Monday, March 15, 2021

CANDO got Preview of Y's Veterans Housing Project

Tomorrow night, Tuesday the 16th, the downtown neighborhood association, CANDO, gathers and they'll be talking about the list of capital projects downtown in the CIP.

34 apartments for Veterans (Homes First)

Last month, they got an update on the apartments for Veterans proposed for the corner across the street from the YMCA, currently an empty gravel lot on the northeast corner of Cottage and Court. This was Plan B after the initial concept was for demolishing the IKE Box and building housing on that lot. The former funeral home was saved and sold to the IKE Box, and the new lot purchased from First Presbyterian.

Cottage and Court

(Something that has not been reported, I don't think, is that the YMCA purchased the lot in 1995 from the Chamber of Commerce. In 2004 the Y sold the lot to First Presbyterian. Last year the Y bought it back from First Pres! The circularity is a little humorous. But perhaps it also helped strike a deal.)

I assume there will be a design and site plan review at some point, and I don't think a formal Notice for that has been announced, so details might change. The public completion is slated for 2022, but that might be a pinch optimistic. We'll see!

The concept of supported housing for Vets and building a nice little apartment block on a void in the downtown fabric are together nice to think about, especially since the Court Apartments had to be demolished and there's no real net gain in downtown housing here.

I think this is the latest for the Y building itself

With the WWII memorial and the parking structure for the Executive Building, the whole corner has been a little slack. With these new apartments and the nice new corner entry for the Y, the urban fabric will be filled a little, and that will be exciting to see.

For previous notes on the YMCA building project see here.

Addendum, March 19th

Here's the Hearing Notice for April 6th!

via City of Salem

There are a couple of setback adjuments requested, to reduce building setback so it's flush with the sidewalk, and reduce parking lot setbacks, and a few other minor things. It will be surprising if the Staff Report finds any real problems.

Update, March 30th

The Staff Report does not find any real problems and recommends approval with a few minor conditions. Looks pretty straight-forward.

One item of interest, however, is the bizarre notion of "livability" we have in our formal assessment criteria.

This frames "impact" as negative

"The proposed development will have minimal impact on the livability...of surrounding property." There's no negative impact here! Going from an empty gravel lot to a nice streetcar scaled apartment block in downtown is wonderful. It's all positive. But apparently we have enshrined notions that development is always bad and to be regretted and the impacts minimized. This framework is not right.


Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Added a note on the Hearing Notice

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Added a note on the Staff Report, which recommends approval.