What’s to come in 2019!
Project Spotlight
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What’s to come in 2019!

2019 is shaping up to be a great year at Rich & Associates, Inc.  Over the next 12 months we look forward to seeing some exciting garage projects advance through design and construction. Some of the projects that we will be sharing with you in the coming 12 months include;

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Parking in The Holy Land!
History of Parking/Project Spotlight
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Parking in The Holy Land!

In 1995, the team of Parsons Brinckerhoff and Rich & Associates were awarded the design of the new Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv Israel. The project scope included the design of two (2) parking garages, a new roadway system, signage and security systems. We were also responsible for planning and designing state of the art access and revenue control systems, including vehicle count systems with dynamic signage.

The Rich & Associates’ team arrived a day or two later than the Parsons’ team and we all met at the same hotel in downtown Tel Aviv. Discussions that evening planned out the next day’s activities and included updates to some of the protocols during our stay. One piece of advice we were given was not to tip any of the waiters at any eating establishment by putting it on the tab because it was a common practice there to tip in cash.

The first meetings were held at the airport facility aviation department, and subsequent meetings were switched between aviation at the airport, and the engineering and architectural offices in downtown Tel Aviv. The local Engineer was Del and the local Architect was Shlomo Aronson & Associates. The whole stay in Tel Aviv during this and other trips, introduced both teams to a new type of security that we had not yet experienced in the states. For example, we were advised to be at the airport 3 hours prior to our flights scheduled departure so that all of our bags could be checked and we could be questioned. The roadway system on the way to the airport had a security checkpoint before you even entered the airport grounds. The team tended to drive together to the airport in the mornings, and during the evenings we would usually meet up to cover the days activity.

The initial design was to put the garage parallel to the terminal building which meant there would be a long façade of the garage facing the terminal. As more schemes were developed, the local architect decided that there should be a garden in this area so that all visitors in the baggage claim and transportation areas could view the garden.

To achieve this garden, we changed the design from one long garage, to two garages perpendicular to one another so that the garden could be developed in between both garages.

In Israel during this time, everyone had military experience as both male and female citizens were required to serve. During a meeting in the local architect’s office, the architect was interrupted by his secretary who came in and told him that he was needed on the phone immediately. The architect came back into the meeting, put his pad down on the table and said he had to leave because his tank division was called up regarding something going on near the border. The architect had been called on to active duty and left the meeting immediately.

As part of the design of the garage facilities, we were responsible for the signage, the operating equipment, the functional planning, the lighting, and the security systems. We requested discussions with the security guards who were going to be active in the garage to go over security camera locations and the voice operated emergency systems. The security guards asked a question in the meeting about where to place the cars they towed, I told them we had space next to the garage to store these cars. Their response was “you don’t understand, the cars we tow tend to blow up, so we need an area with a blast fence around it to tow these cars!” Following that, we asked about additional security measures at the airport and it was pointed out that there were hatches in the walkways leading to the terminal building which opened up to an underground area. We asked what the underground area was for, they said it was a blast area for suspicious bags that had been left unattended or possibly contained explosives.

The conditions we were working under made for a very interesting project overall. The trips back and forth to Tel Aviv, each trip lasting approximately one to two weeks, gave me some personal time to explore many things in Israel and for that I am very grateful. One experience in particular that I really enjoyed, was taking a cable car up the side of a mountain in Southern Israel to tour Masada and then stopping to go in to The Dead Sea. I was also able to explore cities like Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Jericho, which really made this project a once in a lifetime experience. In review of this project, I started to reminisce on other projects I have done, and realized that I have had the pleasure of traveling to 14 different countries to work on projects. There were about 6 other countries that we had done designs for which I did not travel to, one of those countries being Saudi Arabia. I was advised not to go to Saudi Arabia because my passport had shown many visits to Israel.

 

 

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Royal Oak Construction
Project Spotlight
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Royal Oak Construction

Construction has been underway on the new 550-space 11 Mile Rd. Parking Structure for the City of Royal Oak, MI. The Rich & Associates’ team provided parking consulting, architectural, and structural engineering design services for this project. Here are some images of the new 550-space parking structure as it rises out of the ground today!

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My Colombian Adventures! Told by Richard C. Rich.
Project Spotlight
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My Colombian Adventures! Told by Richard C. Rich.

