Batavia's One North Washington project re-review starting

 
 
Updated 2/8/2018 2:30 PM
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  • The former First Baptist Church of Batavia was demolished to make way for the One North Washington development.

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

Take 2 of the plan to build a four- to six-story apartment building in downtown Batavia begins Monday, as the city's Historic Preservation Commission will review revised plans for the controversial project.

The commission will recommend whether a Certificate of Appropriateness should be issued for One North Washington at Wilson and Washington streets. The commission gets to review the appearance of the building because part of the site is within the city's downtown historic district.

The commission recommended the project in 2016. But the developer, Shodeen Inc., has proposed changes to the design, substantial enough that it has to be reviewed again by the preservation commission and the plan commission.

Shodeen's first design called for putting stores on the first floor along Wilson. There would be 186 apartments in the rest of the building. The plan commission reluctantly approved the design last spring, after the city council had already approved a building height variance and a redevelopment agreement specifying the number of apartments and parking spaces. Construction was to start last summer.

But Shodeen President David Patzelt said in the fall the company underestimated the cost of the whole project, and that the retail spaces on Wilson would be difficult to lease. Without changes, Shodeen won't build it, he said.

To improve the project's profitability, Shodeen has proposed eliminating the Wilson-side stores and putting in apartments instead. It would also reduce the number of parking spaces it is going to build in the building.

The council will have to vote on an amended redevelopment agreement, because the developer has requested that the city front more money toward the construction of a public parking garage. The money is to be repaid from property taxes on the project, backed by a guarantee from Shodeen.

No date has been set for the plan commission review.

The Historic Preservation Commission meets at 5:30 p.m. at the Batavia Government Center, 100 N. Island Ave.

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