PNC Bank plans horribly dull, pedestrian-unfriendly 'dead zone' for 'The New South Andrews'

Below are some thoughts and information on the dreadful PNC Bank project planned for the important intersection of Davie Boulevard and "The New South Andrews."

This project was approved by P&Z on Sept. 15 — and that will be that unless Commissioner Rogers "calls it up" before the City Commission — or PNC decides to make their Andrews Avenue facility a showcase instead of a basket case.

The dream for South Andrews is to make it a lively, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. This PNC Bank project would take us in the opposite direction. It would create a pedestrian-unfriendly "dead zone." — Cal Deal

Read the South Andrews redevelopment ordinance



Click for blowup

PNC Bank's new site plan fails to improve 'dead zone' along 'The New South Andrews'


If we're stuck with a dinky, dull bank building,
then why not use the available green space
to make a stunning, people-friendly PNC Park??

9/12/10: I propose that PNC take the water retention basin on the left side of the property and move it to the right side, using that space to create a nice, eyecatching park along Andrews. If we can't get a bigger, more vibrant building, a beautiful, practical, functional park is a pretty good option. Click to see the diagram.

Marilyn Mammano — a former member of the New York City Planning Commission and the president of nearby Harbordale Civic Association — wants to alter my idea. She says the park should be pushed up against the river, eliminating the driveway and thereby improving the pedestrian experience on Andrews. The building should be pushed up to the Andrews sidewalk, she says.


Why the proposed PNC Bank is bad for 'The New South Andrews'

Click to view blowup

PNC Bank using cookie cutter design on S. Andrews

Click to view blowup

PNC Banks northern-style design: At least the snowbirds will feel at home


PNC's computer rendering cleverly obscures
unsightly aspects of bank's bland building

The 6-foot fence is missing along the river in the rendering below. The dumpster is cropped out (it's just off to the right). And the drive-through is obscured by a tree & lovely flowering bush. In fact, a great big drive-through overhang is rendered almost completely invisible!!! Clever.

Basically, southbound traffic on Andrews will see a blank brick wall, utility things and a drive-through. Enjoy the view!

[UPDATE 10/10/10: PNC's new site plan shows the fence removed and a hedge planted along the waterway. There will be a 30-inch path running along the north and west borders of the property.]


PNC blandness revealed!

Reality check: Here's what the side of a real PNC Bank looks like when you don't have a bunch of computer-generated trees to soften the view. The Andrews branch would have a few design and color changes from this example..


Here's the 'Center of Excitement'
for the South Andrews PNC Bank

638 feet of sidewalk runs along the PNC Bank property — 212 feet of it along Andrews — and this is the only area that has something for pedestrians: An entryway with about 38 feet of red brick wall around it — red brick like they have in Ohio and Pittsburgh. This rendering is missing the big monument-type sign that will be plopped in the grass in front of the doorway, according to the site plan.

And what will the parking lot lighting look like? Wal-Mart??

Where will FedEx park to make deliveries?

This PNC Bank — and the comparably dull medical office building proposed by Broward Health — are contrary to the spirit of The New South Andrews master plan. They will create large dead zones in what is supposed to become a lively, pedestrian-friendly urban neighborhood.

And for the future of South Andrews, that's just sad.

— Cal Deal, 9/12/10

PS: I have put a high-res PDF version of the site plan online so you can download it if you wish. CLICK HERE

Master Plan Summary: PDF of Slide Show (2 MB)



The PNC Bank property:
A site with real potential

Here is the Tarpon River, with the Women in Distress property at right. Don't you think an imaginative developer could do something with this riverfront?? [UPDATE 10/10/10: PNC Bank now plans to tear down that fence and put a 30-inch walkway along the river.]

Click to see blowup.


Here's a 180-degree panorama of the Tarpon River from Andrews. Click for blowup.


The Women in Distress property from the western edge along Davie. The Tarpon River is behind the fence on the far side. A retention pond would go in the foreground. Click for blowup.



Neighbor's plea to PNC: Let's 'come up
with something vital and exciting'

This is the property just west of Women in Distress.


By Allyson Massey (9/13/10)

We own the adjacent property at 111 & 113 Davie Blvd to this project. Together we make up an entire city block of Lots 1-10. We have made numerous offers and had several meetings over the past 5 years with WID to purchase their property. We have spoken with several architects & developers to discuss building a "Gateway" hotel project, and/or retail/office live-work loft project in keeping with the location and waterway.

WID consistently wanted their price of $4.2 million - even in the midst of "the crash". The Moran Family has been very generous to them, and it seems that it is their turn to give back to the community. A 4000 sq ft Bank bldg is not giving back to the community - this corner is zoned CB and can go 150' high, not that we would want to go that high, however the point is that the property is being severly underutilized.

Perhaps PNC would like to work out a plan to encompass to do something in addition than just a small box -( there is already one across the street!)- we as the neighboring property would be happy to work with them any way possible to come up something vital and exciting for the district.

Very open to any thoughts anyone may have.


One man's vision for that corner

What can be done with the Women in Distress property at Andrews & Davie? Here's a possibility from architect Michael Madfis. Of course, the economy factors into all of this, but the proposed PNC Bank, as currently proposed, is just about the worst possible "new development" that could happen on that site. Dull, dull, dull!

We need dreamers!!

Michael's comments:

"Here is a sample of an apartment hotel that has offices and shops that can work well with the hospital, for nurses and out-of-town patient families, as well as the yachting industry crew and captains that come to this area for training.

"THIS FITS ON HALF THE LAND AVAILABLE at WID and would leave space for river access and activities. It could be a real 4-sided complex with something on all sides for the people."


The City's robust vision

This is how the PNC Bank site looks in a conceptual drawing contained in the city's South Andrews Master Plan. That's Andrews Avenue crossing the Tarpon River in the foreground.


THINK SMALL: PNC Bank's 'vision' for that corner

Here, more or less in proportion to the drawing above, is what PNC plans for the corner of Andrews and Davie. (This is a similar PNC building.) This building would be where that big tower is in the concept drawing. It's drive-through would be on the side facing the river.



PNC's banks are rather unattractive,
... and that red brick is oh so Northern





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SATURDAY 10/16: Romney apparently failed to call up the PNC project, clearing the way for this incredibly dull project. Any changes will now be at PNC's discretion.

WEDNESDAY 10/13: PNC'S latest email continues to place the green space at the far side of the site. It addresses some concerns of neighbor Allyson Massey. Click here.

CORRECTION: The 'dead zone' along Andrews is 212 feet long! The graphics have been corrected. Sheesh!

TUESDAY 10/12: Romney's last day to "call up" the PNC project is Friday Oct. 15.

MONDAY 10/11/10 — Commissioner Rogers says he talked with PNC's Projects Manager Miltenberger late last week and PNC is still looking at ways to improve the site.

10/7/10: I receive PNC's new site plan from Romney's assistant. The horrible six-foot fence along the river is gone! A hedge will run along the northern and western boundaries of the property — about 445 feet and 140 feet respectively. Next to the hedge will be a walkway ... 30 inches wide — perfect for loners and thin people. The bank FAILS TO ADDRESS the primary concern, which is the deadly dull presence it will have for strollers on the Andrews sidewalk. About that, it does nothing.

9/29/10: Miltenberger says the police have given them the OK to tear down the fence along the river, and they are working on other pedestrian-friendly things.

9/23/10: I talk with Lawrence Miltenberger, the man in charge of PNC's construction projects. He is aware of the objections that are being raised. The next day I send him an idea for building a park along Andrews (see below).