Why is there so much multi-family housing planned for the Bridge Street District? Are there enough people who want to live in Dublin to live in them?1. The housing market increasingly demands choices in compact, walkable, mixed-use settings.
Today’s housing market is dominated by the two largest generations in American history – the Baby Boomers and their adult children, the Millennials. These generations have their differences, but many of them have in common a desire to live in walkable, mixed-use settings with nearby services, restaurants, places to work, and places to play.
Housing in this type of environment is only possible when it is developed in a compact manner – usually involving for-rent (apartments) or for-sale (condominium) multiple-family housing. Further, both the Baby Boomer and Millennial one- and two-person households increasingly demand the flexibility and lower maintenance usually associated with multiple-family housing.
2. A significant amount residential density is necessary to support a critical amount of commercial uses in walkable settings.
A market study conducted for the City demonstrated that within the next 30 years approximately 7,000 housing units – including for-rent apartments, for-sale condominiums, townhomes, etc. – may be anticipated within the entire 1,000-acre Bridge Street District.
The vibrant, walkable, mixed-use development in the Bridge Street District cannot be created by the very low development densities typical of many suburban communities. Many people are necessary to form a customer base to support commercial uses such as shops, restaurants, and personal services in a walkable environment. While having employees within a walkable distance of these types of places helps, those making a home in the District will be critical to having a truly active, interesting, and fun area.
Why are higher development densities desirable in the Bridge Street District? Learn more here.
How much development can be built in the Bridge Street District?Unlike other parts of Dublin, densities in the Bridge Street District are not limited to a certain number; development densities are functionally limited by a developer’s ability to provide required parking and balance other potential site development constraints.
In the Bridge Street District, many of the same factors that impact how much development can be built on a site (such as parking, lot coverage, provision of open space, and stormwater management) continue to apply, although the requirements are designed for a more urban environment. Higher building heights are permitted in many areas (except the Historic District), and reduced setbacks allow buildings to be closer to the street to provide a comfortable pedestrian environment. Most significantly, parking structures are permitted and even encouraged in the Bridge Street District. Parking structures greatly increase development potential for individual sites instead of developable land being taken up by surface parking lots.
Measuring development by acre (number of dwelling units per acre, square footage per acre, or floor area ratios) is a typical method many communities use to measure and limit the amount of development that can occur within a designated area. Particularly in suburban communities, where land uses tend to be highly separated, higher densities of any single type of use can result in major impacts on the surrounding road network. Shopping areas with heavy retail concentrations experience traffic during the evenings and weekends, and areas with high office concentrations experience heavy traffic during the morning and evening rush hours. Given the potential negative impact of high concentrations of any single use – either office, residential, retail, or institutional – higher densities are discouraged in many communities.
One of the major differences between typical suburban development patterns and development in the Bridge Street District is the mix of uses that are permitted. Since mixed uses (such as offices or residences above retail and restaurants in the same building) are encouraged and in some areas required, people living and working in the Bridge Street District and similar mixed-use areas can be much less reliant on using cars – they can walk or bike from place to place, rather than hopping in their cars for every trip they need to make. However, it is reasonable to assume that people living in and visiting the Bridge Street District will continue to use cars, so parking is required for all Bridge Street District development, although at a lower rate than in typical suburban environments.
Why are higher development densities desirable in the Bridge Street District?
A key piece of the Bridge Street District Vision is expanding the range of choices available to the community:
- Providing more community amenities in walkable environments;
- Allowing for a broader range of transportation options such as walking, biking, transit, or driving;
- Providing new housing products responding to the increasing demand for high quality mixed-use neighborhoods; and
- Enhancing the City’s economic vitality by providing mixed-use environments that are increasingly attractive to talented young professionals, start-ups, and others interested in exciting, vibrant places to work.
Higher development densities are necessary to for this to happen. Understanding the importance of mixed-use environments was one of the first and most critical elements in establishing the vision for the Bridge Street District.
