Friday, March 21, 2008

Stock House Replacement Plans to Be Unveiled 3/27 and 3/38

Sabey has decided not to hold another public meeting but to meet with individuals privately about the new designs. The claim is that this will allow more people to stop by when they like and give their input, but I feel that something will be lost with this approach. Community meetings allow people to hear what other people have to say, and they also give people the opportunity to observe quietly if they prefer. (It also provides people with a good excuse to get together with their neighbors for a beer before or after the meeting.) Showing up at a developer's office and personally asking to see designs take a little more guts, I think.

In any case, this will all go through the public design review process, so there will definitely be public meetings in the future.

I'll plan to take a look at the designs on Thursday and post pictures, if they'll let me, that evening.

Anyway, here's the Sabey mail about all this. It sounds like the wall attached to the Brew House might be saved after all, which is cool:

Hi All:

Well, it has been awhile, but we are finally ready to present our
plans for the building to replace the Stock House. We attempted to
reflect comments from the neighborhood and to improve the building
design both from a utilitarian and aesthetic standpoint. Hopefully,
you'll agree. Rather than having a big meeting, we'll simply have
open hours for people to stop by. This will allow for more leeway in
people's schedules as well as a greater opportunity to respond to
questions. Therefore, we will be available on Mar 27 & 28 from 4 to
6:30pm at our office on the backside of the General Office right
across the street from the 9 lb Hammer and Smarty Pants (6004 Airport
Way). We'll have various perspectives to help you understand the
design along with several people to explain it.

These plans will continue to flex as we move forward because of
design adjustments and changes required by the City and others. The
City will need to issue a Master Use Permit (MUP) and a Construction
Permit. The MUP relates to the use of the building (in this case,
office and retail). It focuses on the parking, traffic, site, etc.
requirements of the use proposed. These requirements aren't
generally difficult for a fairly self-contained development of this
size. Therefore, so we don't have to re-file every time there's a
small change, we try to show maximum use and impacts at the outset.
Our MUP application will be submitted shortly and will take about 6
months or more to be issued. A separate Construction Permit will
require what are called 75% drawings for the plan reviewers to go
through them in detail. These plans will go through design review
from the Landmarks Preservation Board. All of this will involve
public notice and input should you care to formally participate.
There will be notices posted on site regarding this. From an
informal standpoint, please feel free to share your feedback with us
for ongoing design consideration.

Regarding where we are, the demolition of the Stock House will be
completed in the next few weeks. We have not reached a conclusion as
to what to do about the remaining façade wall attached to the Brew
House. While that wall does not pose an impending danger like the
Stock House did, it does pose the matter of design and cost, as it
looked to be several million dollars to retain it. In our
discussions with the Landmarks Preservation Board, certain members
expressed their desire to keep this façade. Additionally, certain
neighborhood members expressed their concern and very much wanted to
keep it. However, landmarks regulations recognize that the
preservation of certain landmarked elements may be uneconomical and
can grant an exception to the preservation rule. Our assertion is
that it is not only uneconomic, but that it is undesirable from a
design and historic standpoint (and there are certain historic
preservation principles that this is based upon). However, in light
of the response and additional time, we are reviewing our plan for
both the wall and the Brew House to see if they can be economically
redeveloped together. The key here is the structural engineering.
We are midway on this process as we have been very much focused on
the Stock House's replacement. We will report back on this at a
later time.

So, there you go. We'll look forward to seeing you on the 27th or
28th. If those dates don't work, please contact me and we'll find
some alternative times after that. Also, the plans et al will be
posted on our website once we've had an opportunity to present them
to the community.

Thank you all,

ph 206 281 8700 | email | website


Anonymous said...

Why should they have public meetings? They got what they want. They will charge upwards of $2.50/sqft which will cause the rents to go up on the other side of the street too. Kiss those small businesses goodbye.

JvA said...

They haven't gotten everything they want yet. The fate of the wall is still in question.

By the way, I've asked them which preservation principles make preservation of the wall "undesirable."

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