That decrepit building, known as the “Steak & Sundae building,” hugs the northeast corner of James and Midler. And we want to keep it because it follows the guidelines a lot better than an empty lot. In Eastwood you need a plan before you can just tear a building down.
Below you can see an aerial view of the corner of James and Midler. The “Steak & Sundae” building is indicated by an asterisk: *. That building is inviting for people to walk into, as long as it’s maintained and occupied, of course. Most important, it holds the corner and its parking lot is mostly in the rear. “Urbanism starts with the location of the parking lot.”
Look at the southwest corner. This is where the Sports Center was (#3). It’s been a large, empty eyesore since it was demolished with no plan for redevelopment. The Dunkin Donuts is a suburban-style building in a sea of asphalt. It’s appropriate for spots just off the Interstates, not an urban neighborhood. The Byrne Dairy (#4) gives us asphalt instead of an interesting building at the corner. So with large expanses of asphalt on three corners, why would we want to complete this vile picture?
Key Bank, #1, doesn’t follow this guideline: “All buildings facing James Street shall be placed so that their facades are parallel to the street line of James Street.” It’s possible to have new buildings that follow the dictums of smart urban development.