“Early in our firm’s history I had the opportunity to work on a number of parking garage projects in downtown Cali, Colombia, South America. It all began in 1967, when I received a call from New York asking if I would be interested in a parking project in Cali. Since I was already working on a parking feasibility study in Lima, Peru, I agreed to take on the new project in Cali. So, in 1967 I flew to Cali, which in my opinion is one of the most beautiful cities in the whole country of Colombia.

This new project was part of a development in Downtown Cali that was to be done for the Hotel Aristi. When I arrived, I met with one of the brothers who owned the hotel named Walter Aristizabal. Walter ended up being a very good friend of mine until his death in 2006. Walter and I became such good friends that I even spent 5 consecutive New Year’s Eves at his home in Cali. I would continue to visit Walter at least twice a year, from anywhere from 10 days to 2 weeks at a time, up until 4 years before his death.

The Hotel Aristi project consisted of a parking garage for the hotel along with a new apartment building on top of the garage. The site for this new garage was approximately 170 feet by 170 feet. Because Walter wanted apartments on top of the garage, I designed a central 70-foot diameter ramp for down-bound traffic to use as an exit out of the garage. I then wrapped a sloped parking module around all 4 sides of the garage for the inbound traffic to take upwards to enter the garage. This design gave us a center section in the garage that allowed columns to be built outside of the rectangular section of the spiral ramp which in turn supported upper level. This design was similar to other garages I had previously designed here in the United States. Rich & Associates was responsible for all of the grades and functional planning on this project. The garage was completed in 1970 with a provision to add one more floor of parking between the apartment house and the garage which they subsequently added.

After the completion of the Hotel Aristi, I went on to design four other garages in Cali, Colombia. I remember walking around one job site in particular that was in the early stages of construction and seeing an area where some small shops and residences were demolished to build a garage. I noticed a hole that had been dug measuring about 6-8 feet in diameter and at least 3 feet deep. I had no memory of a foundation being built in that area so I asked the owner why that hole was being dug. The owner told me that the Calima culture and the Quimbaya Civilization were known for burying their gold and jewelry in various locations in Downtown Cali. So, before any construction began on a site where gold and jewelry had possibly been buried, people would come in and dig for these treasures. These treasure hunters would in turn give a large percentage of whatever they found to the site owner.

*A map of where the Calima Culture and the Quimbaya Civilization were known to bury their gold, along with what some famous gold pieces discovered in Cali looked like.

On another memorable trip to Cali, one of the clients I was doing business with said a man asked him who had designed his garage. My client told him that I designed the garage, and the man said he was going to get ahold of me. When I met up with the man, I noticed that he was dripping in gold necklaces, gold chains, and gold bracelets. After talking, the man said that he was not the principal of the company, that he was only a representative and that I would probably never meet the principal. Out of curiosity, I asked the man who the principal was and what kind of business he was in. He gave me the name of two brothers who were in the pharmaceutical business as principals for this new project. I agreed to take a look at the proposed site, gather some information and come up with a fee for the man. Later that evening, I had dinner with a client of mine and his wife. During dinner, I mentioned the meeting that I had earlier that day. They were curious as to who the owner of this new project was so I gave them the name of the two brothers in the pharmaceutical business. They looked at me and told me that those two brothers are the biggest drug dealers in Cali and that I should never meet with them or their representative again because the DEA was watching their every move! I gave the representative the highest fee I could think of and told him I was no longer interested in doing the job.

During another one of my trips to Cali, at a social event at Walters house, a lot of our friends were gathered around and one man said to me ‘do you know why you get along with us so well?’ I said ‘No, why?’, he said ‘you never talk politics, you don’t talk religion, and you eat anything we serve you, you don’t even ask what it is.’”

