As we continue celebrating our 55-year anniversary at Rich & Associates this month we are stepping back into the 1980s to recall some of our most unforgettable projects from the decade!
The Wayne State University Parking structure #5 is the fourth project designed by Rich & Associates on the Wayne State University campus in Midtown Detroit, it marks the first parking structure designed by the firm in collaboration with Walbridge Aldinger Construction of Detroit (now known as Walbridge). While this successful project is a fairly simple structure, it represents the birth of a long term successful relationship with Walbridge that spans more than 30 years. Since the successful completion of Parking Structure #5, Rich & Associates has had the honor of working with Walbridge on 26 parking garages, totaling more than 34,000 parking spaces, across the country.
The WSU Parking Structure #5 contains 1,078 parking spaces and was successfully completed in 1987 at a cost of $5 million.
While this successful project is a fairly simple structure, it represents the birth of a long term successful relationship with Walbridge that spans more than 30 years. Since the successful completion of Parking Structure #5, Rich & Associates has had the honor of working with Walbridge on the successful completion of 26 parking garages, totaling more than 34,000 parking spaces, across the country. Some of the more memorable design/build projects with Walbridge include;
Compuware Parking Garage (now One Campus Martius Garage), Detroit, MI.
- 2,200 spaces
- Ground level retail
- Constructed over existing elevated people mover tram that remained in operation during construction
- Two levels below grade and nine levels above grade.
Pierce Street Parking Garage, Tampa, FL
- 580 spaces
- 10 levels
- Constructed on tight downtown site
General Motors Warren Tech Center Parking Garages, Warren, MI.
- 5 parking garages totaling more than 9,000 parking spaces
Rich & Associates, and our parking development and management affiliates MEDPark and MEDPark Management, were first involved with Iowa Methodist Medical Center (IMMC) in 1983. The 30-year relationship began when Rich & Associates first performed a parking demand study for the Hospital. The purpose of the study was to determine the parking space requirements for a new medical office building to be built adjacent to an existing medical building, and to project the future campus needs. A detailed economic feasibility analysis for a new 600 space parking structure was also completed as part of the overall study
Six months following the completion of the parking study, IMMC decided not to finance the much-needed parking structure and invited private developers to provide development proposals. MEDPark, Inc. was one of three competing proposals that the Hospital received. Upon review, MEDPark’s proposal was deemed the most financially sound and advantageous to the Hospital
Financing was secured and construction began the week of July 8, 1985 and the building opened December 23, 1985. From the time of selection to opening of the structure, the time frame was only 18 months. This included the re-design of all of the paid and employee surface lots.
In 1988 the Hospital was planning several construction projects and required additional parking. The Hospital approached MEDPark with the issue. Since MEDPark built into the original structure capacity to add two more parking floors, MEDPark was able to meet the Hospital’s needs. We were able to fast-track the financing, design and construction of an additional 400 spaces. The expansion was completed in August, 1990 bringing the total capacity of the structure to 1,000.
The final expansion of the structure was to the south and involved an additional 800 car spaces and 94,000 square feet of office space on the first two levels serving as the Hospital’s Medical Education and Research Center (MERC). The MERC includes an auditorium, physician seminar room, health sciences library, classrooms, banquet facilities, and Hospital administration offices. This expansion brought the total capacity of the structure to approximately 1,800 cars.
As owners and operators of the parking structure, MEDPark has invested considerable time and money improving the facility serving the hospital patients, staff and visitors. Columns flanking drive aisles were candy striped in black and yellow because an ophthalmologist reported that some of his patients had trouble distinguishing between shades of gray. We upgraded the lighting, testing new fixtures in the deck to provide better light distribution for patrons to feel secure. MEDPark also made a significant investment improving accessibility for the disabled by enlarging access doors to the Hospital and constructing a larger lobby and wheel chair drop-off area.
In 1984 at the Puerto Rico Medical Center there was no organized parking system. For the most part the parking needs were met by approximately 3,000 uncontrolled off-street spaces. Rich & Associates approached the challenge in two phases. The first phase involved the analysis and preparation of a parking allocation plan for visitors and patients, employees and students. Based on the plan our team then laid out a campus wide system of access and revenue control systems that included cashiered transient lots and card-controlled employee/student lots. Our work included preparing plans and specifications for the construction of new entry and exit plans, and the installation of access and revenue control systems.
In the second phase, MEDPark, Rich & Associates parking management affiliate, put together a partnership with a local partner to finance the parking improvements and operate the entire campus parking system for the hospital.
Then in 1985, Rich & Associates’ planning team conducted an exhaustive demand and economic feasibility analysis for the planned construction of an 800-space parking deck. Based on the demand and economic feasibility study results, MEDPark and their partners financed, developed and operated the parking deck and the campus wide parking system over the next 20 years.