Master Plan Digest: On the Ground — The Physical Site Context of Friendship Court


While drafting the Master Plan, our design team identified several ways that the physical site of Friendship Court will impact redevelopment plans.

Elevation changes

The elevation of the Friendship Court site changes by as much as 35 feet from 2nd Street to 6th Street. In some instances, this elevation change may benefit the redevelopment by making it easier to building parking underneath buildings. However, it also creates challenges in how the new buildings can relate to the street level.

Regulatory Structure

Zoning allows for residential development up to 50’ high by right, higher than the current Friendship Court structures. Additional height would be allowed for buildings that have a mix of uses (for example, stores on the ground floor and apartments above). Current zoning would allow up to 505 units of housing on the property. The Strategic Investment Area plan recommends allowing higher density on the site, and the City is reviewing recommended changes in zoning.

Parking regulations

Parking requirements call for as many as 1.7 parking spots for each unit of housing. That level exceeds both current and projected future needs, and it would require additional surface parking that would force us to reduce the redeveloped site’s green space.

No Displacement

Our core commitment to no displacement of current residents, even during construction, creates a unique physical constraint by requiring that the first phase of development occur within the green space along 6th Street. In addition, other plan features—more bedrooms in the new units and the need to build around current units—have a strong impact on where and when each phase of development will occur.

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What do you think? Continue the conversation with a comment below.

In our next Master Plan blog post, we’ll see what needs to change – and what will stay the same – in the water infrastructure on site.

Source: Friendship Court Redevelopment Master Plan, December 2016 – What We Heard and What That Tells Us (Site Context)

One response to “Master Plan Digest: On the Ground — The Physical Site Context of Friendship Court

  1. Whatever happened to Oak Hill, site of Friendship Court? Alto Street (counterpart to Altamont) is still the highest elevation near 2nd and Garrett. In 1977 you would be standing under “35” feet of earth and elevation difference was 70 feet from Alto to 6th. From that hilltop at Ware Street/4th we watched the Great Central Place/McCrory’s Dept Store fire Thursday evening August 9, 1973. Flames leapt “50” feet into the air. Pollocks Branch now buried ran full all night from run-off of water hoses. Funny how the article’s numbers echo through history.

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