Five years after the City adopted the Vertical Mixed Use standards, South Lamar is finally getting its first VMU development. The barren rise once occupied by the Stoneridge Apartments is being transformed into Ardent Residential's Post South Lamar:
Because the Stoneridge Apartments were perched on a rise, they were isolated both vertically and horizontally from the street. Bringing the building down to the street has required a lot of excavation:
One project won't transform South Lamar into a pedestrian paradise, of course. The street is about as hostile to pedestrians as an inner city street can be. I took the video below from the little strip mall across the street from Post South Lamar's future entrance. Although the strip mall and the Post are separated by only 60 feet of pavement, they are effectively a third of a mile apart -- the distance, round trip, to the nearest stoplight -- because you can't cross the street there on foot. (The stoplight was visible from where I was standing; you can't see it in the video because I did not shoot in high definition.)
Some will argue that it is silly to build VMU on a street so hostile to pedestrians. I think this development is evidence of the strong demand for pedestrian-oriented (or, probably more accurately, pedestiran-friendly) space. Ultimately, it will fall to the City to make the improvements necessary to foster a more walkable street. Like putting in stoplights so you can cross the street.