The aerial pictures below of the Aristi Hotel and Parking Garage with Apartments on top were taken by me (Richard C. Rich) on May 8th 1975. I owned a Hasselblad 500 EL motor drive camera that was fitted for aerial photography, it could take film back 70mm pictures for 2 ½” x 2 ½“ negatives. I used this camera to take pictures of existing conditions during feasibility studies when we didn’t have access to the appropriate aerial photos in the city where we were doing our study. This camera was fitted for aerial photography because it had a U-shaped control mechanism allowing you to hold the camera in the bracket and push the button to take the pictures. When in Cali, I asked Walter if he could arrange for a pilot and an airplane to pick me up at my hotel in the morning so that I could take aerial pictures of all the projects I had done in the area. It was slightly overcast the morning the pilot picked me up, so the pilot drove me to his house near the airport to wait for the overcast to clear. The pilot had a strong and unique accent, I asked him how many hours in the air he had, and he told me that he flew 60 fighter missions during the war. I then asked him what kind of an airplane he flew and he said a Messerschmitt 109 which meant he was part of the Luftwaffe. We stopped at the pilot’s house which was adorned with many memorabilia of World War II, he was a crop duster now in Cali, Colombia. We then went to the airport and he told me not to expose the camera until we were in the air because it was illegal to take pictures without permission. The whole side came down on the right-hand side of the airplane so you really had to be strapped in.

 

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Park Your…Elephant!?
Project Spotlight
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Park Your…Elephant!?

In 1957, Enco Engineering and Richard C. Rich designed a multi-purpose complex for the Dayton Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This new structure was built to replace an obsolete 400-car attendant parking garage, warehouses, and retail stores. Built to provide for a 700-car, self-service parking deck, this new structure included retail shops on the east side of the first floor, warehousing in a sub-basement, delivery truck docks in the first basement, docking and loading space for large trucks on the west side of the first floor, and warehouse space on the mezzanine. The garage was constructed as a sloped-floor, 60-degree angle parking with a spiral down ramp. At the time, the supporting columns of the open area parking decks were designed to support two additional floors.

Subsequently, in 1963, the Dayton Company requested designs for expanding the use of the structure, including additional parking levels and a top floor exhibition hall. It was determined that a 20,000 square foot Exhibition Hall, seating 2,000, could be added above the additional floors of the already existing parking garage.

The exhibition hall, which is also a clear-span structure, was built with large folding doors to separate the interior spaces and has been used for a wide variety of functions. This new area has a complete stage and dressing room unit, and a large loading door opening from the parking deck area. It connects directly to the store, and also with the parking areas.

Here is what Richard C. Rich recalls from the 1963 requests to expand the structure to accommodate for a top floor Exhibition Hall.

“In 1963 I got a call from Daytons Department store in Minneapolis (having done the original garage in 1957) they requested I re-design the structure to accommodate for two more floors of parking. They also asked if they could put an exhibition hall on the top (8th) floor. We had several meetings regarding the exhibition hall and agreed that there would be sufficient strength on the already standing building to support their new requests. They wanted to connect the new exhibition hall to the 8th floor of the already existing department store.

During the discussions we asked what kind of exhibitions’ they were going to be hosting in the new hall since they requested sliding doors so they could partition off the hall and use it for multiple functions. The discussions led to the talk of bringing in a circus to the new exhibition hall which led to the question of what kind of animals will be in this circus. The reply was elephants and other types of animals. I asked how they were going to get the elephants up to the 8th floor of the store and they said they were going to walk them up the parking floors. I looked at him and said I would have to check that out because I didn’t know how much an elephant weighed, but judging from their size it was going to be more than the sloped floors of the garage could handle. During our break I called the zoo and asked what a typical circus elephant weighed, they told me give or take 8,000lbs. Since an elephant will have two feet on the ground at any one time, it would be 4,000lbs of footprint at a time, far exceeding the live load of the parking floors. I went back to the meeting and suggested that walking the elephants up the parking floors would not work and would result in large cracks in the floors. We decided to put an outdoor hatch on the back side of the building, so that if they ever had the big elephants they could lift them by crane and slip them in the back side of the building.

We went ahead with the project and designed the entire building with the interior exhibition hall. During the actual operations they decided it would be too much to bring the elephants onto a crane and into the back of the exhibition hall. The circus decided to bring in baby elephants which caused a minor uproar. Because they were taking the baby elephants up the passenger elevators and up to the exhibition hall, as you could imagine, they spent a lot of time cleaning up the large deposits of dung in the elevator that were left behind from the elephants.”

 

*The Minneapolis multi-purpose parking structure as basically designed and constructed.

 

*The complete additions which increased the parking facilities and the Exhibition Hall which increases the utilization of the structure.

