Kaufman Moving Forward With IBEW Project
Despite an uncertain economic climate, Kaufman Development is continuing to pursue the redevelopment of the former International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers site at 23 W. Second Ave.
Representatives of the developer presented the latest design for the project to the Victorian Village Commission yesterday. The meeting was held virtually, using the WebEx platform, and streamed live on the city’s YouTube page.
The overall concept hasn’t changed drastically since the project was first retooled and brought before the board in February – a seven-story building, topping out at 89 feet, that would hold 166 residential units, a two-level parking garage and about 8,000 square feet of commercial space.
In response to concerns raised by residents and commissioners at previous meetings, the overall color scheme of the project has been lightened considerably, and the roofline of the west end of the building along Price Avenue has been lowered. This time, two alternatives were presented to the commission for their feedback, with different shades of brick used for the base of the building.
Brian Suiter, Director of Development for Kaufman, began his remarks by acknowledging that “we’re in a vastly different place – in terms of the socio-economic standards of the world right now – from when we saw you guys last, three months ago.”
He said they had worked to balance economic concerns with their belief that “architecture is art,” and their desire for a bold design that would stand the test of time in the ever-evolving Short North.
Commission members gave feedback on the different color options as well as on the overall design.
Commission Chair Jack Decker stressed the need to balance what he called the “artsy top of the building,” with the first three floors, which he thought needed to more directly draw inspiration from the neighborhood’s historic fabric. “The lower part needs to say we’re embracing the Short North and its architecture.”
Because this was a conceptual review, the project will need to return to a future commission meeting for a vote before it can receive a certificate of appropriateness.
For more information on the many proposals for this site that have been brought before the neighborhood over the last several years, click here.