Design Guidelines for the South Side of Excelsior Boulevard
Project Type: Urban Design
Client: City of St. Louis Park
The Design Guidelines for the South Side of Excelsior Boulevard proposed a vision for integrating the study area, a narrow band of parcels stretching nine blocks, into an already vibrant corridor. Guidelines were proposed that shaped the public realm, site design, building design, neighborhood interface, traffic, access and parking.
The community was integral to forming goals and themes that went on to shape the guidelines themselves, including placing buildings near the sidewalk, establishing parking behind buildings, and creating separation from the residential neighborhood. The resulting guidelines pointed to the development of a more pedestrian-friendly urban corridor.
As part of guideline development the existing zoning code was examined, and adjustments were considered for drive aisle width, building height, parking quantity, side yard setbacks, and required rear yards. In addition, a study was conducted for each parcel in the study area that explored development patterns, including parking, floor area ratios and parking ratios. Models were created to demonstrate building mass and site circulation. This exercise suggested that new development following the guidelines was possible along the corridor.