Seven-Story Mixed-Use Building Approved for Lane Avenue
Work could begin as early as this spring on a seven-story building at the northeast corner of Lane Avenue and Tuttle Park Place. The project was approved by the University Area Commission on February 17th and by the Board of Zoning Adjustment the next week, meaning it is now cleared for construction pending the acquisition of building permits.
The approvals mark the end of a somewhat tumultuous review process for the proposal, which was first brought before the neighborhood in August of last year. It received a no-vote from the commission in November, largely due to concerns about its size and the amount of parking provided.
The approved building will feature 3,000 square feet of ground floor retail, 3,000 square feet of office space on the second floor, and 43 apartments containing 90 beds. A total of 80 parking spaces will be provided, with 65 in a basement-level parking garage and an additional 15 on the first floor.
Last fall’s proposal called 49 units (with 89 beds) and parking for 61 cars.
Jonathan Willette, Principal of 4 Points Development, said that by taking a level of parking underground and by utilizing an automated parking system, they were able to increase the number of spaces to meet current city code.
The primary variance that was needed was for height – code sets a limit of 35 feet, and the new building will be 72 feet. That height, however, is supported by the University District Plan, which calls for taller buildings in the neighborhood to be concentrated along West Lane Avenue and High Street south of Lane.
Willette said that the mechanized parking system, which will use an elevator to transfer cars to and from the basement level, is an “improved, much newer” version of one currently in use in the Carlyle’s Watch building downtown. A similar system has been proposed for the View on Pavey Square development.
“We’re excited to be moving forward…we want to have a building that we are proud of, and that OSU and the neighborhood is proud of,” said Willette, adding that the office space in the project is already leased, and that they are targeting fall of 2017 for the first residents to move in.
Not everyone was satisfied with the changes made to the proposal, though. Joe Motil, a member of the Protect Old North community group, spoke at the BZA meeting, arguing that the height of the building does not fit in with its immediate surroundings, and that many residents oppose the “further decimation of the character of our commercial corridors.” Tony Mollica, owner of the Varsity Club – which sits across Tuttle Park Place from the development – also spoke out against the project.
Renderings via FRCH Design Worldwide.