At the Uptown Planners Committee meeting on May 6th, Mark Freed of Landmark Development, pitched a proposal for a five story, 66 foot tall, mixed use building on the corner of Park Boulevard and Polk Avenue. The Park Terrace project will be on the site of an old church, torn down several years ago, and will include 35 condominiums as well as 7,000 square feet of commercial retail space. The design of the building includes a streetscape featuring a modular stone base façade as well as a slanted roof providing the potential for solar paneling.
Freed and his associates were in front of the Uptown Planning Committee as a favor to the North Park planning group. Rob Steppke, Chairperson for the North Park Planning Committee, asked Freed and the Landmark team to present the idea to the Uptown Planners, "I was really impressed that they (Landmark) came to the Uptown meeting because they didn't have to do that, but because it's on the border of the two planning groups I thought it was important to get the Uptown planners feedback."
And feedback was exactly what Freed and the landmark team received, and plenty of it. Most of the responses were in opposition to the project and the plan to bring more condos to the neighborhood. "Considering that the Uptown district now has more people living in it than downtown, I think we have enough condos and there enough people here," said one of the members of the Uptown planning group. While some members on the board thought that a park would be a much better idea, others felt that the overall design of the building was far from spectacular. "In twenty years, are people going to look at this building and say wow! I don't think so," says Steve Satz, a planning committee member from University Heights.
According to Freed, "The presentation to the Uptown Planning group was a courtesy. Our intent is to make sure we address the issues of the community and make sure that everyone is happy with the building. We actually went quite a bit out of our way to emphasize the importance of the streetscape. We designed it so that the front of the retail space will be open and will give the feel of an inside and outside retail area. As far as the request to make the area into a park, well, I don't even know how to address that one."
The proposal will be heard at the North Park Planning Committee at 6:30pm on May 20th at North Park Christian Fellowship, located at 2901 North Park Way. Visit the North Park Planning Committee's website at northparkplanning.org.