Thursday, February 28, 2013

Care Facility at Boise and Proposed Sidewalk Deletion at Planning Commission

In the news today is a note about the Boise site and the proposed Marquis care facility. You may recall a note about it from a few days ago.  There are, yet, a few steps in the process, and one will take the project to the Planning Commission next month.
Clinic and care facility at the Boise site
The paper has a few additional details:
The latest proposal for the vacant Boise Cascade site could bring a $13 million medical rehabilitation facility and 50 jobs to downtown Salem.

Marquis Companies wants to build a 38,000-square-foot acute rehabilitation center on a portion of the Boise site...

Scott Miller, director of property development for Marquis, said Tuesday that the company intends to be under construction at the Boise site by early 2014.

The company hasn’t yet closed on the purchase of the land in Salem.
The building is proposed to back against the railroad, wedged in along Front street going south.
Movement on Phase II at Boise!
As you can see it's a low-rise strip office building behind a parking lot, though part of it will front the sidewalk. My initial assessment was more skeptical, but the wedge makes it an awkward site, and this may be a decent way to fit a building.  It's still worrisomely more on a surburban and strippy model than in an urban mode, but there may be limits to what can be done.  The right-in, right-out driveway access will also be a challenge for traffic.  It'll be interesting to follow.

But that's not the first hurdle.  Turns out a hearing before the Planning Commission is necessary.  The City had turned them down, it seems!

Initially the City ruled it was not a permitted use.  From the applicant:
Pringle Square North, LLC has contracted to sell a portion of its property to Marquis Companies, a group which currently operates 26 facilities in the western United States specializing in assisted living and post-acute rehabilitation care. On January 9, 2013, the City of Salem issued a pre-application report...which indicated that the Planning Administrator had determined that a skilled nursing facility is not a permitted use in the zone. Our client in requesting a formal interpretation by the Planning Commission...that the use proposed by Marquis Companies is permitted in the SWMU zone....

The facility will contain 52 living unites, which will proivde for a mix of acute rehab residents and long term residents. The facility will contain a variety of therapy spaces...and related administration areas suitable for both on-site and visiting physicians. The facility will also contain a variety of personal service spaces and office/administrative areas related to supporting the care of the sub-acute and long term residents....

The SWMU zone provides for residential uses such as apartments and retirement uses such as medical and dental clinics...institutional uses such as adult daycare, senior centers and community centers...While the uses proposed by Marquis Company are in line in nature and impact with those uses...permitted in the SWMU zone, Marquis Companies uses are not similar in any way to those uses which are expressly prohibited in the zone...
Just on a quick read, it seems like the applicant has a good case.  If "adult daycare" and senior centers would have been permitted, it's hard to see this as contrary to the spirit of the zoning.

But again, is this the kind of tenant and development that will draw people to want to live in the condos in the Boise shell?  This doesn't exactly scream, "downtown living!"  On the other hand - build the damn thing!  The site needs to be developed.  Compromise will be necessary.  I think I'm more bothered by the apartments configuration than this office and medical clinic. (What do you think?  Is there a fatal flaw here I'm missing?)

The hearing will be Tuesday, March 19th at 5:30pm in Council chambers.  

Proposal to remove sidewalks on Lindbeck Parcel?

Sidewalk segments on Linwood street to be deleted?
At the same Planning Commission meeting, there is a proposal to remove some sidewalks in the former Lindbeck orchard parcel. This is baffling.  Maybe even wilco tango foxtrot, as they say.  This certainly will bear more scrutiny.

(You may recall that Lindbeck Farms orchard was to be developed for a 180 unit apartment complex, a 119 unit residential care facility, and a few single family houses.  I think it may have changed somewhat since then, but the application before the Commission is for the 180 unit apartment complex.)

Former Lindbeck Orchard - gone

1 comment:

Curt said...

The Marquis building needs to be placed closer to the sidewalk, squared up to the street. They can keep the driveway where it is having the second floor span the driveway. That will at least provide some walkable characteristics to this site. Front St. still will be the only way to access Riverfront Park on State St. and other State St. businesses so its important that they at least do that.