Tuesday, December 11, 2007

140 apartments on 7th

A packed crowd at Hawthorne Lane United Methodist Church heard Chris Branch of the Boulevard Company and Tony Miller of Miller Architecture deliver preliminary details of the planned development on 7th Street for the Roy White properties tonight. The highlights:
  • 140 one- and two-bedroom apartments.
  • 4 and one-third stories.
  • About 5,000 square feet of commercial space.
  • Between one and two parking spaces per bedroom.
  • No parking visible from the street.
  • No plans yet for the properties across 7th Street.
After the Branch/Miller presentation and some Q&A, they left and an open discussion started. Afterward we were to vote on whether we supported the project. I had to leave early, and I wasn't clear on what exactly we were supposed to vote on. I hope someone can fill me in. Branch said that their contract required them to submit their rezoning request by tomorrow. But the details we got tonight were too sparse, I think, for us to tell whether we favor the project or what conditions we might seek to impose. Clearly there will be further steps in this process.

My initial thoughts on the proposal was that it's a good start. The drawings looked handsome, and I like hidden parking. But 5,000 square feet of retail seems kind of small. I know the deed restrictions on most of the property require residential use, but I wonder if there isn't a way to get a little more retail at street level. Also, the size of the thing dwarfs the homes that border it, including the house at the corner of Clement and 7th and the houses on Clement and 8th streets. That's really huge for the people that live there. And 140 apartments? That seems like a lot.

What do you think?


beaumontstyle said...

First thoughts:

-140 units/4.3 stories seems excessive
-Is a parking deck part of the deal?
-Any businesses committed to the retail space?
-Timetable for developing the other side of 7th St?

Question: Does this involve just the vacant lot next to Roy White, or that land PLUS the strip mall property (i.e., goodbye Sub Station, laundromat, Visart and Dollar General)? I've never been clear on that.

John McBride said...

Hi Beaumontstyle: Let me see if I can answer your questions. The property that will be redeveloped includes the vacant lots up to and including the old Arrow cleaners store, now vacant. From Sub Station up will remain. AFAIK there are no businesses committed to the retail space. Boulevard says they have no idea what they will do with the properties on the other side of 7th. They note that those properties are producing income, so they are in less of a hurry. Parking will be at and below ground-level, behind the apartments.

Also, an update: The neighborhood voted overwhelmingly Tuesday night to not support this project. Too big, too many units, apartments instead of condos -- that seems to be the big issues. I'm not sure what the next steps are. Stay tuned...

Anonymous said...

There's also an email address that you can post your comments to, but I'm not sure where that's published--and that's really frustrating that the ECA did not have a plan in place during the meeting. Did we think Mr. Branch was going to come in with a plan we would actually accept on the first swipe? No. So why wasn't "next steps" planned out, the email set up in advance, handouts, etc., from the ECA about the neighborhood plan etc. ready to go to further mobilize the amazing turnout we had last week?

conformity said...


Thanks for your ongoing contribution to Elizabeth through this blog. I wanted to make a small correction to your post above. The Boulevard Company only owns up to the Roy White Flower's Shop. The now vacant cleaners is owned by The Conformity Corporation.

Anonymous said...

The email address to use when sending comments related to this past weeks 7th Street rezoning presentation is:
Additional instructions regarding what you might want to send along to that address can be found at:

John McBride said...

Conformity: Thanks for setting the record straight on the property ownership. So is the vacant cleaners spot that Conformity owns going to be included in the Boulevard project? That was the impression I got from the meeting, but I'm not sure.

conformity said...

I can see how you may have gotten that impression. It will not be be included in the Boulevard project.

Anonymous said...

Who owns the Dollar store or is it up for sale? I know it's an odd little strip in that each is owned by an individual--is Dollar selling or sold? what about the others (sub shop, Visart, etc).

John McBride said...

The Dollar General site is not for sale, as I understand it. The Sub Station II and Visart are also staying. Next to the Sub Station (if memory serves) is a vacant store that used to be Arrow Cleaners. That will be replaced by a restaurant. From that point west will be torn down, I believe.

Anonymous said...

sounds all pretty upscale, lack of more and interesting retail is a bummer but at last something to make us more of a destination

Anonymous said...

Conformity here...couldn't get my password to "take".

In response to an anonymous post a few back in this thread:
The Conformity Corporation owns The Dollar General location. There are no plans for the site now, although Conformity does plan to participate in the upcoming City sponsored planning efforts aimed at the 7th Street corridor; a plan which will address this piece of property and others.

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