walk should align with the main entry of The Fresh Market. It should be slightly elevated above the parking lot to establish it as a pedestrian area and to slow vehicles as they cross it. A small entry pergola with a hanging sign should be placed at the sidewalk as a gateway, and another pergola can shade the walk as it passes through the parking lot.

    *Excess parking can accommodate cart corrals as needed, or be eliminated to increase open space in expanded landscape islands.

    B The Eastern Edge: To define the space in front of the market and to provide a buffer from the adjacent property, a continuous wall and row of trees should line the eastern edge of the parking lot. The dumpsters in the corner should be covered and screened by a small structure, and a covered bike pavilion with a hanging sign should be the entry feature at the eastern drive.

  • 29

    C The Eastern Entry Drive: The main facade and signage should remain unobstructed and highly visible to vehicles as they approach the site. Where possible, landscape islands should be planted with trees to add shade to the parking lot. The sidewalk across the entry drive should remain level, with the drive sloping up to it. To define the edge of the property and create a pleasant pedestrian experience, low plantings and walls should line the sidewalk along the front of the property.

    D The Western Entry Drive: The main facade and signage should remain unobstructed and highly visible to vehicles as they approach the site. Where possible, landscape islands should be planted with trees to add shade to the parking lot. The sidewalk across the entry drive should remain level, with the drive sloping up to it. Low plantings and walls should line the sidewalk along the front of the property to ensure a pedestrian-friendly environment.

  • 30 R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s f o r 2 1 s t S t r e e t B u s i n e s s D i s t r i c t W e s t o f C o l l e y

    ADDENDUM

    The workshops were held in March of 2013. The results were summarized in the report in May. These were discussed with the developer as he was working with potential tenants, Bon Secours and The Fresh Market. In the course of the summer, the program went through several changes, for example: at one point the Medical Office Building program expanded and the in-line retail stores were eliminated. In September, the developer met with the City with the final program, which reduced the size of the Medical Office Building and reinstated the in-line retail uses.

    Developers Response to the Design Guidelines

  • 31

    The key elements of the UDA recommendation include: An interconnected network of pedestrian circulation Streetscapes along 21st Street that continue the best examples found east

    of Colley Avenue on 21st Street, including a low brick wall and planting materials to buffer the sidewalk from the parking and street trees in a planted verge

    Crosswalks at Azalea Court, Woodrow, and in the middle of the block between Woodrow and Core Avenue

    A path with pergola directly to the front door of The Fresh Market from the crosswalk

    Landscaped paths connecting the Woodrow crosswalks and the major uses on the site

    Pedestrian path connecting the Azalea Court crosswalks across the site to the retail uses

    A covered bicycle storage structure to define the eastern edge of the space Pergolas and facilities for outdoor seating and vending along the facade

    of the The Fresh Market Architectural facades that define the space Landscaping within the parking areas to meet City standards Screening of loading and servicing functions

  • 32 R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s f o r 2 1 s t S t r e e t B u s i n e s s D i s t r i c t W e s t o f C o l l e y

    The Fresh Market

    Bike Pavilion

    Entry Pergola

    Shade Pergola

    Medical Office Building

    W 21st St

    W 21st St

    Woodrow Ave

    Aerial view illustrating the low brick wall and landscape treatment along the edge of the parking lot, the direct path to the front door of The Fresh Market, the pergolas to define the route, the crosswalk and plant-ing between the sidewalk and the street. The bicycle storage structure that defines the eastern edge of the property

    Plan illustrating Developers Current Proposal: The Medical Office Building is smaller than earlier versions and the in-line retail shops are includ-ed. Key elements include: a. crosswalks; b. pergolas; c. bicycle building; d. interconnected pedestrian network.

    The bicycle storage structure that defines the eastern edge of the property

    ADDENDUM

  • 33

    View traveling west on 21st Street at the approach to the site. The Bicycle Building marks the site and the pergola and Medical Office Building are visible in the distance.

    View of entry to parking illustrating the relationship of the facade to the street and the bicycle building and pergola as well as the corner of the Medical Office building.

    The architects are considering alternative facade treatments for The Fresh Market: A more traditional character to relate to the pro-posed Medical Office Building and a modern one in keeping with other architecture on 21st Street.

    Rendering of the character of the Medical Office Building as represented in an earlier version of the plan. The revised elevation is in process.

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    2 0 1 3 u r b a n d e s i g n a s s o c i a t e s

    All information and material in this report are subject to copyrights owned by Urban Design Associates (UDA) and other individuals or entities. Any reproduction, retransmission, republication, or other use of all or part of this document found is expressly prohibited, unless prior written permission has been granted by UDA or the appropriate copyright owner. All other rights reserved.

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