THE QUEEN MARY ON CENTRAL STREET
On Tuesday, June 7, 2010 the developer of the Eastwood site presented his latest plan.
The original plan that had been approved (foolishly) by the City called for a condominium building of masonry construction containing 51 units. The new project is a stick (frame) built rental building containing 78 units; a 53% increase in units. The building is four stories, slab sided, and 300 feet long, the length of the football field at Ryan Field.
The developer again dangled the carrot of increased real estate taxes. This same developer promised that before and tore down a tax paying building and is paying taxes on vacant land; considerably less than the building was paying. How has that benefited the City?
They are hoping to run this through the City based on the approval of the prior project. A project has already been approved for that site some years ago so they think they can just proceed.
This thinking is incorrect! This is not that project. That project died with the real estate downturn and for lack of interest. This is a NEW project and as such needs its own approval and MUST comply with the current zoning regulations in effect for the Central Street area including, but not limited to, setbacks and stepbacks. There is no "pipeline" for this project.
The City spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of our taxpayer money to come up with the Central Street Master Plan. I do not understand why the City spends the money on these plans and then completely ignores them. I believe it is simply to give the residents the illusion of participation and to deflect their attention.
I would not be opposed to a building on the Eastwood site, but it must be in keeping with the current zoning for the area.
This developer has promised all this already and failed miserably to deliver. What makes us think that he will deliver now? At the very least we should demand a construction bond equal to half the cost of the proposed project. Should he fail again we will have some funds to be able to do something with the site.
I would urge you to contact your alderman and let them know that this project should not be approved in its current guise; serious modifications need to be made.