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New Five Story 101-Unit Apartment Building Proposed for Victorian Village

Walker Evans Walker Evans New Five Story 101-Unit Apartment Building Proposed for Victorian VillageRenderings via Berardi + Partners.
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A new 101-unit 100,000 square foot five-story apartment building is being proposed for development on a large 1.2 acre surface lot in a rapidly changing section of Victorian Village. Borror Properties is proposing the construction of two connected buildings at 991 Dennison Avenue, located between Second and Third Avenues just south of the Specialty Select Hospital Center.

“We’re very excited about this project, but it’s very, very preliminary at this point,” explained Jeff Baur, Executive Vice President of Borror. “We’re looking forward to what the Victorian Village Commission has to say on the project.”

The southern portion of the site would contain the five-story building while a four-story building would sit on the north side. A two-story lobby and meeting room area would connect the two buildings in the middle. Most of the ground floor would be devoted to parking garage space to accommodate 109 vehicles with access from the back (west) side of the building from Ewing Alley. A small section on the north end of the property would remain empty for now with a future addition possible, but not yet planned.

The proposed unit mix of the building is slated to include 30 efficiencies, 59 one-bedrooms and 12 two-bedrooms.

The proposed development site sits diagonally across Dennison from Aston Place and Aston Row, which are both currently under construction and adding a combined 69 residential units to the neighborhood. Borror has also recently proposed a new 24-unit four-story building in Italian Village.

“We’re excited about this whole area — from Downtown to the Short North,” added Baur. “Finding an empty 1.2 acre site is very unique and attractive to us.”

The application, siteplan, drawings and photos have been submitted for review to the Victorian Village Commission, which will discuss the proposal at this Thursday’s meeting.

Renderings via Berardi + Partners.

dennison-02 dennison-01

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  • Stephen43215

    Another project with most of the ground floor devoted to parking. RETAIL RETAIL! These projects need to plan for the future!

    • I’m not sure if an entire ground floor of retail would work well on this stretch of Dennison, but at least a smaller neighborhood cafe type space could be a nice addition on the ground floor and help to create some more vibrancy.

      It would at the very least be great to have some townhome-style units with exterior street-level entrances to better fit the neighborhood. Currently it looks like the ground floor is boarded up. Walking down those sidewalks = walking next to a solid brick wall. The neighborhood needs interactivity, not a fortress.

      Other than those changes, it’s great to see a developer ready to bring more infill to an underutilized surface lot in the heart of the neighborhood. Nice!

  • Stephen43215

    Without better public transportation these projects will continue to get away with utilizing the first and even the second floor in some cases for parking and that’s not ok in urban areas.

  • michaelcoyote

    This part of Dennison could probably support a nice neighborhood bistro type place. Maybe even a small corner store.. I don’t really see packing in large retail spaces here. Townhome style fronts would be cool here rather than acres of blank wall..

    As for the parking, this looks to be about 1 space per DU which isn’t too horrible. While it’s worth pushing on the VV commission to bring it down, I don’t know that they would. OTOH, it might keep them from raising it :-p

  • jpizzow

    Corner store or coffee shop, yes. Whole block of retail, no. This isn’t the place for it.

    As far as the first floor goes, I agree, pedestrians must not encounter a blank wall for an entire block. Have these developers learned nothing?

  • I would love to see something appropriate built on this empty asphalt lot. Key word is “appropriate” and this proposal is far from appropriate. Horrible design. Agree with jpizzow – pedestrians must not have to face a concrete wall for an entire block.

  • Circle8ght

    the “anything is better than a surface lot” mentality needs to be re-evaluated, i’m afraid. this looks to be a missed opportunity for preserving the integrity and cohesiveness of a classic victorian neighborhood. very plain and uninspired in my opinion.

    • Who said anything along the lines of “anything is better than a surface lot”?

      • Circle8ght

        …i did, right above in my comment. these infill projects in victorian village and elsewhere just aren’t sympathetic to the history and character of their neighborhoods.

  • InnerCore

    Blame the piss poor zoning. Most non ancient zoning codes don’t allow parking directly up against the sidewalk. You can have parking on the ground level but it must be behind another use. So it they didn’t want to do retail they would have had to build residential at the sidewalk and put the parking behind. This would apply to a certain percentage of the frontage and is usually about 70%. No body wants to walk down several blocks of nothing but parking.

