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Old June 21st, 2010, 07:28 AM   #61
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you obviously live in a fantasy world... completely out of touch with reality! how many years should a city wait for your dream date? do tell me how many more years you think the city of evansville should sit waiting for your fantasy? tell me please your plan?
What is fantasy is to blindly destroy everything in the name of "progress" expecting no long term damage to the city's heritage. What would be insane is trying to preserve every aspect, like the gas station on the corner, but no, it isn't "fantasy" to demand that our history is preserved, anything less is unacceptable.
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focus on the positive that is coming from this development... new lofts and condos, restaurants, and bars are now filling the rest of main street. or are you completely blind? you have to be an idiot if you don't see the good that is coming from this development.
They said the same thing about the Indianapolis Courthouse, and to this day we still mourn the loss of the old courthouse. I see the benefits, but my question is at what cost and if such benefits couldnít be achieved without the destruction of the historic buildings.
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Old June 21st, 2010, 07:47 AM   #62
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thought i would remind everyone why this thread exits... feel free to talk about the new arena. if you want to start a thread on historic preservation, i suggest you start your own thread. otherwise, please don't hijack this one.

[/QUOTE]
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Old June 21st, 2010, 07:52 AM   #63
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thought i would remind everyone why this thread exits... feel free to talk about the new arena. if you want to start a thread on historic preservation, i suggest you start your own thread. otherwise, please don't hijack this one.

[/QUOTE]

It isn't a hijacking, the destruction of the structures is a major part of this development.

It isn't as if we are discussing global warming or crime in Cincinnati.
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Old June 21st, 2010, 03:24 PM   #64
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I believe Socrates is talking about the main street frontage on this arena, therefore it is relevant to the thread.

No one is saying that Evansville shouldn't have built an arena. The issue is the way the arena interfaces with Main Street. The design that is being built is extremely poor. If you were to look at that site from the perspective of good urban design theory, the arena shouldn't have come anywhere near Main St. If you were to compromise, those old buildings should not have been razed and the entrance for arena should have been placed on the vacant northern half of that block of Main Street (if you even want an entrance on Main, the case for which is dubious). In that case, you'd be getting all the "new lofts and condos, restaurants, and bars are now filling the rest of main street" PLUS you'd have all the old store fronts available to be refurbished. If the arena is good for everything else around there, it would have been good for the store fronts as well.

EVEN IF you want to argue that it was a good idea to raze those structures because they are outdated and in need of serious repair, the arena should have been designed with replacement store fronts. Plain and simple: pedestrian corridors need store fronts. What you're getting does not and that is a glaring omission.
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Old June 21st, 2010, 06:36 PM   #65
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I believe Socrates is talking about the main street frontage on this arena, therefore it is relevant to the thread.

No one is saying that Evansville shouldn't have built an arena. The issue is the way the arena interfaces with Main Street. The design that is being built is extremely poor. If you were to look at that site from the perspective of good urban design theory, the arena shouldn't have come anywhere near Main St. If you were to compromise, those old buildings should not have been razed and the entrance for arena should have been placed on the vacant northern half of that block of Main Street (if you even want an entrance on Main, the case for which is dubious). In that case, you'd be getting all the "new lofts and condos, restaurants, and bars are now filling the rest of main street" PLUS you'd have all the old store fronts available to be refurbished. If the arena is good for everything else around there, it would have been good for the store fronts as well.

EVEN IF you want to argue that it was a good idea to raze those structures because they are outdated and in need of serious repair, the arena should have been designed with replacement store fronts. Plain and simple: pedestrian corridors need store fronts. What you're getting does not and that is a glaring omission.
that is your opinion, and you have previously stated it, as has socrates. we happen to disagree. there is no need to post the same comment over and over and hijack the thread.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 03:15 AM   #66
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Ok, this is about the best thing Evansville has going for it. I'm sure we can compromise and say it was sad to see the half-block of buildings on Main be demolished. But, when it's all said and done you will have a pretty nice entertainment district in downtown Evansville: The Victory, unnamed Arena, The Centre & Convention Center all surrounding a new hotel (we hope). I think that sounds pretty good, despite losing the old buildings. Add restaurants, bars & night clubs on the Arena section of Main, as well as the residential that's already there.. and Evansville is well on its way to a recovery.

that's just my .02
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 08:25 PM   #67
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Ok, this is about the best thing Evansville has going for it. I'm sure we can compromise and say it was sad to see the half-block of buildings on Main be demolished. But, when it's all said and done you will have a pretty nice entertainment district in downtown Evansville: The Victory, unnamed Arena, The Centre & Convention Center all surrounding a new hotel (we hope). I think that sounds pretty good, despite losing the old buildings. Add restaurants, bars & night clubs on the Arena section of Main, as well as the residential that's already there.. and Evansville is well on its way to a recovery.