Nationally recognized experts on the shifting demographic trends, the changing nature of commercial development markets, and future economic development and employment opportunities were brought to Dublin to share their knowledge with the community. The City’s principal consultant for the Bridge Street District visioning – David Dixon with Goody Clancy & Associates – shared that vibrant, livable, highly walkable places cannot exist without a combination of mixed uses in compact, dense environments.
Density supports a community’s local economy, ensures that public spaces invite activity, and allows for the creation of diverse communities. Density supports healthier lifestyles by providing environments that place a variety of uses within walking or biking distance. At a certain threshold, density makes transit possible.
Further, density adds value. Christopher Leinberger of the Brookings Institution and the first speaker in the series shared his research in the growth in rents for commercial space in walkable, mixed use developments, which significantly exceeded that of typical suburban environments. The second speaker, Carol Coletta with CEOs for Cities, shared the high demand that young professionals, “creatives,” and small entrepreneurial businesses place on living and working in vibrant, mixed-use environments.
Higher densities in the Bridge Street District (approximately 6% of Dublin’s overall land area) allow for all of the advantages of walkable, mixed-use environments and enhance the city’s overall economic vitality while preserving its traditional suburban neighborhoods.
How much housing will be in the Bridge Street District?The Bridge Street District has a build-out potential over the next 30 years for about 7,000 housing units spread out over an approximately 1,200-acre region between the OCLC site to the west to Sawmill Road to the east. This area includes many different sites with the potential for development or redevelopment, such as the Dublin Village Center, properties along Tuller Road and Riverside Drive, portions of Historic Dublin, the existing school site (should there be a desire by the schools to relocate), and the OCLC property. A number of these sites will not likely be redeveloped for many years.
Providing a wider variety of more densely developed housing options is a major goal of the Bridge Street District Vision. It is anticipated that significant numbers of the residents of this housing will include young professionals without children, employed by Dublin’s many businesses and corporations. Empty nesters, looking to downsize their housing, are also expected to constitute an important segment of the new market demand. These higher residential densities will help provide a portion of the walkable customer base needed to enliven and support the retail and commercial activities planned within the District.
While it is difficult to establish a firm number for how many units may eventually be built east of the Scioto River, it is likely to be less than the projected build-out number. To give a sense of scale, the conceptual Crawford Hoying “Bridge Park” mixed-use project (which takes up nearly all of the vacant property between Riverside Drive and Tuller Ridge Road), is planned for fewer than 1,200 residences.
The City has also completed population projections accounting for the increased densities in the Bridge Street District. Dublin’s estimated population in 2010 was 41,751, and our current estimate for a build-out population for the entire city is about 65,000. Obviously, the market demand will also influence the rate at which this new housing is developed.
How much housing will be in the Scioto River Corridor?It is important to emphasize that the creation of a critical mass of residential density is one of the important prerequisites of creating the type of vibrant, walkable environment envisioned for the Bridge Street District. At build-out, the Scioto River corridor portion of the overall Bridge Street District could include approximately 1,500 new residences. Private development plans include a mixture of apartment flats, townhouses, and condominiums on both sides of the river in a variety of new mixed-use and residential buildings.
Crawford Hoying Development Partners has identified the potential for 1,026 apartment units and 136 condominiums along the east side of the future relocated Riverside Drive and new riverside park. The housing is part of Crawford Hoying’s ‘Bridge Park’ mixed-use development that includes the current Bridge Pointe shopping center and former Bash driving range. Another future development site along Riverside Drive between the future John Shields Parkway and Tuller Road could support additional residential or office development depending on future market conditions. No specific plans are currently proposed for that site.
A smaller mixed-use redevelopment project is planned in Historic Dublin along North Riverview Street, north of West Bridge Street. That project will include 27 condominium units. Additional condominium units are also planned for a mixed-use redevelopment project to the north of North Street and east of North High Street, where two office buildings are currently located at 94 and 100 North High Street. Market research is currently underway to determine the size, type and number of units that could be constructed at that location.
Based upon the City’s planning efforts to date, these densities will enhance the vibrancy of the parks, provide a more regular and convenient customer base for existing and future restaurants, businesses and night spots and will help create the type of active mixed-use environment increasingly desired by the City’s younger professional work force and empty nesters.
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