Here's What Victory Park's $33 Million Parking Garage Might Look Like

Categories: Development

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There are probably many reasons Victory Park hasn't lived up to expectations, declining in value by an average of 11 percent ($169 million) each year since 2008, according to city figures. You might subscribe to the notion that the project was flawed from the get-go, that it is "all the clichés about horrible urban design" shoved into 75 acres.

But a billion or so dollars in, it's a bit late for a fundamental rethink. So the city is focusing instead on a more manageable problem: the ocean of parking lots that surround the American Airlines Center and apparently keep people away from the overpriced restaurants and bars on the distant shore.

So last month, the Sports Arena TIF District approved a plan to put a 1,200-car, $33 million parking garage on seven acres just north of AAC. This would make way for a couple of apartment complexes planned for the site but, as the City Council's Economic Development Committee is being told this morning, "market conditions do not support construction of a new garage in the district without public subsidy," which will come in the form of TIF funds raised in part by a recent expansion of the self-taxing district.

The garage won't be built until 2016, but the City Design Studio gives us some ideas of what might be in the works.

There should be a "strong entry feature":

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With "supergraphic/billboard opportunities":

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And "an exterior screen comprised of high quality materials that screen the underlying structure, elevates its status and contributes in a positive way to the surrounding neighborhood and district." Like so:

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To "activate the street and help attract and support a livable community as development occurs nearby," there should be retail, possibly in kiosks like these:

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All of which is in the service of creating "an active urban destination and neighborhood that supports pedestrian activity, successful retail, and vibrant mix of uses."

The point, of course, is not the parking garage but the space it will free up for apartments, which would spur more retail development. That's the hope at least.

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34 comments
Filippa Sartini
Filippa Sartini

Wow, this is a great idea! And the designed proposal is a win! While multi-storey parking spaces are beneficial, they should also consider that the deterioration of this parking space is faster, as it holds a huge amount of weight. Well, I hope the authorities provide regular maintenance on this project.

Sacmankc135
Sacmankc135

The City can't even fix their own parking lot. Yep there are 3 underground parking lots under city hall, BUT the bottom one has ben boarded up since the building was built, BECAUSE IT FLOODS and is FULL OF RATS. And they want to tell people where and how to build parking lots. YOU FUCKING POLITICAL MORONS, SURROUNDED  BY FUCKING MORONS!!!!!

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

What is wrong with people why would anyone think a parking garage is needed when they already have one that is empty most of the time.Vickery was built wrong but it was meant to keep out common people problem is,not enough wealthy people moved down there to support the high end district. Now they want public tax support to help them.I guess no one remembers the tax support thay got to buil the dam thing.

Replay
Replay

Amen.......VICTORY........not!

Dalguy
Dalguy

A city that says it cannot afford the paint for bike lanes finds the bucks to subsidize a $33 million parking structure with a massive super graphic billboard to hide it so that folks will drive in for a basketball game and then retreat to the burbs where they spend their bucks.  DUH!

Warren Nash
Warren Nash

This makes me angry because it seems another example of well-connected people getting the city to funnel money into their pockets.  As I understand it Ross Perot Jr's Hillwood Corp, which owns the land in question, IS CONTRACTUALLY OBLIGATED to supply "X" number of parking spots for AAC.  So, if he sells a lot for development, he has to replace the lost parking.  This goes all the way back to the 1998 agreement that built Victory and AAC.  IT IS A CONTRACT.  IT IS A DONE DEAL.  HE HAS TO BUILD A GARAGE.  So why are we paying for it by extending the TIF??  I don't know what's more offensive, the thievery or the poor governance.

Replay
Replay

You don't really expect City Hall to hold someone's feet to the fire, particularly if their name is Perot, simply because they signed a contract, do you? If the contract is now not agreeable, the City simply finds a way to make it more palatable by amending it.

Mavdog
Mavdog

yes, Perot is obligated to provide parking spaces to replace the parking that is being removed by the development of the tract Perot is selling to Camden.

