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Mixed-Use Colorado Project up for Planning Commission Review  

By Lookout Staff

September 14, 2010 -- The Planning Commission will get its first official look on Wednesday at a 300,000-square-foot mixed-use project known as Roberts Business Park. The 2.8-acre project site is located south of Colorado Ave. between Stewart and Stanford Streets. The proposal includes approximately 170 multi-family housing units as well as significant studio production and creative arts space.

The project will be presented in what is known as a float-up format. Commissioners and the public will be allowed to ask questions and make comments. Another float up will soon go before the City Council, at which time the council will decide whether City staff should begin development agreement negotiations.

During the negotiation phase, the look of the proposed project could change significantly. Following that period and the subsequent environmental review, the project would return to the commission and council for final decisions.

The current proposal calls for 130,000 square feet of production and post-production studio and creative arts space. The multi-family units will be “a mixture of market and workforce housing, including a number of live/work units,” according to the staff report. Other features include approximately 11,000 square feet of ground-floor “neighborhood commercial space,” 10,000-square-foot subterranean gym and sporting center, a ground-floor public plaza, a two-level subterranean parking garage and open space intended for use as a community gathering place.

The proposal also includes an extension of Pennsylvania Avenue between Stewart and Stanford Streets. According to the report, this will provide “necessary circulation for the neighborhood and additional walking and biking opportunities on a green connecting street that will contribute to reducing overall congestion.”

Also, an access road is proposed from Colorado Ave. that would be shared with the Village Trailer Park property. The owner of Village Trailer Park also has a development proposal on the table, one that has generated a great deal of controversy because it would mean the end of the trailer park. The report states staff is in discussion with the owners of the two properties and a nearby third project site to “explore means to sustain Village Trailer Park’s economic viability by incorporating it into a larger multi-property master plan.”

“The discussions have acknowledged the complexity of creating a multi-property master plan that is economically feasible, but would likely need to be consolidated into one ownership entity,” the report states. “Further, a transfer of development rights from the Village Trailer Park property would likely be necessary to facilitate the retention of the trailer park.”

Since this is a development agreement proposal, the applicant must offer “public benefits.” The report states there have not been detailed discussions between the City and the applicant regarding benefits. The Pennsylvania Avenue extension, public plaza, neighborhood-serving retail, affordable housing and a community room are noted as possible benefits.

The session will take place at City Hall at 7 p.m. The meeting can be viewed live on CityTV Channel 16 or online at www.smgov.net. Archived videos will appear on the web site shortly after the meeting’s conclusion.

 


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