Friday, October 28, 2011

Broad Ripple Parking Garage - Someone Forgot To Which End Of The Horse You Attach The Cart

The saga of the Broad Ripple Garage continues, and does so in unerringly the wrong order.

For background you can read my earlier posts on the garage (see "Tidbits on the Broad Ripple Parking Garage", "Are Taxpayer Dollars Being Flagrantly Misused?", "BZA Decisions Contributed Mightily To Broad Ripple Parking Situation", "Broad Ripple Parking Garage - More BZA Decisions Noted - Running Total 320", "More News About Broad Ripple Parking Garage Deal - Sheesh!", and "BZA Decisions Impact Our Community In Tangible Ways - Parking In Broad Ripple".

For the latest news, that the agreement between the City and the Keystone Group has been inked down and contains some aspects that run counter to comments by both Council President Ryan Vaughn and Mayor Greg Ballard, see Paul Ogden's "The Tale of the Broad Ripple Parking Garage: Taxpayers to Pay to Build the Facility While Developer Gets 100% of the Ownership and Revenue".

This blog entry is about the fact that the developer has filed a variance asking for a few things that might make you wonder why these things are coming up AFTER the proposal was submitted and accepted and even AFTER the deal was inked down.

The hearing date is now set for 1 pm, November 15, in the public assembly room of the City-County Building.
Yes, petition 2011-DV2-021 asks for a few variances.
1) they want permission to build retail space and parking space at or below flood level without the required structural flood proofing for the building
2) they want permission to build the building 40 feet closer to Westfield Blvd and 35 feet closer to College Ave than allowed by ordinance
3) they want permission to reduce the size of the parking spaces themselves from 10 by 18 feet down to 8.75 by 18 feet (meaning they can only legally fit 305 spaces and not the promised 350 spaces if the variance is denied)
4) they want permission to locate a drive-through lane for a bank that will block parking spaces set aside for the bank, with that lane too short by about 6 car lengths as well.

So, you say the ground floor risks getting flooded?  And you say you can't fit the required building size on the lot legally?  And you are telling us that you really could only fit 305 spaces in the building you proposed in the winning proposal - not the promised 350?

And yet the City of Indianapolis said you had the best, most responsive proposal?  And furthermore, even after knowing you would need all of these variances just to squeeze, tuck, and constrict the spaces onto a lot obviously inadequate for the purpose, the City of Indianapolis still went through with the deal and signed the contract?

Wow !  Keystone Group (now going by 6280, LLC, for this project)  must have some fan-tas-tic salesmanship talents !

Here's the problem with granting these variances.  There will be tight turns in the basically triangular building that inebriated patrons of nearby bars will be trying to navigate after their night on the town.  If anyone could use a full size parking space to get in and out of, it surely are these patrons.  Then, because the lot is really a baaad choice, customers of the garage will be coming and going across congested streets to get in and out of the garage in their cars, and then crossing busy congested streets to get to and from the bars.  That sounds like a recipe for problems.

If rational thought is to prevail, the requested variances must be denied.  That will send the deal back to ground zero where it belongs and where some sanity can be regained by the City to kill this deal off.


Anonymous said...

Might be some of the reasons the study group looking at sites for a possible garage decided this location was a bad choice.... 10 years ago!

Gary R. Welsh said...

Allowing the building to be built 35 feet closer to College Avenue creates additional public safety concerns in terms of visibility as you approach that intersection. Westfield approaches the intersection at an angle as it is. We've already discussed the problem of additional foot traffic crossing there, particularly late at night given how busy that intersection is. Great work as always, Pat. Thank you.

Downtown Indy said...

It is perhaps wise that IMPD will have a station in that building -- to deal with those inebriated fender bender cases quickly.

Speaking of which, where will IMPD park their squad cars? In those 305 spaces I would guess, thus detracting from the number available to actual patrons of Broad Ripple busineses.

Had Enough Indy? said...

None of the various floor plans I've seen include designated (free) patron spaces for IMPD visitors or officers, nor for a proposed Marcos Pizza, nor for any other retail use on the main floor.

Anonymous said...

The police park in a few spaces tucked in the southwest corner off the alley - outside of the garage.

They also have filed a vacation for various encroachments above and below ground.

The floodplain variance has been withdrawn.

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 8:18 - thanks for the updated information. Are they seeking to vacate the alley?

Anonymous said...

As of now, the vacations would air rights and subterranean along College, Westfield and the alley. Now, due to some changes in their site plan,the extent of their vacation petition may change.

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 11:13 - thanks yet again. I am having trouble envisioning the 3D whereby they need to extend into the airspace and subterrainian levels of the right of way, but not the at-grade right of way. Have they been granted an easement into the at-grade right of way?

Tomorrow I can find out more about the vacation petition.

Parking Indianapolis said...

If that's the case, why can't taxpayers file suit for their share of the loot?