Commission Still Has Issues with Mixed-Use Proposal for Lane Avenue
A local developer’s plan to build a six-story, mixed-use building at the northeast corner of Lane Avenue and Tuttle Park Place will likely see more adjustments after the University Area Commission voted down the latest proposal for the corner.
Jonathan Willette, Principal of 4 Points Development, said that he plans to work with the commission to address their concerns, although he did not rule out taking the project directly to the Board of Zoning Adjustment for approval, without a yes-vote from the commission.
The latest iteration of the design – which was first brought before the neighborhood in August – calls for 49 units and 89 beds, with a first-floor garage that would park 61 cars. Two storefronts on Lane Avenue would add 1,900 square feet of retail space, with about 3,000 square feet of office space on the second floor. A small manufacturing facility that currently sits on the site would be demolished.
In previous discussions about the development, commissioners had raised concerns about the density of the proposal given the size of the site, and the amount of parking provided.
Willette noted that the latest proposal follows the guidelines for parking laid out in the University District Plan. Those guidelines, however, have yet to be codified by the city, which means that the University Planning Overlay – which has more stringent parking requirements – is still the default zoning for the area.
Planning Administrator Kevin Wheeler said that the city hopes to begin a process to update the overlay by early next year.
“We’ll work with the UAC and other stakeholders during the process and will provide opportunities for public review and comment on any proposed changes,” he said. “In the meantime, we are using the new plan’s guidelines in reviewing development proposals at a staff level and in working with the University Area Review Board.”
Willette, for his part, remains determined to see the project through. He is hopeful that a compromise can be reached with the area commission, “one way or another, even if we have to go back ten times.”
“We want to build a good-looking building that provides a nice, safe place to live,” he said, adding that the neighborhood’s existing apartment stock needs an upgrade, especially when compared to the new construction going up on the other side of Lane. “OSU has some great looking, world-class buildings…it’s time for the area across the street to come up to that level.”
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Renderings via FRCH Design Worldwide.