Commission Approves Color Change for Downer Garage
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Downer Avenue Park Garage
The high profile Sydney Hih building and Downer Avenue redevelopment project were the main items on the agenda for this commission meeting.
The initial item regarded the proposed interim historic designation for the Sydney Hih building. The developer requested it to be held over and as it had been previously presented the developer had no immediate intention to demolish the building. Although Sandra McSweeney questioned how many times it could be held over and whether or not there was a limit, it was held again.
The highly contentious and overly litigated Downer Avenue parking garage came before the commission again. This time it was to request a change to the Certificate of Appropriateness (“COA”). The request was actually prompted by future tenant Associated Bank. The bank has taken issue with the lime green color that much of the building is slated to be stained. Specifically the request was to allow the developer to paint the scored panels white instead of the green stain. Although paint wasn’t the first choice for the building because some of it has already been stained the only option available is to paint it. Also discussed at length was if this change would impact the wall facing into the neighboring properties’ backyards. This request wasn’t addressing that side other than to stop it from being stained green. Throughout the discussion there were hints to the troubled history of the project as Sandra McSweeney claimed the color was part of the “muddy water” and Pat Balon
said “we have several dangling issues regarding this project”. In the end it was approved with Sandra McSweeney abstaining from the vote.
The last item of interest was a slight change to the COA for another building that is part of the Downer Avenue redevelopment project. Of interest was that the first portions of the Mulkern Building to be redeveloped will be the two vacant storefronts and then will proceed as tenants depart the building. Because the requested change was minor it was approved quickly.