The Y2K!
History of Parking
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The Y2K!

As we continue our journey of reminiscing over memorable & influential projects from our first 55-years here at Rich & Associates, we’ve made our way into the 2000s! The 2000s are most remembered for encompassing worldwide projects from both Rich & Associates and MedPark, Inc. that paved the way in their modern design & thorough planning.

City of Warren, MI. Civic Center Parking Garage

In 2005, Rich & Associates had the honor to work as parking consultants and structural engineers to Neumann Smith Architecture on a 710-space parking garage as part of the new Civic Center development for the City of Warren, MI. Not only did the Warren Civic Center project win a 2008 AIA Michigan Honor Award, it marked the first parking garage project that Rich & Associates designed as consultants to Neumann Smith.

The new landmark Civic Center lines the east edge of a new city square park consisting of formal green space, a fountain/skating rink, and a pavilion building. The modern glass and brick design recalls the City’s roots as an important industrial, research, and development town, whose great icon was the GM Tech Center.  The new building, which features a 7-story clock tower, creates a powerful visual “bookend” to the Vehicle Engineering Center, the tallest building on the GM Tech Center campus.

The new 710-car parking structure abuts the City Hall/Library and is located so that it can also serve the neighboring police and court buildings and any future mixed-use developments.  The scale and mass were designed to maximize the level of user service, to minimize the use of valuable land, and to be recessive to the City Hall/Library building and future development.

Since the completion of this project, we have had the privilege of collaborating with Neumann Smith on the design of eight successful parking garage projects including the multi-award winning ‘Z’ Deck in downtown Detroit.


Veterans Administration Regional Office and Parking Structure

Jesse Brown West Side Medical Center – Chicago, Il.

In 1996, the US Department of Veterans Affairs issued a request for proposal for the private development of a 1,000-car parking facility (surface parking and structure).  It was issued under the newly adopted Enhanced Use Lease program, where the private developer was encouraged to provide other revenue generating uses within the structure to help subsidize the cost.  MEDPark, Rich & Associates’ private parking development affiliate, determined that the parking project would not be feasible without subsidies due to the DVA policy of free patient parking.

Despite the lack of feasibility, MEDPark and Rich & Associates submitted a proposal response offering alternative development scenarios.  MEDPark was selected over eight other submittals. Over the next four years the team and DVA met on several occasions to finalize a successful development approach that satisfied all parties. During this time, the project program grew to include a 1,600-space parking structure and 100,000 square foot office building for the Veterans Administration Regional Office.

MEDPark served as the developer responsible for the design and delivery of the entire project.  While Rich & Associates provided architectural and engineering services for the garage, MEDPark hired SmithGroup JJR to design the office building. Our team was responsible for the entire project providing project management services, guaranteeing the final cost and project schedule. We administered the design and construction process and negotiated the final GMP with our design/build partners Walbridge.

Completed in 2005, both buildings were successfully completed on time and under budget. Today, MEDPark Management is operating both facilities.

*Richard C. Rich, President/Founder of Rich & Associates & MEDPark, Inc. pictured second from right


Central Market Street Mixed‐Use Development – Moscow, Russia.

Rich & Associates was involved in the planning and functional design of a 450-space multi-level below grade parking structure in Moscow, Russia. As a consultant to the development team, we worked closely with their design team to produce this new structure.

Our role as parking consultants involved preparing a functional design package to be used by the owner’s architect in the final design and engineering of the parking garage portion of the overall development. This functional package was essentially the detailed layout and design of the parking floor plans including grading of the floor and ramps, stall layout, traffic circulation and markings, signage, and entry and exit details.

We studied numerous alternative design concepts based on the previous programming and preliminary design prepared by the architect. We also studied alternative mechanical parking structure systems versus conventional parking garage. Our mission was to develop functional plan that improved the efficiency of the traffic flow and efficiency of construction to reduce the project costs.

Since our work on this project, we were retained by another Russian developer to work with them and their lead architect SOM, on the design of a 2,000-space parking garage to serve a large mixed-use hotel, office and residential development in Moscow.


Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion Parking Garage, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI.

Fast-forward 20 years to mid 2018, Rich & Associates recently completed design of a 700-space parking garage that will serve the new Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. As parking consultants to lead architects SmithGroup JJR, Rich & Associates is providing parking consulting, design and engineering services. Currently under construction, the parking garage features a 2,000 sf of ground level space that will house medical data file storage, provisions for future retail space, a receiving area and ambulance bays on the ground level.


