A couple of weeks ago, I took a tour of 2000 McKinney Avenue. The new Uptown office building sits on the edge of the future Woodall Rodgers Park, between Harwood and Olive.
Like many new developments in District 14, the developer came to the city requesing a zoning change to allow them more flexibility in height and other aspects of construction.
Their original proposal had (typical) narrow sidewalks, a parking garage facing the park, and several driveways along the building (which broke up the sidewalk).
When I’m reviewing a zoning case in dense areas like Uptown, I look for wide sidewalks, greenspace, walkability, and connection to the surrounding area. In this case, I requested the developer create wide, tree-lined sidewalks to provide an attractive route to Woodall Rodgers Park. I also requested fewer driveways into the parking garage to reduce the pedestrian-car intersections along the sidewalk.
Lastly, I requested that the side of the building facing the park be actively engaged with street life and the park. The proposed parking garage didn’t do that; it turned its back on the park and left park patrons with a monolithic concrete tower to look at. Now, we’ll have a street-level restaurant with condos above — a great addition to the streetscape and surrounding area. (And those condos will have some of the best views of the park and Downtown as you’ll see in the photos.)
Enjoy these pictures.