The issue is where that parking will be provided.

The proposed location of the replacement lot Perot plans to provide is south of Continental (I am told), not very convenient to those people going to the AAC. So no, Perot is not obligated to build a garage.

Don't get me wrong, I am not in favor of this garage proposal; if the garage makes sense, it could be developed by private capital. It shouldn't be the city who is looked to build it, and the redesign of the TIF is a $ grab.

Warren Nash
Warren Nash

 Gotcha.  So poor contract negotiation by the city on the front end.  And the extension of the TIF is a true money grab.  Which the city is going to (XXXXX that out) has already allowed.  Shameful governance.

Alfredo
Alfredo

Part of the problem now is the overpriced parking fees

Brandon Burns
Brandon Burns

If you valet at any of the restraunts down there parking is either $5 or $10 depending if there is an event.... thats all I ever do, otherwise it is too confusing.

JimS
JimS

I can relate. Market conditions do not support my spending two weeks in Italy without public subsidy.

JimS
JimS

Speaking of Italy, I would like a Vespa, as well.

JimS
JimS

And loafers.

Replay
Replay

No, your name is Schutze, not PEROT.

JimS
JimS

Could they expand the Tax Increment Finance District to inlcude me?

Mavdog
Mavdog

Don't forget the Pasquini espresso machine. Nothing says Italy like a good shot of espresso.

scottindallas
scottindallas

I think there's some sense in this proposal.  I have several reservations however.  First and foremost, why does this need external funding?  I think the city would find that it would be rather easy/cheap to float municipal bonds right now.  We should be careful about extending credit, but here we have a captive audience. 

What a great opportunity for the city to recoup it's TIF and seed money for the AAC.  Now, the city can finally monetize the operation.   They have a captive audience for 100 events a year.  These sports fans are accustomed to paying a premium for such close and convenient parking.  The city needs to Monetize that premium.  The City should build this themselves, and keep it for themselves.  The city should offer free parking when major events aren't occurring.

The Parking Garage should be larger than just 1200 cars.  I like the kiosks, the TVs, all that, it's awesome.  Those could really bring the space together.  The city should do it itself, or let someone else build it, and stipulate that parking must be below the market average during non-event times.  IF a private party is to build it, the city shouldn't do anything other than offer and collect a market value ground lease, with the stipulations I've made.  Should be able to get that money EASY.  But, if we'll give them free money, they'll take the trouble to ask.

Anon
Anon

but there's already tons of free parking in Victory on non-event days. the whole problem for every retail site down there is that parking is not consistent. personally, I do not keep track of every event taking place in Victory. it's not as difficult to keep track of Stars and Mavs games (although I don't care about either team) but then there are the special events of every stripe. I like at least a couple of the restaurants down there. but I absolutely refuse to ever go back to them because I just am not going to take the time to look up and make sure that there's no event at the AAC that will prevent my using the lots that are supposed to be reserved for retail. this is what people mean when they say there is "no" parking in Victory. it is completely untrue until you add the qualifiers. there is no consistently available free, or reasonably priced parking.

scottindallas
scottindallas

 thanks.  I'd think that If I was gonna go to the stark club I'd roll on 35 and check it out.  But, it is kinda at the tedious end of a peninsula of road too no?  I could also see a parking garage being a draw at lunch time, if there were affordable and appropriate restaurants down below.  Perhaps including the most awesomest, food kiosk in the universe

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Agree with almost all you said, except remember the site is north of the arena. Where there's nothing of interest now. So it either needs to be compelling all on it's own, or compelling enough to pull people from Victory Park Proper south of the AAC past a static arena 2/3 of the year. That's something I don't think a parking garage and apartments can do alone, no matter how you trick it up. Retail kiosks? That's just asking for failure.

scottindallas
scottindallas

 what's not compelling about free parking?  and, I like the idea of cheap pizza, and other relatively cheaper fare.  If that thing is lit up, it will be physically compelling (just the flashing lights, you know)  It might help revive West End. 