*Rendering provided by SmithGroup JJR

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And They’re Off!
History of Parking
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And They’re Off!

And They’re Off!

As many of you know this Saturday, May 5th is the 144th annual Kentucky Derby! In honor of this historical event, we’ve decided to look at some facts about the race, the way horses were originally used as a mode of transportation, when transportation evolved from a horse to a vehicle and how the vehicles created a demand for the parking garages and studies we are involved with today!

The Kentucky Derby, first held in 1875 at Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, is the longest-running sports event in the United States. The mint julep, the Derby’s traditional drink, is wildly overpriced at $11 a pop. Connoisseurs of bourbon consider it a waste of good whiskey. On Derby Day the infield will hold around 80,000 revelers, making it Kentucky’s third-largest city, behind Lexington and Louisville. The 1¼-mile distance has been standard since 1896. The first 21 Derby’s were contested at 1½ miles.

The domestication of the horse dates back to around 6000-5500 BC and has had a significant impact of many aspects of human history and culture. Although there is much debate about the history of domestic horses, research indicates that horses were first domesticated by the Botai Culture of Kazakhstan. Primarily between 1815 – 1915 Concorde buggies were a primary mode of short-distance, personal transportation, while horseback riding in towns and rural areas was much less common.  Buggies required at least crudely graded main roadways, where horses could go almost anywhere. The growing use of buggies for local travel expanded, along with stage lines and railroads for longer trips.

In cities and towns, horse-drawn railed vehicles gave carriage to poor workers and the lower middle class. The upper middle class used buggies, as did farmers, while the rich had the more elegant 4-wheel carriages for local use. In the late 19th century, bicycles became another factor in urban personal transport. In the United States, hundreds of small companies produced buggies, and their wide use helped to encourage the grading and graveling of main rural roads and actual paving in towns which provided all-weather passage within and between larger towns. By the early 1910s, the number of automobiles had surpassed the number of buggies, but the use of buggies continued well into the 1920s in out of the way places.

As more and more people bought cars, the need for a place to park grew immensely. The first ‘parking garage’ dates back to the early 1900’s and doesn’t look like most garages we are familiar with today. Parking garages in this time were multi-car buildings which often mimicked the look of homes or multi-story commercial buildings. Sometimes parking garages were horse stables, where they would charge the same for parking a car as they did for stalling a horse. The first multi-story parking garage that we know of, was built in 1918.

The early parking garages were staffed with parking attendants who would park the car. In some cases, the car was placed on a platform with car lifts and would automatically be moved to an available parking space.

In the 1950’s there was a construction boom when it comes to parking garages with self-service parking garages. There were several innovations in the design and construction self-service parking garages. Most of what we see today in North America are self-service parking garages. However advancements in technology are leading to increased construction of automated facilities.

 

Sources:
http://www.parking-net.com/parking-industry-blog/a-short-description-of-the-history-of-parking-garages
kentuckyderby.com
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse_and_buggy
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Continuing our 55-year anniversary celebration!
History of Parking/Project Spotlight
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Continuing our 55-year anniversary celebration!

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.

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We’ve made it to the ’70s!
History of Parking/Not Parking
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We’ve made it to the ’70s!

Continuing Our 55-year Anniversary Celebration!

As we continue to celebrate our 55-year anniversary here at Rich & Associates, we’re looking back in to the 1970′ at some of our firm’s more noteworthy projects!

The ’70s were a notable decade at R&A for many reasons. During this period, we expanded our services to include the private development and operation of parking garages and designed a garage that would later be recognized on a list of historic places worthy of preservation by the National Register of Historic Places.

First on our list is the Davenport Bank & Trust Garage in Davenport, IA.

Rich & Associates was first hired by the Bank to provide concept design studies for a parking garage to serve the Bank’s existing building. During the process, the project evolved to include four floors of new banking facilities adjacent to the garage and one level of office space above the garage.

Before moving into detailed design, the bank president, knowing of Richard C. Rich’s personal relationship with renowned architect Minoru Yamasaki, asked if we could engage Mr. Yamasaki in the architectural façade design of the project. As a favor to Dick Rich, Mr. Yamasaki agreed to provide the façade design on one condition. The condition was that his name and his firm’s name were not to be associated with the project in any manner. At that point in his career the scope of the project was not something that he or his firm normally took on.

