Creative Minds are a Good Thing (Developer Comes Up with A Clever Compromise)


I got a call from John Mathern, developer of The Crossing, Friday afternoon. He had read my blog entry on suburban parking requirements and wanted to talk to me about it.

We had vigorous discussion about our vision of a pedestrian-friendly downtown district, the hope that all the new residents moving to downtown would leave their cars parked at home, the desire to better unite the east and west sides of town, the economic value of creating a safe crossing of Highway 3 and the importance of two story structures in realizing these concepts. He recognized the validity of all these ideas but then expressed the concern that if it took longer than anticipated for these theories to become reality, he wanted to be sure that the commercial portion in his development had adequate parking.

He offered an idea. If he built a structure on the north east corner of the intersection of 2nd Street and Highway 3 that had only a single story of floor space inside but a two story presence on the outside, that might address both of our concerns. It seemed like a decent compromise.

We then waxed poetic for a few minutes on the various vaulted coffehouses, libraries, restaurants, chapels and pubs that we’d seen in our lives, wished each other happy holidays and went Christmas shopping in our authentic downtown. As I came out of River City Books with a couple of items, I saw John coming out of the NAG shop with a very full two-handle bag.

Ho, Ho, Ho and Happy Holidays!