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Living and Shopping in a Parking Structure

What words come to mind (what words do you think of) when someone talks about a “parking garage” or “parking structure (building)”?

I asked a few other people the same question. They said ugly. Necessary. Convenient (useful because it saves time). Scary. Dirty. Dangerous. When I looked at some articles online, I found a few more adjectives, such as utilitarian (practical but not attractive), austere (without decoration), and forlorn (empty and sad; often in bad condition). It doesn’t sound like parking structures have a very good reputation (how people think about them)!

All of that may change soon in Miami, Florida. There is an urban renewal (improving a city by building new buildings, bringing in more businesses, and more) project, called Lincoln 11 11, that may change how people think about parking structures.

A property developer is a person or company that makes money by buying land and building something on it to sell or lease (rent). A property developer in Miami has almost finished building a parking structure that includes condominiums (apartments that people own), high-end (expensive, exclusive) stores, a place near the top for people to gather with their friends to enjoy the view of the Atlantic Ocean and the beaches and – I almost forgot! – a place to park cars.

This new structure is very modern (not traditional). It was designed by the same company – from Switzerland – that designed the new Tate Modern Museum in London and the Bird’s Nest Stadium for the Olympics in Beijing. A bank building used to sit (be in the location) where the parking structure is being built. Unfortunately, the bank building became damaged by rioters (large group of people causing trouble or violence) and neglect (no one took care of it).

If you’d like to see the structure, go to the developer’s web site. When you get to the site, you’ll have to click on the middle of the screen to continue. To see pictures of each part of the structure, click on the words Vision, Architecture, Retail, and Residential. There are also some good pictures here.

The area – along Lincoln Road – where the structure is being built was a popular shopping area many years ago. However, by the 1950s it had faded (slowly disappeared). Happily, in the 1960s the area was revived (brought to life again). Today it’s a popular place for people to visit and shop.

The developer says that his idea – for the parking structure – is to bring people, events, parties, and life into the building, along with cars, of course. Both the designers and developer see the structure as an exciting experiment.

What do you think? Will it succeed (be successful)? Would you like to live there?

~Warren Ediger – ESL teacher/tutor, perpetual (permanent) student, writer, musician, father and husband, and creator of www.successfulenglish.com.

Parking structure photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

16 Responses to “Living and Shopping in a Parking Structure”

  1. emiliano Says:

    I haven´t any car now, but when I had and was necessary to park it down-town my thoughts were always the same:
    Scary. Dirty. Dangerous and forlorn (new word thank you) places.
    Usually I drove and drove once and again searching for a site on the street instead of going that forlorn places that
    were always very dirty and seems dangerous to me.

    This may be a good idea but I think that only very wealthy people may have access to this new structure.
    It´s nice, I like it, but impress me a little to park up if I have to.

    By the way, Bird´s Nest Stadium is marvellous, indeed it is incredible.
    It was one of the astonishing things I saw last Olympics Games of Beijing.
    To me may be the best Olympic Celebration I have ever saw.

    Thank you Warren, so nice seeing you again.

  2. francesco Says:

    very strange idea for me: as far as I’m concerned you park your car where people walk and shop… of course, if you’ve got nice car, you’d love to park and show off your wealth. And for people who don’t have those such of cars?!? I think it would be a pity to park there every time if they are bother by people’s watching!! Good idea though, but not enough for all kind of persons!

  3. Daniele Says:

    I would say that parking garages are so ugly that you can only make them better.I looked at some pics, it looks nice.

    I am not sure I would like to live there. It is too different from the little town where I am living now
    bye ;-)

  4. dongsung Says:

    Though it’s not fancy look or designed structure as I’m seeing the picture here, but I think I’ve seen these kinds of buildings which have built with similar concepts. To me, it looks pretty convenience and beautiful places but, it seem for the rich. But, I don’t want to miss to see and look around inside or outside of it. Absolutely, I’m not going to live or purchase high-end here. Thank you

  5. richardtung Says:

    It is good idea.We can buy and have a good view of the down-town at the same time if using the Parking Building. It was often difficult time when we were driving car in the big city and the parking price is pretty high.But I would not like to live in it.Maybe I think it is dangous and forlorn place for living. I can’t image to accept to live in it.
    Thank you Warren for give me new idea>

  6. Tania Says:

    Hi ! A new world with new and modern structures . Like Dubai with the Superscraper . I admire the new architectural design although 11 11 Lincoln Road
    seems to be a huge ship with large spaces but functional .
    I am fascinated by the luxuriant vegetation from the interior courtyards . I should not think twice to live there .
    And why not ? Visiting Miami or participing at a world class event to have dinner at the roof top restaurant with ocean , bay and city views .
    Or to work in a special office … Just in my dream .

    Best wishes ,

    Tania

  7. Tania Says:

    Hi ! What about the pollution , the noise and all drawbacks of the crowded places ?
    At least in my country the buildings too large , too high include too high costs with cleaning , security …
    For me 11 11 Lincoln Road is a new vision in megacities in a very different world of my own world .
    Thank you for this nice post .

    Tania

  8. Tania Says:

    Hi ! I have read and I have watched on TV the Bird,s Nest Stadium starting from the idea how a bird builds its nest .
    It is one of the Beijing ,s symbol .

    Tania

  9. Tania Says:

    Hi ! Thank you for the photo with the Tate Modern Museum in London . Interesting architecture .

    Tania

  10. Dan Says:

    This new idea may change the old impression of parking structures, I think i will be willing to live in such place.Why not?

  11. Thearasak Says:

    It’s a place that makes me to drive in circular direction to get to the very high level (at least 6-7 floors) because at the low level is not empty or it’s reserved for exclusive people.
    I feel dizzy every time when i need to use parking building.
    And that place always seems dark and dirty.

  12. Tania Says:

    Hi ! Spring is coming . A snowdrop for our dear ESLPOD team.
    A snowdrop to Dr. Lucy.
    A snowdrop to Dr. Jeff.
    A snowdrop to our teacher Warren .
    A snowdrop to all our blogfriends .

    Why a snowdrop ? The snowdrop is the symbol of the spring and of the friendship .

    I wish you a happy spring and all the best ,

    Tania

  13. Serge (from France) Says:

    Sure enough, the project is seductive to replace forlon parking structures. But in fact, I prefer to live in my neighbourood in a human-scale town in the Alpes (Grenoble). We (children, me and my wife) rarely use our car during the working week – we move around either by foot, bicycle or public transportations.
    There are some parking buildings in the outskirt. Some of these are to encourage people in using tramway. The ticket is cheaper than using downtown parking-meter. It includes a run-trip ticket by tramway or bus for all the car’s passengers.

    Snowdrops to all ! Even if I wish that snow will last a little longer to ski at least for one month more.

    Serge

  14. Giuliano Says:

    Hi, guys!
    I am from Brazil and I am very excited with your website. It´s completely useful for those who want to read a easy, different text, providing moments of distractibility.
    It has been perfect for me. I will be back always I have time.

    Regards

  15. Sonny Says:

    This parking structure is so cool; a new place for people in Miami to experience its exclusive architecture.Residents in this area can spend time going shopping there,having parties and enjoy the view from the top of the building.
    However, to own an apartment there is a financial problem;probably, it would cost a big amount of money.If i have a chance i would drive around this area, to find out its design.

  16. Valery Says:

    Why not? As for me, it’s very convenient and I’d like to live there. Of course, I need a good car the first ;)