The project was completed in 1971 and included a 220-space parking garage, 36,000 square feet of banking facilities adjacent to the garage and 28,000 square feet of office space atop the garage. On May 12, 2016 the Davenport Bank & Trust Garage was recognized by the National Register of Historic Places Program and placed on the official list of the Nation’s Historic Places worthy of preservation. The Davenport Bank & Trust Garage is noted as being exceptionally significant because of its multi-use function as a parking garage and office, unique within Davenport, and as a distinct high-style parking garage that exemplifies late Modern Movement Architecture.

Second is the Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority Garage in Oklahoma City, OK.

This unique 1,500 space parking structure spans 3 city blocks. It features 28,000 square feet of ground level retail spaces open to 30-foot-wide interior light core in the center of the garage. The light core provided natural light into the lower parking levels and ground level area for restaurant seating. An articulated glass enclosed stair and elevator towers extends 26 feet from the parking structure providing connectivity to an adjacent hotel.

Rich & Associates provided parking consulting, architectural and engineering design services for this project which was completed in 1972

Coming in at number 3 on our ’70s list is the Locust Mall Parking Structure in Des Moines, IA.

In 1976 Rich & Associates provide parking consulting, design and engineering services for this mixed-use parking garage in downtown Des Moines. The Locust Mall Parking Structure, as it became known, was the result of a revitalization program in Downtown Des Moines, IA.. The site was surrounded by two large office buildings, a major department store and the site of a new hotel. Through careful planning, design and engineering, Rich & Associates was developed a successful parking plan that included parking for 711 cars and 96,000 square feet of retail spaces. The Locust Mall Parking Structure also featured an overhead bridge connection to a major department.

Rounding out our list of memorable ’70s projects at Rich & Associates is the Hurley Medical Center in Flint, MI.
This project represents the first parking garage privately financed, developed and operated by the firm through an affiliate company now known as MEDPark. Rich & Associates was first engaged by Hurley Hospital to complete campus parking demand study. At the conclusion of the study, it was determined that the Hospital was deficient of parking needed to support existing campus activities and the future construction of a new medical office building. Due to certificate of need restrictions, the Hospital decided to solicit proposals from private developers to design/build, own and operate a 660-space parking garage.

In 1978. the principals of Rich & Associates formed an affiliate company and was one of four (4) competing proposals submitted. We were successfully awarded the contract to develop and operate the parking garage as well the 45,000 square foot medical office building. We owned and operated both buildings for several years before eventually selling the facilities back to the Hospital. Since this time, Rich & Associates and MEDPark would go on to privately develop more than $90 million in parking projects and operate more than 10,000 parking spaces.

12
Celebrating 55 Years!
History of Parking/Not Parking
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Celebrating 55 Years!

As we celebrate Rich & Associates turning 55 this year, we’re taking a look back at some of our most monumental projects from our first decade! Rich & Associates is proud to have completed three “firsts” of a kind during our initial years!

Topping our list of “firsts” is Stanwix Autopark in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Stanwix Autopark was one of the first constructed mixed-use garages of its kind. It was designed in 1963, and combines 10 levels of parking totaling 700 spaces, ground level first-floor retail space, two floors of office space, and 12 stories of apartments. The garage also features a heated exterior express ramp, and a 76 ft. glass-enclosed carpeted and landscaped sky-walk to Horne’s Department Store! Stanwix goes down as one of our most influential projects and would ultimately pave the way for more mixed-use garages to come from Rich & Associates!

“Harry Shepard was the owner of Stanwix Autopark, I did a project for Harry three years prior (to 1963) while I was working for National Garages”, says Richard C. Rich, PE, founding President of Rich & Associates. “Together, Harry and I successfully completed one of the first self-park parking garages in Tallahassee, Florida. The project was successfully completed on time and below budget! When I left National Garages and went on to form Rich & Associates, Harry contacted me saying he wanted me to re-design his new garage known as Stanwix Autopark in downtown Pittsburgh. Harry and I had talked previously about combining other uses (retail and office spaces, apartments, etc.,) to a parking garage. Mixed-use design became a focal point of the new Stanwix project.”

“During this time, we were doing a lot of converting old attendant based parking lots into self-park parking lots, this was our main focus for the Stanwix project. Harry had an old loan out on his current garage and the only way he was able to convince the lender to allow him to tear down his existing attendant-based garage was to produce documentation outlining the costs and benefits. So, we worked with him analyzing and projecting the savings by transitioning into a self-service parking garage. We were able to demonstrate that the transition to self-service would ultimately result in the operation earning more money per space.”

