As of today, there’s been some new work at the site of the proposed new apartment and retail development at 23rd Avenue and East Union. I talked with Jay Janette this afternoon, the lead architect of the project, and he says that the work is related to the on-going mission to remove toxic chemicals from the ground — using environmentally-sensitive methods such as “organic breakdowns” — in the wake of a dry cleaning shop that used to be there. So if you see more backhoes and plows out there, construction on the project is not underway just yet. But for now, it’s looking good.
That’s because new land use signs went up today around the perimeter of the site. Those notices indicate that the city, through a hearing examiner, has given a crucial green light for the rezoning of the structure from four stories to six (or 40 to 65 feet), stating there’s been “conditional approval” for the change. Janette says this is a tremendous hurdle that’s been jumped. Up next: The full city council vote, expected by early September. Janette says the company is hopeful for final approval, but stranger things have happened. Developer Jim Mueller has told us that the rezone is needed for the plan to be economically feasible, allowing more residences on the same real estate footprint. There’s been growing neighborhood support for the new apartments and stores at what’s long been a troubled part of the CD, with deadly shootings and a host of other crimes at that intersection.
(h/t to Elvis)