Can Mixed-Use and Residential Co-exist?

The title of this post seems to answer its own question with a resounding “YES”; however, there are neighborhood organizations that aren’t so sure. The owner of the building pictured above wants to convert it into a two-story multi-use, with a green roof to boot. Sounds like another asset to downtown. So, when does construction start? Not so fast. According to the latest issue of Urban Times (which is on newsstands and includes the attractive plan for the building), the Chatham Arch Neighborhood Association has reservations about the plan, especially because the building is located across the street from a former Day Nursery building that is for sale. CANA is afraid that if this building is allowed to become mixed-use, the larger parcel across the street would also become mixed-use.

I have a few problems with delaying this development. First of all, look at the building in the picture at the top of this post. It’s not exactly heart-warming. The rendering in Urban Times is a definite improvement. Secondly, this is an urban neighborhood. Many people move to urban neighborhoods simply because of the assets that are available at their footsteps. Third, it seems that CANA should operate on a case-by-case basis. If the design of the building across the street is unacceptable to them, then they can deal with it when the time comes. I hope that CANA comes around and backs this project (the plan was approved by CANA 20-19, but the deep reservations in the neighborhood caused the delay at the IHPC). They may even find themselves utilizing the new buisnesses if they do.

UPDATE: Urban Times has now linked this article on the web (PDF warning).

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