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Ideas Sought for Haiku Parking Lot Development

Walker Evans Walker Evans Ideas Sought for Haiku Parking Lot Development
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Last week’s monthly Italian Village Commission saw the review of many large-scale developments along Fourth and Summit Streets, but only one large development on High Street. Project applicants from Elford Development and the Liu family (owners of Haiku) came before the commission to seek guidance on the appropriateness of developing their surface parking lot at the southeast corner of High and Hubbard.

“Seventeen years ago, we opened Haiku,” stated owner Paul Liu. “The community has grown, and we want to do something for the community.”

Jeff Meacham, Vice President and Partner at Elford, explained some of the preliminary ideas for the site to the commission, but reiterated that they’re still conceptualizing the project at this point in the timeline.

“We’re here looking for guidance,” he said. “But the idea is to build something that could be office, it could be retail, it could be a little residential. We want something that could utilize the parking garage during the day.”

The commissioners were receptive to the idea of development, but disagreed a bit about height suggestions.

“It sounds like it’s going to be a market-driven approach, but I think it should be an interesting signature building,” said commission member Josh Lapp. “The Hub is more traditional, and Parkside on Pearl is somewhere in between. This could be a taller signature building along the lines of The Joseph, and taking a similar approach with step-backs may be an appropriate way to go.”

Commission member Todd Boyer disagreed, stating that a five story building would be “pushing it” in terms of height for the location. Commission member David Cooke agreed that four or five stories would be most appropriate.

“I don’t think this could support a building as large as The Joseph or The Hub — the site is much smaller, and warrants a smaller building,” he clarified. “I would like to promote having retail facing the streetscape along Hubbard, leading people to the park. The Hub has first floor retail on Hubbard, including a cool flower shop. Retail is a more appropriate use than parking on the first floor to activate the street.”

Commission member Jason Sudy said that he’d like to see some specifics with regard to a parking plan, and how users of the building would utilize The Hub parking garage next door, emphasizing that there’s ample parking there during the daytime hours, but the garage gets busier at night.

Lapp concluded the discussion by mentioning that the removal of the existing entry into the parking lot from High Street would be a pedestrian and traffic safety improvement for the misaligned intersection.

For ongoing updates and discussion on this development, CLICK HERE to visit our Messageboard.

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