Redevelopment officials hope to resolve a dispute over parking by the end of next month to get the next downtown project under way, which could impact another development on the drawing board.
Executive Director Leonard Bier said he’s hopeful an outstanding lawsuit could be resolved in the next 30 to 45 days (before the end of February). “We’re close, I’m hoping to resolve those issues,” he said, briefing commissioners during the Jan. 6 Redevelopment Agency meeting.
The 208-unit Main & Monroe is a two-building project along Main Street, essentially the area of Lot B behind The Waiting Room. The five-story development received Planning Board approval in March, however, an objection was filed by the owners of Luciano’s, which had some sort of agreement the previous developers about the use of parking at Poplar and Main streets (directly across the street from the restaurant) and the replacement of that parking upon development of the Lot B project.
City Council in July conveyed a small parcel near the bus stop on Main Street as potential relief to the Luciano’s parking situation. The Parking Authority also has moved to acquire a Leesville Avenue property for $100,000 as part of overall efforts to address parking and relieve the Luciano’s situation. The Parking Authority last year also authorized environmental services contracts of $10,500 and $9,000, in addition to a $2,000 appraisal contract, for property at 107 Monroe St. (Kennedy Landscaping across the river), as part of its overall parking plan, Bier said.
Once the litigation is resolved, Bier said environmental remediation of the Slokker site can move forward. Remediation entails removal of historic fill (in other words, old dirt) but the engineer must coordinate Slokker’s Main & Monroe project with The Gramercy, a neighboring 45-unit project along East Cherry Street at the intersection of what will be Monroe Street, which will be extended as part of the Main and Monroe project.