 

*Interior of the Exhibition Hall with mechanized partition in place for smaller exhibits demonstrates the many possible combinations of usage available, one large hall or a group of smaller areas which may be used simultaneously, large folding doors were installed to separate spaces within the Exhibition Space.

 

*Public acceptance of facilities of this type is obviously indicated in this use of the Exhibition Hall.

 

 

*This is a page from Mr. Rich’s project journal from 1958. This image details the price per square foot and price per parking space ($2,426) in which it cost to construct Daytons Dept. Store parking garage in 1958.

 

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What we’ve been up to!
Project Spotlight
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What we’ve been up to!

The Rich & Associates Planning Team has been busy this summer! We added an additional four stops to our roadmap with studies in Flagstaff, AZ., Boyne City, MI., Adrian, MI., and Ypsilanti, MI.
  • In Flagstaff, AZ., we spent a full week in July conducting a parking study update consisting of 48 blocks in the Downtown area!
  • In Boyne City, MI., we conducted a week-long study at the end of June reviewing parking pertaining primarily to the downtown area, and will be making recommendations to meet the communities current and future needs.
  • In Adrian, MI., we will be assessing the current and future parking conditions of Downtown Adrian to provide the city with improvements to their parking system.
  • In Ypsilanti, MI., Our team will be working to create a long-term, sustainable parking strategy including a supply and demand assessment; recommendations for both infrastructure and parking system management; recommendations to develop, deploy, coordinate, or support alternate modes; and a financing and implementation strategy.

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Groundbreaking at Beaumont!
Project Spotlight
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Groundbreaking at Beaumont!

Beaumont Health, a nonprofit hospital with headquarters in Royal Oak, Michigan, is consolidating its shared services employees from 16 different locations to the First Center building in Southfield, Michigan. In 2018 and 2019 some 3,000 Beaumont employees will be relocating to the renovated office building.

 In order to accommodate the large employee population surface and structured parking facilities are underway. Currently under construction is the new South Parking Deck, design by Rich & Associates in association with Neumann Smith Architecture. The new South Parking Deck will provide 600 parking spaces to the campus and is designed to be expanded horizontally in the future.

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The New Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion Parking Garage!
Project Spotlight
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The New Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion Parking Garage!

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

Rich & Associates recently completed design of a 700-space parking garage that will serve the new Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion for 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.

 

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Looking back to the 1990s!
Project Spotlight
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Looking back to the 1990s!

As we continue to reflect back on significant decades from our first 55 years, this month we are taking a look at some of our most influential projects from the 1990s! During the 1990s we had the pleasure of working with a number of large university campuses and a major airport!


The University of Virginia – Charlottesville, Virginia. – Over a 30-year span, the University of Virginia had constructed and expanded several of the facilities on its richly historic campus. Demand for parking generated from the developments, along with campus population growth, had risen occupancy levels of campus parking to almost 100%. Rich & Associates was selected by the University of Virginia to prepare an implementation plan for the construction of new campus parking facilities. The project was divided in to two phases. Phase I – Site Analysis and Selection Study, and Phase II – Design and Engineering.

To complete Phase I, Rich & Associates implemented a site selection program to effectively analyze each potential site for proposed new parking. In collaboration with the University Project Building Committee, an Interactive Planning and Design Session was conducted on campus for one week. Working closely with the Committee, various campus officials and organizations, a site selection program was prepared for proposed new parking. Evaluation and selection criteria was developed by Rich & Associates, including long-term master planning objectives, cost, level of service, constructability, etc. It was also determined that new campus parking should meet the following goals:

  • To serve the overall parking needs of the University
  • To meet the long-term needs of the UVA community and its surrounding neighborhoods
  • To meet the plans and goals outlined in the University Facilities Master Plan
  • To maximize the number of parking spaces available on any site
  • To increase the parking departments revenue generation capacity
  • To allow efficient and pleasant vehicular and pedestrian access
  • To maintain the beauty and historic character of the University

Following the completion of a parking garage site planning study, Rich & Associates was retained by the University to provide design and engineering services for a new parking garage that was built as part of the expansion and renovation to Scott Stadium. Rich & Associates worked closely with the architects for the stadium expansion and renovation. The result is a unique precast parking garage constructed into the hillside.

