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IDEA Commons designs on display tonight

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First Friday Art Walk attendees tonight will have the chance to view and offer comments on an exploration of designs for IDEA Commons.

The designs, which will be on display at 331 S. Campbell Ave., formerly the site of book-store Well-Fed Head, are the result of a week of brainstorming between architects, students at Drury University’s Hammons School of Architecture and city leaders. From 6 p.m.-9 p.m., the city will be collecting feedback from people about the design features they would like in the 88-acre area around IDEA Commons.

On Aug. 31, the city began a series of public and working design sessions to explore the idea of a form-based code zoning district in the area. The goal is to use zoning guidelines to encourage an urban area that would draw more people to live and work within the district. Ultimately, different form-based code districts could be applied across the city to promote certain uses for different areas.

The students and architects worked in groups on different parcels of land, basing designs on guidelines given by the city. Examples of design guidelines include the placement of an exterior wall relative to property line and sidewalks, parking availability and locations on site, building height – both minimum and maximum – and particular uses, such as commercial, residential or a blend, said Bruce Adib-Yazdi, architect and principal at Butler, Rosenbury & Partners Inc., whose firm hosted the design sessions.

“(Projects are) purely conceptual and not based on private development realities, they’re simply what could be,” he said.

After the city gets public input on the designs, a concluding session will be held from 6:30 p.m-8:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at BRP.

Next steps would include drafting a code and discussing the potential for adopting it, said Ralph Rognstad Jr., director of planning and development for the city.

Read more about the form-based code zoning and the IDEA Commons charette in the Sept. 6 print edition of Springfield Business Journal.

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