The Pittsburgh Press published an article on Tuesday, March 17, 1964 stating that “the parking garage at Stanwix Street and Fort Duquesne is breathing its last today as wrecking crews will move in to raze the structure, making way for a 23-story multi-million-dollar public parking garage-office-apartment building which Harry W. Shepard Jr., (developer of the site) regards as unique, even in a city which has blazed the trail in urban renewal.” This new structure would be known as Stanwix Autopark.

This is not the only “first” that Rich & Associates experienced in our initial years. In addition to Stanwix Autopark being one of the first large scale mixed-use garages of its time, we were also responsible for designing what were to be considered the largest above-ground and underground garages at the time.

In 1966 Rich & Associates started the design of a 10,000-car garage (pictured below) at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois as parking consultants to C.F. Murphy Associates. The garage, at the time of completion, was the largest above-grade single parking garage in the world.

Rich & Associates then went on to design the largest underground garage (pictured below) at that time. We were hired by architect Minoru Yamasaki to design a 6,000-space underground garage that was built underneath two triangular office buildings known at that time as the “Theme Towers”, in Los Angeles, California.
Richard C. Rich, PE
President & Founder | Rich & Associates

Fast forward 55 years to the end of 2017, The East 2nd Street Parking Garage in Des Moines, Iowa opens!

“The East 2nd Street Parking Garage for the City of Iowa represents the 14th parking garage project that Rich & Associates has designed as parking engineering consultants to Neumann Monson Architects, of Iowa City. The relationship with Neumann Monson spans more than 30 years and has produced successful parking garages throughout the State of Iowa including Iowa City, Dubuque, Davenport, Ottumwa, Ames and Des Moines.”

“The East 2nd Street (City Hall) Parking Garage was built by the City of Des Moines to support the redevelopment of a public surface parking lot into a mixed-use retail and residential development. The parking structure features 540 parking spaces in six levels. A roof level structure over the top level of parking is designed and engineered to support the installation of PV arrays enabling the structure to achieve net zero energy.”
David Rich
Project Development Director | Rich & Associates

When we look back on the journey of these significant and remarkable 55 years at Rich & Associates we are proud of the foundation our success is built upon. We have accomplished a lot together in our first 55 years, but we believe that our greatest accomplishments still lie ahead of us. Here’s to the next 55!

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History of Parking/Infographics
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Infographics: Marketing Your Parking

What’s the point of having parking if no one can find it?

Marketing your parking is just as important as having it! That’s why we’re here to give you some tips from our parking pros on how to marketing your city’s parking effectively. From branding to position of your signage, our planning team knows how to help your city maximize it’s parking potential!

 

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History of Parking
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The Evolution of Parking

 

It’s Friday night, you’re elated. Because it’s your first MLB game of the summer and you have great seats right along the first base line. You get off the exit and follow the signs to the parking structure that conveniently sits beside the stadium. You park your car on the 4th floor and take the elevator down to the main floor. It’s a short walk to the stadium, and you make it in time for the first pitch. Have you ever stopped to realize how parking structures make attending major events so convenient? Probably not. But you have the parking consultants, engineers, and designers from the past and present to thank for their years of innovation for your convenient trip to the ball game.

The history of vehicle parking, of course, starts with the invention of the automobile. But while the Model-T was first produced in 1908, it wasn’t until 1912 (when Detroit Henry Ford’s innovative assembly line made cars widely available in the United States) that the need for vehicle parking was even considered. By the 1920’s, there was a major demand for vehicle parking, and some very creative thinkers were devising ways to meet that demand. Twenty-five years ago Rich & Associates gathered copies of many historical parking related patents that illustrate some of the creativity in parking back then.

Below is a patent from 1932 for a combination tenement and storage building. While it was conceived to be applicable to many uses, this image illustrates a combined parking garage and another occupancy use. 

Although the implementation of a mixed-use parking structure is not a necessarily a new concept, mixed- use garage design is extremely popular today. Many of today’s structures are combined with other uses including commercial, retail, transit functions, athletic fields on roof level, bowling alleys, medical clinics, etc. With the investment and development of autonomous vehicles, the future of the parking industry faces an unknown. Will the innovation of autonomous vehicles result in a decrease in the demand for parking?  Some people predict that the demand for parking will cease to exist. It may, but the timing is difficult to predict. 

With uncertainty about the future of parking looming, the evolution of the parking structure is in next-use programming and design. Rich & Associates’ team of engineers and designers are working on solutions to the unknown future, developing design solutions to accommodate a change in use of the structure in the future to residential or office space. This provides the owner with the resources needed to meet today’s parking demand and the ability to repurpose all or portions of the parking structure to another use should the predicted reduction in parking demand be realized.

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