that's just my .02
that's a fair assessment
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 08:29 PM   #68
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that's a fair assessment
So..... you're not opposed to people who continue to "hijack" this arena thread by commenting about the old buildings, you're just opposed to people who disagree with your opinion.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 08:52 PM   #69
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So..... you're not opposed to people who continue to "hijack" this arena thread by commenting about the old buildings, you're just opposed to people who disagree with your opinion.
are you for real? go pester your mother...
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 09:59 PM   #70
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are you for real? go pester your mother...
I am 100% real. You are a thread-hawk, attempting the route conversation only into your pre-approved opinions. I do not agree with you about this arena but I accept that you have a differing opinion. That you do not afford me or Socrates or anyone else on this forum the same courtesy is unacceptable.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 10:18 PM   #71
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I am 100% real. You are a thread-hawk, attempting the route conversation only into your pre-approved opinions. I do not agree with you about this arena but I accept that you have a differing opinion. That you do not afford me or Socrates or anyone else on this forum the same courtesy is unacceptable.
i've done nothing of the kind. you and socrates have previously posted your opinions and people have commented and debated about it. no one is stopping you. but if you want to rehash previous posts or steer the conversation to historic preservation then i'm gonna call you out on it. i'm trying to keep the thread moving forward with news and updates.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 10:49 PM   #72
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i've done nothing of the kind. you and socrates have previously posted your opinions and people have commented and debated about it. no one is stopping you. but if you want to rehash previous posts or steer the conversation to historic preservation then i'm gonna call you out on it. i'm trying to keep the thread moving forward with news and updates.
This conversation is clearly related to the arena and is perfectly legitimate to be brought up again. Socrates didn't comment originally and I was defending his right to say what he wanted to say. Enough said.

And just to be clear, I don't care too much about those old buildings. I think they probably should have been kept, but you'll notice that I never once have used the term "historic" in this thread. Far more important is the incredibly bad way that the arena -- THE ARENA, topic of this thread -- interfaces with arguably the prime pedestrian corridor in all of Evansville. The shops were a good interface and if they weren't kept, something else with interest to pedestrians should have replaced it. I'm not militant about historic preservation, I simply think keeping the old shops would have been the cheapest and simplest way to maintain pedestrian interest.

Mark my words: once the luster of the new arena wears off, the windows are going to be B-O-R-I-N-G.

And to give you a win on this day, I promise that's the last you're going to hear from me on that point.
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Old June 23rd, 2010, 11:50 PM   #73
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Far more important is the incredibly bad way that the arena interfaces with arguably the prime pedestrian corridor in all of Evansville.
i'm sure you have the design team from populous shaking in their boots with self doubt.
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Old June 24th, 2010, 10:12 PM   #74
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CorrND and I acknowledged that we're basically in complete agreement about this development, back when I blogged about it a few months ago. From what I recall, the decision was mostly a political one, and Mayor Weinzapfel agreed to salvage a car dealership instead of these old buildings. From a fundamental real estate perspective, that makes sense: the Car Dealership was successful and generating far more revenue (as well as property tax for the city) than a row of mostly vacant buildings.

But the existence of a car dealership in DT Evansville is a consequence of depressed real estate. Premium downtowns do not have car dealerships because a dealer could never afford the amount of horizontal surface that he or she needs. Chicago and Manhattan have no car dealerships downtown. Not even the much cheaper DT Indy has car dealerships in the immediate downtown. If downtown Evansville were ever vibrant again, you can rest assured that those old buildings would be fully occupied, and D. Patrick would be happy to sell his land for a premium and move to the exurbs where he can stretch out at no great cost.

I hate to be cynical, but trust me that it really is (as is the case with Socrates and CorrND) out of a desire to see this stuff succeed....but what if this new arena is not the silver bullet its advocates are hoping for? Based on an observation of the street grid, it would appear that other parts of Main Street were sacrificed to build the Civic Center, and it hasn't done much to revitalize the street. It might be hard to research to find out if those blocks had good historic commercial architecture, but they very well could have. For the sake of Evansville, I hope this arena offers a different scenario. But who's to say that in ten years, a developer might propose the Evansville Aquarium on a depressed part of DT real estate--which, let's face it, is most of the city. Would we continue to argue to sacrifice more of the city's old commercial buildings for a new big-ticket item, just with the hope that it will bring pedestrian traffic to the historic commercial artery? How much more can we sacrifice? I know the city boosters don't want to keep waiting, but time has proven all over the country that these old commercial buildings are finding a second life through a collective newfound appreciation for older architecture.

