On April 1st I met with the new owner/developer and a representative from his public relations firm. Nat Stratton Clarke, president of the Merchants Association, and Kathryn Keller, our land-use guru, were also present for the discussion. I’m pleased to report the meeting went well. It is still early in the project cycle, however, and many details are yet to come. Following are the highlights of our meeting:
Cooperation: Everyone at the table agreed to work together to ensure the success of the project, continued improvement of the neighborhood, and the overall good of the community.
Retail: A lease has been signed for the retail space on the first floor. The announcement of the tenant is expected later this month. The new owner has confirmed it will not be a drugstore.
Timeline: It is still too early to establish a definite timeline.
Concerns: Residents and merchants have shared their concerns with me and Nat, and we discussed this list with the team.
1. Geology of the site. The site geo-tech study was complete last week, and the results will be submitted to the Dept. of Planning and Development as part of the permitting process. It is likely that the city will approve development of the site as additional shoring and foundation work will provide the necessary stability for the building and hillside.
2. Construction period. We explained the problems we had with construction worker parking, lane closing, and reduced street parking on Madison St. during the storm water and Madison Lofts projects. Unlike those previous projects, most of the construction staging this time will happen on the site itself, not on the street, and the owner pledged to do his best to keep those problems to a minimum. We agreed to put in place a communication plan to address those issues as the work goes forward.
3. Size of the building. The neighborhood is zoned for a building 40′ tall. Drawings illustrating the mass of the building will be available in the coming months.
4. Design of the building. The city requires a review process to ensure that the scale, design, and materials will be in keeping with the land use code and zoning rules. As part of the design review the community can provide feedback to the review board, which is able to veto anything truly objectionable. More information about the design review process can be read on their site.
Nat and I will continue to be in close contact with all parties through this process, and will keep everyone up to date as the project evolves. Please check madisonvalley.org for updates or subscribe to our news articles via email.
Lindy Wishard is the president of the Madison Valley Community Council.