    But this IS the zoning that we have. If you want better projects then we need better zoning. Its like the stand your ground law where people want to complain every time some innocent person gets killed. It’s the law and as long as it’s there its going to keep on happening.

    • In Hoboken there’s several 5-6 story parking structures in a row. My sister in law walks to the furthest one from her apt. Everyday. About a 5 min walk. you don’t really notice after the first few times. There are a few stores street level across the street. Just don’t forget your keys.

    • stephentszuter

      Yeah, I’m glad we’re getting the in-fill thing down and taking out these empty lots and parking lots, but InnerCore is right, we need to step up our game and update the zoning codes so that they match what we really want to see going on in this city.

  • King Gambrinus

    I don’t think the smaller building looks too bad, but I agree it needs something other than a wall of parking to face Dennison. However, the larger building looks like it belongs in an office park.

  • dru

    I am glad this is a starting point and not the end point. as the article states the same developers and architects came before the IV with a fairly uninspired, in my opinion, design. the IVC challenged many elements, including the design and the height, and i think subsequent revisions have improved greatly.

    hopefully the VVC will provide the same guidance. i doubt they get 5 stories here, it doesn’t fall within the area that allows for greater height. i also do not get why the taller height is not facing the hospital, but is adjacent the 2.5 story single family homes that line the south side? i also agree with other posters that the streetscape needs to be better considered. right now the street level looks about as attractive as the collective CU hated wall of the Edwards Tribeca development over on Third. I don’t think the street level needs to be retail, as retail is very adjacent. But the walkup style of the proposed project facing Park and Hubbard is far more neighborhood oriented. And while I get the move to apartments, I wish there was a trend off High towards 2 bedrooms over studios. Catering to downsizing is one thing, but an overabundance of studios and one-bedrooms shouts transient versus residential. it’s one reason I am glad the Aston project is going to enter into the fee simple residential market.

    It’s not my money, but some four story buildings of two bedroom units with walk-ups from street level with a mix of one-two bedroom units on the upper floors would be far more inviting.

  • Those are some ugly buildings, IMHO.

  • Yokosukm

    I really like this development! While it may not be perfect it has a lot going for it. Anything that can add density to the urban core is a great development. I also think that it is very important to add modern architecture to historic neighborhoods because it will add to the architectural history of the neighborhood.

  • If you lived in the beautiful historic home at 994 Dennison Avenue, would you want them to build a five story, dormitory style building with a full block of first floor parking immediately across the street from your house? I think not. While this vacant lot is adjacent to the hospital and another medical office building, it is surrounded on three sides by historic single family homes. Those property owners deserve something better – something that is more in scale with the height of 2.5 story single family homes and more compatible with the street scape and the sidewalk. This is an historic, pedestrian oriented neighborhood. Let’s not build structures that look like prisons or bad 1950’s student housing here. Maybe Borror should stick to building projects at Sawmill and 270 if this is all they can come up with.

    • Circle8ght

      my thoughts exactly, lisa. couldn’t agree more. this project (and others) is a real shame. i’m all for development and infill, but it needs to be much more thoughtfully planned and executed than this.

    • I hope everyone realizes that this project is in a very preliminary stage right now. The developer stated that in the article. At the time it was written, it had not gone in front of the Victorian Village Commission yet. It’s likely to get feedback and review and revisions in the coming weeks.

      “We’re very excited about this project, but it’s very, very preliminary at this point,” explained Jeff Baur, Executive Vice President of Borror. “We’re looking forward to what the Victorian Village Commission has to say on the project.”

  • Sethgc

    I agree with much of the dislike expressed here, but none of the pics show the buildings as they will be seen from Dennison; article says 5 story to south and 4 story to north so these views are from Ewing, right? I know these versions won’t fly, especially with Kevin living across the the street, but I’d love to see some retail at least on the NE corner. If this is going to look like the awful garage that is the 1st floor of the apts that Wagenbrenner built on the SW corner of Perry and 1st, I’d hope the VV passes.

  • Please please at least put windows on the sides of these buildings! I hope the final version is so much better.

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