The decision has been made--all is said and done, and there is no use weeping for those demolished buildings. But I hope this at least fosters a culture of concern for what makes really great downtown living, and those buildings would have far more to offer in the long term than a car dealership (which would cost virtually nothing to demolish). I like the design Populous is offering, and the fact that it will be LEED certified is an added bonus. But urban design also has to involve site selection, and while the Evansville Arena design may get a B-plus or higher, the site selection still rates a solid D.

I hope that time proves me (and CorrND and Socrates) wrong. But we base our observations on urban design principles, which largely derive from observed failures and successes elsewhere. If the arena proves to revitalize the rest of Evansville's Main Street, then it probably is best to retire the discussion and move on. But if not...?
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Old June 25th, 2010, 08:59 AM   #75
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CorrND and I acknowledged that we're basically in complete agreement about this development, back when I blogged about it a few months ago. From what I recall, the decision was mostly a political one, and Mayor Weinzapfel agreed to salvage a car dealership instead of these old buildings. From a fundamental real estate perspective, that makes sense: the Car Dealership was successful and generating far more revenue (as well as property tax for the city) than a row of mostly vacant buildings.

But the existence of a car dealership in DT Evansville is a consequence of depressed real estate. Premium downtowns do not have car dealerships because a dealer could never afford the amount of horizontal surface that he or she needs. Chicago and Manhattan have no car dealerships downtown. Not even the much cheaper DT Indy has car dealerships in the immediate downtown. If downtown Evansville were ever vibrant again, you can rest assured that those old buildings would be fully occupied, and D. Patrick would be happy to sell his land for a premium and move to the exurbs where he can stretch out at no great cost.

I hate to be cynical, but trust me that it really is (as is the case with Socrates and CorrND) out of a desire to see this stuff succeed....but what if this new arena is not the silver bullet its advocates are hoping for? Based on an observation of the street grid, it would appear that other parts of Main Street were sacrificed to build the Civic Center, and it hasn't done much to revitalize the street. It might be hard to research to find out if those blocks had good historic commercial architecture, but they very well could have. For the sake of Evansville, I hope this arena offers a different scenario. But who's to say that in ten years, a developer might propose the Evansville Aquarium on a depressed part of DT real estate--which, let's face it, is most of the city. Would we continue to argue to sacrifice more of the city's old commercial buildings for a new big-ticket item, just with the hope that it will bring pedestrian traffic to the historic commercial artery? How much more can we sacrifice? I know the city boosters don't want to keep waiting, but time has proven all over the country that these old commercial buildings are finding a second life through a collective newfound appreciation for older architecture.

The decision has been made--all is said and done, and there is no use weeping for those demolished buildings. But I hope this at least fosters a culture of concern for what makes really great downtown living, and those buildings would have far more to offer in the long term than a car dealership (which would cost virtually nothing to demolish). I like the design Populous is offering, and the fact that it will be LEED certified is an added bonus. But urban design also has to involve site selection, and while the Evansville Arena design may get a B-plus or higher, the site selection still rates a solid D.

I hope that time proves me (and CorrND and Socrates) wrong. But we base our observations on urban design principles, which largely derive from observed failures and successes elsewhere. If the arena proves to revitalize the rest of Evansville's Main Street, then it probably is best to retire the discussion and move on. But if not...?
first, you are incorrect in your assessment that it was a political decision relating to the location. it was financial. i agree, as did the site selection committee, that the d-patrick site was the best choice for a new arena. but the original site owners wanted a lot more money than the hotel site as well as 'relocation' fees for the dealership. did you also know they already owned dealerships on other sides of the city and have no interest in those locations? perhaps they know they can sell the land for more when the arena is done?

as to the existence of a depressed real estate market... whether space is used for a car dealership or a surface parking lot i think we can all agree there are much better uses for land downtown. but have you taken a good look around downtown indianapolis? it is filled with acres of parking lots in and around downtown. seriously, take a good hard look around the one america tower building and the city county building. those empty lots have sat vacant for decades are are a disgrace. don't toss stones if you live in a glass house.

you also don't need time to see the 'silver bullet' as there is already proof that the arena is having a positive impact on downtown. older buildings are getting tenants and others are being renovated. downtown evansville has sat idle for decades and is now finally seeing some true signs of recovery. i look forward to seeing the continued revitalization that the new arena is bringing and the new life that it brings to the downtown. i'm at least glad you are open to the positives that the project will bring to the city.

ps: you should probably do more research for your blog since you had the oreintation of the d-patrick site completely wrong. it was east-west.
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Old June 25th, 2010, 05:09 PM   #76
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first, you are incorrect in your assessment that it was a political decision relating to the location. it was financial. i agree, as did the site selection committee, that the d-patrick site was the best choice for a new arena. but the original site owners wanted a lot more money than the hotel site as well as 'relocation' fees for the dealership. did you also know they already owned dealerships on other sides of the city and have no interest in those locations? perhaps they know they can sell the land for more when the arena is done?

ps: you should probably do more research for your blog since you had the oreintation of the d-patrick site completely wrong. it was east-west.
The Evanston Arena decision was indeed financial. But it was also political. If a mayor gets involved (and they nearly always do for these sort of activities) then the decision involved some negotiations in which political interests were at stake--it's inescapable. I'm familiar with D. Patrick because I have family members that work for the company. If you had read my entire blog post as well as the comments (no small feat mind you) I talk about how Mr. Patrick could very easily making a killing down the road by refusing to sell this branch until later--clearly a savvy speculator.

