Share your thoughts on the proposed 12-story building on south New!

Latest in a series of posts on 319-327 S. New St.

TONIGHT
HISTORIC CONSERVATION COMMISSION
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2021 AT 6:00 PM
*THIS WILL BE A VIRTUAL MEETING*
Members of the public may enter the meeting via GoToMeeting at
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/598085605
or via the phone at: +1 (571) 317-3122 Access Code: 598-085-605

This is the important meeting on the proposal for a 12-story building in the 300-block of south New St. that Gadfly has spent several recent posts describing. This is your chance to weigh in on the proposal and to see an important resident-run City ABC (Authorities, Boards, and Commissions) in operation.

Gadfly,

I’m writing to share information on a significant development project proposed for the Southside downtown area and an upcoming opportunity to share your thoughts on the project at a public meeting on Monday, February 22 at 6 pm.

New York-based chef Rafael Palomino and developer Jeffrey Quinn have proposed a 12-story mixed-use development project for South New Street that includes 82 one- and two-bedroom apartments and a first-floor food court made up of Palomino’s restaurants. The current proposal includes a roof-top terrace, basement fitness center, and two community rooms for residents. The project requires the demolition of four structures: 319-323 New Street, which includes a single-story retail property currently occupied by JC Jewelry and Gifts, and a three-story structure with Lara Bly Designs and Car Village Title and Notary on the first floor and apartments on the second and third floors; 325 New Street, which is a three-story structure that was acquired several years ago by the developer’s local business partners, Juan Carlos and Cara Paredes, and has been left vacant ever since, but which previously housed a bar on the first floor and apartments on the upper floors; and 327 New Street, which is a single-story building which was home to Pat’s Newsstand. The project will also extend to cover Graham Street from the third floor upwards. The developer’s original plans and an update can be downloaded here: ORIGINAL and UPDATE.

Since the project is located with the South Bethlehem Historic Conservation District, it must go through a review process to ensure that it aligns with the Design Guidelines for the district. The Historic Conservation Commission reviewed the developer’s application at their January meeting and will continue to discuss the project at this month’s meeting, which is scheduled for Monday, February 22 at 6 pm. The HCC is currently discussing the proposed demolition of the four properties as well as the proposed height of the structure. They have recommended incorporating the historically significant structure at 319-323 New Street into the project and they have asked the developer to look into reducing the height of the structure.

As community stakeholders, I encourage your followers to attend the meeting to learn more about the project and express their thoughts during public comment. At this point, the HCC will accept public comment on the appearance of the building, and in particular on the proposed height of twelve stories. HCC members have emphasized that the area is characterized by primarily four and five story historic buildings, and have mentioned that the City is currently working with a consultant to better align existing zoning regulations for the historic district with the historic guidelines interpreted by the commission. Restricting building height has been a major component of the public feedback provided to the consultant.

It is extremely important that residents and community stakeholders are involved in determining the future direction of our downtown and neighborhoods. I hope that your followers will take some time to review the proposed project and provide feedback on the building’s appearance at Monday’s meeting, which will be held virtually.

All the best,

Anna Smith

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