Obermeyer plan takes final shape
July 12, 2002
The latest, and presumably final, iteration of the Obermeyer Place development plan calls for 31 free-market condos and 31 deed-restricted, RO units.
The community task force designing the project endorsed that mix in a marathon session Wednesday that brought resolution to a host of issues associated with the development.
Reacting to City Council input on Tuesday, the task force also agreed that all four of the planned buildings in the project will be four stories high. Council members had been cool to the possibility of partial fifth floors.
The latest plans cut back the amount of affordable service/commercial/industrial space that will be provided by the development by about 5,000 square feet. The project will, however, replace all of the existing SCI space in the neighborhood, including about 4,000 square feet that is currently vacant. It will also provide indoor space for the city’s recycling center operation, currently located in Rio Grande Park. What was trimmed was a planned boost in SCI space.
Previously, the project called for far more free-market units than affordable housing, but taking the council’s direction, planners bumped all the deed-restricted housing up to the RO, or resident occupied, category. It’s the most expensive type of affordable housing.
The RO units can be sold at the cost of their construction, eliminating the need for a lot of free-market housing to subsidize the affordable housing, as well as the SCI space, said project spokesman Ben Gagnon.
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The average size of the free-market units will be 3,000 square feet, compared to 750 square feet for the RO units.
Obermeyer Place plans also call for about 270 spaces of underground parking, including 100 the city wants for general use.
Next month, the council is expected to take up the finalized conceptual plans, and a November ballot question that will be necessary to authorize the use of city property in the development. In addition to various slivers of land, the project will use stretches of two city streets – Rio Grande Place and East Bleeker Street.
The development will extend over Rio Grande Place to the edge of the park, and a widened East Bleeker will serve as the thoroughfare through the neighborhood, linking with Spring Street. A promenade along the edge of the park is also proposed.
Obermeyer Place is the proposed redevelopment of several private properties and city parcels in a funky neighborhood where various service businesses and residences exist now. Klaus Obermeyer owns the largest chunk of property in the area.