1 North Washington plan changes up for review

  • The former First Baptist Church of Batavia was demolished to make way for the One North Washington development in downtown Batavia.

      The former First Baptist Church of Batavia was demolished to make way for the One North Washington development in downtown Batavia. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer, May 2017

 
 
Updated 4/17/2018 4:44 PM

The Batavia Plan Commission gets to weigh in Wednesday on whether changes should be allowed in the plan for the One North Washington apartment building proposed for downtown.

Among the questions the commission will address:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Should the project be allowed to have 190 apartments, four more than approved last year?

• Can 25 of those apartments be studios?

• Is it OK to put apartments on the first floor along Wilson Street, instead of the originally approved stores?

• Can the newly designed parking garage really accommodate 365 vehicles, with plenty of room to turn around in a few dead-end aisles?

A public hearing will be at 7 p.m. at the Batavia Government Center, 100 N. Island Ave.

The commission is charged with making a recommendation to the city council.

The city's planning and zoning officer, Joel Strassman, wrote in a memo that city workers are concerned about the "geometry" of the new design for parking stalls. They recommend that only 343 spaces be put in the garage, and that some of them in two dead-end aisles be designed as pull-through spaces.

The staff also recommends that a "small number" of parking spaces be made smaller, and designated for use only by compact cars.

The city council approved a revised redevelopment agreement in January that was based on having as many as 194 apartments and as few as 335 parking spaces. The redevelopment agreement governs the financial aspects of the development, including how much money the city will front for construction of the public parking garage and how it will be reimbursed.

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The agreement was revised because in mid-2017, the developer, Shodeen Inc., discovered it could cost up to 20 percent more to build the project than originally estimated.

For one thing, the company used wrong figures in estimating costs for building a parking garage that is partially below grade. The company's representative also said the stores on Wilson complicated the design of the parking garage spaces, and that the store spaces would be difficult to lease.

Without the city fronting more money, and agreeing to changes in the plan, the developer would walk away from the project, according to Shodeen President Dave Patzelt.

The revised plan can be found on the city's website at cityofbatavia.net.

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