The Next Generation of New Urbanists group and area residents will be gathering tomorrow at the West Side’s Five Points intersection tomorrow for a traffic calming exercise. The event is part of the Congress for the New Urbanism conference happening this week.
Five Points is formed by the intersecting streets of West Utica, Rhode Island and Brayton on the West Side. The Next Generation event, simply named Five Points+, will involve a citizen intervention that will be part street party, chalking, and urban greening in what organizers are calling “tactical urbanism.”
Architect Charles Gordon passed along information on some concepts he has drafted for the same intersection and adjoining blocks. Gordon had been working with a development team interested in a mixed-use development centered on the Five Points area. Key to the proposal was to make Five Points “a place” not just an intersection.
- An urban, low-rise yownhouse/condo development designed to fill in underutilized properties at this very important intersection.
- Take advantage of unique street design and parcel shapes.
- Strengthen linkages to Sedita Elementary School, Urban Roots Nursery, 5 Points Bakery and other neighborhood landmarks.
Gordon’s team envisioned a landscaped piazza-like space that would be shared by pedestrians, bikes, cars, and vendors. Traffic calming paving and landscaping treatments would be utilized. New residential and mixed-use development of two to six stories would fill in the Five Points intersection and contain fingers that extend into the neighborhood. Infill townhomes along a new street off of Brayton would be constructed.
The development team had a difficult time lining up the property needed to carry out the infill project, about three acres worth with multiple owners. The developers determined that a project with about 100 units would be necessary to make the project pencil out.
While the plan for the new commercial and residential units has been shelved for now, the idea of creating “a place” at Five Corners will come alive tomorrow from 11 AM until 3 PM.