February 27, 2013

Small-car friendly housing plans approved for West End

By Dennis Hoey dhoey@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND – The chances of encountering a gas-guzzling sport utility vehicle, a large pickup truck or a van leaving or entering a new residential development in the West End will be very slim.

That's because the developers of West End Place, which will have 39 apartments, persuaded the city's Planning Board on Tuesday night to issue a waiver for the project that will allow them to create nearly three times as many spaces for compact cars as are called for by city regulations.

The Planning Board unanimously approved West End Place's subdivision plans along with five waivers, including one that will allow the development to have 17 compact-car spaces, instead of the required minimum of seven, in a parking area on the ground floor.

West End Place will also designate a parking spot in front of the development for car sharing.

"We've asked for an inordinate number of small-car parking spaces because we believe the era of the SUV is dead and we want our parking lot to reflect that," said Jonathan Cully, who represented the applicant – Redfern LWS, LLC.

Cully said the size of a prospective tenant's car may determine whether they will be able to rent a unit at West End Place. The development will offer 34 parking spaces, half of them for compact vehicles.

"If they've got a (Chevrolet) Suburban, they need not apply," Cully said. "We've done a lot research and remain confident that people who live here will drive small cars."

The Planning Board waived a city regulation that would have required 39 trees around the building. Redfern will have to plant only six trees but will be required to donate $6,600 to the city's tree fund.

Construction on West End Place, at Pine and Brackett streets, is expected to begin in July.

Redfern is proposing 39 apartments with monthly rents ranging from $1,300 to $2,500. The development will also have nearly 2,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.

Culley has said that the four-story building will have solar panels and a rooftop deck built to LEED -- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design -- standards.

The city's Historic Preservation Board held four meetings with the developer before approving the project in November.

 

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

dhoey@pressherald.com

 

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