Lot’s of Ps there.
There’s a new plan in place to put a pocket patio in front of the building at 804 Congress (the Bosche-Hogg office building). This is the vision of building owner David Kahn, and if it happens we think it will be a major step towards activating Congress Avenue north of 8th Street.
Somewhat similar to the extremely successful patio concept first introduced to Congress Avenue by Royal Blue Grocery at 609 Congress in 2012 (a concept that won the ULI 2013 Award of Distinction for Public Impact), and designed by the same firm (dwg), we expect great things for the Bosche-Hogg patio.
This patio, which will benefit all the pedestrians walking along Austin’s “main street” will also have the effect of eliminating 4 city parking places. We think this is a small price to pay for better pedestrian experience.
The City of Austin seems to agree:
Downtown Austin is comprised of more than 1,050 acres, the streets add up to 34.5% of downtown and parks and open space only consist of 12.3% of the entire area. In any city, the places between buildings need to be designed for people; well-designed, people-friendly places can beautify our city. A typical metered parking space downtown Austin will serve around 6 vehicles a day, while a parklet can serve hundreds who desire safe, attractive and welcoming public space.
The reality is, there are plenty of parking spaces downtown and the reason that there is a perceived lack of parking has only to do with the underutilization of existing parking garages – many of which remain largely empty for long periods of time.
A 2013 article from Community Impact sites:
According to city staff, in 2012, the average occupancy rate of existing off-street parking was 26 percent, with peak occupancy reaching about 67 percent. Two reasons Riley pointed out for the underused parking include garages that are not open to the public and drivers having difficulty in finding available parking.
We think Congress Avenue is the perfect place for this sort of concept to thrive. Congress Avenue is downtown’s gem and making it more beautiful benefits the entire city. Especially in the northern part of Congress, which needs more “non-Capitol Complex” pedestrian life breathed into it. Downtown Austin condos like Brazos Place should be extra supportive of these upgrades to their little corner of the neighborhood. We hope to see more of these concepts pop up.