Held in the Weinland Park behind Weinland Park Elementary
6:00, Thursday, September 1, 2020
- Resident co-chairs Laura Bidwa and Matt Adair;
- Residents Cassius Altodfer, Roger Beebe, Tyler Bender, Steve Bollinger (also representing Thrive), Ed Chin, Davide Cugini, Kara Cugini, Jim Dowdle, Christian Escher, Danielle Garson (also representing Meyers & Assoc), John Gifford, Ed Gravatt, Jill Gravatt, Laura Kogan (civic association mobility committee chair), Rory Krupp, David Landremen, Jonathan Lucyshyn, Donna Madlener, Chris Micciche (civic association treasurer), Holly Moritz, Chris Moritz, Michael Nelligan, Dan Peterson, Rob Poletto, Jody Poth, Leslie Rummel, Anna Sanyal, Erin Schmitt, Bridget Tharp, Samantha Tortora (civic association secretary), Michael Wilkos, Jacob Yount;
- Guests Chris Fleming (Korda); Jay Schwartz, Nickolas Castillo, Meredith Higgins, Chris Meyers, Peter Scott, and Rachael Smale (Meyers & Assoc); Eric Wagenbrenner (Thrive); Jerry Valentine (Renter Mentor); several representatives of Marker Development whose names weren’t captured on attendance sheet
Everyone briefly introduced themselves.
Marker Development project at 266-300 E 5th Ave (will span between N 5th and N 6th) 180 unit, ground floor retail. Entrances on corners from 5th and 6th. West side is open retail. 6th and 5th is residential lobby. 148 parking spaces (140?).
Safety is a concern…. hope to amplify lighting so 5th Ave becomes a walkable corridor, it’s an important connector street for the city.
6,000 sq. ft. of amenity space, not including deck with pool, fitness, event space for rental. Want to make that open to the public as well with some programming.
Units range from studios to 2BR. 520 sq. ft. low-end unit size (rent $1100), 1025 sq. ft. on high end (rent $1890), affordability requirement for property tax abatement per CRA requirements will be more than met – 100% of units will be affordable per the formula for 100% Area Median Income and 30% will be under the 80% AMI threshold.
Pedestrian oriented street level trying to emphasize ground orientation along 5th Ave. Higher base, middle ground of units and a cornice piece element. All units have balconies. Every unit has a parking space.
Four zoning variances requested.
- first floor, sight triangle for ingress and egress out of parking lot for cars coming off of 6th,
reducing to zero. Two foot post anchoring building at corner. Applicant feels there is adequate
- Under c4 zoning cannot have residential use in first floor, but have a lobby on the first floor so
asking for occupying 30% of the c4 frontage on first floor as residential
- 6 stories, 79’ height. Current code allows for 45’, requesting a variance for 34’ add’l feet
- Floor Area Ratio. Zoned for 1.4 FAR but asking for 3.8 FAR. Increasing building on the lot.
How far are you away from parking levels required for restaurant use? Answer: retail space is programmed for some sort of retail space… could be restaurant… planning on grease traps.
Question about viewshed from surrounding residential areas. Answer: …. not really any residential properties for about a two block radius.
Michael Wilkos: I found the 2008 business plan we did and it specifically identified this type of building… so thank you. It’s disappointing some of these things even require a variance. Hopefully 5th ave will be more walkable in the future.
Donna Madlener: 1) where is entrance for parking garage? Answer: one entrance/exit in NE corner. 2) Where will you put garbage cans. Answer: located on opposite corner with its own overhead door. No dumpster will ever be visible outside the building! (Applause).
Laura Kogan: question of pedestrian access. If people are walking, how will this be designed that when people are exiting and entering the garage that people will be safe. Residents crossing 5th Avenue… can be difficult to improve safety, we’ve been working for years in this. Could you proactively install crosswalks or beacons around that area so that we don’t have to worry about that after the fact?
Answer; we would love to be proactive but need permission from city to do that…
Laura K: Is there a way for parking garage to be safer? Something that doesn’t require city. Answer: Marker will continue to investigate options for this.
Question [asker’s name unrecorded]: So this is a focus more on workforce development housing right? Would you accept a qualifying voucher? Yes if they qualify… we would if they’re a strong enough candidate.
