First on the agenda for the evening, after the hour-long executive session, was the beginning of the site plan review of a project to transform the former TJ Auto Service Center at 735 Columbia Street into a brewery and bar/restaurant to be called Columbia Pump Station.
The Planning Board requested renderings of the building as it will be adapted for its new use and scheduled a public hearing on the proposed project for September 8.
Also on the agenda was 75 North Seventh Street, the building being proposed by the Galvan Foundation for which a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement is being sought. The entire project team was present at the meeting: Dan Kent, vice president for initiatives at Galvan; Charles Gottlieb, land use attorney; Chad Lindberg, from Taconic Engineering, and Jorge Chang, from Urban Architectural Initiatives. They even had a new rendering of the building, in which it appears even more massive in its context than it did in the previous rendering.
Chang talked about how they had done a historic study of the city and the district and asserted that the building was "defined by the history of the city"--combining Quaker design and industrial design. He pointed out the six over six windows and spoke of the "language of industrial architecture" and of "referencing older wood shingle buildings." Planning Board member Larry Bowne crystallized the confusion inspired by the mention of wood shingles and cementitious material (i.e., Hardiplank) when he said of the rendering, "I totally read that as brick."
Bowne requested a site plan that included the depot, which is to become a brewery, and renderings that show the building in the context of the neighborhood. He also wanted to see the industrial buildings being referenced in the design. Board member Stephen Steim noted that the height of the building would have an impact on the residential properties along Sixth Street, and Bowne suggested that renderings were needed that showed the building "from all the way around."
In introducing the project to the Planning Board, Kent claimed it was "born out of community input, the Comprehensive Plan, and the Strategic Housing Action Plan." At the end of the meeting, Planning Board chair Betsy Gramkow encouraged the members of the board read the Strategic Housing Action Plan.
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