The Scott Stadium garage features parking for 650 vehicles during special events at the stadium and during normal school days. The roof or top level of the parking structure was engineered to support parking for large passengers busses and television communication trailers.

Shortly after the completion of the Scott Stadium garage, Rich & Associates was retained to work with a team of local architects on the design and engineering of a second parking garage to serve the new John Paul Jones Arena. The new 15,000 seat arena primarily serves the University’s basketball program. The 1,000 space parking garage serves both the arena and other campus parking needs.


York University – North York, Ontario, Canada. – Seated on over 600 acres of land, York University had been growing steadily since 1963. Until recently, the University has been able to expand surface parking to meet its ever-increasing demand. The new construction will eliminate almost 1,000 valuable spaces and includes Seneca College (a new junior college), a football field, and a Hockey complex. These developments forced the University to take a serious look at the parking conditions on campus, and to plan for their first parking garage. The University selected Rich & Associates to develop a program for the parking and select a site (or sites) for the campus’s first parking garage(s).

Recognizing the concerns of many campus constituents with multi-level parking garages, Rich & Associates conducted on-campus Interactive Planning and Design Sessions. At these sessions, various campus groups were given the opportunity to voice their needs and concerns with the project, including security, accessibility, and the aesthetic impact. The information gathered during these workshops was compiled in a project program manual used in the site selection process. Rich & Associates then analyzed 17 potential parking garage sites. Working with the University, evaluation criteria were established, it included compliance with the overall master plan, vehicular ingress/egress, pedestrian access and safety, revenue generating potential, security, design efficiency, and relative cost.

Once the sites were analyzed Rich & Associates narrowed the options to three principal sites that conformed to the overall objectives of the campus and the goals of the campus master plan. As many as sixteen design schemes were developed on the three chosen sites. Each scheme included various options including educational/office space, an advanced technology center and a campus security office. The architectural relationship and impact on adjacent buildings was studied, as well as environmental impacts, including storm water management. Cost estimates for each scheme were developed and used as part of the overall selection criteria.

Since the completion of the parking master site plan, Rich & Associates provided planning and design services for three campus parking structures including:

  • York Lanes Garage – 350 spaces
  • Arboretum Garage – 750 spaces including 30,000 sq. ft. of space for the campus safety and parking departments and the campus computer lab
  • Student Services Garage – 1,000 spaces


Lester B. Pearson International Airport – Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Rich & Associates, Inc., as parking consultants to the lead engineering team, provided programming and functional design of a new 12,000 space parking garage as part of a new replacement terminal development project at LBPIA in Toronto, Ontario. Working as the lead parking consultant to the prime engineering consulting team for the parking and roadway infrastructure, Rich & Associates coordinated closely with the Airport and terminal design team specifically related to traffic flow of the parking garage, and vehicular and pedestrian circulation between the parking and new terminal.

Two distinct challenges faced the design team. First, was the phasing of one of Canada’s largest free-standing parking garages. Due to the need to maintain existing operations during the phase one construction of approximately 9,000 spaces, the team carefully studied various phase one plans that preserved existing access roads and buildings on a portion of the site.

The second challenge was to design floor plans and a circulation system to accommodate the segregation of varying user groups. The garage provides parking to airport employees, long-term and short-term parking, as well as rental car ready and return functions. The challenge was to segregate and control these types of uses on different levels within this massive 1,063 foot by 656 foot garage while maintaining efficient traffic flow and circulation on each floor and from floor to floor.

Under a separate contract with the airport, Rich & Associates provided planning, design and specifications for new parking access and revenue control systems. The new system featured state of the art information systems, vehicle license plate identification systems, cashiered, pay-on-foot systems and smart meter systems.


Fast-forward 25 years to the second quarter of 2018.

Construction is nearly complete on another one of Dearborn’s newest parking garages! As design/build consultants to Devon Industrial Group of Detroit (DIG), Rich & Associates provided parking consulting, architectural and structural engineering design services for the second parking deck in Dearborn, MI. We are excited to be part of such a transformational project with Ford as they implement the modernization of their research and engineering corporate campus into a modern, green and high-tech campus!

Parking Deck Conceptual Design and Rendering by SmithGroupJJR

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