Lakewood, CO 80226: A 2006 Charter Awards winner, Belmar is one of the more promising malls-to-mixed-use conversions. And here's one reason why. Too many projects of this genre generate a modicum of mixed-use urbanism but focus heavily on major national retailers. They provide parking at typical mall ratios (such as 4 spaces per thousand square feet) and, as a result, parking overpowers the sense of place. On Belmar's side streets, one sees a variety of locally owned boutiques and restaurants. And as pictured here, the creators of Belmar do something particularly creative -- lining a parking deck with tiny retail spaces occupied by offbeat and artsy businesses.
Credits: Stephen Filmanowicz