There was a main street “beautification” in the 70’s in a NC downtown set up like this (only difference: square boxes). I later heard the explanation that the merchants didn’t want trees in the ground as they might “hide” the stores. ??? (which the huge boxes actually did to an extent and cost more than putting the trees in sidewalk grates).
Anyway maybe on this one, somebody couldn’t read the plans and the trees were supposed to go IN BETWEEN the vertical pipes? Not an infiltration bio-swale solution, that’s for sure.
You ain’t kiddin’. This is a pretty big development with a Target, a theater, a fake poorly done “main street’ and a huge grocery store. There are probably a few hundred of these planters with trees in them on site. All the parking shade trees and decorative Crape Myrtles are in them, the line the sidewalks, and actually block vehicular views at intersections. I wonder how the developer got talked into this mess?
I think they had their fun making giant mulch berms. They even have them on BOTH sides of the sidewalk in the middle of the parking lot that connects the huge grocery store to the fake main street, with parking on both sides of it. You mount the mulch just to use the sidewalk. Oh, and them planters (30″ diameter) also are at the intersections, which majorly block your view trying to get in and out of the parking areas.
If y’all are interested, I can get more photos next time I drive out there. The grocery store in that development is the only place in the region that carries my preferred brand of imported Italian finely grated sheeps milk hard cheese.