Question [asker’s name unrecorded]: Who’s in charge of maintaining the sidewalk?
Answer: Good question this is our baby so we’re using durable materials and activate this corridor so we want it to look nice. We’re battling whether to go with planters or grates right now.
Laura Kogan: Max number of bedrooms is 2? Answer: correct
John Gifford: what’s the ground floor materials? Answer: brick with open air garage system.
Tyler Bender: please plant large trees 🌲 and I like the scale
Laura Bidwa: the city’s requirements for affordable housing only lasts for 15 years. Can you speak to what this might mean for your building in 15 years?
Answer: idk. We plan to hold the building my long term. We wouldn’t double rents overnight.
Laura Bidwa: This is the first building I know of to go above the property tax abatement’s affordability requirements, which is fantastic. But we find that many residents whose income increases above section 8 limits have no step up options in the neighborhood. So there’s a missing middle of affordable housing. Is there any possibility to adjust your proforma to add
some market rate in order to allow also adding some 60-80%-AMI rents?
Answer: yes we agree that’s a difficult area. Don’t have the answer but we are looking forward to exploring capital and financing and partners to make that happen. We want to continue this conversation and we’re
not going to go away.
Davide Cugini makes motion to approve the four variances as requested. Michael Wilkos seconds.
Vote: 32 approve, 0 oppose, 1 abstention
Thrive (Wagenbrenner) project at 1206 N 4th St (NE corner of N 4th and E 5th)
Former 3m site Thrive got involved 15 years ago. Had previously done a clean Ohio grant in Harrison park. $3 million grant for this site. Widespread issues across the site more than anticipated. Exhausted the grant without making it safe … approached Auld and 3m but they agreed to spend another
$2m on the site clean up… after 11 years and work with epa, now meet all requirements, have capped the site. Ongoing environmental controls to protect residents… including cap. Liquid booths?
The former “welcome to fabulous weinland park” sign at 4th and 5th inspired the commercial building’s design. Would have loved to have a Trader Joe’s. Spent 6 months with Trader Joe’s but they didn’t want the site … Ample parking. 1 per bed. All parking is covered and not visible.
4-7 spaces per 1,000 sf for the retail/commercial space.
315 units, all apartments. Up to 556 parking spaces. Unit size ranging from 489-1500 sq ft. Rents TBD but should be comparable to Marker project.
Affordability. Committed to affordability but nothing is specified yet. Have ongoing conversations with banks… committed to working to see about affordability.
For architecture, looking at neighborhood buildings and structure of adjacent properties and how they interact with streetscape , have porches, etc. Based on maintaining the alley we had to maintain; we are breaking the buildings into two massings. Five-story building along 5th Ave. … walkable character. 5th ave is a different context than 4th St. We can have two characters in this site, of residential scale along 4th St and 6th Ave, with commercial on the corner. And along 5th Ave.
Regarding is there opportunity to get community activities in the building? We are all ears about programmable things. We are going to be owner managers for a long time. Opportunities for programmable spaces: rooftop deck, also on garage, courtyard area, we can talk through most effective way to get them programmed.
The other thing we’re excited about is the increased setback on 5th Ave to feel like a pedestrian oriented space and having the parking structure completely concealed by the buildings while keeping the alley and the 4th street facade consistent. Alley that cuts east/west through site parallel with 5th Ave will be the main vehicular entrance.
Durable brick. This is not a LEED project but are selecting local materials.
Laura Bidwa: 100% property tax abatement for 15 years, with no affordability requirement, right? Answer: yes because our agreement was made prior to that requirement being instituted.
Brian Williams: Can you talk about the food district planning that was done with the neighborhood? Answer: It was maybe 10 years ago… there was no mechanism to sustain that model although we explored it at the time…
Matt Adair: I hope the N 4th alley entrance becomes more gridded and perpendicular and not a ramp. Answer: we want it to be straight but we have to do what the city says and they don’t want traffic backups.
[notetaker had to leave meeting]
Davide Cugini motioned to approve variances as stated. Donna Madlener seconded.
Vote: 25 in favor, 3 opposed, 1 abstention.