Urban Fold

At Manhattan Big Box Mall, Parking Garage Still Sits Empty

A big box mall built in East Harlem, complete with an 1,100 space garage, is seeing its customers walk to shop instead of driving. The suburban assumptions underlying the enormous garage never panned out in the heart of the city.

Noah Kazis explains that with a lack of urban big box models to pull from, the developer estimated the parking needs using suburban models:

"The results, needless to say, weren't a good fit for Manhattan shoppers. Over half of East River Plaza's customers live in the three closest ZIP codes, and by and large, they get to the mall on foot. Just under half of all shoppers Gebhart surveyed as they entered the Target on the Tuesday afternoon had walked there. Only 27 percent had driven."

The design of the mall also suffers from inappropriate auto-orientation, says Kazis:

"Because the designers of East River Plaza had assumed most shoppers would be entering from the garage, not the street, the pedestrian environment is terrible for those entering on foot."

Thanks to Noah Kazis

Full Story: East River Plaza Parking Still Really, Really Empty, New Research Shows

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