My blog was delineating the actual location of the D. Patrick dealership, which is most definitely the original site for the arena. My thorough research did not clearly indicate which side of Walnut was going to have the construction (after all, it is a rejected site, so the media hardly dwells on it), but D. Patrick is indisputably on both sides of Walnut. It did seem impractical that they'd build while going across a major street like Walnut, but I did the best I could given the inability to visit the site in person. There are only two options for the orientation, and perhaps I got it only half-right; my identification of the D. Patrick parcel is still correct. (Family members also did not notice an incorrect delineation of the site, FWIW.)

I'm well aware of the hyper-abundance of surface parking in Indianapolis and have been critical of the prevailing culture that supports it, which you'd see in my blog. Comparing land use in Evansville to Indy or Chicago, though, is not casting stones. By no means am I inflating Indianapolis, nor putting Evansville down--I'm just establishing points of reference for evaluating land use markets.

What puzzles me is how you seem to interpret any criticism of the decisions behind the arena relocation as a personal attack. I hold true to the sentiments expressed in the first sentence of the third paragraph of my previous post: I want DT Evansville to flourish. Or are any design suggestions from a bigger city to a smaller one seen as paternalistic and patronizing? Ideally, I originally blogged about this because I hoped that Evansville could learn from some of Indy's most obvious mistakes in design and site selection.
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Old June 25th, 2010, 06:27 PM   #77
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My blog was delineating the actual location of the D. Patrick dealership, which is most definitely the original site for the arena. My thorough research did not clearly indicate which side of Walnut was going to have the construction (after all, it is a rejected site, so the media hardly dwells on it), but D. Patrick is indisputably on both sides of Walnut. It did seem impractical that they'd build while going across a major street like Walnut, but I did the best I could given the inability to visit the site in person. There are only two options for the orientation, and perhaps I got it only half-right; my identification of the D. Patrick parcel is still correct. (Family members also did not notice an incorrect delineation of the site, FWIW.)
i happened to run across your blog when searching for news on the arena, and found a lot of what you posted interesting. but the location for the d-patrick site was well published by the local media. in fact, populous released their initial rendering and site design based on it. just do an image search on google for 'd-patrick evansville arena location' and a full site plan with the streets comes up. unfortunately, when i realized you had the site wrong, it raised a credibility issue. i don't mean that as a personal attack, but want to explain how that impacted me as a reader.

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I'm well aware of the hyper-abundance of surface parking in Indianapolis and have been critical of the prevailing culture that supports it, which you'd see in my blog.
then you have to admit it was a poor choice for an example of 'premium' downtown land use. again, i think we can all agree there are much better uses for land than parking lots and car dealerships in a downtown. as i've said before, the d-patrick site was my favorite and i regret that the city and the family could not work out a deal. however, i do think the final location has some intriguing advantages.
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Old July 11th, 2010, 05:47 PM   #78
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the courier has an interesting article today about the impact of the new arena on downtown. a new neighborhood association will examine how the tens of thousands more people who will come to events at the city's new arena and to programs adjacent to the arena will affect the residents and businesses in the area. here is a photo and link to the full article:

downtown growing pains
http://www.courierpress.com/news/201...sidential-for/

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Old August 4th, 2010, 09:15 PM   #79
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two major developments were announced today...

the first is that the executive inn renovation has hit a snag. browning investments was unable to secure financing and will be returning the hotel ownership to the city. it also looks likely that the entire structure and the nearby parking garage will be demolished and a new convention hotel and parking garage will be constructed.

executive inn article:
http://www.courierpress.com/news/201...executive-inn/

the second is the official announcement that the hilliard-lyons building, a 1916 neoclassical tower, will be converted to 44 luxury apartments by the kunkel group. the conversion is to start later this summer or fall and will open in 2011.

hilliard-lyons article:
http://www.courierpress.com/news/201...wn-apartments/
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Old August 5th, 2010, 03:55 PM   #80
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the second is the official announcement that the hilliard-lyons building, a 1916 neoclassical tower, will be converted to 44 luxury apartments by the kunkel group. the conversion is to start later this summer or fall and will open in 2011.

hilliard-lyons article:
http://www.courierpress.com/news/201...wn-apartments/
Great news! I love the development that is occuring around Main Street.
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