Maybe you're right and they need some other attractions near there.  But, people will walk a while for safe, reliable free/cheap parking.  Hell, I haven't been down there for a couple of years, but I needed anywhere near there, and was gonna drive, I might walk an additional 15 minutes for free parking.  Do people park at the arena when there aren't events down there?  Is it allowed, free?  If not free parking may be a draw.   If so, we're screwed.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

15 minutes is one long walk compared to paying a couple bucks. I don't think free parking is enough, mainly because any development north of the arena is just isolated to the point where it has to be a destination of its own. The site is less fitting than the concept.

Downtownworker
Downtownworker

Victory Park may have lost value since 2008 (like every other piece of real estate) but it's still endlessly more valuable than the toxic-dump site that it replaced. Victory Park won't be successful until more people live there and in the adjacent Design District, so this is just one thing that will help enable that.

As for whoever designs this garage: Can we please get secure (preferably indoor) bike storage instead of just a bunch of outdoor bike racks?

scottindallas
scottindallas

 seems indoor bike racks could be a mess to clean.  How is it nice enough weather to ride, but unbearable for the extensive chore of locking it up?  If your concern is about the bike's security, what do you think of those bike domes?  Though those seem very bulky.  But, I'm trying to better understand your concern.  if you're just talking about something in the parking garage or what?

Downtownworker
Downtownworker

The bike domes are ok, but they do take up a lot of space (so much that there's only room for ONE in all of downtown). Yes, the concern is security and not worrying if someone went "shopping" for a free bike, like Anon said.

Anon
Anon

it's about opportunity. the bike rack indoors "seems" more secure. you can't just be walking by, take a look at the inventory, and decide to run off with one. I'd bet 90% or more of the bike thefts are opportunistic where the thief just happens to see a bike locked up slightly incorrectly to where they can steal it. making them enter the garage to go check out the bikes just makes it that much less likely that a crime of opportunity will take place.

Anon
Anon

The Design District isn't adjacent to Victory. There is a huge highway between them. You will see just as many people walking between Victory and the Design District as you see walking between downtown and Deep Ellum, and downtown and Uptown. Which is to say that there will be less than a handful.

Downtownworker
Downtownworker

I didn't mean that everyone from the DD would be walking to Victory. What I meant was that residents from both areas will patronize businesses at Victory, like a bowling alley or movie theater. They can have shuttles going back and forth like in the Arts District, for example.

Eventually there will also be a connection between the Katy and Trinity Strand trails, so there won't be a need to walk under 35.

brett
brett

There are many, many residents from the Design District (myself included) who walk under 35 at Hi-Line/Victory to attend games, catch the DART rail, or get on the Katy Trail.  DD is closer to Victory and everything there is to do there (what little there actually is), as opposed to Deep Ellum/Downtown and Uptown/Downtown.

Anon
Anon

I mean, walking to an event at AAC is out of necessity - you'd end up parking that far away unless you want to shell out lots of money. personally, I feel like there will be much more that develops within Design District such that future residents will wonder why they'd want to walk to Victory anyways. also, your definition of "many" is probably not the same as mine. I'm talking about enough walking traffic to patronize a retail establishment. there aren't enough people living in the DD to actually do that yet, let alone constitute "many" who are willing to walk under a highway to get to their destination.

Juan Valdez
Juan Valdez

Why dont you rebuild those parking garages as "affordable" units where normal citizens can live reasonably. And build some more aparrtments. Then, they should encourage people to use DART if they want to come to the games. VP is a failure. An exclusive, high end, luxurious failure thanks to the Perot's and the stiffling government agencies.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano

Did I read this right? They are going to build a parking garage that makes to economic sense absent a public subsidy? And then an as yet unnamed person will build apartments? And the garage will have a jerrytron? Oh boy, can't wait for these world class city improvements

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