According to a city council source, developer Jeff Helminski has withdrawn the revised proposal for Heritage Row, a planned unit development on South Fifth Avenue. A different project, City Place, is now expected to be built on the same site by the same developer, though some possibility exists to contest the City Place project via the city’s zoning board of appeals.
The plan for the matter-of-right City Place would demolish seven houses and construct two apartment buildings separated by a parking lot. The two City Place buildings would comprise 144 bedrooms in 24 6-bedroom units. By contrast, Heritage Row would have constructed three buildings behind the row of seven houses and either rehabilitated or reconstructed the seven houses. That project would have included up to 85 units with 180 bedrooms.
At its Oct. 17 meeting, the city council gave initial approval to a version of the Heritage Row PUD that was considerably revised from a version it had rejected in June 2010. The second and final vote on the revised Heritage Row project would have been taken place at an extra meeting scheduled for Oct. 24. That meeting is still scheduled to take place. The vote on Oct. 17 was 8-3. Voting against the proposal were Marcia Higgins (Ward 4), Sabra Briere (Ward 1) and Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3).
The project has a long and controversial history dating back four years. The city council voted at its Oct. 3 meeting to reconsider the Heritage Row, which it had previously rejected about 14 months ago. The council then voted to postpone a decision on the project so that negotiations could take place between the developer, city staff and councilmembers about possible revisions. By offering concessions that could make the project more financially viable, the council hoped to induce the developer to divert from his imminent intention to construct City Place.
At the council’s Oct. 3 meeting, a letter was discussed which councilmembers had received from the developer, Jeff Helminski. That letter outlined his requirements for concessions that he would need in order to build Heritage Row instead of City Place. At the Oct. 3 meeting, councilmembers expressed clear dissatisfaction with elements of Helminski’s letter. However, all the key points from the letter, including the elimination of any on-site parking requirement, appeared to have been incorporated into the revised proposal considered at the council’s Oct. 17 meeting.
[.pdf of marked up Heritage Row supplemental regulations as presented on Oct. 17][.pdf of comparison chart between original Heritage Row and revised proposal as presented on Oct. 17] [.pdf of Oct. 3 letter from developer]