Developers of a two-building complex approved in the center of downtown will move forward on one building as they try to resolve issues with Amtrak on the second.
Slokker Real Estate Group, developer of the 208-unit Main & Monroe approved for Parking Lot B, wanted to erect the two buildings simultaneously but has been dealing with Amtrak for more than two years, holding up the project, according to Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Leonard Bier.
If necessary, the building adjacent to the railroad tracks will be redesigned but the intent is to have soil site work begin in the fall on the larger building further south along Main Street, Bier said during his report to commissioners at the May 3 Redevelopment Agency meeting. The south building is the larger of the two, with 115 units and a pool and clubhouse.
Bier recently met with Nils Berten, vice president of Slokker Real Estate Group and called it an “opportune time” for Slokker. “It’s not going to be dormant, it’s never been an issue of financing, they have the financing,” he told commissioners.
The concept of Main & Monroe was presented to the Redevelopment Agency in October 2014 and received approval of a 30-year Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) in April 2014.
The Planning Board gave its approval in March 2015 and the project had been expected to break ground as early as that year but also was delayed at times by a dispute over parking stemming for a redevelopment agreement with previous owners of the project and an adjacent restaurant.
As part of the development, Monroe Street will be extended from Main Street through what is now Lot B and connect to East Cherry Street, creating a new block downtown and possibly employing Redevelopment Area Bonds (RABs). Demolition recently took place for an adjacent project, The 45-unit Gramercy by R2-N2 Properties, which has to coordinate around the Monroe Street extension and utility connections.